How To Make Money From Home Doing Amazon Online Arbitrage with Expert John Muscarello

Episode 175

On today’s episode we are joined by John Muscarello, a 7-Figure Ecommerce seller and founder of sidehustleexperiment.com.  Today, we will be discussing John’s path in entrepreneurship that started by selling furniture on craigslist to eventually Firing The Man in 2019 and now runs his ecommerce business full-time where he focuses on Amazon and eBay.

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00;00;24;04 – 00;00;47;29
Speaker 1
Welcome, everyone to the Firing Command podcast. On today’s episode, we are joined by Jon Muscolo, a seven figure e-commerce seller and founder of Side Hustle Experiment. Tor.com. Today we will be discussing Jon’s path in entrepreneurship that started by selling furniture on Craigslist to eventually firing the man in 2019. Jon now runs his own e-commerce business full time, where he focuses on Amazon and eBay.

00;00;48;00 – 00;00;58;26
Speaker 2
Welcome to the show, Jon. Thank you so much for having me. Absolutely. So to start off the episode, can you please share with our listeners a little bit about your background and in your path to becoming an e-commerce entrepreneur? Yeah.

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00;00;58;27 – 00;01;17;28
Speaker 3
So I started out, as you said, flipping furniture. I really just got inspired. I had some issues with the man mover raise that I didn’t get, and that kind of sparked the journey. And I saw Garry really he this is right around the flip challenge. I don’t know if you guys remember that, but he had a flip like 100 grand like 2019 or something like that.

00;01;17;28 – 00;01;36;03
Speaker 3
So I did that and I was like, you know, I don’t know. I always thought reselling was weird or I don’t know what it was. But then when I started, I’m going to charge sales and like, this guy’s a millionaire negotiating like a 25 signs off, like a stuffed animal. I was like, Father, this is interesting. Like, I do this like if he’s doing it like, and I do it.

00;01;36;03 – 00;01;55;25
Speaker 3
And then I just started with furniture, started doing Craigslist to Facebook Marketplace. It is right around where Facebook Marketplace was kind of new is kind of the wild, wild West. You get like so much higher prices there and that I’m originally from New York. I live in Pennsylvania right now and I went home for the holidays and people want to buy furniture.

00;01;55;25 – 00;02;16;28
Speaker 3
And I was like, oh, do I like? No problem. I’ll be back in five days. And they’re like, Not like we need it now. And I must have like two or $3,000. And I was like, Man, like, I need something that like I don’t have to physically be there. You know, furniture is big and bulky, limited apartment like this at the time, like not working well was working, but like, it’s not how I wanted to grow it.

00;02;16;29 – 00;02;37;07
Speaker 3
Everybody was a YouTube video and how to sell books on Amazon. Kind of thought it was a scam, but like, I’m a big like follow the process kind of person. So I just followed the process, started scanning books, and in the first batch they sold out early. Three weeks later, I just basically went all in Thrifting for about a year, then eventually granted to bulk books.

00;02;37;07 – 00;02;54;21
Speaker 3
Got to where, how’s the whole that whole obtainable books. And then when restock limits kind of hit, I just didn’t want to do more to sell books. I’m like, that’s kind of you need to do that now if you’re going to do bold, and I didn’t want to do that, so I’d transition to online arbitrage, and that is my entire business right now.

00;02;54;21 – 00;03;10;17
Speaker 4
So it sounds like you started Gary Vee with a challenge kind of sparked you and you’re like, Oh, let me check this out. He did that. You’re like, Yeah, this is it. And then started on it on Amazon selling books and then ramp it up from there. Then you noticed, you know, let me try online arbitrage, retail arbitrage.

00;03;10;17 – 00;03;27;27
Speaker 4
Maybe it’s not there, you know, it’s not not a good fit. So now in 23, where do you see the most opportunity? Do you see the most opportunity in online arbitrage? And what are some things that you’ve like stop in time out at all besides, you know, maybe reselling books? I mean, is there anything else that you stopped and ramped up more time on something else?

00;03;27;27 – 00;03;49;13
Speaker 3
All online arbitrage. We kind of stopped doing eBay as well. It just really doubled down. I just realized I was trying to run the book business, The online arbitrage business at eBay store and then like Merge Fulfilled and then all the social media stuff and it just was not working. So I just doubled down on online arbitrage. And that’s kind of when everything changed.

00;03;49;13 – 00;04;07;10
Speaker 3
I do think online arbitrage, there is definitely still a lot of opportunity. It’s kind of one of those things where I’ve been doing this almost five years now and there’s you would just see like trends, like to be a bookseller, used to be like really cool. And then you go to board books, ads, even cooler. Now no one wants to be a bookseller.

