Anthony: Thank you. I appreciate you having me.
Jim: It’s our honor, looking forward to hearing your story. I know just a little bit of it, but let’s jump right into it. Let’s hear it from your words. What got you started on Amazon, man?
Anthony: Back at the end of September, beginning of October – I’m friends with Abe and Adam Chontos, which, obviously, they’re part of your group, and Adam’s a coach for you guys.
Jim: Yep, one of our great coaches.
Anthony: Yeah, he’s really good. Abe, he posted on Facebook about how in a 12 month period they had 500,000 in sales on Amazon, and I was like hold on. It’s like how much? I messaged Adam. I know Abe, but I don’t know him as well as I do Adam. I messaged Adam. Hey, what’s this about? He gave me some of the info, told me about PAC, told me about the My Silent Sales Team Facebook group. He sent me an invite. I joined the group and started looking into it, and opened my account.
At the beginning, Adam just told me little bits. I think just to make sure I would jump in, didn’t want to hand me everything. I mean, if somebody hands you everything, you’re not going to work as hard to do it. I started watching some of Jeff Clark’s stuff like how to do the garage sales and all the PAC videos from him, and we started selling books and stuff about mid-October. I kept seeing people in the group talking all about replens. I’m like what is replen? It should’ve been a no-brainer. I was like, okay, what is that? Then they started saying everyday stuff, whether it’s sporting goods or groceries, which I know the group’s biggest thing is groceries.
Jim: Yeah, groceries is a great category, for sure.
Anthony: Oh, yeah, everybody’s got to eat, right?
Anthony: I started looking for replens, and I started watching some of those videos in PAC. Actually, my first item I found because I was talking to somebody I was buying books from that used to sell on Amazon. They told me about an item they used to sell and they got tired of Amazon’s rules, all the rules they started making. They’re like I’m only selling books. That’s all I’m selling. I’m tired of dealing with the other stuff. I was like, “Okay, so you don’t care if I look into this product?” They’re like, “No.”
That product was way too many people, couldn’t sell it. I found another product that was similar, and it was selling at the time 30 to 40 times a day at least. It’s not profitable now, but it sells over 200 times a day now. I can’t sell it because there’s no money in it. People just bottomed out the price. Because of that, I found another item and then another, and I started finding similar products or products in that area. Then I just started randomly just walking through the store, different areas and finding stuff.
What I didn’t like at the beginning was obviously there’s a lot of stuff I was like, man, this is a high profit item. I can’t sell it. I’m gated. I’m like, “Adam, what’s going on?” I started contacting Adam. Actually, because he got me started in this, I’m like if I can’t sell it, I might as well tell Adam about this item.
Jim: That’s right, partner up.
Anthony: I started telling him about stuff. I’m like, hey, I can’t sell this. It’s 30, 40% profit item or 30, 40% margin, so he started selling them. He started returning the favor because there were certain items he was already selling. “Hey, I can’t keep this in stock. Go ahead and sell this.” We started tag teaming stuff, working down the line once he saw that I was serious. I think November I broke 10,000 my first full month selling on Amazon.
Jim: Wow, 10,000 total sales your first full month.
Jim: That’s hitting it.
Jim: That’s great.
Anthony: It was mostly because of that one item I found, and it took off. There were only one or two people on that listing. Then another thing was Adam was surprised. I was calling people straight from the get-go. That first replen, I was buying straight from the manufacturer. He’s like, “Really?” I’m like, “Yeah.” I was like, “Don’t you?” He’s like, “No.” He’s like, “I ain’t contacted any manufacturers yet.” I was like, “My dad owns a print shop in Ohio, so I’ve been around retail my whole life.”
Jim: Yeah, you’re not afraid to call the guy, the distributor on the label. Call him up.
Anthony: No and that’s what I did. I looked at the product. They had the website on there. I looked up the website, went straight to a website and called them.
Jim: Hey, I want to place an order.
Anthony: Oh, yeah, and I had to fill out all the paperwork and everything. The good thing was they were based in another state, so I didn’t even have – I didn’t have my sales tax permit at the time. I didn’t have to pay the taxes because they were in another state. Then they shipped it to me.
Jim: That’s beautiful.
Anthony: Yeah, I was buying it for $2 cheaper from them.
Jim: Yeah, what was the price point? What were you paying and what was it selling for approximately?
Anthony: When I originally first got it at the store, it was $5 and something. I was selling it for 13.49, 15 bucks, somewhere in there at the time. Then when I got it from the manufacturer, I was getting it for 3.25. People just started bombing out the price. It got under $10 at one point. I’m like you could make maybe a dollar at that price. I’m like it’s not really worth your time packaging and everything. I started calling other manufacturers too from that. Then, like I said, the worst thing they could say is no, but if you don’t call them, you’re not going to get it. You’re not getting a no anyway if you’re not calling them.
Jim: Yeah, you’re right.
Anthony: I actually have five or six different places that I order directly from. Unfortunately, some of them are out of stock of that item, some of the merchandise because of COVID and everything. I can’t even buy it from them. I have to search a whole bunch of different stores. For OA, I’ve been able to find some of the products online, and that’s my favorite thing. I get free air pillows, free boxes, all that kind of stuff. My wife told me we need to throw out some of these air pillows. I’m like I don’t like throwing out air pillows.
Jim: Reuse those things.
Anthony: I have four cases of them things all in my garage, a couple boxes over here. I don’t like throwing out air pillows.
Jim: Yeah, that really helps you absorb some of the shipping expenses from ordering online if there are.
