An Amazon Seller’s Blueprint For the Mexican Market with Ramiro Vlasco

Episode 208

Picture this: a Mexican engineer turned marketing guru, who’s also a seasoned Amazon seller, sharing his insights on cracking the Mexican market. That’s exactly what you’re in for as we welcome our guest, Ramiro Vlasco, to the show! Ramiro’s unique journey from the world of engineering to the echelons of Amazon entrepreneurship is sure to inspire. His remarkable acumen, coupled with his Mexican roots, positions him as the perfect guide to offer invaluable insights into the potential of the Mexican market.

As the conversation unfolds, we explore the tremendous potential of selling on Amazon Mexico, especially for US-based sellers. With Mexico’s robust post-pandemic recovery and its growing trade relationship with the US, there’s a lot to unpack. We delve into the rise of online shopping in Mexico, and how this shift in consumer behavior is fueling market growth. If you’re a US seller, take note. We predict a significant uptick in the Mexican market’s potential, making it the perfect time to consider expansion.

However, every marketplace comes with its own set of challenges. In our final segment, Ramiro takes us through the intricacies of Mexican bureaucracy, regulations, and tax implications for foreign businesses. It’s complex terrain, but with Ramiro’s guidance, we see these challenges not as deterrents, but as opportunities. We also get a rare glimpse into Ramiro’s personal life – his love for music, chess, cooking, and his favorite book, Dune. Ramiro’s unique insights on entrepreneurship, strategy, risk management, and the role of luck in achieving success round-off an unmissable conversation. Tune in and get ready to expand your horizons.

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00;00;24;02 – 00;00;49;23
Unknown
Welcome, everyone to the Firing Demand podcast. On today’s episode, we have the honor to interview Ramiro Velasco. Ramiro is a mexican national and veteran Amazon expert. Ramiro believes business is about the people align incentives to create win wins. Ramiro once helped grow sales for a brand by 40,000%. Now he is on a mission to give Mexican and Latin America consumers access to the world’s best brands.

00;00;49;24 – 00;01;09;05
Unknown
Ramiro is the president and co-founder of Go Events. Welcome to the show, Romero. Thank you so much, David. Really happy to be here. Thank you. Absolutely. Yeah, We’re excited for this podcast. So to start things off. Can you please share with our listeners a little bit about your background and your path to becoming a marketer and Amazon seller in a business owner?

00;01;09;06 – 00;01;24;16
Unknown
Yeah, absolutely. my God. And this is this is a little bit of a little bit of a longer story than probably you’re used to. But essentially, I grew up all around the world two and a half years old, get sent away, have to do some follow my dad to to his job and we functionally expats our entire lives.

00;01;24;17 – 00;01;39;11
Unknown
Right. Studied in Romania, did a bunch of things and then I did university in the U.K., where mistakenly I went into engineering and I say mistakenly because my I am not an engineer. Like, I don’t I was talking about this the other day. About how. How so how did you late get through? How did you get your degree?

00;01;39;11 – 00;01;53;15
Unknown
I’m like, I learned how to answer the questions, but like, you know, I’m not I’m not wired in that way, you know? So I finished my engineering school and I’m like, you know what? I want to go back to Mexico. I want to live in Mexico. I miss it. I haven’t been around. Like at that point, the last I had visited was five years ago.

00;01;53;15 – 00;02;05;14
Unknown
Right? I’m like, I want to go back and I want to just make a life there. My entire family’s against it. They’re like, Are you kidding me? It’s dangerous. my God. It’s like the opportunities aren’t there. Like, all these things. And I’m like, No, like, I want to get tacos and the like on the corner, you know?

00;02;05;14 – 00;02;19;06
Unknown
Like, that’s. That’s the life I want. So I come back and they start applying for engineering jobs because that’s really all I know at this point. I’m 24, maybe like I have my degree. I worked for a year in Indonesia and then I was like, as a writer, like, nothing. I’m like, What? What can I offer to this world?

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00;02;19;13 – 00;02;37;13
Unknown
Engineering jobs in Mexico just weren’t very well-paid. And I said, You know what? I’m just going to apply to any close My eyes made a generic CV. I just shot it out. I think we’ve all been there, just shot it out. One of the first interviews I landed was with a marketing agency for Amazon. I show up and the vibe is good and the coffees great.

00;02;37;16 – 00;02;55;08
Unknown
This is honestly, the coffee was everything I was. Yeah, I think I could do this. And when I started doing marketing on Amazon, I was like, Wait, this is exactly this is exactly my vibe is exactly what I’m good at. It’s got problem solving, like maybe engineering school you have, but it doesn’t have like, you don’t have to know how to do any calculus, right?

00;02;55;08 – 00;03;14;18
Unknown
Like it’s it’s, it’s sort of like the basics of things. So what I found was that it’s it’s functionally a mix of problem solving and creativity, which I have this music background I was doing. Singer songwriter stuff for years and some of the creative stuff stuck, some of the engineering stuff stuff, some of the Excel stuff stuck by like, this is exactly what I’m what I want to do.

00;03;14;19 – 00;03;33;20
Unknown
So I worked there for about four years, and about a year and a half ago I was like, All right, I can do my own thing. The hubris of going, I can do my own thing as a mexican consumer. By this point, I’ve been living in Mexico for several years, so Amazon selection isn’t great. Like, that’s that’s just to the point where we go and we’ll talk about the the sort of macro lens aspect of it.