00;04;07;10 – 00;04;25;29
Speaker 3
Then their age was like, right. And now it’s online arbitrage. Now online arbitrage, people are going to wholesale. So I think a lot of opportunity, it seemed like almost island arbitrage. You know, it’s becoming like a little saturated. But now a lot of those people want to go the wholesaler out. So I do think there’s going to be a ton of opportunity at online arbitrage.

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00;04;26;05 – 00;04;42;19
Speaker 3
Yeah, I definitely think there’s a big future in online arbitrage and it’s a little easier for just like the normal person to get started doing an arbitrage, just like, you know, into milk and like you could literally just go to like walmart.com and just start buying stuff like you work during the day. You could do that at midnight or you could do to the mortality.

00;04;42;19 – 00;04;45;21
Speaker 3
It doesn’t matter. So I think that’s a really good place for people to start.

00;04;45;21 – 00;05;00;08
Speaker 4
One follow up question for the listeners that maybe I think a lot a lot of our listeners focus on private label. So for the listeners that maybe have no idea what okay, are online arbitrage is, can you maybe give a 10,000 foot view of like step one through step seven of how that process works.

00;05;00;08 – 00;05;21;07
Speaker 3
So online arbitrage, private label, obviously you create your own brand or an iteration of something, you know, all in arbitrage is the total opposite. So you’re basically selling an established brand sort of you were selling like, let’s say Nike. Nike has a sale on their website. Let’s say they have like let’s just say like, I know the new hottest sneaker is on sale.

00;05;21;07 – 00;05;41;24
Speaker 3
It’s like 50% off. You buy it for 50, it’s selling on Amazon for 150. So you’re in a buy, it’s going to come to your house or prep center. I use a prep center. And basically what you will do is you’ll send it to Amazon Warehouse. And then once someone buys it for 150, then you kind of after fees and stuff, whatever Amazon does.

00;05;41;24 – 00;06;05;03
Speaker 3
So basically you’re selling already established brands. You don’t have to do any advertising or PPC or kind of bring awareness. Everyone knows what Nike is. You’re really just taking advantage of these companies that spend billions of dollars on marketing over the last 20 years and just kind of finding these little opportunities and stuff on sale where people just spend more money on Amazon because it’s just more convenient.

00;06;05;04 – 00;06;25;03
Speaker 2
What kind of spread are you looking for on? So you’re going out that stick with the Nike shoe example. So you’re buying at a hundreds, you’re selling at 150. Obviously Amazon’s going to take their cut, their 15% cut or whatever category you’re in. I don’t know if you would have PPC, but what’s the spread that you’re looking for between buying and selling?

00;06;25;03 – 00;06;49;06
Speaker 3
So typically we’re looking for 30% for apparel, it’s more closer to 40% because the returns are whole. Almost our whole business was apparel probably last year. Now we’re really getting out of the apparel just because of the returns. There’s brutal and there’s a lot of other opportunities like health, beauty, just everyday items that people are going to buy, especially if who knows what’s going to happen with the world.

00;06;49;06 – 00;07;08;09
Speaker 3
But you just kind of want essentials and stuff like not everyone’s going to buy those shoes should something like we go to jury session or whatever is going to happen. So it’s more essentials remaining. So yeah, I’m looking for the usually 30%. And then like anything else, I’m sure you guys have like, you know, the rules are always breakable in certain situations.

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00;07;08;09 – 00;07;19;14
Speaker 3
So there’s always some situations that you give volume like you all take like 15, 20%. If it’s easy to buy, like I’m not touching it. A prep center is doing it. So the numbers make sounds also fine to do that.

00;07;19;14 – 00;07;29;02
Speaker 2
Now, are there ever any instances where you’re dropshipping so making the sale drop shipping from the site that you would initially buy or is that a different thing now?

00;07;29;02 – 00;07;43;16
Speaker 3
That’s I feel it. I think that’s against Amazon’s terms of policy or I don’t know how you have to do it legit because I think there’s actually centers that are like you could dropship and they can really change out the box or whatever. Yeah I don’t do that.

00;07;43;16 – 00;08;04;07
Speaker 4
So John, your purchase list, all your purchasing is Nike shoes, walmart.com, you know or wherever you’re getting them on clearance and then you’re and then you’re directly shipping them to the prep center. They go directly into Amazon FBA, right? Is that okay? So you had mentioned like apparel, you were focusing on apparel exclusively for a long time that you notice all the returns or come in.