Anthony: Oh, yeah.
Jim: If there are. A lot of places ship free. Some people say I don’t want to have stuff shipped to me. You got to pay for shipping if I’m going to sell it. A lot of times you get free shipping and the price is just as competitive as retail. Plus, you get all the free packing supplies, right?
Anthony: Oh, yeah, that is my favorite part, which reminds me of one thing. You mentioned the free shipping. I want to point out too a lot of people don’t know is Walmart+. Do not get Walmart+ and try to use that to purchase products online. I got Walmart+. I was like, oh, free shipping. I can order small orders and have them shipped to me for free. They do not like resellers on Walmart+. My account was banned with Walmart+ in less than a day.
Jim: Really? Wow! How much volume did you send through it?
Anthony: Really, I only placed six or eight different orders. I bought 6 of an item a few times and then I bought 36 of an item one time. They cancelled, actually half the orders. It sent me an email saying, hey, we don’t allow resellers to use Walmart+, blah, blah, blah. You can’t have this account anymore. I’m like that would’ve been really good to know ahead of time. Now I can’t use Walmart+.
Jim: Yeah, huh, okay. We use it occasionally but not a lot because of the free delivery and that sort of thing, but we don’t place a lot of big orders with multiples. I think you’re safer maybe placing onesie, twosies, that kind of thing.
Anthony: Yeah, if you do that, you won’t get – it’s no problem. It’s just I was placing – I placed two or three orders of six of one item. Then the one I ordered 36.
Jim: Yeah, that raises a flag somewhere. They probably got a limit in there somewhere.
Anthony: Yeah, but you live and learn. I can at least still get Walmart+ through my wife, but we won’t use that.
Jim: Got you. How’s your business doing now? Get us up to date. You haven’t been doing this that long. You had $10,000 your first month. What happened next?
Anthony: Adam kept nagging me about doing FBA. He’s like, “Man, you got to get FBA. You got to get FBA. It’s so much easier, so much…”
Jim: You were doing your own shipping that first month.
Anthony: All of it, even December, November, December.
Anthony: Yeah, and my wife was actually – I got four girls. My third daughter would help her take the stuff to the post office before she dropped her off at the bus stop because we had so much stuff and I would be at work. I’d go to work at 7 in the morning, so I couldn’t help her do that. Adam kept telling me. He’s like, “Hey, man, you need to FBA.” I sent in two items, just a couple boxes of them right before Christmas, and then, of course, went in vacation mode and had no sales those two weeks except for those two items. I’m like, yeah, I really need to get into doing what Adam said and do FBA.
January I got back, beginning of January, and I had to go travel three and a half hours from my house. I didn’t really get to do much FBA through most of January. End of January, though, they gave us an option, voluntary layoff or they didn’t know where they were going to send me, and I took a voluntary layoff. I’m like let me do some of this right here. I found my best selling item at that time, and I put everything into FBA. We are 98% FBA right now.
Jim: Okay, so you’re doing very little of your own shipping now, Merchant Fulfill. You’re sending it all to Amazon’s warehouse.
Anthony: Oh, yeah, especially after I found out how cheap storage was for Amazon. I was like, as much stuff as I send in there I was only paying $75 a month. I’m like I want us to get this out of my house.
Jim: That’s great. Good for you. How’d you find that – what’s the story behind that real profitable item that you found?
Anthony: I actually had been to that store several times, and they never had it. That’s actually the item I told you about earlier that the manufacturer was actually – can’t find it, can’t keep up with it because where they get some of their stuff from for that product had hurricanes and stuff. They can’t get it, so they were way backordered. I just happened to see it sitting there, and I was like let me check this item here. The sales rank was terrible, but I looked at Keepa because Adam told me right off the bat that’s all you need to start is Keepa. That’s all I had until the end of April. I finally got a repricer and that made it so much easier too.
Jim: Yeah, but at this point still, you’ve just got Keepa and a repricer as your only two tools?
Anthony: Yeah, I added the repricer like I said the end of April. I got a couple other tools, but they were free tools that Adam told me about.
Jim: Sure, okay.
Anthony: I look back at Keepa on that item, even though it was terrible sales rank, and there was no sellers on there. That item had been ranked as high as top 1,000 in its category. I’m like, okay, let me buy four of them. Let me take them home, and I put them on Amazon. One sold on the way home, and then the other three sold the next morning. I went back to the store and bought the rest. At the peak, I was selling over 100 of that item a week.
Anthony: Yeah, it slowed way down. Not so much because of other people get on that listing. It’s just similar items.
Jim: Yeah, competition.
Anthony: Yeah, similar items, people lowballing and finding from a different company since it’s the same item pretty much anyway. That’s why you keep finding more. I try to spend at least two days a week where I get three or four hours either online or go to the store.
Jim: Got you. How many different stores do you hit when you go out?
Anthony: Usually, I only do one or two because of the fact that I’ll be in that store for two to four hours.
Jim: Yeah, sure. I mean, how many stores do you source from locally? What’s your pattern there?
Anthony: I’ve got a lot of stores because I live near Houston. If I find an item in a store and it sells, I hit up a lot of those stores. I usually try to leave some on the shelf because I have so many stores around me that I can. I’ll pull off the top shelf or whatever, and then pull the ones forward so everybody else can reach the last two or three that I left.
Jim: Yeah, you reset the shelf a little bit, leave it looking nice. That’s good, man. That’s good.
Anthony: Yeah, I don’t want them getting mad at me and not wanting me to shop there.
