Dillon Carter | The Future of Amazon Selling

Unstoppable CEOPodcast

Amazon is a great platform for your eCommerce business, says Dillon Carter of Vendrive. But it’s definitely not without its pitfalls. Dillon shares many of the unexpected – but all too real – obstacles to successful selling on Amazon… and how to overcome them.

He says with the right data, a focused mindset, and some basic business knowledge, anybody can easily scale up their Amazon selling. Plus, he reveals two things you should spend 90-95% percent of your time doing to be successful.

Tune in to find out…

  • The #1 thing amazon sellers struggle with and don’t have to
  • Two clear drawbacks of retail arbitrage – and the business model to embrace instead
  • What brands want most from their relationships with Amazon sellers
  • The most important metric to track your success – and how to leverage that data into profit
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:

Transcript:

Adam Lean: Welcome to P Is for Profit, a podcast that breaks down business concepts into simple and clear language. This season is dedicated to interviewing ecommerce experts that can help you improve your ecommerce business. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of a piece of software that helps Amazon sellers keep track of their suppliers and the pricing. So why does this matter? It’s important for you to maintain as high of a gross profit margin as possible, especially on a platform like Amazon, where there’s so much competition. 

Keeping track of suppliers and their various pricing is very important, as you need to ensure that if you’re going to go through the effort of selling on platforms like Amazon, you need to have as wide of a gross profit margin as possible. So what exactly is a gross profit margin? It is simply the difference or margin between how much you sell something for and how much it costs to you, the business owner. You’ve got to improve the margin or the difference as much as possible between what you sell something for and what it costs you. You can either raise prices and/or control your supplier costs. 

So let’s jump into the interview with Dillon and learn more. Hello business owners. So if you run a business that sells on Amazon, then this episode is for you. In this episode will be talking about how to grow your Amazon business. So as we know, retail is notoriously known for slim margins. One of the best ways to improve your margin is to be pretty selective with your suppliers you work with and the products that you agree to sell. Today, I’m joined by Dillon Carter, the founder of vendrive.com, that’s VENDRIVE .com, which does just that. They help Amazon sellers scale their Amazon business, Dillon, welcome to the show.

Dillon Carter: Hey, Adam, thanks for having me on, man.

Adam: Yeah, so this is an exciting topic. Because, you know, as retailers, especially in ecommerce, and especially those of us that play in the Amazon world, you know, we’ve got to protect our profit margin. And that’s sort of, in a roundabout way that’s sort of what your you know, your software does. But, you know, tell us what led you to get to this point of starting this business, and especially with Amazon. 

Dillon: Yeah. So I think like most Amazon sellers, I heard about this, either on a podcast or some blog posts, and I’m pretty sure it’s like, through Pat Flynn. He had somebody come on his podcast talking about this. At the time, I was a personal trainer working a ton of hours. You know, it was fun, but it was certainly grueling. And I started playing around with, you know, retail arbitrage, which is just going into like Target, Walmart scanning everything you could see, and trying to find profit. And eventually me and the GM did not see eye to eye at the gym that I was training at. And so we decided to part ways. 

And I had a crucial moment where a lot of my clients said, Hey, we’ll follow you wherever you go. And I decided to not go that route, I decided instead to pretty much back myself in a corner, burn the bridges, and say, You know what, let’s go ahead and make this Amazon thing work. And so I struggled for a number of months, just trying to understand one, the mechanics, two, how to scale this thing. 

And that’s when I really started to focus on wholesale. And so the big difference really is either retail arbitrage, online arbitrage. It can be a lot of one-off situations, right? You’re really looking for clearance items, things that are on sale. But wholesale is repeatable and it’s scalable. 

And so I get really picky with my buying criteria. I made sure I had good margin, I made sure you know, my prices never changed. All the things that Amazon sellers have to have anxiety about every single night, I wanted to factor out very, very quickly. And so I got to a point where I really got the mechanics of wholesale down very well. And then it was just scaling. And that’s kind of what led us to, you know, eventually now actually going into the software route. But yeah, it’s been a long roller coaster, just learning everything I can and applying that experience over time. 

Adam: In your experience working with Amazon sellers, what is the number one thing that they struggle with? 