00;08;04;12 – 00;08;24;11
Speaker 4
They’re killing us. They’re, you know, margins are compressed. What are some you had mentioned a couple of other categories. Where do you think the most opportunity is for resellers or online arbitrage and specific categories? Have you found any that are like, like laser hot that, you know, maybe the I know sometimes Amazon decreases the commissions in certain categories to like promote more people to sell?

00;08;24;15 – 00;08;26;17
Speaker 4
Or is there anything that’s like razor hot right now?

00;08;26;17 – 00;08;50;01
Speaker 3
Right now, like a lot of thought, as I cooled off, there was like a time where like during the holidays there, like the Stanley Cups, I’m sure you’ve seen them before, that you could get them for like $30 and sell them for like 90 on Amazon. And like a lot of this stuff is driven by TED talk. So like of an influencer is doing something on TikTok or has a water bottle or wearing a certain bag or whatever.

00;08;50;04 – 00;09;06;25
Speaker 3
That could definitely start late trends. So always kind of like on the lookout for stuff like that and like kind of the best way to find out about that kind of stuff is just to have a pretty strong network where like you’re kind of just sharing leads or like, Hey, did you see that in a store? I’m selling this right now, and you could kind of crowdsource this kind of stuff.

00;09;07;03 – 00;09;23;23
Speaker 3
You get data much quicker than like testing it yourself. So I think, yeah, there’s a lot of opportunity and pretty much any category. I like to tell people. I start with what you know, you now be really into video games. I’m sure, you know, like when a hot release is coming out or what’s hard to get or whatever.

00;09;23;23 – 00;09;37;00
Speaker 3
I don’t know anything about video games, but I think like if you start with that, you know, where stuff you normally buy is like, you know, when the sales are, you kind of know like the best place to get that. So that’s always kind of like a good place to start.

00;09;37;01 – 00;09;53;17
Speaker 4
Yeah, I really like that advice, like sticking into the lane that, you know, so you don’t make decision, you know, you have you’ll have like a competitive advantage over other resellers that, you know, they don’t know that category. Another question is you know your your shop and and you find a good deal and it’s the margin is 50%.

00;09;53;17 – 00;10;02;20
Speaker 4
You can you know you can make a 50% margin. How deep do you go? Do you just buy one? What if what if they have ten of them? Do you buy all ten? And how do you like calculate that?

00;10;02;20 – 00;10;24;05
Speaker 3
So when I started, I was definitely more conservative, so I really know what I was doing. So now, like kind of the test buy process for me is basically if it’s under $50, I’ll buy like ten or 12. Anything over 50 is probably like E ish and then anything over like a hundred. It just really depends on kind of if I know the brand or I’ve never sold.

00;10;24;05 – 00;10;43;14
Speaker 3
It just really depends probably five or six. And then if the test buy goes well, then I’m probably like doubling or tripling the test. But at this point, if I get still get it, I think a lot of people fall into the trap of like, Oh, I’d like to sell. Like it’s not going to happen again. Like they always happen again sometimes.

00;10;43;14 – 00;11;04;11
Speaker 3
Like I’ve been doing that online arbitrage for at least a year. And like, sometimes, like when you’re a best seller, never happen again. Like a better sale happened, You’re like, damn, like, this wasn’t the best price. So that usually, you know, is happening. Yeah, yeah. There’s kind of stuff that like, maybe like not going to come around again, but for the most part, most of the stuff comes around again.

00;11;04;11 – 00;11;24;06
Speaker 3
And, you know, a lot of the times, you know, you just want to know a lot about the farm and everything. I’m very wide of not very deep. When I do go deep, it’s like very, very tested because there’s I mean, you guys know things, they just like change and who knows what could happen. So you always want to kind of be a little saved but also aggressive at the same time.

00;11;24;06 – 00;11;26;09
Speaker 3
It you just got to go with your risk tolerance.

00;11;26;14 – 00;11;49;22
Speaker 4
Okay, fair enough. One more quick one, then I’ll pass it over to David. That just got me thinking earlier, like when you said like the trending thing, like online arbitrage, you definitely want to try to catch a trend because the velocity is just going to spike. BSR Go crazy. Do you ever look at the I think Amazon, it’s not super relevant to private label but definitely for resellers is they they release I think it’s a weekly Amazon search term value and you’ll see like weird search terms up there.

00;11;49;29 – 00;11;59;04
Speaker 4
You know like and I think like, oh, you know, maybe it is like tick tock influencer pushed out this huge thing and so everybody’s on Amazon looking to buy it. Do you ever, do you ever look at those?