Jim: Good replens ethics there. I love it, yeah. You hit several stores. How many ASINs do you have in your arsenal?
Anthony: I got some books on there too, selling out the rest of the books that I had, but I have 350, I think, something like that. Maybe 100 of them are not replens. All the rest are replens that I got selling on there.
Jim: Got you, okay, all right. You are actively finding more new replens every week, right?
Jim: About how many a week is your goal? You said you tried to do it a day or two a week.
Anthony: I don’t really have a goal. I have so much time that I have and, if I find a bunch, awesome. I mean, I’ve had days where I found – in just a few hours, I found 10, 15 replens. Some days I only find one or two. I mean, the other day I only found three. One of them I can’t source because everybody sold out. Another one, I had just got two in yesterday. I ordered two of it to test it. It was a little higher priced item. I’m starting to get – trying to find higher priced items now that I’m getting more coming in, and both of them sold last night within two hours of putting them on there for a $45 profit.
Jim: You listed in Merchant Fulfill then.
Anthony: To test them. I was like, oh, let me go ahead and just try it.
Jim: Do you do that frequently, test it Merchant Fulfill? If it takes off, then you turn it into an FBA seller for you?
Anthony: Depends on the item. There’s some items that, for whatever reason, FBA is way cheaper, and I’m not talking 2 or $3. I’m talking sometimes it’s 6, $8 cheaper to do it FBA. I’ll send it in there just because of that, or if I’m unsure of an item, I will test it FBM and just take a $2 profit because I know it’ll make $10 if I send it in FBM, or I mean FBA.
Jim: Right, I got you, yeah.
Anthony: They’ve been lagging a lot lately on the FBA.
Jim: Checking in product.
Jim: Yeah, they’re slow.
Anthony: At first, it was on point. I would have everything checked in within a week, week and a half. My buddy Adam was like, “Man, why is yours so fast? Mine takes three or four weeks?” Mine’s been taking four to six weeks lately on some items just all of a sudden. I don’t know what’s lagging, but they’ve been terrible.
Jim: Yeah, and it gets worse around Christmastime. You want to really use caution and plan on doing as much shipping as you can November, December. You can make a lot of money if you’re willing to do some shipping. FBA is so great, but they’re going to be really slow checking stuff in, for sure.
Anthony: Yeah, and my wife, she stays at home. I mean, she babysits some, but she does a lot of the packaging. She was doing all of our Merchant Fulfilled and I was doing all FBA until we went 98% FBA. Now she helps me with it.
Jim: Got you.
Anthony: Anything Merchant Fulfilled she still does.
Jim: It’s just the two of you then, right? Is that your business?
Anthony: Yes, it’s just me and her. We were having my daughter help us a little bit when we had a lot of certain items and something that was simple. She wanted to get a more permanent job, so she actually just started at Chick-fil-A today.
Jim: Oh, that’s a good first gig for a kid.
Anthony: Yeah, she got to go work for the Lord’s chicken.
Jim: Yeah, some Jesus chicken, right?
Anthony: Yep. My buddy’s actually her boss.
Jim: There you go. That’s good. Yeah, one of my kiddos had a good stint there too, man. They’ve got a good work ethic they’ll put in those kids, for sure.
Anthony: Oh, yeah, definitely.
Jim: It’s the two of you. We haven’t talked about numbers for your business. I know your first month was 10,000, and that’s not all that long ago. We’re talking more about six months or so at this point?
Anthony: Yeah, right after I started FBA, February, it actually was $37,000 in February. That was the first month I was heavily FBA, so after that happened, I was like, okay, should’ve listened to Adam a lot sooner. I could’ve had that – a month like that probably a lot quicker. Let’s see. March and April was broke 30,000 as well. Then May and June have been slower, but a couple people in the Facebook group have mentioned that May and June are the slowest months of the year.
Jim: Yeah, they certainly can be. Summer can be slow, but it’s just the setup. August, September, you start to see it ramping up. October, November are no joke, and of course, December is going to just be insane. This is going to be your first December where you’re really locked and loaded on this opportunity.
Anthony: Yeah, I didn’t have – I had, like I said, those two FBA items that I sent in right before Christmas, right before I went to Ohio to visit family. I live in Texas, and that was it. That’s really the only FBA I had for Quarter 4 last year was those two items.
Jim: Right, just a couple products. Now you got a couple hundred. It’s going to be a very different experience. You’re going to wipe out your inventory and get some good checks. It’s going to be a blast.
Anthony: I hope.
Jim: You’re working full time then still? I know you have another job you said.
Anthony: Yeah, I just started back to work. I was off for a few weeks.
Jim: The voluntary layoff.
Anthony: Not the second time. The first time I took a voluntary layoff. I went back to work. I called them. I said, “Hey, when can I come back?” I was off four weeks. I wanted to get my FBA and all that started, and I did that. I got back to work and worked a couple, let’s see, three months, and then I got a non-voluntary – laid us off.
Jim: Got you, okay.
Anthony: Actually, the first person I called on my way home was Adam. He goes, “Oh,” He’s like, “Man, I’m sorry.” I go, “I’m not.” He’s like, “I’m not either then.” He straight up tells me, he goes, “Anthony, your last layoff was the best thing that ever happened to my wife and I because we were sharing all them – all the items I couldn’t sell.” Then he’s like, “Me and my wife know what you’re going to do this time.” We found a whole bunch more stuff this time.
Jim: That’s awesome.
