How Bidets Will Make Me $17,000
You’re listening to the Amazon seller podcast and coming up in this episode, we’re not only talking some private label. We’re also going over another selling model–arbitrage, and how bidets will make Andy $17,000 this Q4!
And as we get into that, we will talk about one of our Amazon groups called the Amazon Seller Tribe, where literally hundreds of sellers are making really great money selling name brand products right here on Amazon through arbitrage. So this isn’t their own branded products, it’s name brand products they’re getting from retail locations, and the group is the really the absolute best way to both learn how to sell arbitrage and build cashflow.
And you know, if you are already selling arbitrage, or if you have in the past, it’s the best way to grow your arbitrage. We have sellers in the group who have literally doubled, tripled 10x-ed and more their Amazon arbitrage since joining. You can get started for free at www.amazingfreedom.com/arbitrage. We highly recommend checking out the group if you currently do arbitrage or will in the future. That’s www.amazingfreedom.com/arbitrage.
Welcome back to the Amazon Seller podcast. My name is Nathan Slamans, joined here by Andy Slamans and we are actually sitting here in Hershey, Pennsylvania in Andy’s home and right here in his living room. This is actually the second time I’ve been able to visit Andy in the last month or so. We were just at the warehouse today looking at our private label products, doing some videoing, getting things ready, making sure customer service was all intact.
Then this weekend we are hosting a private label workshop right here in Hershey. I know many of our listeners are actually attending that workshop. So really excited about that. And in this episode, we’re actually going to be talking about, some other selling model opportunities on Amazon. We are always talking about private label building our brands. That’s our focus. That’s where Andy and I are working every day to build up our private label brands.
However, there are other ways to make money on Amazon and many of our listeners make money on Amazon in a variety of ways. And so we want to just talk about one of those other ways today. Just to let you know, some people who are as familiar with really the variety of ways to make money in the variety of ways to make really good money selling on Amazon. And so we want to talk about that. But every episode on the Amazon Seller Podcast, we talk about private label.
So, Andy, I just want to hear what you’ve been up to the last couple of weeks. I don’t think we’ve had an update lately from what you’ve been doing your business. So let’s hear, what have you been up to? What are some of the things that you’re focusing on in your private label businesses? And I know you’ve been doing some interesting things, even like, looking to potentially exit on some of your brands. It may be to cash out. So maybe talk to us about that and what that process has been like, and what you’ve been up to.
Sure. So if you’ve listened to the podcast, you know that I sold a brand, earlier in the spring. I have another brand that does very well on Amazon. So I’m currently vetting some potential buyers for that brand. And so we’ll see kind of how that progresses if I keep it or if I sell it. But excited, about the brand that, Nathan and I are building. It continues to grow month over month. Very excited about the projected growth in 2020.
One of the trips that I’ll be making in about three weeks, I will be going to China, and visiting some of our current manufacturers as well as visiting some potentially new manufacturers on some additional products that we’re adding to our line. And so, I’m looking forward to that. Uh, it’s always exciting for me when I visit China. I enjoy the traveling, as well as meeting new people along the way.
So let me ask you this, Andy, about, you know, you’re going to China and you know, we’ve had past episodes talking about what you’re doing something different now this time where you’re not just going to Canton fair. Liran’s going, you’re going, you’re going with Steve Simonson. You guys are going to Yiwu as well. I know, but you’re also, you mentioned spending some time actually going to your manufacturers. And I think this is less talked about in the Amazon seller community. You know, we’re often talking about the Canton Fair and the trade shows.
But you’re actually going to be spending some days with your manufacturers kind of in a particular region of China, right, where your niche is popular. For those of you listening who don’t know, China is, basically, you know, kind of separate, like manufacturing is very segmented by the different, what do they call them? Providences or you know, areas in China.
So you’re going to be spending time in a certain area and maybe just talk to us, what, what does that process look like? How do you start getting connected with these factories to know where you’re going to go? How do I even know how to get around to the factories, maybe anybody that’s listening in and would like to visit their own factory someday. And, how do I even go about getting in touch with your factories and navigating China outside of the main kind of trade shows and fairs that we talk about all the time?