00;11;59;04 – 00;12;10;12
Speaker 3
I don’t, but I think I might have to start doing that because that sounds like there would be like a lot of good data in there. The kind of either look at or like to generate ideas or like other stuff that I could buy if.

00;12;10;12 – 00;12;13;10
Speaker 4
Popped in my head. I was like, Oh, this. And I wonder if that’s it. David Already you?

00;12;13;15 – 00;12;31;01
Speaker 2
Yeah, I’ve been making a habit of looking at that, and it’s kind of funny to see what’s trending. Like last week I think it was Cardi B lip gloss, but it’s, it’s different. Like there’s there’s nothing that shows up in the top ten like consistently And so anyway yeah that’d be a good spot to check out. So anyway let’s, let’s dive into product selection.

00;12;31;03 – 00;12;45;21
Speaker 2
Yeah, let’s, let’s start with are you doing anything to identify what maybe a hot prospect is versus not in this could relate to, you know, price point, category size. Is there anything that you’re looking for during like the initial product selection process?

00;12;45;22 – 00;13;09;22
Speaker 3
So we use Kepa a lot. Now it’s mostly we’re using keyboard tile. So it’s really just we’re looking for brands that are just very arbitrage able where, you know, there’s one item, Okay, a couple of things. So we’re looking for items or brands that Amazon doesn’t sell. So for example, Amazon does not sell 90, but I know they had a spat a couple of years ago and our Nike stopped selling on there for whatever reason.

00;13;09;22 – 00;13;36;10
Speaker 3
So that’s like obviously a very safe brand and I’m not going to come on that list saying it. Nike’s not going to give an IP alert. So, I mean, it’s pretty safe. So we’re kind of looking for brands like that. But it just in different categories. I mean, a beauty health and a household. And yeah, once once you kind of find a brand mileage strategy, I really need to do is just going to keep the pull up that brand and then start putting in some filters like made sure an thought on it.

00;13;36;10 – 00;13;54;08
Speaker 3
Maybe put in a price range or a rank range and then kind of see what else I could find That’s works really well. And like a site is having like a pretty big sale throughout the whole site because it is like virgin type using all this stuff. You’re like, you seem to be like, Hey, this is what we’re typically looking for.

00;13;54;09 – 00;14;11;23
Speaker 3
Like what products like potentially match that? Does the website have that on sale? And it goes much, much quicker that way. So yeah, we’re just really looking for brands that Amazon doesn’t sell and that just sounds like a pretty good margin piece and velocity velocity and yeah, this is pretty safe to sell.

00;14;11;23 – 00;14;23;17
Speaker 2
You know say you, you run this analysis on ten products and you decide to go out and purchase ten of those products. What percentage, what percentage of those are heroes and what percentage of them are losers?

00;14;23;17 – 00;14;45;21
Speaker 3
So I’d probably say at this point, probably conservatively, like 70% is usually pretty good. 30%. I do a lot of test buying. So so I’m always just kind of looking like Louise owns a house, buy something. I go in with the mindset of like, this could break even or you’re going to lose two or $3, but I kind of want to see what happens.

00;14;45;23 – 00;15;07;24
Speaker 3
They’ll be somewhere. I’ll go in and just take a loss like two or $3, because I want to see like how quickly it sells and then take like a $12 loss on four items. Is really kind of makes sense for me because when that comes back into stock or is on sale and I’m going to buy like 20 or 30 of them because I have like data saying it sells at this price point or a dozen or whatever.

00;15;07;24 – 00;15;30;08
Speaker 3
So just kind of really weeds out things quickly. But yeah, it’s about 7030, some stuff looks really good and then a lot of other people come on the listing or and the price tags or there’s just other things that could happen or the brand gives an IP complaint. But yeah, I would say it’s about like 70, 30 about when I was like I would say, let’s say probably the opposite when I got started.

00;15;30;08 – 00;15;31;21
Speaker 3
It’s probably 30, 70.

00;15;31;24 – 00;15;51;07
Speaker 2
Okay, Now that’s, that’s really good. And, and I think that’s an important metric for people to hear because if they do try this out doesn’t pan out. That doesn’t mean that it’s a failure. Most people that get into this, their first product is does not go great. And so but if you stick with it, like there is a percentage of them that do very well.

00;15;51;11 – 00;16;12;25
Speaker 2
So appreciate you sharing that with us. So the last last question I have on product selection is do you have any products that you just it’s consistent every month you’re ordering ten, selling ten or is it more likely to kind of have like, here’s a one time sale, I’m going to capitalize on this. But there’s a chance once I sell a lot of these, I may never do this again.