Jim: You turned it into opportunity, man. You can ask yourself – when those tough things hit, one of the good questions you can ask is what does this make possible rather than, oh no, what am I going to do? That’s a very different question than what does this make possible? For you guys, it made possible a whole lot of free time to find more replens and grow your business. That’s exactly what you’ve done.
Anthony: Yep, and one good thing else, though, on top of that is the fact that it’s a learning experience for my daughters. They see me get laid off where a lot of people would be freaking out, panicking, whatever, and I’m like it is what it is. You just got to trust Him and know everything’s going to be alright. They see me not freaking out. They see me trusting. They know about me getting a job offer 2 weeks ago within 30 seconds of telling my buddy Adam that – he made a comment at 12:07 p.m. about me being able to quit my job soon. I go, well, I’d have to have a job to quit, LOL. Within 30 seconds, I had a job offer from somebody that didn’t even know I was having that conversation with my buddy Adam.
Jim: That’s awesome, yeah. You’re still looking to make your Amazon business a side gig on top of whatever your main career is. You said you do welding, right?
Anthony: Yes, sir. I weld. I mean, if you want to call it weld. I’m kidding.
Jim: You can get weld technical on me. That’s all right.
Anthony: No, I was kidding, acting like I don’t know how to weld.
Jim: I got you.
Anthony: If you talk a big game, you got to back it up when you’re a welder.
Jim: I got you, yeah. I’m sure every industry has their levels of – I wouldn’t know a good one from a bad one if I saw it. I guess you get that – what, a nice straight bead is a good welder? I don’t know.
Anthony: It’s just there’s a way it’s supposed to look, and I talk myself down because I don’t want them to sit there and think that, oh, he thinks he’s great. We need to watch him. Usually, guys that are the biggest talkers on welding are the worst welders. I talked myself down on welding so bad one time that they had me doing other stuff. Then they asked me if I was a vert welder. I said, “Yeah, I’m a vert welder.” They said, “You any good?” I said, “I do all right,” so they didn’t have me weld verts.
Six months go by. I’m still with that crew doing other stuff and a guy calls out. He said, “Hey, Anthony, you’re a vert welder, right?” “Yeah.” “Hey, go weld verts.” I’m like, “Okay.” I said, “You know I’m leaving at lunch today, right?” They’re like, “Yeah.” They’re like, “You can do it once while you’re here.”
I get done. I leave at lunch. I told the guy, one guy, I said, “Hey, Tanner, I got to leave. Can you finish this vert for me?” He’s like, “Yeah, that’s fine.” I come back Monday. He comes up to me. He goes, “Anthony, you know I know you’ve been doing this for a while, and I figured you kind of know what you’re doing. Man, I rolled over to your vert and if that thing didn’t look darn near perfect.” I’m like, “Oh, thanks, man.”
He goes, “I told Clint.” I said, “Hold on. Hold on.” Clint’s my boss at the time. I go, “What you’d tell Clint?” He goes, “I told Clint I don’t know why you ain’t got Anthony up there welding verts, man.” I was like, “Oh, man, why’d you tell him that? I didn’t want to be up there.”
Jim: Right, you were trying to hide your talent, huh? Not that this is a welding lesson, but you got me curious. What’s a gert?
Anthony: What’s a what?
Jim: Are you saying gert? You’re up on a gert?
Anthony: I was up on a girder.
Jim: Got you, okay.
Anthony: On a vert. I might’ve have said vert. It might’ve sounded like that.
Jim: Yeah, okay, I got you.
Anthony: A vert’s a vertical weld.
Jim: Yeah, sure, I’m with you. Yeah, I know nothing about that world, man, but that’s what you do. I don’t know. It’s probably hourly pay, and it’s good. Very competitive I would imagine, so it’s hard to walk away from. Do you have plans at some point to go all in full time with your online business?
Anthony: I definitely do. It’s a funny thing. I’ve been praying for years to quit doing what I’m doing the year I turn 40, which is actually this year.
Jim: Got you.
Anthony: The closer it got to it I was like that ain’t going to happen. I’m like there’s no way I can possibly do this, and then this happened starting in October to now. I’m like maybe I jumped a little bit ahead of myself. Maybe I shouldn’t have doubted what can happen. I told my wife I think with the Amazon income and working at least through the rest of this year paying stuff off with my income, that way 100% of Amazon can be reinvested into Amazon. I just think I could possibly do it if I want by the end of the year, just do Amazon.
Jim: That’s a goal. That’s awesome.
Anthony: Yes, that is a big goal. Plus, I’m big into investing on top of that, stocks and all that kind of stuff. When I got laid off last year, that’s what I did when I was off. Nobody was hiring. I doubled my IRA last year. I found a lot of useful sources on – as far as researching stocks because of it and then, like I said, Amazon.
Jim: That’s fantastic, man. How many hours are you putting into your Amazon business right now? You’re working. Is it full time?
Anthony: I just started back up this week actually working.
Jim: Okay, this is the first week full time. You’re just stepping into rebalancing this whole thing. Is it working out okay so far?
Anthony: It is so far, but we’ll see. I mean, my wife’s going to help me a lot with the FBA. Then, if I have to, I can do it in the evenings, which is what I was doing before when I was working 60 hours a week.
Jim: Yeah, so you guys will settle back into a new routine.
Jim: Got you.
Anthony: Then, at least this company I’m working for, I’m only working five days a week instead of six, so I will have Saturdays to do this too, whereas before I was working six tens sourcing two nights a week. I’d go to the store. I’d text my wife. I said, hey, I’m going to the store. She knew I wasn’t going to be home ‘til at least 8, 9 o’clock at night, and I did that twice a week usually.