Laser-Targeting Your Goals

Dillon: So a lot of it actually comes down to what I call course hopping. And at the root of this issue is there’s so many different business models on Amazon. And so what you end up doing is you get started with retail arbitrage, right? As an example, you’re doing okay, and you’re like you know what I’m really wanting to scale this thing. And you find it a little tough. And so then you see somebody doing a million-plus doing wholesale, and you go ah, wholesale is the solution. And then you go down that route. You start over from scratch, essentially. 

And then you start to feel that and you realize you know what that’s a little tough too, and then you see somebody doing, you know, 10 million-plus doing private label, and you just kind of go from business model to business model or course to course. And what I try to remind Amazon sellers, especially those that are in their first year, you have got to be laser-focused. And so it really, in my opinion, and I’m very wholesale biased, I really don’t care what business model you go with, but you really need to double down and be laser-focused. 

So instead of always looking from a competitive standpoint of, well, private label would be better because x and y, or wholesale would be better, because x and y or retail arbitrage, so on and so forth, you really need to say what business model makes the most sense for what I’m trying to optimize the outcome that I want. And then commit to that. I mean, you know, that’s the big thing for me is just being laser-focused for an extended period of time. 

That to me is when things started to shift for me as a business owner for you know, as an entrepreneur, because other times I just kept feeling like I was turning the same wheel, but getting nowhere. But once I started to get traction, I realized I was just so laser-focused on what I was actually doing, that everything else was completely irrelevant to me. 

Adam: So yeah, and that makes sense. I mean, a lot of, you know, even on Amazon, a lot of ecommerce business owners, they start out, you know, either with a brick and mortar store, and they want to expand online, but it’s almost like you have to pick a course. For somebody that is wanting to start out maybe they’re just playing around with Amazon, they’re doing some retail arbitrage. Speaking of can you explain what retail arbitrage is? 

Dillon: Sure. So retail arbitrage is pretty descriptive, which is kind of nice. But it’s still oddly vague. So this is where you pretty much spend a lot of your time in retail stores. These are Walmart, Target, this can be shoe stores, you name it, wherever merchandise is sold, a lot of people try to source from there. You know, Macy’s, whatever, right? And so what you do is you walk in, you have an Amazon seller account which they have an app and it allows you to scan barcodes. 

So what you do is you go through and you scan as many barcodes as you can, you see the pricing that you would pay at that moment for that piece of inventory, if you will, and you cross-check that for what it’s selling for on Amazon. And if there’s an arbitrage opportunity, essentially, there’s enough profit for you, you go ahead and buy as many of those as you can. So as an example, if a pair of Nike shoes and Nike is kind of a hard thing to actually sell, by the way, you have to have approval here, if a pair of Nike is selling for $15, because they’re on sale, they’re on clearance. And let’s say there’s 15 pairs. 

But on Amazon, they’re selling brand new for $50. There’s all day long, that’s an arbitrage opportunity. The downfall to that, in my opinion, is that it’s very hard to scale because, you know, if you’re restricted to only 15, and once you sell out of those 15, you can’t replenish that inventory. It’s a very short term thing and to really scale that business model versus one like a wholesale, like the private label, you need a lot of people spending a lot of time in grocery stores and targets things of that nature.

Adam: Yeah, so I mean, in order to improve the profit of any business, you know, sales-wise, you have to be able to either increase the amount of transactions that you’re doing. And obviously with retail arbitrage,  your what you’re explaining is it’s hard to scale because there’s a finite amount of product. 

And the second way to improve the profit of a business is just improved the margins. And also with retail arbitrage you’re buying from a retailer, not a wholesaler, in this case, and so you’re paying retailer prices, even though there may be enough margin there it’s much much better to buy from wholesale, which is what led you, I’m assuming is what led you down the path that you are now. So why did you start the software vendrive.com

What Led Dillon to Start Vendrive?

Dillon: So we actually got to a point me my co-founder, we met actually, oddly enough on Instagram. So my business was doing, you know, into the six figures, he was at seven. And we were both wholesalers. And so I said, Hey, Peter, would you mind spending, you know, 15 minutes with me on Skype? I just I’m trying to figure out how to scale from six to seven and try to figure out the differences here, right? You know, poke holes in my business, all the good stuff? And he’s like, yeah, let’s jump on here. We started talking. And I found out he was actually a full-stack engineer at the University of Mass. 