00;03;33;20 – 00;03;58;24
Unknown
But I was like, wait, we can just help brands get into Mexico because this is a niche that no one’s doing and I can help. I can bring value directly not only to clients, which could bring more value to clients. Ultimately, what makes a business run will bring value to consumers, make the Mexican market seem more legitimate or like make it more legitimate and give a broader product selection at fairer prices to everyone that’s shopping in country.

00;03;58;28 – 00;04;18;16
Unknown
That is direct economic stimulation. That was so exciting to me. It was like I’m actually doing a good for my community and I think that’s what’s ultimately driving this entire thing and the 12 hour workdays and the, you know, sleepless nights and everything that goes into owning a business is this feeling of right, at least I’m doing something that’s moderately useful for a lot of people.

00;04;18;20 – 00;04;36;00
Unknown
Yeah. Now, that’s awesome. Yeah. Welcome to the show, Ramiro, and got a very diverse background. Marketing, engineering. And you had mentioned Singer-Songwriter, so it’s kind of cool that you’ve kind of smashed them all together and like, figure it out. What, what drives you and what motivates you? I really like that. So what part of Mexico you’re living in Mexico now?

00;04;36;01 – 00;04;56;21
Unknown
I’m living in Mexico right now. Guadalajara wala hora. Okay. Yes. And it’s the second biggest city. We’ve got a big tourism sort of vibe, but not as much as Cancun’s or beaches places. It’s a weird mix. We also have financial districts. We have. It’s just a regular like big city. Gotcha. Now, that’s interesting. Before we get into some in-depth questions, are you a football fan?

00;04;56;23 – 00;05;12;14
Unknown
I wish I was. Yeah, I wish I was. All of my cousins are. All of my family is. And they’re just upset. I’m like, I don’t want to I don’t want to be upset with, like, something I have no control over. Like, I love, like, football, but, like, if I’m going to sit down on a Friday night to watch it, probably not.

00;05;12;15 – 00;05;28;13
Unknown
You know, that’s it. Yeah. No worries. We had a team come from Latin America, so David and I are both from Saint Louis. We just got our first soccer team this year and we played against in a tournament against a club from Club America, which is big from Latin America. I think they’re one of the best clubs there.

00;05;28;13 – 00;05;48;10
Unknown
They came here and it was not good for us, I can tell you that much. But they are simultaneously the the club with the most fans and the most haters by far. So they’re literally known for being the club that says, Yeah, hate me more and their fans will wear the jerseys knowing that they’re going to get booed on the streets because it’s like the, the, the thing for that.

00;05;48;16 – 00;06;12;07
Unknown
So that’s awesome. Awesome. So let’s, let’s dive right into it. So my first question for you would be, you know, a lot of people listening now on the show, they sell primarily Amazon. And so why should a third party seller selling on Amazon U.S. consider selling to Mexico? What are some, you know, pros, cons, benefits? Well, the thing I talk about the most recently within country, it’s become a political debate.

00;06;12;07 – 00;06;28;28
Unknown
It’s become a while the country actually looks really good. And then people that are opposed to the governor, to the to the governing party right now will say, yeah, but that doesn’t matter because it’s going to crash. So it’s currently like this heated debate. It’s become politicized. I can only look at the numbers of you say I have a diverse background.

00;06;28;28 – 00;06;44;11
Unknown
I also traded for about two years for a living, which is something I’m not proud of. I don’t I get like if I if I if I like, bring more value to people, maybe when I was trading for two years, I wasn’t bringing value to anyone. You know, we look at every macroeconomic sort of measure and it looks fantastic.

00;06;44;18 – 00;07;07;19
Unknown
The handling of the pandemic. For example, Mexico didn’t print extra money in Mexico, didn’t go into debt with the IMF, as so many countries did. Mexico decided we literally tighten our belt and went, all right, well, we’re going to tough it out, which means we saw a really good recovery post-pandemic. On the other hand, we see we saw during the pandemic every single port on the West Coast completely backed up in the U.S..

00;07;07;21 – 00;07;31;10
Unknown
Right. It was impossible to get products in from China. Sometimes the material ship is or they can’t get an appointment for a month and a half. So what happened was a lot of the third party sellers started looking to Mexico for manufacturing alternatives. So we’re seeing this this direct trade relationship grow. Mexico recently within I think maybe six weeks ago, surpassed China as the US’s number one trading partner.

00;07;31;12 – 00;08;00;09
Unknown
So macro economically, we’re seeing a like so much not only direct growth but setting the seeds for the next ten years. Tesla building a Gigafactory in Monterrey. We have near shoring companies haywire for just because they can’t keep up with the demand of manufacturers looking well. Sellers are looking to manufacture in Mexico. We’re seeing, thanks to all of this, a very strong peso, which means that we can hit lower price points of still maybe the same margin in U.S. dollars.

00;08;00;09 – 00;08;17;11
Unknown
And to add on top of that, you have things like remote work that that has just sent jobs all around Latin America, not just Mexico, which is leading to dollars dollars flooding into the country and expanding the purchasing power of the middle class. What we’re seeing and then on top of everything, like that’s just the macroeconomic aspects of it.

00;08;17;11 – 00;08;34;21
Unknown
On the other hand, you have 700 million people across Latin America, 123 million in Mexico being slowly digitized in their shopping behavior. I mean, I got here seven years ago and seven years ago, ten years ago, I was doing all my shopping on Amazon when I was in the U.K. So seven years ago, I get here and there’s still distrust.