Jim: Got you.
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Anthony: I’m going to the store. She knew I wasn’t going to be home ‘til at least 8, 9 o’clock at night, and I did that twice a week usually.
Jim: Got you. I love how this business model fits around whatever other routine and schedule you might have.
Anthony: Oh, yeah.
Jim: You can squeeze it into the cracks. I just interviewed someone yesterday with two full time jobs. She’s got a $30,000 a month business. Sounds similar in size to what you’ve got rocking. This is a kind of business that you can squeeze in. I think you guys are going to do great with it.
Anthony: I like the fact that it fits around your time, not somebody else telling you what to do.
Jim: Exactly, yeah. I read a quote not too long ago. It said entrepreneurs are the people who are willing to work 80 hours a week so they don’t have to work for someone else 40 hours a week. There’s something to that, but it’s not that. You don’t have to work that many hours. When you’re going all in on Amazon, how many hours a week are you working it if you were able to to maintain the level you’re at?
Anthony: When I was laid off this last time, I actually was doing a lot of long weeks, 60, 80 hours probably looking for stuff. I didn’t want to pull from my IRAs anymore because that’s how I pulled what I did to get started. I actually found more items than I could sell because I didn’t have the money to reinvest into – for my Amazon funds, so I had to actually wait on some of them.
Jim: That’s a great point you make. You were outworking your money.
Jim: You were finding so many products. We hear this. Once they understand the system, there’s more products than you have money to invest in those products. That’s going to be the challenge because they’re everywhere.
Anthony: Oh, yeah, everywhere. It’s like I was telling you earlier about that one product I just found. It’s a higher priced item. It’s 50, 60 bucks per buy, but it sells for over $100. You got to have that money to buy it.
Jim: Once it sells, Amazon doesn’t give you the money right away. You got to wait a little bit. Yeah, there’s the churn of the money. The cash is low, so you got to manage that.
Anthony: That’s why I wanted to go back to work. I was having to pull from my Amazon funds to pay bills, and then that kept me from advancing my business out.
Jim: Makes sense. I want to ask you as we – this is the final third of the program where we start saying, hey, what are some things that you might want to say to the listeners or people who are starting this journey or on this journey, some tips or strategies, some lessons maybe, and just brainstorm? I don’t know if you’ve written anything down ahead of time. What were you hoping to cover in this episode, anything along those lines?
Anthony: One thing I did want because Adam had told me you would ask me a question like that was a lot of people try to do it all alone. Like I told Adam, I said, one thing I’ll probably say is that find someone you can trust, someone you know like I’ve known Adam for over 25 years and work together. You can keep your businesses separate. You have yours. They have theirs, but that gives you twice as many things to sell. Twice as many heads to find products without having to pay somebody else to source for you.
Jim: Yeah, that’s good.
Anthony: That’s what Adam and I did by working together.
Jim: I’ll find good ASINs and we’ll clear out all the stores in this area. I’ll text a coaching student, or one of my buddies, or someone else that I know could use a little boost. Hey, check out this ASIN. Just shoot them a quick text, right? Holy cow, where’d you get it (at Walmart, four bucks). You’re selling number four. Don’t tank the price. Let’s go. Yeah, there’s no reason not to do that sort of thing.
Anthony: When I pointed that out to Adam, he goes – he’s like, “That’s like we do in the group.” I mean, you got 65,000 people all helping each other. The one thing you don’t do is tell anybody what you’re selling in the group because then you got 65,000 people that see. Oh, I’m going to look at that product.
Jim: Exactly, we were very transparent, but we’re not going to say, hey, here’s all the products you can go buy right now. That’s why I have never promoted buy lists. Some people really like them. I’m not a big fan. As soon as you buy a buy list, you’re like it’s probably getting sold and resold, and whoever is putting that list together is probably selling it to different sources. It’s a good place to get started maybe to do some research, but the real secret sauce is finding products on your own. Then, yeah, have one or two people that you just do swaps with.
Anthony: I didn’t know about the buy lists until a month ago, somebody talking about them. I was like what is this? Then somebody last week was commenting in the Facebook group about how, the product list they bought, all the prices got bombed. I mean, luckily, they were only out $100 I think they paid for the list.
Jim: Yeah, you buy the list, and at first, it’s like, whoa, what a bunch of winners. You go to the store, and you buy them. You send them in, and then, wait, there weren’t 43 sellers on this item last week. There were only three. What happened? Those other people bought the same list you did.
Anthony: Yeah, and one thing I found too is a lot of people have never used Keepa. I guarantee some of these sellers have never used it. There was one item I saw. People tank the price now that I sold it for about a month and the sales rank went up. I had an item. It was ranked 780,000. Nobody’s going to sell this item. I looked at it, and I looked at Keepa. I looked back two, three years, and Amazon had been selling it. I don’t know why they decided to quit selling it two years ago, well before COVID.
I was like, man, that was a really good sales rank. It got as high as I think in the top 100,000. I’m like let me buy a couple, and it started off slow. Obviously, that high sales rank, it’s not showing up on a lot of searches, but then it sold once. Then it sold again, and then I got to a point where for the last two months I was averaging one sale a day on that item. It’s $15 profit every sale, and now it’s a $5 profit every sale on a 35, $38 sale. I’m like $5 is not enough when you’re starting to get up to 30 to $40. It’s just starting to get too much risk for me to buy a whole bunch of that product.
Jim: Yeah, but they’re out there.
Anthony: Yeah, they’re out there.