Yes, so that was the question that you and I had asked ourselves – do we want to spend more time at Canton this October and finding potential new products, you know, maybe even, maybe even in a different niche. And I think we both decided that we really have enough opportunity in our current niche to continue to build it out. So we thought it’s going to be more valuable, to visit our current manufacturers.
When you go there, you’re going to see products that may be, they’re already selling, they’re already manufacturing, that might cause light bulbs to go off. Then we’re visiting other manufacturers like you just said, that is in that area that is around that same niche, that have potential products that are similar to what we sell at a better price point. And so, you know, if their quality is good, then we may think about, you know, additionally bringing in another manufacturer into the process. Because again, it’s always good. It’s not, I mean it’s never good to have all your eggs in the same basket. And so if you can have other manufacturers building products and the quality is good at a lower price, then you always want to try to do that.
Yeah. That’s I think something that Steve Simonson said in one of his, you know, top mistakes to avoid a private label is to rely too heavily on one manufacturer, right? And we’ve talked about that before and so I think it’s going to be really good to get, you know, some other manufacturers that potentially can make basically the same products for us. And then as far as the actual trip, right? You are not planning to just try to navigate your way by yourself, right?
Do you have any advice for someone who, you know, is looking to go to visit their factories? Should they get like a sourcing agent to help them? Like I know you don’t like to actually travel by yourself if you’re getting all around, right? What would be your advice to someone looking to do that?
Yeah, unless you speak Chinese, I definitely would recommend that you go with somebody either if it’s a sourcing agent or somebody, you know, because once you get outside the larger cities, it can be a little bit challenging. As well as just having somebody there to navigate, to know, you know, to rent the car when you’re at the hotel, when you are visiting two factories in a day. You know know, honestly like in my experience like visiting two to three factories is the max that you can do in a day. And so having somebody along, they’ll be able to plan that itinerary out, is extremely beneficial. And that’s what I recommend 100%.
Yeah. I think most people naturally underestimate how much time it takes to visit a factory. And typically, you know, just Chinese culture, when you go to visit a factory, they’re going to want to entertain you a little bit and yet maybe drink or eat or whatever. Or tea – definitely tea. You gotta have tea. So plan to give yourself plenty of time at a factory. It’s hard to be as efficient as we would like to be, right? But, give yourself a little bit of buffer room.
I’m excited to see, that, having a little bit of FOMO, right, of not being able to go to China this October, just didn’t work out this time, but was able to go in April this year, and planning to go back again next year. So really excited to see, how that helps our brand moving forward. Just being able to, you know, every time you go to China, I think you’ve said this in the last couple of years, every time you feel like it moves your business six to eight months ahead. And I’m sure this time, will be similar.
Arbitrage to Private Label
So like we said, we wanted to cover, a different selling model today because we’re always talking about private label and private label is where we think the greatest opportunity is as far as longterm growth potential and really building out a brand and building your business.
However, it’s not the only way to make money on Amazon.
So those of you who are listening and then following Andy and Amazing Freedom for a long time know that you know, arbitrage is something that we talk about as well. Selling, or buying low and selling high of branded products. And typically this is retail goods, from just big box stores like Walmart and Target and Kohls. Basically any retailer you can think of you’re buying from these retailers and selling for more on Amazon and that is the arbitrage opportunity.
This can be retail shopping in stores or it can be online arbitrage, which is essentially the same thing, but just all online. Right? And so, this sounds very strange if you’re not familiar with arbitrage, but there is a lot of money to be made there.
So Andy, maybe you can just talk to, this is how you actually got started selling on Amazon, right? So maybe talk through that process, how you got started, what the opportunity was when you started with arbitrage, what you think the opportunity is today. Is it still viable? It’s different than maybe it was a couple of years ago. Is it still viable? And why might someone who is private labeling, why would they even consider potentially doing something like arbitrage, which maybe doesn’t have quite the longterm potential. So what is the potential benefits of arbitrage?
Yeah, so it’s the way that I started my Amazon selling experience. I highly recommend it to anybody who has a limited amount of capital, but maybe as more time, you can find products that generally turn over relatively quickly that are name brands. Some of my early products I flipped were Lego products, they were, Nike products, Under Armor. There’s just a number of them and it’s absolutely still a great way to support your family.
Nate, you and I know a number of sellers that sell between five and $7 million a year, and that’s all they’re doing. They’re not doing any private label. All they’re doing is flipping products that they’re purchasing, at various stores. I still get into it.