00;08;34;22 – 00;08;50;09
Unknown
There’s this way when you order does it actually get to your house and you go, Yes, I’ve been doing this for years like this is what I this, you know, And so that is slowly being eroded away. There’s distrust. Payment solutions are being brought into the fray. So Mexico is a cash based economy for a lot of people.

00;08;50;09 – 00;09;08;15
Unknown
Don’t run credit cards. We don’t have the the debt culture that exists in other countries. So for a lot of time it’s like, okay, but how do I pay? Well, payment solutions were implemented. You can actually I can order on Amazon and pay at the corner shop. Like, that’s crazy. I can go, they’re paying cash and they’d receive it and I get my Amazon thing product.

00;09;08;15 – 00;09;28;04
Unknown
The solutions are being taken. There are the steps are being taken. This solution is being devised on top of the macroeconomic sort of landscape. Also digitize all these shoppers. So what we’re seeing is a growing pie. We’re seeing the U.S. was maybe eight years ago when you could pull out the 18,000 review garlic crusher and it was just SCA, you know what I mean?

00;09;28;06 – 00;09;47;27
Unknown
Put CEO, put on your your image like really nice gallery image from fiber off you go. So it’s just this makes this swirl of things that made us gamble in going wait Mexico’s going to go crazy for the next ten years. Mexico is the place to be to have that goldrush. Is it an immediate like, Hey, I just put it in, I’m now selling hundreds of thousands of dollars?

00;09;47;27 – 00;10;04;03
Unknown
No, of course not. Like that would be that would be false advertising. But it is. Hey, you can come in see functionally like a 10 to 15% bump in total sales, because that’s the volume that we’re going for. About 10 to 15% of your total U.S. sales with some caveats there. Sometimes that it actually matches depending on what we’ll get talking about later.

00;10;04;03 – 00;10;24;19
Unknown
But and the row with the market, we saw 30% growth 2019 to 2020 2022, 21, and then 140% growth, 21 to 22 in traffic. It’s ridiculous. So and every single time, like I trade it for a living, every single time I go, I’ve thought in the past or this is the peak, it’s never been the peak. I thought $17,000 Bitcoin was the highest it would ever go.

00;10;24;19 – 00;10;50;02
Unknown
And then look, you know what I mean? Like, this is like it’s going to slow down. It sounds like it. I mean, everything you just went over was a lot to digest. So a couple of things. And I want to I want to dig into is one you had mentioned, so it’s about 1012. You’re saying you’re you if if a US based seller who had been selling in the U.S. for a while, if they started selling in Amazon, Mexico, they should see about 10 to 15% of the volume they see in the U.S..

00;10;50;04 – 00;11;08;24
Unknown
Yeah, it’s to me, it sounds like all of this stuff. You know, you’re a student of the macro economic and kind of like analyzing all this. It looks like getting into Mexico now would be great because it’s kind of like very strong. And it sounds like, you know, seven years ago, there were there were some distrust, but in this cash based economy.

00;11;08;24 – 00;11;28;15
Unknown
So it looks like there’s a lot of, you know, runway getting out now and over the next decade, As you know, the Mexican shoppers transition to digitized and in they trust Amazon mortal kind of increase. So I think that’s a pretty pretty strong argument for selling there. I mean yeah ultimately it’s I there’s a lot of there’s a lot of sellers there will be like, well, I need the return right now.

00;11;28;15 – 00;11;48;04
Unknown
I will be like, all right then maybe this program is good for you. But if you if you can invest and be ready to dominate the market from now so you can dominate the market as it grows, I mean, we’ve all seen the protein market or any supplement market. We’ve seen like these hyper competitive markets. You’re like, if I had gotten in, if I had gotten then five years ago, like this would have been mine.

00;11;48;04 – 00;12;24;08
Unknown
And now I can’t, you know, now I don’t have $1,000,000 a month despite an advertising. Right. Look at Mexico. Well, one other one quick follow on then I’ll kick it over to David. Do you know how many fulfillment centers are in Mexico? Like is Amazon, are they spending CapEx? Are they spending dollars to expand? Yes, we have three primary fulfillment centers in our three biggest cities Mexico, Mexico City, well, Alucarda and Monterrey, they fulfill to the entire country within city, very often you have same day delivery to surrounding areas, you have next day delivery and only the most remote areas you’ll see two day delivery.

00;12;24;11 – 00;12;48;07
Unknown
So for the most part, the country operates under same day delivery, sorry, next day delivery. And that’s awesome. That’s awesome. That’s but that’s better than in the U.S. where we’re pretty standard today day, I would say some days you get it the next day. But I’d say we’re pretty standard to day. So when we’re looking at market share in Mexico, in Latin America, out of these marketplaces, what has the largest market share or where do you feel the most opportunity is right now?

00;12;48;07 – 00;13;08;20
Unknown
It’s still multicolored every day. Mortality rate is an Amazon competitor that started in Argentina because Amazon wasn’t here again. That’s part of why it took so long to ramp up. Is it was it was a couple Argentinian guys went, hey, we should start a marketplace. And they made it Latin America wide. Each country has their own subdomain like the U.S. would like to trade, like Amazon would.

00;13;08;25 – 00;13;30;26
Unknown
And it still accounts for about 43% of all e-commerce, Puerta Luis And it includes Shopify websites, Amazon, everything. It takes 43% of the pie. It does have more consumer trust also because people have been using it for a longer and it operates a little bit differently because who sells it like eBay? Who sells it, really who sells? It matters for organic ranking as we think it is.