Jim: Using Keepa, I think the lesson on that and maybe we didn’t drive it home enough is just Keepa. That’s all you use. You don’t need any lists or any of these $200 a month database. They’re all using the same. I did a podcast episode, one just a couple episodes behind – a few behind this one by the time it publishes, but talking about don’t buy any tools ‘til you’re putting money in the bank. Keepa is all you need and some people just stay right there. That’s all you need. Keepa is doing its own dirty work, and all the other tools are using the same data from Amazon, every other tool out there except Keepa, which scrapes Amazon’s entire database. That’s how we’re able to follow the rank as it goes up and down, and that tells you a lot.
We don’t care what the rank is right now. We care how much has that rank been bounced in the past three months, nine months, three years? How much has that rank been bouncing? That tells you a lot.
Anthony: That one product, it didn’t have any sellers for almost a year. That’s why it was 780,000.
Jim: Yeah, and only Keepa’s going to show you, hey, this rank was bouncing up and down hot and heavy nine months ago, year ago.
Anthony: There’s one thing I just found out only a month ago that I actually told a couple people in the Facebook group about. They were like, oh, this listing is saying this item is selling. There’s two sellers on it for an obscene amount of money. I’m like there’s no way. I told them about the variations. I found out you can look on the variations, and it tells you exactly where every single review is going. I was like, wow, that would’ve been some nice info. I found a couple listings I was on. Found out why they weren’t selling. I didn’t know that the variations actually told you which ones were selling.
Jim: That’s a great tip and I like RevSeller for that as well. Yeah, if you look at which products are being reviewed – and maybe we should talk about what variations are. Let’s say there’s a product, and it comes in red, blue and green flavor. The red’s selling like crazy. The blue and green look like they’re priced very profitably, but they never sell. You get excited when you see the blue and the green. You’re like, oh, wow, I’m going to grab some of these because look at the price on those and Keepa shows this bounce and grab. All the sales are with the red brand, the red version. Blue and green are just sitting there and never selling with great prices, but they don’t sell.
Looking at the variations is where you can dig in. You can see, okay, which products are actually getting the reviews? That’s your clue which one’s selling. If red’s getting all the reviews and blue and green are just sitting on the shelf getting no reviews with a great price but who cares if you can’t sell it, you can just move on and say, unless I can find the reds, I’m not going to get on this listing. That’s variation and Keepa helps you with that. RevSeller makes it super simple as well. It’s one of my favorite tools as well.
Anthony: Adam told me that’s his favorite tool. I haven’t gotten it yet, but he keeps telling me I need to get RevSeller. I don’t want to get too much stuff, though.
Jim: Yeah, I’ll hook you up, man. Shoot me an email. I know the guy that launched RevSeller. He’s a guy in our community, and we get the best price. He sells it cheaper through our community than he does on his own website because we’ve helped him, launched it, Nathan. I’ll hook you up for free, man, get you a year of RevSeller. You’re going to love it.
Anthony: Bailey, is it Nathan Bailey?
Jim: No, another Nathan, different Nathan.
Anthony: I didn’t know if it was that Nathan or not.
Jim: We got a lot of Nathans. Nathan’s our coaching director. No, this is a different one, and yeah, I remember when he shot me over the – it’s been a few years back. He said, “Hey, I want you guys to test this out. See if you like it.” Our whole leadership team and our coaches tried it out. Every single one of them were like this next to Keepa is the best tool I’ve ever used.
Basically, it just puts a pop-up anytime you’re on Amazon.com and you’re scrolling around. You don’t have to be logged in to Amazon. Every page you go to, it puts a little window like Keepa does. It puts a little window there, and it tells you how much profit you can make on that item. You just plug in your buy price, and it says here’s how much you’ll make FBA. Here’s how much you make FBM, if there’s any variations. It pulls all kinds of nice data, puts it right on the screen for you. You don’t have to do any thinking, basically. It tells you your ROI. It’s beautiful.
Anthony: I think, actually, Adam just sent me a few screenshots of that now that you say that. I haven’t used that myself, but he sends me screenshots of some stuff. I’m like, oh, okay, that looks pretty cool.
Jim: Yeah, what is that box? That’s RevSeller, yeah, ProvenAmazonCourse.com/RevSeller, R-E-V-S-E-L-L-E-R for the listeners. Of course, Anthony’s going to get it free because he was a great podcast guest, so we’re going to hook him up. Yeah, everyone else can go – the links to anything we’ve mentioned today will be at SilentJim.com/podcast in the show notes too, so you can jump in there and get ahold of anything we talked about today, Keepa, RevSeller, Proven Amazon Course. That’s where Anthony got his start.
What else do you have, any other tips or strategies? Anything else you wanted to share with the listeners as we start to wrap this one up?
Anthony: Another tool I just started using a month and a half ago was BQool, the repricer.
Jim: Repricer, yeah.
Anthony: Adam told me about that one, and I was like, “All right.” I got tired of checking my listings, especially once I started getting up there. Man, I’m having to check all these listings. These guys keep moving the price. They’re beating me by a penny. They’re getting the Buy Box by a penny. I put mine to match their price now, and I don’t have to do anything. I just put my low price, my high price if nobody else is on the listing. I’m like, man, that’s saved me hours and hours a week on not having to check my listings all the time.
Jim: Yes, there’s a handful of good repricers out there. We have a good tutorial in our private Replens Facebook group. If you’re a Proven Amazon Course student, you’re eligible to get in there, and we step you through.
Anthony: I’m in that group.
Jim: Are you in there?