So every fourth quarter, I will do what’s called online arbitrage. In fact, just this past week, I placed an order. Are you ready for this? I placed an order $30,000 from big box stores and they were basically high-end bidets. So, if you’re familiar with the, with bidets it goes on the toilet. And, and this was a flip that I was able to make that should net me $170 per unit and they should sell out within a month.
So that’s the kind of opportunity if you know what to look for, and it’s absolutely doable. Nate, you and I are part of a group, that we co-partner with Gaye Lisby with, Garry Ray and there’s a tremendous amount of million-dollar sellers in that group that are doing this type of business model. And so while it’s not like it was in 2008, 2009, it is still a great opportunity for anyone to kind of get in the game and if you want to build capital relatively quickly.
Yeah. So that’s what I wanted to talk about because, the building capital part is definitely different, right? So with private label, probably the first question that we always get whenever someone, asks about private label, that private label opportunity is how much money does it take to get into it? And while that number does vary and there’s, you know, it can be smaller and there are ways that you can partner up with other people and make private label work with less capital.
Most of our listeners know, right? You’ve done your research, it does take a decent amount of capital. And typically the more capital you have, the more options that you have, the easier kind of private label gets and the less, you have to worry about one mistake kind of ruining it all, right?
Arbitrage, on the other hand, I mean, you can get started literally with, you know, less than a hundred dollars, right? And you’re still going to grow slower than if you had more capital, but you can see the return on your products very quickly. So that’s what’s cool, right?
You can literally go to a store, purchase a product, send it to FBA and within, you know, a few days, have it checked in and you know, sell within a few days. So I know there’s just a different feeling to that, right? That kinda quick flip where you buy something and within a few days have validation that it’s working where sometimes private label, you know, understandingly it can be a little frustrating that it could take six months, you know, or longer before you know, whether your product was a success or not.
You know, Andy, you and I were just talking, we have a brand new product that you found when was the October of last year? I think Canton Fair in October of 2018. This product you found, it was, you know, you saw it, you instantly were messaging me like this is so cool. Grabbed opportunity. But there was a risk, right? There was nothing like it on Amazon at all. I mean, not even really close to it, on Amazon.
And so that’s those of you who have gone through our course, our inner circle group, you know, that’s not what we teach, right? We teach to go after stuff a little more proven typically. And decided to take the risk on it, but it was a risk, right? We were just talking about this, you know, a few minutes ago we were saying, I’m glad that we’re almost so, you know, almost sold through what we are first-order because, you know, we didn’t know, we didn’t know if we could be potentially stuck with this inventory. So thankfully it worked out for us.
But it’s taken now, quite a while before we’ve, it took a while to get to order and it was seasonal a little bit. But, it took a while for us to know whether it was going to work out or not. Well, arbitrage is not like that. You can typically know very quickly whether or not it’s going to work out for you. And so I think, you know, that’s why I think a lot of sellers get started with arbitrage. Just because you get to, you know, the platform, you get to understand how seller central works, how listing products works, how just the buying selling experience works, and not everybody starts that way.
A lot of people start with private label, but if you’ve been on the fence, kind of just, you know, listened to the podcast every week and, doing a lot of research of private label and, having for whatever reason, be able to find a product or pull the trigger or, or maybe you have, but you’re kind of just waiting now a couple of months before you get your product in. I think arbitrage is a great way for, for people to jump in without feeling like they’re risking as much, right?
Yeah, let’s talk about some of the flips that we did in the past. Nate, I know you made a ton of money off of the movie Frozen. When frozen came out, there were a, a ton of products that, you know, you could buy like a Walmart for $10 and resell on Amazon for like 50 or $60. One of my early, great sellers was the mater bubble blower mower. And so, you know, the movie Cars came out and maybe it was Cars 2, but it was hot and everyone wanted a Mater bubble blower mower for their kid.
I bought up all of those regionally. So what you do in arbitrage, if you’re doing retail arbitrage, you find out what stores sell it. This one was called Boscov’s and then I went to about 20 Boscov’s in my area and bought up every single mater bubble blower mower cinnamon, and they sold, I made like $30 off of every single unit. So you can catch trends like that, you know, and again, because they’re name brand, I believed that was a Disney movie as well. They’re just gonna turn over really quick.