00;13;30;26 – 00;13;47;00
Unknown
We all think about it on Amazon terms, they get shown higher. If you have a good reputation. Amazon is catching up quick. At some point in the past few years, Amazon looked at Mexico, Jeff Bezos looked looked south and went, hey, we we want that. We want that back. We want that pie. And they’re making a huge push.

00;13;47;05 – 00;14;09;06
Unknown
You know, right now, numbers suggest that under 10% of Mexican shoppers have prime player on that. Right. How do you how do you optimize this? But that’s sure to change and that’s going to change over time. And you need you need to be keeping up with this too. Key to sell to the people you’re selling to. I’m sure we have a listener who sells on Amazon us and they’re listening to this podcast and they’re thinking, I want to expand to one other marketplace.

00;14;09;06 – 00;14;29;18
Unknown
Would you recommend Mexico or are there other Latin American countries that you would recommend? First? Depends on what what type of investment you have, right? I’m not one marketplace to expand to my first stop, and I have the time and the brainpower and the capital to go through with it. Europe is probably you get access to what, eight marketplaces in one?

00;14;29;18 – 00;14;49;08
Unknown
I’d go there first. If you’re going just like, Hey, man, I just want something that’s going to be easy. I’m going to get me results real quick and requires less of a time investment. Everything 100% Mexico, there’s no doubt about it. I would compare it with Brazil. Brazil has more volume. Brazil is impossible to get it until my impossible I mean, just really hard tariff wise, setup wise, whatever.

00;14;49;08 – 00;15;12;17
Unknown
Colombia seems fantastic, Chilean and fantastic, but those are mostly Libra based Mexico. You can test with remote fulfillment. You’re not going to get great results that are real fulfillment, but you can at least see how that works. And then it’s it’s a no brainer, the remote fulfillment. And just to dive into that a little bit to any of our listeners that are U.S. sellers, there’s a program called North American Remote Fulfillment, and it’s a way to sell in Canada and Mexico with your U.S. inventory.

00;15;12;18 – 00;15;32;12
Unknown
And it’s a good way to dip your toe into the water. But you’re right, when we expanded into Canada, we have tremendously better results. When we have inventory in Canadian warehouses, we saw a huge increase there. And I would imagine that you should not judge Mexico based on your North American remote fulfillment results. You need to send inventory there, I think to properly test that market.

00;15;32;12 – 00;15;52;24
Unknown
What do you think? I shop here and I hate when it says importation. It says like, Hey, this is going to take six days to get to you and you have to pay a couple ten, 15 bucks to get it through customs. What happens is with naff, a bunch of things go wrong. The delivery time is one. The other thing that I think really hurts is when either sellers don’t make money or they’re putting their prices up.

00;15;52;24 – 00;16;09;11
Unknown
Anyone that’s listening to this podcast and that’s selling on our go on seller Central and look at you’re going to the Mexico Mexican marketplace within your seller Central and look at the fees you’re paying and you’re going to be like, Wait, hold on, That’s not what I signed up for because Naff will take with like three extra dollars on top of your regular FBA to be shipping it down.

00;16;09;11 – 00;16;23;22
Unknown
And a lot of sellers just go, you know, I’m going to just take that into the price and then they’re going to go a little bit higher. You’re suddenly priced out of the market in no longer makes sense. We had a case recently with a client that was like, we’re actually already dropshipping shipping. I told you, how much are you paying for a dropship?

00;16;23;22 – 00;16;45;23
Unknown
You’re like $35 per unit. How much does it cost you to ship me a case? Then they went, my God, $80. I’m like, Yeah. So we’re going to pay a dollar per unit instead of $35 per unit. Do you not think we can make that into the price? So and it was very easy to set it to now come in next day delivery, you know, good comparable prices start taking over the the category is is there’s too many barriers to entry.

00;16;45;23 – 00;17;01;04
Unknown
I really don’t trust the market. I already don’t know like if I can return it because again, I’m a shopper that’s new to this. You’re also telling me it’s going to take six days and I have to pay extra delivery and the price is higher. Most of the our listings are dead. And this is why people think that the volume isn’t there.

00;17;01;04 – 00;17;21;13
Unknown
Right. Couple of follow on questions just to kind of take a step back and look at the entire Latin America like market space. And so you had mentioned MercadoLibre right now. Sorry, my Spanish is no bueno, but that one, hopefully I didn’t butcher it too, too that I see no bueno all the time. I know one native Spanish speaker is going to I’ll be sitting across the table.

00;17;21;13 – 00;17;44;02
Unknown
For my part, I’m a person like all my partners, and this is our American Wolf. I just got this email that’s no bueno. I know about exactly that. So there is Mercado, Libra and Amazon. And then so those are the two big players in Latin America, Correct. Okay. And then in terms of countries that are viable, that Amazon is in in Latin America, which which countries is Amazon operating in right now?

00;17;44;03 – 00;18;05;01
Unknown
Directly Brazil and Mexico? And if I live let’s say I live in Uruguay, I’m either ordering from Amazon.com and paying their celebrity fees or from Amazon, Brazil. So the two countries there and then you had mentioned Mexico is the better option versus Brazil. Yes. Cost benefit wise, you’ll see a lot more like Brazil has about 50% more volume.