Jim: There’s a good tutorial on how to set your repricer up with the parameters that we suggest, so yeah, you don’t have to go in and monitor your prices constantly.
Anthony: Yeah, I’ll have to look at it. I didn’t know you had a little tutorial on that. I didn’t know that.
Jim: Yeah, Jimmy did a good one, steps you through what settings you should put in there as a replens seller to maximize your results. Yeah, it’s good stuff. Awesome, that’s a great tool. That’s a great tip as well. A repricer can save you a lot of time, for sure, so anything else, man?
Anthony: I mean, that’s all I can think of. I know I seen somebody the other day saying that they couldn’t – they found one replen, and they couldn’t find nothing else. I mean, the biggest thing I’ve seen a lot of people talking on there – and I know it’s in your replens videos. Don’t just scan the barcodes.
Anthony: A lot of people do that. That’s what I was doing at first. Adam said, “Dude, don’t do that.” I hadn’t watched enough of your replens videos at that time. I watched a couple more, and that was in one of those. The one guy was showing you how to word search. He said, “You’re not going to go to Amazon shopping and scan a barcode to find the item to buy it. You’re typing in the words.” I’m like, yeah, okay, this guy is right. I’m like why scanning this? I’m like, wow, I found – I would’ve never found this listing right here if I would’ve just been scanning this barcode.
Jim: That’s right. A lot of times when sellers set up a listing on Amazon, you have to realize, if I’m selling this water on Amazon, I may or may not put the barcode in the listing. I’m selling a three-pack of this. I may leave that blank, or I may put in the wrong barcode. If you’re coming along going, hmm, I wonder what these bottles of water are selling for on Amazon and you scan a barcode on one of these, you’re going to see the listings where people did follow the rules and put the barcode on the listing, but you’re not going to see my listing where I left that field blank. That could be the one where it’s selling like crazy, and you’re never going to see it.
What you should’ve done is typed in the brand name and scrolled down to see what you see on Page 2, 3, 4, or 5. Some of the best replens are a few scrolls down. You do the Keepa research. You look at what RevSeller has to say. You say, wow, okay, two sellers? This thing’s selling 40 times a month according to Keepa, and I can make about $18 profit of sale. Yeah, I’m going to go test this thing out. It’s that same bottle – boring bottle of water, that if you just scan the barcode you never would’ve seen it.
Anthony: The funny thing about that is – to prove a point, Adam gave me a little hint on an item. He goes, “Hey, check out these.” I’m like, “Okay.” My wife was driving from somewhere. We were about an hour, so I had an hour to search. I’m searching for the whole time and I can’t find the item. Then next thing you know I start – I’m getting on my computer too and all this stuff. I was like, “I can’t find that item, Adam.” He told me exactly what the price was and everything. I’m like, “What is it?” He had told me what it was but not whether it was a bundle or anything like that.
Jim: He made you do some work.
Anthony: He made me do some work just to prove a point that scanning barcodes and not just using the Amazon Seller app. You need to use the shopping app. You need to use Search Google, everything to find – and I found it. I finally did find the item he was talking about, but it took me two hours just to…
Jim: If he had just given you the little ASIN, you’d have been on it immediately, but he wanted you to do some research.
Anthony: He wanted me to learn my lesson on that. Because of that, I learned to do – search a certain way to find stuff.
Jim: Yeah, dig a little deeper.
Anthony: Oh, yeah.
Jim: That’s awesome, yeah, a good lesson. Once you’re good at this, you really can be so – and there’s several strategies for this, so many good strategies. If you go through the replens course, that’s one of the only courses in the collection of modules of the Proven Amazon Course. Many of them you start working as you’re going through the course. You’re building as you go. With replens, we say watch it all the way through and then go back through and do it. You’re going to get more confident than you should be really early on and really excited really early on, but you’re not going to know enough to go out and actually make it work until you’ve been through it. We do cover later on, well, here’s how to avoid IP complaints. Here’s what separates something that looks like a winner from something that actually is a winner. There’s a lot of good little lessons in there.
It sounds like you’re really on – you’ve got some good momentum, though, for sure. You definitely got a good buddy in Adam, for sure. He’s taking care of you and Abe as well, another great coach on our team. You’re in the community plugged in. That’s beautiful.
Anthony: Yeah, I’m glad I actually – if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t even be an Amazon seller right now. The funny thing is, when Adam told me about your PAC course – now, let me ask. How long has that PAC course been around, at least six, eight years, right?
Jim: Over ten at this point.
Anthony: I actually saw your PAC course probably eight or ten years ago. I told Adam, I said, “I saw it on – when I was thinking about getting in.” Twenty-nine dollars a month I think it was, right?
Jim: When it first came out, it was a one-time payment of $99, I think.
Anthony: It might’ve been.
Jim: It was just a very small – it’s just a fraction, maybe 1/50th of what it is now as far as total content, but yeah, it’s been around for about ten years.
Anthony: I told Adam, I said, “I know I” – I’m pretty confident I actually saw your Proven Amazon Course. I was like, no, they just want – it’s a scam, right? There were so many on the internet. I told Adam, I said, “If I would’ve known back then,” I said, “I could’ve already been established, had a whole lot more.” I could’ve been the one that got him in.
Jim: Exactly, yeah, some of our early students have just gone on to – some of them dropped off and moved on and done other things, but some of our early students are just phenomenal success stories on Amazon. It’s incredible. We’ve ridden the wave of this growth for coming up on a decade now. It’s been astounding to watch. I love the fact that it’s still something that even if you’re coming in now – some people say, hey, when’s the best time to get started? Five years ago was a great time. Second best time is right now. Like planting a tree, when’s the best time to plant a tree? Ten years ago it would’ve been good, but if you haven’t done it yet, today’s good.