And he’s like, Hey, you know, I’ve been working on this process that he this product, if you will, it’s really internal, pretty much what we had been doing in a very inefficient way, using a spreadsheet individually. So completely apart from each other, we built the exact same system, because again, the business model, very similar, but we were doing it in a way where we had to rely on, you know, Gmail for our CRM. We had to rely on spreadsheets for tracking a bunch of things. And so he built this nice little tool, nothing crazy. 

And we realized we could build in a sales pipeline. And so instead, what we could do is we could drop in all the suppliers, we meant to call per day into stage one. So we knew who we called who we haven’t called yet, the ones that we have actually received an application for those that we have an application. 

All these things that matter became much easier to track because unfortunately, what we don’t want for Amazon sellers is exactly what happened to me, which is, you know, two months later, you’re clearing through your Gmail, you find a price list that you didn’t scan, and you scan and you realize there’s $2,000 a month and profit in those products that you just you dropped the ball on, because it just was not an efficient or really even an effective process. And so we build this little CRM tool that works really, really well. And we started to test it with other wholesale Amazon sellers. And we just been growing from there. 

Adam: So what is your process for finding a supplier for Amazon? And also the, you know, is there a process for finding a particularly start with a product line or have a category and you look for suppliers first, what’s your process?

Dillon’s Process for Finding an Amazon Supplier

Dillon: Sure. So we actually do what’s called reverse sourcing. And it’s reverse for a specific reason. So when I first got started at like, you know, most Amazon sellers getting into wholesale, you think, well, I need to go find a supplier or distributor. Kind of a backwards way, because you don’t know one, if their products are on Amazon, two if there are any good, it’s just too much headache. Too much left out in the open. And so what we do is we actually start on Amazon. And so I use a few tools. 

They’re free Chrome extensions to help me filter out all the listings. And so I use a Chrome extension called DF Amazon Quickview. This basically just pulls in things like the best seller ranking, the number of FBA sellers, and if Amazon is on the listing. And so what I’m doing is I’m essentially going down certain category path filtering, then based on my essential buying criteria, So I don’t really care to compete on Amazon. So if Amazon’s on a listing, it’s already factored out. I look for three FBA sellers or more. I want a little bit of competition, oddly enough, right? Because that’s kind of a good thing. 

And I’m filtering out private label products, right? If there’s only one FBA seller on that listing, it’s probably private label. So from an efficiency standpoint, I’m trying to factor out a lot of these things. Then obviously, I’m using Keepa. That’s KEEPA, keepa.com, they just became a paid tool, but it’s completely worth it. This shows you historical rankings, as well as pricing for a listing. So for me, I’m not looking for something incredibly volatile. With wholesale, I’m looking for listings and products that can really last for years upon years, because I’m trying to build a great relationship with a supplier with a brand. 

And so this lets me historically look back in and see if this is, you know, what I consider a quote-unquote, stable or mature product. And so what we’re doing is we’re filtering through all these listings as quickly as we can to find the ones that look like good wholesale listings, which sounds odd because every listing looks the same. But the more experience you gain with this, you start to see commonalities and say Okay, is this a retail arbitrage kind of listing or a wholesale listing. And from there, oddly enough, this, that’s the hard part. The easy part, then is I take the brand name, throw it into Google, and I contact them. 

I actually contact brands directly. So you can, you know, have a direct to brand account or a distribution account, going through basically a middleman. For me, I don’t like to do that I like to have direct relationships with my brand, because it just builds in a moat, you know, a level of protection with me in that brand. 

That relationship whereas a distributor, it’s hard to have that and these accounts are hard to get, you know, don’t get me wrong. But when you get them and they’re well worth the effort, pricing is fantastic. You have a lot more say and what happens on those listings, it’s much easier to get what’s called an exclusive agreement. So you’re the only amazon seller on the listing. And that’s really it. 

And then the next hard part is getting them to actually approve you for an account because they don’t really like Amazon sellers, for some reason. And then there’s a host of reasons why that is there’s this perception and context applied to an Amazon seller but that kind of gets into the b2b sales realm of what we do. But that’s basically the process. There’s a few other strategies called leaf sourcing, which basically, you’re doing in tandem while you’re doing a reverse sourcing. And all I’m doing is I’m looking at the product that are also on the listing page of a product I’m interested in that I found the reverse sourcing. 