00;18;05;02 – 00;18;19;23
Unknown
I mean, there are bigger country. They have about 100% more bureaucracy than I, or at least no one’s doing what we’re what we’re doing. If I had some of that was already doing it there, then I could go there. It’s just a very difficult space to get into. But truth be told, I’m saying that because I know how to do it in Mexico.

00;18;19;23 – 00;18;42;26
Unknown
Perhaps if I didn’t know how to do it in Mexico, I’d be doing this. I would be saying the same thing. Right? So Brazil has a higher volume, but the barrier to entry is harder. It’s time to get into Brazil. Okay, Now market share Mercado Libra versus Amazon for for Mexico and Brazil. Like, what do you think the the market share is between those two islands What the latest results are, it’s about 43% and Amazon about 30.

00;18;42;26 – 00;19;02;08
Unknown
So Amazon will still be. But that’s another problem with Native is you’re not exploring with Libra and a lot of products, for example, products. You know, if you use typing dog leash, you’ll see a lot more volume on medical unit. So even pet products sellers that are on Nerf are missing out on the volume. Now my next question is for U.S. based sellers.

00;19;02;12 – 00;19;32;06
Unknown
What are a couple of the challenges? Obviously, there’s a language barrier besides that, like how our shoppers in Latin America different from from U.S. sellers and, you know, how can we overcome that? One big difference is what stage, let’s say like the familiarity people are at with digital shopping. A lot of the time it’s very difficult to launch non generic products on Amazon because your average shopper right now isn’t going in and typing like problem solutions.

00;19;32;06 – 00;19;49;27
Unknown
I am not going in and saying, I don’t know a dog hair remover, I don’t know that there’s a solution. I’m not used to going in and seeing if there’s a solution on Amazon. So we actually have to leverage off platform from traffic for some of these products to just get the visibility out because it’s very hard to break those markets natively.

00;19;49;27 – 00;20;13;09
Unknown
Also because we’re doing the two different marketplaces, we’re breaking the same market place. So it’s very rough to just depend on Amazon as a as a traffic trap. On the other hand, we’ve seen the Amazon algorithm has changed even within the U.S. And I think everyone that’s an active seller on the U.S. has felt that change where maybe we’re moving away from let’s hyper pack copy with SEO to try to get ranking.

00;20;13;09 – 00;20;34;14
Unknown
The algorithm has become advanced enough that it’s like, listen, you convert, I’ll get you the people is the sort of the new the new style that we’re working. So working on Amazon has become a lot more creative in the sense that we’re going, all right, how are we optimizing for conversion? How are we presenting the product in such a way that we’re addressing the pain points that are consumers are going to be looking for to get them to convert and then Amazon will take care of the rest.

00;20;34;14 – 00;20;59;01
Unknown
We’ll make like of course we still want to SEO, but it’s not going to be as robotic. This algorithm change also is coming to Mexico. Like that’s something that doesn’t have any delay. So what we’re seeing is you need to understand the right words and the right problems that your consumers are going to be looking for. If I’m selling shoe cleaners, I have to not only understand why you want to get your shoes cleaned, but explain to the consumer in a very subtle way why this is better than your shoe.

00;20;59;01 – 00;21;23;16
Unknown
Other shoe cleaning alternatives. What are the added bonuses that we’re giving you for you to click that buy out the checkout button and that can’t happen with just regular, you know, a regular Amazon translation from your Amazon listing that requires like a lot more strategic thought behind. And ultimately, I mean, I don’t I don’t really want to get into this, but that’s why we set ourselves up in the way that we did because it’s like, listen, like if you’re not growing, we’re not making any money.

00;21;23;16 – 00;21;41;19
Unknown
Like we have to be aligned on these processes, on these like incentives because there is the market’s human. I just got to be incentivized to catch it. You know, I am really enjoying this conversation in and prior to this conversation had I have not seriously considered Mexico. You’ve made a very good a good pitch for it. And so what are the steps like?

00;21;41;19 – 00;22;00;07
Unknown
How do you do it? Let me let me go into first what most people’s experiences have been, because I know how incredibly frustrating it is. Listen to this day. I’m frustrated every single day with either a different agency, a different importing partner, a different logistic. There’s something that I, I love my country. I love my countrymen. I have nothing but love.

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00;22;00;08 – 00;22;22;25
Unknown
We have some attitudes that make business very frustrating. Sometimes we’re prone to saying, yeah, sure. And then not following up. We’re prone to saying, Yeah, that’s totally the way. And then that’s not the way I recently went through this. When we we expanded our business into supplements, we figured out how to do the entire supplement process, the approvals, the everything that needs to happen.

00;22;22;26 – 00;22;37;24
Unknown
Here’s what ended up happening. Every single person along the way was giving us different answers because everyone’s trying to sell something and that makes sense. This is the business world, right? If if, if you’re a hammer and I’m asking you what the solution is, you’re going to say, hey, like bang on it, right? And then if you’re a screwdriver and ask you what the solution is, you’re going to say, twist it.

00;22;37;24 – 00;22;54;01
Unknown
Right, like it makes. But it was incredibly frustrating. So a lot of the people that are looking to do this in house are like, all right, I talked to a lawyer, I need this. And then someone else goes, No, that’s all we need. You need this fact, this it’s all pliable in the sense that they were both probably right, but having these conflicting information, my God, it drives you nuts.

00;22;54;06 – 00;23;10;02
Unknown
You want to import it to Mexico, you need to have a mexican business. You need someone that’s going to be legally the owner of the product. You can’t just have something in here that’s no one’s right. So and it’s to happen. A lot of people run into this when they’re going there, when they’re trying to ship to Mexican warehouses, like, you know what?