00;16;12;28 – 00;16;31;29
Speaker 3
I have both there. I would say having things that you could probably sell every month is a little bit more on the rare side. I do have some of them, but it’s more like I was look at it at Amazon and keep in charge almost as like the stock market. Like you’re just looking at the prices. You would see the charts like a lot of the stuff that we do.

00;16;31;29 – 00;16;58;28
Speaker 3
So every let’s say we buy a tenor 20 units and they all sell out before we’re in that order, like 40 or 50. We’re looking at the key because we want to see, you know, how the seller account went up. Is the price to stable, kind of all that kind of stuff. And if the answer’s no, then we kind of just table that and then we’ll look back in two or three months and usually the price does recover, the seller account goes down, and then that’s when we’ll buy like 40 or 50.

00;16;58;28 – 00;17;15;18
Speaker 3
But we know the ten or 20 sold and as like to keep it, the seller count is going down. We’re starting to buy like right before it bottoms out. So when it does bottom out, like we’ll have stock at Amazon ready to go and kind of sell before everyone catches on. So I feel like we do a lot of that.

00;17;15;18 – 00;17;33;28
Speaker 3
It’s just kind of looking back at old stuff and is like kind of like, okay, I like, you know, the offer counts falling time to kind of double down on this one. Well, and then kind of get stuff in there and yeah, there’s definitely some stuff that consistent. Most of the stuff that’s consistent, like almost hard to keep in stock because there’s just hard to get.

00;17;33;29 – 00;17;47;19
Speaker 3
There’s something we’re trying to get now that it’s just been been looking for like the last two or three weeks. I was the only one store to sell that and like there’s been out of stock. So it just ready for that to come back in stock and we’re by as much as we can.

00;17;47;20 – 00;18;02;03
Speaker 4
Next question I have is now for all the listeners listening to this and thinking like, oh man, how how would I keep up with like so many of these products scanning around and finding them off? Are you in spreadsheet land or do you have software tools that you use to find these and keep track of all logs.

00;18;02;07 – 00;18;24;20
Speaker 3
Mainly spreadsheets you will is a plugin called Seller out and basically they it’s like an on screen calculator, but it does a lot of other stuff as well. And you could kind of export data into a spreadsheet were to a Google doc. So we’re using a lot of that. There’s really nothing that kind of is out there just yet that kind of does all that feeling it just hard.

00;18;24;21 – 00;18;50;21
Speaker 3
Like there’s just so many things people are looking at or things that are could happen. Like ideally, like would be great if I could if like my spreadsheet was like a software and like every day like, ah, now it was like somehow pulling, it’ll keep a data and be like, Hey, you should buy this rig now that number has changed, So like what you want them to be, but it’s just a lot of manual checking, a lot of stuff like we have a sheet that’s like out of stock.

00;18;50;21 – 00;19;09;19
Speaker 3
So these are profitable products, but they’re not in stock right now. So a lot of people just pass those up. But like we’ll go back in time to check every week to see like, how is this back in stock? And a lot of the times it does come back and stock some of it by then. But yeah, it’s there’s a lot of spreadsheets and just trying to keep track like we have a list of everything we’ve ever bought.

00;19;09;19 – 00;19;28;06
Speaker 3
Probably once a quarter. Yeah, about once a quarter. We’ll go through that because there’s, there’s a lot of stuff like what you get to like a high volume. You just forget about all the stuff you bought. We’re like brands or certain things. So it’s just always like, Oh, I forgot about this. And usually we stop buying it because it’s not profitable anymore.

00;19;28;06 – 00;19;34;14
Speaker 3
But usually when we go back, if this sell our town is went down, usually we will buy again if it makes sense.

00;19;34;14 – 00;19;54;04
Speaker 2
This next question has to do with your Instagram account. And for those of you who to our listeners that that don’t follow go follow site hustle experiment. Two things on this. One, you had a post the other day. It said, here’s a metric that most Amazon sellers don’t track, and that was return rates. And I asked myself, Well, what is our for each one of our brains?

00;19;54;04 – 00;20;12;14
Speaker 2
What’s our return rate? And I did not clearly have an answer to that. I would say around 5%, but I couldn’t say with any degree of certainty. And that is a big deal. And so this is not a question more of a shout out. So my question is, on your Instagram profile, it says seven figure e-commerce seller in 80 HD here.

00;20;12;14 – 00;20;17;21
Speaker 2
And so as a fellow ADHD, you’re curious what tell us about the gift of ADHD.