And so this, in my mind that the best analogy is, if this product is interesting to me, and I contact that supplier, the likelihood of the other products that sellers or that customer should I say haven’t looked at, the likelihood of those also being interesting to me is probably pretty high. And so I take a look at those as well. There’s another one called competitor research, which is basically just sourcing from other Amazon sellers, which is a little bit more in-depth. We need a few visuals for that. Because you can automate a lot of this stuff at a certain point, or at least streamline it.

Adam: What tips would you give to somebody to increase their chance that a supplier would agree to wholesale to them?

Dillon: This comes down to pure value. Oddly enough, it’s a very simple solution. But a lot of sellers get in their own way. And this is a sales issue. So many Amazon sellers, unfortunately, don’t have any sales experience, which is understandable. But it’s a large aspect of what we do. And it’s a skill set that’s very easy to hone, especially in this kind of industry where it’s a very narrow market in terms of the objections you’re going to deal with. But a lot of those things come down to How are you different? Are you actually trying to increase the size of the pie, if you will, or just simply add another slight to the current one? And so if you’re contacting suppliers and saying, Oh, I can do X, Y and Z and you know, blah, blah, blah. 

And they’re like, great, but if there’s five Amazon sellers or six, it doesn’t matter if you don’t change the actual economics of that listing, right? If you’re not increasing the volume of sales, you’re not adding value to me, and a lot of sellers get stuck on this idea of like, I’m trying to give you $10,000 here. And this guy was like, Yeah, I don’t care, which is weird, but you have to think about it from a brand and more of an equity standpoint. So a big transition that sellers need to go through if you haven’t already, is to understand that because this is b2b sales, this is not an ecommerce transaction, and then deal flow with negotiations. Right? 

And so a lot of sellers, unfortunately, when they get started to approach these relationships, very transactionally, and they’re purely relationship-based. That means a lot of upfront value from you, without any expectations of gaining anything. I mean, I was talking to a fellow that we’ve, you know, been working with for a little over a year, is she followed up with a brand for an entire year, every two weeks. Not just Hey, how’s it going, Hey, I noticed this on your listing, I think you can make this better. 

And here’s how you can do that gave them everything. And eventually, after a year, they’re like, Hey, you clearly know what you’re talking about. We’re really unhappy with our current Amazon sellers who are doing none of this, by the way. Let’s have a conversation, we’d like to give you that account. Now she’s got an exclusive agreement with that brand and a fantastic relationship. She can tell me who that brand is. I can call them and no matter how good I am, she’s going to consistently win because she’s built this moat. 

And so if you can understand the objections and the pain points from a seller’s perspective, you can more appropriately and directly target those insult them for them. So understanding that, you know, yes,  negotiating to get good pricing is important but that comes after time. Understanding that you need to come to them with an arsenal of strategies to increase brand equity value. And what I mean by that is, how can you take us from selling 1000 units for a month to 2000 units per month as an Amazon seller? That’s what’s really important. 

Adam: Yeah, it makes sense. I mean, if you’re trying to get a product to sell to get your margin, you have to approach it from a, you know, a business standpoint. What’s in it for them? And maybe what do they want out of this deal? And then you have to do it. I mean, you have to approach it as a retailer. 

Dillon: Yeah. And oddly enough, this is the funny thing. This is old school business philosophy. Right? So we’re applying this old school business philosophy that works amazingly well by the way. I mean, these are principles, these are foundational things, where we take this, you know, more techie approach. And unfortunately, too many people get rid of the principles and foundations of business, without understanding that if you can take those foundations, and then build a tech, you know, the more modern version of a company on top of that, things are fantastic. And it makes things much easier when you can clarify a value proposition.

Adam: Right. And you, you know, you can’t scale a relationship necessarily, but you can scale certain things, which is where your software comes into play because you’re able to scale the things that should be scalable. So I’m assuming you spend more time building that relationship.

Dillon: Exactly. And so what we always recommend to Amazon sellers, is that you really should be spending 90 to 95% of your time doing one of two things, that’s either sourcing new suppliers to contacts or contacting those suppliers that are on your list. Because really, when you boil down, you know, the whole like, one thing, philosophy, which is a fantastic book, if you have to boil it down it’s contacting new suppliers. 

And so especially for Amazon sellers that are getting started, they have a full-time job, they’re like Dillon, I got two to three hours a day to do this thing. Great. You need to be incredibly effective and efficient, of course, with your time. And so that means everything else needs to be automated needs to be streamlined needs to just be organized and easy. So that you’re setting yourself up to make as many phone calls to get new suppliers every single day. Because that is the single task that when done consistently yields amazing, profitable results. 