00;23;10;02 – 00;23;24;08
Unknown
This isn’t working. Let me just ship it to Mexico City. And now as it goes, Sure. What’s your tax I.D.? You’re like, What do you mean, what’s my tax I.D.? Like, just take the stuff. They’re like, No, no, someone needs to be liable for this product. What’s your tax I.D.? And that’s where people read it to their first roadblock.

00;23;24;09 – 00;23;44;23
Unknown
Ultimately, Mexican regulations have become strict in that sense, where it’s no longer just anyone can sell. It’s like, no, okay, you want to have product in the country, you’re paying taxes, someone’s owning the product, you’re being responsible for it. You need a legal representative to be liable for it. And actually any business that you make has a legal representative that if you’re breaking the law, they’re the ones that legally are responsible for it.

00;23;44;23 – 00;24;05;09
Unknown
Right? So if you manage to get through all the bureaucracy, then you have to get the importing, right. If you sell a supplement, if you sell food, if you sell cosmetics, if you sell even pet products, anything that Naff won’t let you sell, which by the way. So there’s a lot of categories. There’s ways to get it, and you have to figure out your harmonized, harmonized system codes, the HS codes for for international.

00;24;05;09 – 00;24;24;15
Unknown
And based on that, find out the regulations, labeling regulations. You have to build a label and they have to slap it on the product. Because if you’re selling something, the consumer by law has to be able to know what they’re buying, right? So they pick it up and they go, yeah, this is this is in Spanish. And once you have that, then you work with an importing partner to get it across the border, get it to Mexico City.

00;24;24;15 – 00;24;41;00
Unknown
We actually when we were just starting out, this was maybe a year ago, we had an issue where someone shipped down like one of our first shipments that we were that we received. It was received in Mexico City. They didn’t receive it at the warehouse because they delivered it after hours and they wouldn’t re deliver. It’s like, no, you have to come pick it up in person.

00;24;41;03 – 00;24;55;29
Unknown
I’m like, I’m in a different city. I it’s, you know, like we’re talking about taking it Well, either that or we’re sending it back. So I to fly to Mexico City for like literally flew out on the and flight got the boxes, drove them to work, took an Uber to the warehouse and then got on the plane back here.

00;24;55;29 – 00;25;13;05
Unknown
Like it was ridiculous some of this bureaucracy doesn’t isn’t very friendly like honestly when you hear all of that, are you really going to be carrying it out Like, that’s insane. That’s why we have what we have. This will be the legal importers, will be the owners of the product, will be the like marketers and will be everything every step along the way.

00;25;13;05 – 00;25;32;18
Unknown
But I’m like, I get it. It’s a small market. I get it. It’s unproven. I get it. It’s a nightmare to get set up. I’ll take all of that. Like we’re mostly a headache solver. Give me that and we’ll ship it in. One final thing, though, also, if you’re trying to set up a business in Mexico and you don’t speak Spanish, you’re going to pay the foreigner tax, which means everyone is going to upcharge you every step along the way.

00;25;32;18 – 00;25;47;21
Unknown
It’s it’s we’re just trying to get around all of that because we realize that we can make it cheap on our end and we can be cheap and accessible and scalable. We could pass on the same account to our clients, to the consumers, right? We have pesos savings out to the consumers. They get a better deal. We have more shoppers.

00;25;47;24 – 00;26;09;26
Unknown
It’s a win win. So one follow on to that and then we’ll and then we’ll talk about go advance a bit and and get and get more into that. So so what are some mistakes? So I’ll just do a refresher. And so remember you mentioned the listings have to be dialed in obviously in Spanish and obviously you have to solve, you know, the cost, the shopper’s problem, what they’re looking for and why yours is better.

00;26;09;26 – 00;26;26;26
Unknown
The second one you mentioned would be you have to have a register business in Mexico. And then third one is the bureaucracy and knowing how to import and how to do all those things. And so I like barriers to entry. Barriers to entry are good in my mind because lots of people are not going to choose to do that.

00;26;26;26 – 00;26;46;08
Unknown
And so that means that to me, it spells opportunity right? And so what are some things that some people that of a seller from Amazon U.S. wants to they tried to get into Mexico. What what are some things where they where they stumble what are the biggest like mistakes that you’ve seen So anybody listening that they’re experiencing those we can we can help and I saw what the worst mistake I’ve ever seen.

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00;26;46;08 – 00;27;04;05
Unknown
I spoke to someone and I hope he doesn’t listen to this because I’m kind of calling about it. So selling he reached out to us. We never worked to them. He reached out to us asking for help because what he did Mexico. What what’s your what’s your tax I.D.? What’s your business? You know, you said, I’m an individual living in Mexico, don’t worry about it.

00;27;04;05 – 00;27;21;13
Unknown
And his address as an individual seller from within Mexico and just drop shipped his products. He got here with a yearly tax bill for more than what his margins were. He’s like, anybody like, how can I organize all this? I know, like, you go back in time and you don’t lie. It was sold because Amazon retained it. I was like, Well, these are your taxes.

00;27;21;17 – 00;27;42;19
Unknown
You’re not a U.S.. He just got completely, you know, crude. And it was because the way like there’s a fiscal is a strategy to all of this where I this is how much I sold this is how much I paid for the product only charge me on the you know, on the profit. Well, you can’t deduct anything when you don’t live in country what you don’t know how to do out of it that you just got absolutely destroyed.