00;20;17;26 – 00;20;43;29
Speaker 3
Like with Amazon, it’s a gift and a curse because, you know, everything’s all over the place. You just want to like your mind is so curious and you’re always looking for new opportunities and sometimes it’s just really hard to focus just on what you have in front of you. But I feel like, yeah, the real gift is just like for me anyway, I like just that hyper focus, like just the ability to really just drill down or look at something for four or 5 hours and just like, just really get in there and kind of go for it.

00;20;43;29 – 00;21;00;19
Speaker 3
And then yeah, I think when you have ADHD too, you’re always curious. You’re kind of you’re really thinking a little bit more outside the box. So like you’re not really you pay attention to the rules, but like you kind of make your own rules in a certain way or like things to make like sense to you have to do certain things.

00;21;00;19 – 00;21;15;09
Speaker 3
So for me, I feel like that’s kind of like one of the biggest advantages is just, you know, being able to be like hyper focused for long periods of time. And then I feel like sometimes when you just get obsessed with something, like you just can’t let it go, which plays really well into your own business.

00;21;15;09 – 00;21;28;25
Speaker 2
Very nice. Very nice. Yeah. The conversation around that has changed. It used to be a disability, a learning disability. That’s what it is. And yes, there’s definitely some challenges, but also there are some advantages and it’s good to hear people talk about it.

00;21;28;27 – 00;21;46;09
Speaker 4
So so I want to pivot a little bit, John, and talk about firing the man as the our podcast focuses on, you know, quitting your day job to pursue passions and not have to work for the man and recover your time. And so you can share with the audience. Now, back few years, it looks like you fired a man a while back.

00;21;46;09 – 00;21;54;07
Speaker 4
If you can share with the audience like your mindset around then and and what did you do to prepare for that and kind of just share a little bit about your experience?

00;21;54;09 – 00;22;09;19
Speaker 3
The whole journey started with I got a job kind of negotiated like after like three months of I was doing a good job. They give me like X more, I did that or whatever. And then at the end of the year when I was getting raises or like where to give you a raise, and I kind of like set me off.

00;22;09;19 – 00;22;22;15
Speaker 3
I was like, No, I like pre-negotiated. Like that was a starting salary, like we’re now taught like, so I was like, you know, I need to be in control of my money in that kind of work, maybe on the garage B part. So what got me to kind of quit my job? I always want to work for myself.

00;22;22;15 – 00;22;46;09
Speaker 3
I’m always my dad was always an entrepreneur. You don’t restaurants and bakeries and stuff like that. So I’ve always worked for him growing up and. Beasley Yeah, it just came down. I was just tired of like the knowledge centers that work. Once you have like a side business, it starts to get a little harder as it grows and starts to make money, you’re starting to make more money then out of your salary at work and kind of sitting there like, Well, I’d be like, Meet this in a week.

00;22;46;11 – 00;23;09;22
Speaker 3
I’m like, Why am I still here? So basically for me to prepare, I kind of wanted for me, I’m definitely more conservative, so I had six months of a personal expenses thing. I had the 20 to $30000 in the business account. So I was I realized, like if I’m going to do this full time, obviously I’m going to be spending more money, whether that’s on equipment or for inventory or stuff like that.

00;23;09;22 – 00;23;32;09
Speaker 3
And I think one of the best things I did is I basically had like a path, like I basically pretended to like, pay myself out of the business account. So before I read, I was like, okay, I’m going to take what’s to say I was going to take $1,000, $2,000. So every two weeks I would take $1,000 out of the business account and like, see how it felt like, okay, I like this.

00;23;32;10 – 00;23;51;29
Speaker 3
This is a calculator like this, feel like stressful. And I think a lot of people think that, oh yeah, I’ll buy $20,000. That is like no big deal. But like until it leaves, it’s like, look at it. Like, yeah, like I kind of need that were X, Y or Z or it’s more stressful now that I’m taking that out.

00;23;51;29 – 00;24;07;12
Speaker 3
I think it’s like, that’s almost the best thing you could do. Another thing I did was I basically took a whole week off of work. I did this twice. I did this once in the fall and then once in the spring to kind of and pretended that I was full time just to see like, Oh, do you like that?

00;24;07;12 – 00;24;21;09
Speaker 3
It’s like, you really do it. And after two days of like, yeah, this is stupid. Like, I just do this on the weekend. Like, I don’t really need to do this full time. Like every time I did, like it worked out really well and I was like, Oh man, like, this would be amazing and ready to do this full time.

00;24;21;09 – 00;24;32;10
Speaker 3
So I was like, really? Like, okay, this is exactly what I want to do. So I think there’s definitely ways to, like, test it out. If you’re kind of on the fence without kind of, you know, taking the full leap, I guess.