Adam: Yeah. That completely makes sense. Now does it have to be I mean, if somebody wants to, you know, use this same process that you’re talking about to either get more suppliers or just even start finding suppliers, finding wholesalers, does it have to be just Amazon? Can you expand other, use the same tactics, same strategy for other marketplaces? 

Dillon: You can. So we have to call this multichannel selling. And so a lot of Amazon sellers at a certain point in their business decide to go multichannel. Unfortunately, a lot of Amazon sellers, in my opinion, do this far too early. My perspective on this is that until you fully have maximized your audience opportunity on Amazon, I don’t really think it makes sense to then go multichannel to a walmart.com a jet.com. Any place where you have a third-party selling platform. Now, those are certainly it makes a lot of sense. 

But for me, I would rather see you go from multichannel to different Amazon platforms. So you might go from the US marketplace to the Canadian Amazon Marketplace to the German to Mexico, right? To .mx. I would rather see you do that because you’re again, this is all about being laser-focused. These other platforms, although yes mechanically are fairly similar, but they are different in their subtle nuances. 

And so the opportunity that you get to gain from going multichannel, I don’t think makes sense until you’re really a high-level seller. And by high level I just mean volume. If you’re doing over a million, I think it then starts to make sense to look at this. But if you’re under a million in revenue, I don’t really see enough benefit that warrants the opportunity cost of your time and your capital versus that of Amazon because Amazon’s still the clear winner here in terms of demand.

Adam: What is the future of Amazon in your opinion?

Potential Future Developments For Amazon

Dillon: That’s a great question. So I began with this stuff. I like to consider myself a hobbyist futurist if that makes any sense. So I foresee, right, I foresee a consolidation of the market. You kind of saw this with private label a few years ago to a certain degree. From a wholesale standpoint, I see this happening as well, retail arbitrage. If you really study what arbitrage means from a financial standpoint, I’m a finance major as well, it’s only available because of inefficient marketplaces, right? 

So as marketplaces become more efficient over time, which they always do, those opportunities start to fall to the wayside. This is why I like people transitioning to a private label or a wholesale. But I do see a consolidation where you’re kind of seeing this already with some Amazon updates, where a lot of your smaller sellers that, unfortunately, are not willing to become more data-driven, are going to be left in the wayside because of those data-driven decisions that help you become intuitively more profitable, will then allow you to have more opportunities in comparison to those sellers. 

And what I mean by that is, we’re getting to a point where if you bring in AI, which we’re starting to, you know work on as a company ourselves with goaura.com, which is a repricing tool. Also robotics, right? So a lot of sellers use what’s called a prep center. This is basically a for rent warehouse structure, it’s a service and so you pay per unit, let’s say 50 cents per unit, I as an example, I’ve never seen or touched my wholesale inventory. It all goes to a warehouse in New York. I’ve never seen it. And that cost, I think, becoming so low, not because of the human aspect, but because of an autonomous robotic aspect. 

And so I think we’ll eventually see a point where, because of, you know, things like Moore’s Law, where robotics, things of these nature that we think are really high tech, and only for very, you know, high-end, you know, s&p 500 kind of companies, I think they’re going to get to a point where somebody like me can open up a very small but hyper-efficient warehouse, without staff and it just push in product from my supplier and push out, you know, Amazon products ready to go. So I see that happening. You know, I talked with a lot of people in the space from a service provider standpoint. So you see a lot of funding actually starting to come. 

So it’s from one aspect, you have private label, so you’re starting to see some private equity firms and smaller firms come in gobble up these brands. But then from a wholesale standpoint, which is very capital-intensive, by the way, we’re starting to see some really interesting funding opportunities. So if you want to go raise money, it’s kind of it’s not that difficult, but the terms really do not make sense for a business model. 

But that’s starting to change with some companies. So we’re going to see the companies again, that are willing to be very data-driven to make more profitable visions, be able to take more of that money and more efficiently deploy it. And this is where that iteration compounds over time, and you’ll start to see some, especially from a wholesale standpoint, a lot of wholesale companies that were once small that made the right decisions over time, that just become massive. 