00;27;42;19 – 00;28;00;25
Unknown
He’s like, This is literally more than I made in the year I lost one of my keys. I already spent the money, too. I know that’s a tough lesson. it was bad. But most people aren’t going to mess up like that. The biggest mistakes would probably be just going gung ho and sending it in any way. It’s going to get stopped at customs, not accounting for tariffs.

00;28;00;25 – 00;28;15;22
Unknown
Very often that’ll happen. Chinese products, for example, are subject pretty much across the board to 15% tariffs. And what you see there is you pay tariffs on the way into the U.S. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to repay those tariffs on the way to Mexico and now you’re at 30% and now no one’s happy.

00;28;15;23 – 00;28;37;10
Unknown
Another big mistake is thinking that in half is the full picture. We recently onboarded a client like very recently, like where the conversation was all of your competition, literally all of your competition is nerf and they’re selling. Okay, let’s test it out. And we brought them on and they just skyrocketed. It’s like, all right, you’re like 25, $50, more expensive, like two or $3 more expensive.

00;28;37;14 – 00;28;55;11
Unknown
But hey, like, you get it to me next day, Like, let’s go. Like, yes, you’re the person that I’m buying from. Just thinking that in our physical, the full picture is is so detrimental. And I think the biggest and this is stepping away from just Amazon eCommerce, the biggest mistake that everyone ever does is look at margins and go, we make more money if we do it ourselves.

00;28;55;14 – 00;29;12;20
Unknown
Because I think everyone stumbled into that trap. Every single business owner has gone, Do I need to hire someone If I do it myself, I can save that thing. No. Your money, your time spent much more valuably, right? Doing things that you’re really good at spending time learning how to like spending the next six months figuring out how to do this.

00;29;12;21 – 00;29;26;10
Unknown
Are you silly? Like you could have been selling for six months? And also this is you think of all the opportunity because of all the things you did, right? It’s like everyone this ever worked and now, as an agency goes, knows what that’s like when the client goes, Well, isn’t this something I could do myself? I mean, go ahead.

00;29;26;16 – 00;29;40;11
Unknown
Right? Like the whole. That’s that’s up to you. But I’m telling you, like, you don’t have the experience. You haven’t been doing this for as long as I have, you know, like you do. But men, just let let the experts work. We do it. We do it. We work with agency like, hey, can you get the approvals? Yes.

00;29;40;11 – 00;29;57;19
Unknown
I mean, we take care of it. We take ownership of the process, but we let the experts do it. You know, So so I think that’s the biggest mistake just across the board. Let’s get into go events and what type of clients you guys work with. For some reason I’m so adverse talking about my actual business. I just really like everything else.

00;29;57;19 – 00;30;24;08
Unknown
We’re working primarily right now with anyone that’s having issues on the restriction side, cosmetics supplements, pet supplies, anything that’s a little bit more regulated. Look, our biggest success stories are we used to be on Nerf and now we sell, you know, ten times more. I love that. But we’re seeing a huge potential for the future to build out full on supplement market, full on, you know, cosmetics markets from brands that traditionally and I think this is where we’re really proud of what we’re doing.

00;30;24;12 – 00;30;55;26
Unknown
Traditionally international expansion is something reserved for very big companies. Your average seller has a very difficult I mean, have you tried to expand into Europe through Amazon? Was your 17 VAT numbers and you’re like and so it’s a traditionally it’s it’s opened up the office opened a lot of the e-commerce in general has opened it even Dropshipping has opened it but to be natively within a country, selling has been just reserved to your Coca-Colas and your, you know, head and shoulders or whatever it is that used to get at the supermarket.

00;30;55;26 – 00;31;15;01
Unknown
So us like what we’re really proud of is that we’re opening this up to medium sized enterprises, but obviously for most really small enterprises, is it worth it dividing your inventory? Like if you’re buying a pallet at a time, you know, like let’s let’s be clever about this before the medium enterprises and even the like, the small large enterprises or just opening that door.

00;31;15;01 – 00;31;34;25
Unknown
And that’s what we’re really proud of, you know, of saying these are products that I saw on TikTok and now I get access to them. These are Shark Tank products that allow only saw on the like subtitled the of Shark Tank. You guys that are we’re now getting into the country we’re really focused on restricted products, products that already have some demand or just interesting solutions.

00;31;34;25 – 00;31;52;19
Unknown
But look, if you’re having trouble expanding like the way we work is I’m going a little bit circle, but the way we work is it has to make sense for you. It has to make sense for us, of course, but like it has to make sense for you. You’re you. Everyone that’s ever worked on our marketing has had an experience of I’m not sure I can help you, and that feels awful.

00;31;52;19 – 00;32;04;28
Unknown
I don’t I don’t want to go through that again, you know, I don’t want to I don’t want to get the Hey, this isn’t working email. So I’m like, look, let me just I anti sell people. I’m like, hold on, hold on, hold on, Let me do the market research. Let me see if there’s a space for your product.

00;32;04;28 – 00;32;25;16
Unknown
Let’s just make sure that, like, we’re setting ourselves up as best as we can for success. And then if it really is a market, then like, let’s launch. So we put in that legwork, you know, come talk to us and then we’ll see if it works for you. Now I like that. And yeah, it’s always a better business relationship when it’s a win win, you know, when it’s a win for both sides that it just is better.