I have a special place in my heart for a Frozen and Elsa, particularly 2014. I was still in college, 21, I think. And I think I netted that year net off just Frozen products between 40 to 50,000, which was, which was much more than I was making in my internship position. So I have a special place in my heart for that. So yeah, those are the kinds of things I know you get excited about it, right? Like you love private label. But when Q4 rolls around pretty much every year, you have at least one big buy. You talked about the days you just bought just this last year, 2018 Q4, it was a lot more than 30,000 you spent just one big buyer rate. You had one.
I think I spent over 150,000. That was my spin. And then the same thing, you know, these are products that I could churn quickly, which has builds up your cashflow, you know, just so, wow. So I highly encourage you, if you’re listening to the podcast, like Nate said maybe you’re stuck and you just can’t get things doing going, then you need to grind it out with either retail arbitrage or online arbitrage. And we actually partner with, I think the best group in the Amazon seller space to learn how to do online arbitrage, retail arbitrage. And they are literally creating million dollar sellers over the last nine months.
Yeah. So, that group that you’re talking about has I think around 300 members in it right now and it’s so engaged you get in there and, it’s a lot of information. There’s probably like, anywhere between 20 and 50 posts a day in that group of really good information. So, it’s a lot of fun, it’s really engaged, lively community. As you said, the best place to learn arbitrage.
If you’re interested in getting started with something, right? Getting start with Amazon. If you’ve again, been waiting, you don’t have the capital that you would like right now or you’re just, the risk right now with private label, you’re just not able to pull the trigger. You need to be doing something with Amazon. You need to be taking advantage of the opportunities with Amazon. We think private label’s the best opportunity, we think building a brand, it’s where it’s at, but we know a lot of people, and ourselves included, still find the appeal with arbitrage and flipping products.
Now, one other thing I would say, Andy, is that now is really the best time, and this is why we were talking, we wanted to kind of do this, this episode about this arbitrage opportunity now is because Q4 is where it’s at with arbitrage. It’s where it’s at with private label. Of course, if you, so anything remotely close to being able to do well during Black Friday and Christmas time, right? Then Q4 is great for that, but a lot of times you already have your inventory in quite a bit before, right? A lot of Q4 inventory needs to kind of be being made now, if not already on the way now. And so there comes a point with private label into Q4 where there’s not like a whole lot more you can do, right?
Maybe if you really emergency air ships and stuff, if you have a small enough product, you might be able to, but you’re kind of just on maintenance mode with your private label trying to make sure the rest of the holidays go well. The cool thing with arbitrage is that you can literally take advantage of it pretty much up until you know, the middle of December. So right, you can be still selling stuff, even go to merchant-fulfilled towards the end. And between the beginning of November to probably December, almost Christmas now, especially with how fast Amazon shipping now you can just turn stuff like crazy, right? Just flip it in, in arbitrage products, just especially toy category, things like that get so hot during Q4, and there’s so many deals and so many, surprise products that you know, you don’t really know are going to be the top sellers until it’s almost Black Friday or whatever.
They, you know, for whatever reason, get really hot because they’re on a certain youtube channel. And so there’s kind of a race to go out there and find those products. It’s really exciting. A lot of people find it fun to kind of go through that hunt. And if you’re looking to build capital, get started if you haven’t gotten started yet and you’ve just been, you know, kind of stalled, definitely recommend that.
So that group that you were talking about with Gaye Lisby, Garry Ray, is the best arbitrage, the best way to learn arbitrage, if you’re ready for that, you can go to amazingfreedom.com/arbitrage.
We actually have a seven day free trial for that group. So you can just get in there, try it out for seven days.
There are other opportunities in there. There are daily lists where they’ll send you, buy opportunities. Write your email, um, and a lot of just learning materials and, uh, mini-courses, things like that in that group. But just get in there, seven-day free trial, get in there, see what it’s all about. It’s a really positive, fun community. So it has a really cool vibe to it. No negativity at all. So it’s just a great way to learn and a great way to build arbitrage though, not just new people though. As Andy said, there’s a lot of six, seven-figure sellers doing just arbitrage in that group. So I want to let people know that our regular listeners and might not have heard recently a have about our arbitrage pass or the arbitrage opportunities that are out there.