Adam: Very interesting. Going back to the wholesaling piece. What do you believe makes some people successful at this while others struggle? Like what’s the difference?

Wholesale Can Be Simple, But Not Easy 

Dillon: The biggest difference? You know, I say this a lot, and I’ll explain why I say it. This is simple, but not easy. The mechanics of wholesale I can pretty much jotted down on a napkin, and I’ve actually did it just to kind of like can I actually do this? It was incredibly simple, it’s not easy in the aspect of the mental side of entrepreneurship. So a lot of people, when they get introduced the same way that I did to this business model, it’s very much this lifestyle, everything’s going to be great. You know, you don’t have to talk to anybody, you just sit back and sell things on Amazon. 

But that only gets you so far right? So eventually, we’re like, know what I want to turn this into a real business, you have to start learning and using skillsets that for a lot of people are uncomfortable. Things like b2b sales, things like handling objections, things like managerial accounting. Things that sound daunting, but really are easy. This goes back to what I was saying about making more profitable data-driven decisions. And so for a lot of people, they honestly just get in their own way. 

They will call 10 suppliers and not understand that sample sizes actually super small. And because you don’t know anything, or have no experience about b2b sales, those first 10, of course you’re not going to land anything, I mean, nobody expected you to. And there’s conversion rates. And so as an example is it gives some kind of reference point here, you know, we typically see for phone calls of three to four out of 10, open rate, right? 

So a 30, to 40% conversion rates, and then maybe one of those three to four will be profitable enough for us to place a restock order. So it’s a numbers game. And so a lot of people, you know, they get frustrated too soon. And so when I say you need to be laser-focused over a period of time, I truly, truly mean that regardless of the business model. 

So I try to let sellers know, listen, here’s the reality of this business model, it is amazing. I mean, it was nice spending a week in Paris in this nice little studio apartment, pulling out a little Chromebook and processing some stuff and going about my day and the business keeps running. That’s great but it takes time to get there. And if you can commit two years to making this work, you’ll far exceed somebody who came to this business model who wasn’t patient but had more capital to start than you did. 

Adam: Yeah, that makes complete sense. I mean, every single piece or step in the system, this entire, you know, the business model that you’ve explained, you know, you have to be able to measure and ensure that each part is functioning and is working correctly. So that you know that you’re making a profit at the end of the day. 

Dillon: Exactly. And so from my perspective, I’m a huge systems processing kind of automation guy. And so when I tell sellers, hey, track your conversion rates, and they’re like, What do you mean? Why would I want to do that? Well, I want to know if you’re getting better, right? Because even if you’re not raining the amount of account you want, but you can see that your open conversion rates went from 20% 30%. That’s awesome, you’re on the upward trend. 

And so that keeps you motivated. So a lot of these, you know, metrics that are very prevalent in like the tech or software space that we’re also in are not really used as much in the Amazon selling space. But you have so much data. And so a lot of these things, you can more easily track and set, you know what you don’t like a KPI right? So like a key performance indicator. So you said these things. What’s my average ROI per unit? Maybe I want to increase that from 30% to 40%. You know, whatever, there’s so much there. 

But this is why I keep saying you really need to be data-driven, and you need to be comfortable analyzing data and playing around with Excel. And it’s not that you have to be an Excel wizard, or, you know, a finance dork like me, it’s just, it’s going to add a lot of clarity. So when you’re making decisions as a business owner, you’re not doing so based off your quote-unquote, gut, or your emotions, but based off the data. And when you do that, it just it always works out in your favor. 

Adam: Yeah I 100% agree with you. I mean, you have to know your numbers. You have to know every, you have to be able to measure the key parts of your business. You know, you mentioned the key performance indicators. That’s exactly what it is. It’s simply a number that tells you whether or not it is working or not. 

Super important. There’s no point in spending, you know, 60 hours a week, you know, working on something that’s not producing results for you. You’ve got to be able to measure it. So let me ask you this, tell me something that’s true about either Amazon or ecommerce or wholesaling, that you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Two Wholesaling Truths Nobody Seems to Agree With

Dillon: Yeah, this is actually an easy one for me. So nobody agrees with me until they feel and see it. And actually, I’m gonna give you two, because a lot of it makes sense when you get on the other side of it and you have the experience. So a lot of sellers and this, you know, I felt this myself very heavily. And when I kind of discovered the solution for it, it kind of freaked me out, because like, how did I not know this for the longest time? For a lot of Amazon sellers, the reason why they course hop in all these things, and they can’t be laser-focused is they feel like they’re just missing that last piece of the puzzle. 