00;24;32;11 – 00;24;52;14
Speaker 4
Yeah, I know. And that’s that’s cool. I like a couple of things I want to highlight on that. One is you did a you did a test run on pulling money out and paying yourself and seeing if that impacted business operations. I think that’s very, very smart. The second thing you did was you took a week off your full time job and then did a full time, you know, working for yourself to see if you liked it.

00;24;52;14 – 00;24;57;10
Speaker 4
And they both panned out for you. They both worked. And so I really like that now. That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that.

00;24;57;10 – 00;25;15;16
Speaker 2
So before we get into the fire around Got, this is more of a Amazon based question pricing there are in let me just start this off by saying there are so many things on Amazon that are out of your control, like FBA fees and referral fees and storage and nine month storage, and I can go on and on and on.

00;25;15;17 – 00;25;25;24
Speaker 2
However, we still kind of have control price sometimes and so curious. Any rules of thumb that you apply when you’re analyzing a spread between what you can buy and what you can sell at.

00;25;25;24 – 00;25;45;23
Speaker 3
Yeah. So we’re always looking at the 90 day by a box price in Cuba to kind of see, you know, how has it fluctuated. There is a lot you could learn and that’s probably one of the most important things. So look at there is a lot of instances where the price you see like right now on Amazon is lower than the 90 day buy box.

00;25;45;23 – 00;26;07;08
Speaker 3
And that could just be for a ton of reasons like signs or appraisers like are not set up correctly or they’re just trying to liquidated or they just got it for a lower price. So you just want to make sure that a buy boxes rotating and you’re getting and people are getting like the price that you think you should get, you’ll see like, okay, we’re trying to sell it for $50.

00;26;07;13 – 00;26;23;26
Speaker 3
It could be like 50 if someone saw it for $55. They’re getting it for like 5% of the time. But if 90% of the time people are like in the forties and that’s kind of a big red flag that, you know, you’re really probably not going to get 50. It’s only like 5% of the time that this happens.

00;26;23;26 – 00;26;40;01
Speaker 3
Why does that happen to treat? I was like, it could be stock issues or whatever, but we just kind of want to be like, you know, 90 days. This is usually what’s happening or even 30 days, depending on like what kind of flip it is. Sometimes it’s like a really quick turn or sometimes it’s just like it is a long part.

00;26;40;03 – 00;27;02;00
Speaker 3
But let’s look at the 90 day. I think a lot of people pass out products because it’s like, Oh, this isn’t profitable. But if you dig into like out of the box, if anything’s close, I’m definitely looking at the box to kind of see, you know, what’s happening, is it rotating? And then if it’s just closed in general, like we have a spreadsheet of stuff that’s not profitable but is closed.

00;27;02;00 – 00;27;26;06
Speaker 3
So like a sale could swing that. The seller can go down and swing it in a profitable direction. So we’re kind of looking at that as well when it comes to pricing. But yeah, like you said, it’s sometimes hard, like when other people come in at lower prices or whether they mean to or not. And then I don’t know what you sometimes once you lose the buy box at that higher price, it’s really hard headed back to where it was.

00;27;26;09 – 00;27;29;03
Speaker 4
David You want to cover anything else before we get into the fire around?

00;27;29;10 – 00;27;34;10
Speaker 2
Yeah. Can you discuss your coaching program and how people can find out more if they’re interested?

00;27;34;10 – 00;27;53;10
Speaker 3
Yeah, sure. So the coaching program, I do both. I do one along coaching. You could sign up through my Instagram and then I have a partner that we do a bootcamp. It’s about it’s five weeks. You can find out more about that in the FBA Insider Discord. So it’s a free discord. We do like weekly calls in there.

00;27;53;11 – 00;28;10;22
Speaker 3
There’s a ton of variation in there about how you know better saw on Amazon. There’s tools, there’s templates and basically it’s five weeks. It’s kind of like a full emerging strategy, kind of everything we wish we learned just kind of all the important stuff. So now of course it is. Just don’t cut it. Like you just kind of need.

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Negotiate Like A CEO: How to Get Ahead with Lessons Learned From Top Entrepreneurs and Executives
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Negotiate Like A CEO: How to Get Ahead with Lessons Learned From Top Entrepreneurs and Executives
  • Stein, Jotham (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 04/04/2022 (Publication Date) - Political Animal Press (Publisher)

00;28;10;22 – 00;28;29;00
Speaker 3
It’s really like small group. It’s like 9 to 10 people and it’s kind of customized to them what they need. It’s group coaching calls to those and just we teach them how to like really source, not just kind of like the generic way that’s like either YouTube and yeah, I actually, I find that like so much more fulfilling than I was selling on Amazon.