00;32;25;16 – 00;32;41;08
Unknown
But it all looks so no awesome. So yeah, if anybody listening is getting excited about hearing about all, you know, expanding into Mexico, Amazon, well, at the end of the will have been show notes, links and all that. So excellent. So Ramiro, for all of our guests, we run everybody through the ringer and it’s called the Fire Round.

00;32;41;14 – 00;32;57;01
Unknown
Are you ready? You know what? I am ready. What is your favorite book? It’s such a cop out, but I’m just now reading Dune and it is by far the best book I’ve read. Like the fire part of the most invested I’ve ever been. my God. That book. Yes, that’s it. Yeah. Okay. You said Dune like, do you any.

00;32;57;02 – 00;33;09;09
Unknown
Yeah, I was. I watched the movie. I thought it was incredible. Is the best cinema experience I’ve ever had. And I was like, you know, I’ll wait for the second one. And when the second one got delayed, I started the book. I was like, Because it’s supposed to come out in November and they’re going, That’s coming out March.

00;33;09;09 – 00;33;24;29
Unknown
I’m like, I can’t wait. I’m reading it. Well, what are your hobbies? Music making for sure. This isn’t a podcast studio. This is a music studio. I’ve got like my guitar right there. I’ve got my little keyboard here. I’ve got like music making I spend a lot of time on. I play a lot of chess in my downtime.

00;33;24;29 – 00;33;41;29
Unknown
I it’s such a I’m so bad, but it’s just so fun and I’m working out. Dropped off for a bit. I’m back on diving right now. My biceps want to kill me and cooking. I cook like an angel that I will that I will show off on. Omega Awesome. That’s very diverse. I like it. I’m cool. Tons of hobbies.

00;33;41;29 – 00;33;56;11
Unknown
That’s always good. Yeah. What is one thing that you do not miss about working for the man? I’m freedom. The idea like I got to go to the bank. I’m just going to go to the bank. I’m not going to tell someone. Hey, I got to go to the bank. Hey, man, is it cool if I miss this meeting to go to the bank?

00;33;56;16 – 00;34;12;00
Unknown
I got to go to the bank. I’ll just go to the bank and, you know what’s the best part that counts as work? Because I’m working like, 12 hours a day. Like, it’s just. It’s nice that my whole life, like, my work life, has expanded into the entire day. So that’s productivity, I have to call it, to cancel my my cable subscription.

00;34;12;00 – 00;34;30;20
Unknown
This is work because I got a I got to put it some time, you know. So yeah, at time, freedom, I think is the best part. I agree. All right, last one. What do you think sets apart successful e-commerce entrepreneurs from those who give up, fail or never get started? Couple of things. Strategy being strategic with your products and with your decisions.

00;34;30;20 – 00;34;44;04
Unknown
And this is very broad, but I think a lot of sellers will look at a lot of detail and how to scan with helium ten. They go, that’s a great idea. I’m just going to do this one thing that I thought about and just try it. I was like, No, there’s so much more research getting to be done doing.

00;34;44;06 – 00;35;03;16
Unknown
On the other hand, there’s also risk management under STAT that every single thing that we’re ever doing in life coin flips just with different odds, be setting yourself up for the best advocate, right? So if you’re being strategic, don’t say. And this was definitely how often these two restaurants fail because their math was if we fill up every single day, we’ll be rich.

00;35;03;16 – 00;35;20;25
Unknown
And it’s like you did it again for the fact that people sleep 8 hours a day, you know, like like I understand that you’re flipping coins and try to get the best odds you can. And ultimately and I know a lot of people don’t like hearing this luck play a massive luck plays a massive factor. So you have to understand the coin flips.

00;35;20;25 – 00;35;46;11
Unknown
You have to prepare yourself to be able to flip five, six, seven times before you’re you have to hit the leg before you’re, you know, tapped out. It’s risk management, everything in life that really is risk management. So I like that one and I like the analogy of coin flips. Your life is a series of coin flips and you have to get the better odds and buy with strategy and experience and make a bet so that since brilliant.

00;35;46;11 – 00;36;04;26
Unknown
Absolutely. Ramiro, I want to thank you for being a guest on the Firing Man podcast. If you are interested in getting in touch with you and in working with Go events, what would be the best way I go? Bascom has my calendar on it. The hubris hubris to be like, Yeah, I didn’t was a hit me up, hit me up.

00;36;04;28 – 00;36;23;19
Unknown
my God, it got bad a couple of weeks. We slowed it down a little bit. Anyone can the contract does goes to me the the schedule, the call goes to me. I don’t feel comfortable yet because I have a lot of this experience than it has been. So in the day to day I haven’t felt comfortable. And this is my my failing as a business owner.

00;36;23;19 – 00;36;43;05
Unknown
I haven’t felt comfortable letting someone else handle the, let’s call it quality assurance for making making sure that our clients are really happy. So I’m taking care of all of that. So for the time being and possibly for the next at least three months, contact us. Be it leave a message or be it schedule a call. Both go to me and I think I am just absolutely the right person to talk to about this.

00;36;43;13 – 00;37;00;03
Unknown
Well, so awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time today and looking forward to staying in touch. Thank you. Honestly, thank you so much for having me. Like I had such a good time. I know that I tend to talk too much, so I apologize if I got anyone really bored. But guys, honestly, this is so nice.

00;37;00;03 – 00;37;02;02
Unknown
Thank you. Appreciate it, Ramiro.

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  • English (Publication Language)
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