Like, you know what I do know a lot, but I feel like I just need that one last piece or the last piece of data. And what I finally discovered and certainly to use to my advantage, luckily enough, is that actually that last piece of the puzzle is experience. It’s the skills you learn. And so it’s less about I need to know more. I need that other course. I need to go to this mastermind. And listen, I love those things. But you need to focus on execution, right? If you’re always learning new things, but you’re never executing on it, nothing will ever happen. And you will always be looking for that last piece of the puzzle. 

So if you can understand and truly accept, and I promise you, it’s hard. But once you get on the other side of it, you’re going to be like it makes so much sense. And the second one is that basically like if you think about it, selling on Amazon is not difficult. But a lot of people get stuck on, again, that mental side. And so you’re always in one of two phases. And this is more so you know, from a wholesale standpoint. So the first thing is always I have at least some if not a lot of capital to spend, but I don’t have enough suppliers. 

That’s your primary problem for you to solve, right? So being a business owner, you’re basically a glorified problem solver, let’s be honest. And so you need to understand, what’s your biggest problem. That’s called prioritization. And so if you don’t have suppliers, you don’t have inventory, you cannot sell anything, you cannot have revenue. In my opinion, you don’t have a business, if you don’t have revenue, you don’t have a business, I’m sorry. There’s a difference between doing business and playing business, right? So you’re in that first phase for a long period of time. 

And I always tell sellers, if you solve this problem very effectively, you will no longer have an inventory problem. Instead, you will have a capital problem, which is phase two. And like no, I don’t, I can’t see that it’s too far out. Like I don’t think that’s an issue. And what’s interesting is I can kind of, if I know their trajectory, obviously I can kind of extrapolate this out and say, you know, in three months, you’re going to call me and say Dillon, I now have a capital problem. 

Because I’ve done this a few times, and I’ve had this seller be like, they called me and said Dillon, I just realized this morning, I no longer have an inventory problem. I actually have so many brands and SKUs that I’m working on that I cannot profitably cover them. I need to raise $50,000 and I could spend that profitably in addition to what I’m currently doing in the next 30 days. And it’s a good position to be in but now your problem again, of course, transitions from inventory to capital. What do you want to do? 

Because now the hard question comes into play, which is, do I want to raise money? Am I okay with my growth rate? Do I want to slow things down? Do I need to go hire somebody? These are where things. As a business owner, you get to this level of scalability and decisions are harder because now it’s hiring. Now It’s more systematized. Now it’s understanding the mechanics of your business, which is really just a machine and being able to clarify what you want out of the business, which is really subjective and tough sometimes. 

Adam: This is all good information. So Dillon, let me ask you this, where can people find you or learn more about the software?

Dillon: Sure. So I’ll give you three places we run a wholesale specific podcast called Wholesale Made Easy, which you know, I felt like it was a good title to go with because we do try to make it as easy as possible. So we come out with a lot of episodes there. You can also find, really, I mean, if you’re looking to get started into wholesale selling on Amazon there directly, go to vendrive.com/blog. Everything you could probably ever want to know about selling on Amazon from a wholesale standpoint, is pretty much in there and free and so don’t feel like you have to go spend $2,000 on a course to learn this stuff. 

We put it out there for free. If you’re a current amazon seller you know a lot of our focus right now is on repricing and kind of shifting gears into AI a little bit as well. And so you can check out our repricer at Goaura that’s AURA so goaura.com. But yeah, listen to the podcast. You can always email me Dillon DILLON@vendrive.com and we’ll have a discussion. I’m trying to speak out a few more places and, you know, be more in person with a lot of people and yeah, reach out. 

Adam: Yeah, sounds great. And we’ll make sure we put all of these links and also your podcast in the show notes. Dillon, this has been fantastic. This is a lot of information, good information about Amazon and wholesaling in general. So I really appreciate you coming on the show.

Dillon: Yeah, thanks for having me come on, man. It’s fun to geek out with this kind of stuff. So hopefully it wasn’t too nerdy for your audience, but I kind of get into it a bit.

Adam: No, I mean, I thought it was great. But thank you so much, Dillon.

Dillon: Yeah. Thanks, Adam.