The future just looks so bright. More and more people are shopping online. E-commerce is exploding. Amazon is dominating. Over half of all transactions in the United States online are on Amazon. That doesn’t mean I don’t love all the other platforms, but come on, that’s the monster in the room. That’s where all the eyeballs are. Let’s figure out how to make some money from that.
Anthony: I actually looked that up after you said that. I was like where does everybody buy? Even though it was you and I trust your – what you said because of everything else you’ve said in group, I still look things up.
Jim: Of course, correct me if I’m wrong.
Anthony: Yeah, and I think it was 54% or something like that of all online sales are on Amazon. Second was Walmart.
Jim: Yeah, Walmart is what, 12% or something in second place?
Anthony: I think it was 21.
Jim: Was it?
Anthony: I think it was.
Jim: They’ve been making a bit of a comeback, but I mean, still, that’s – or less than half.
Anthony: It’s nothing compared to Amazon.
Jim: The rule of thumb too if people start selling on Walmart is if you sell ten units on Amazon you’re going to sell one on Walmart as a third-party seller. I mean, that’s just – it’s 1/10th of the expected results for apples-to-apples products. Amazon’s the monster in the room, and as long as that’s the low-hanging fruit, that’s what we’re going to keep on teaching. We love all those other platforms. We’ve created content to educate and train on the other platforms, but this is the best place to start from our vantage point, which is why we plug away at it so hard.
It was great having you as a guest, Anthony. I really appreciate it, man, and thanks for carving out some time. You got a very busy life and a lot going on. You didn’t tell us a whole – about your family. You’re married I picked up on. You got some kids.
Anthony: Yeah, I’m married to my wife, will be 19 years in July.
Jim: Congratulations. That’s awesome.
Anthony: I got four brothers, but I end up getting four daughters myself. I get all girls, which is great. I love it. I probably was not the right person to have boys. I probably would’ve still been the same old rough person if I was – if I had all boys.
Jim: Yeah, they’ve calmed you down a little bit, have they? Smoothed you over a little bit?
Anthony: Yeah, maybe a lot.
Jim: Oh, that’s awesome, man.
Anthony: People laugh, usually laugh at their names. People that know us call my daughters the Shushes, [Shailey], [Shila], [Sharee], [Sharlotte].
Jim: Wow! That’s a mouthful, man. What’s your wife’s name?
Anthony: Saunja, she doesn’t have the S-H, but she’s got the S. Then I’m just Anthony.
Jim: I’m Tony. That’s great. I love it.
Anthony: It’s funny you say that because my brother – they always pick on me when I come to Ohio if I’m not wearing a coat or something. They’re like, “I’m Tony. I’m Tony. Oh, look at me. I’m tough.”
Jim: That’s awesome, man. It’s been great getting to know you. Are you coming to Tampa by any chance in July?
Anthony: I actually am. Adam told me him and I are going to room together.
Anthony: It’s a double room. It’s almost like a – I can’t remember how he explained it. It has a common area and then two separate bedrooms.
Jim: Yeah, like a suite with two rooms?
Anthony: Yeah, a suite.
Jim: Beautiful, dude, that’s awesome. You guys are going to have a blast. This resort is awesome. Hopefully, this podcast episode comes out in time. For those who haven’t heard yet, TheProvenConference.com, we’re going to have hundreds of listeners to this podcast in Tampa, Florida, July 12 – 14, TheProvenConference.com. Get your tickets, still plenty of room. Unfortunately, virtually none of our international friends are coming this year, and that’s about 30% of our audience. They just can’t travel yet because of COVID, so that’s going to really stink not having them there. We still got a nice crowd showing up and coming, mainly just US folks and those brave enough to maybe drive down from Canada. It’s going to be a blast, man, so looking forward to seeing you there.
Anthony: I appreciate it.
Jim: It’s going to be great. Let just wrap this one up, talk to the listeners for just a minute, and thank you guys for hanging out with Anthony and I today a little bit learning – hopefully, you learned some new tips and strategies, got some encouragement and just another family man, another guy that’s plugging away doing this business the right way. I find these episodes very encouraging. I can’t get enough of the testimonial episodes like this where people are just talking about how they’ve built their business and fit it into their life. Hopefully, you’ve benefited too.
We would love it if you would leave us a review. If you’re listening on YouTube, or watching on iTunes, or whatever your favorite podcast app is, leave us a review there. We’d certainly appreciate that, five stars, thumbs up, whatever, subscribe as well at SilentJim.com/updates. That way every time we have a new episode you’ll get an alert on your smartphone, and you won’t miss any of these episodes. Last thing, if you’re watching on YouTube, I need to let you know most of our episodes aren’t on YouTube. They’re at SilentJim.com/podcast. You’re missing a lot if you’re just watching us on YouTube, so jump over there and listen using your favorite podcast app. Most people use iTunes, and you can catch up on what you’ve missed.
God bless all the business building warriors out there. Anthony, thanks. You were a great guest today.
Anthony: I appreciate it.
Jim: Yeah, good having you here. Thank your wife for loaning you to us for a little while here. To all the business building warriors, we’ll have another great episode again for you real soon. Talk to you then.
Announcement: 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, so we were very excited to bring them on as a sponsor. Again, Helium10, discount code SSMR and they’ll take good care of you. Hey, God bless you, business building warrior.
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