00;28;29;00 – 00;28;36;27
Speaker 3
I just really enjoy that. You know, there’s one person who’s about to quit their jobs, so that’s cool. So yeah, I just really enjoy doing that.

00;28;36;28 – 00;28;40;08
Speaker 2
Very nice. Very nice. All right, Ken, let’s get the fire around started.

00;28;40;10 – 00;28;41;15
Speaker 4
All right, John, are you ready?

00;28;41;15 – 00;28;42;01
Speaker 3
Ready.

00;28;42;02 – 00;28;43;02
Speaker 4
What is your favorite book?

00;28;43;02 – 00;28;47;12
Speaker 3
Favorite book? I would say $100 Million Authors by Alice. Rosie.

00;28;47;13 – 00;28;49;12
Speaker 4
Awesome. I like that one. What are your hobbies?

00;28;49;14 – 00;29;06;18
Speaker 3
Hobbies, I’d say recently I’m getting like, back in fitness to go to the gym. I love social media, YouTube, so kind of learning more about that stuff. Andrew is kind of learning about that and just started out hanging out with the community, connect with the community as I love doing that kind of stuff.

00;29;06;21 – 00;29;10;19
Speaker 4
Awesome. What is one thing that you do not miss about working for the man?

00;29;10;19 – 00;29;12;11
Speaker 3
The schedule and meetings?

00;29;12;12 – 00;29;19;02
Speaker 4
Our last one. What do you think sets apart successful e-commerce entrepreneurs from those who give up, fail or never get started?

00;29;19;03 – 00;29;37;14
Speaker 3
I think it’s more just probably fear more like I just don’t know. I kind of looked at it. I’m probably more on the older side of the online short sellers. A lot of them started out like 18. Somebody needy and or whatever. I just kind of looked at on I five years ago I was like, wow, like, this is the time to do it right?

00;29;37;14 – 00;29;52;05
Speaker 3
I was 32 at the time and I think I was just like, you know what a leg of the work in two years. It’s like, well, you just get a job and then you still have like 20 years, like kind of like, regroup. I’ll say that’s plenty of time to do so. So I feel like just get started.

00;29;52;05 – 00;30;09;10
Speaker 3
I mean, it sounds, I don’t know, snobby or whatever, but sometimes the worst case is just like you just lose some money. Like it’s easy to make money. It’s easy to like, okay, so you lose $100. Like, all right, I’ll go out to dinner for a month or whatever. You know, there’s something there you could cut for a month, like get it back.

00;30;09;10 – 00;30;26;21
Speaker 3
Or another way you can make up. So I think, Yeah, just get started. Give it a try. Don’t want it, like, intimidate you. I was saying this the other day and some YouTube video. It’s like we’re doing this program 75 part and there’s this all this like stipulations or whatever one is like an outdoor workout. Oh my God, Totally in a sock.

00;30;26;21 – 00;30;42;23
Speaker 3
It it rained and it like, rained, I think six days into it. And I just put on a diet and I was like, No, I really wasn’t that bad. But like, I was like, Oh, I don’t want to do the rainbow, but like, it was like, you know, I wasn’t really that bad. If you’re, like, prepared, like, whatever, does it matter?

00;30;42;23 – 00;31;01;15
Speaker 3
Do I think that was kind of like eye opening? It’s like, well, you know, it’s like for Amazon too. It’s like, Oh, the return and the praise tag doing that, there’s the that and then like, it happened, right? All right. Finally, $2. It’s fine. Like, no, I mean, it’s like 1% of the 99% in. That’s kind of bad.

00;31;01;15 – 00;31;02;04
Speaker 3
David, over to.

00;31;02;04 – 00;31;02;28
Speaker 4
You, because that’s true.

00;31;02;28 – 00;31;11;02
Speaker 2
All right. If people are interested in in connecting with you or learning more about your coaching program, what’s the best way to get in touch?

00;31;11;02 – 00;31;22;19
Speaker 3
I should be a DM on Instagram outside. Also spear spirit. I also have a YouTube channel ad side hustle spread and yeah, those are probably the two place on the most active and obviously our discord as well.

00;31;22;26 – 00;31;28;11
Speaker 2
All right, sounds great. We want to thank you for being a guest on the Burning Man podcast and looking forward to staying in touch.

00;31;28;11 – 00;31;30;25
Speaker 3
Yeah, definitely. Thank you so much for having me. That’s a lot of fun.