Talk-Commerce-Lesley Hensell

The Steps to Successful Selling on Amazon with Lesley Hansell

Riverbend Consulting is a company that specializes in helping Amazon sellers who are facing suspension, deactivation, or blocks. They’ve helped thousands of third-party sellers get their accounts and ASINs back up and running again. But they don’t just write form-letter appeals – their team of Amazon experts, including former Amazon employees, digs deep to find the root cause of the problem and develop practical, real-world solutions to improve operational performance and profitability.

And that’s not all. Riverbend Consulting provides ongoing services, including reimbursements to ensure FBA sellers get every dollar Amazon owes them, account management to remove negative feedback and handle customer service across multiple platforms, and seller account protection to monitor and answer performance notifications to keep accounts healthy. They also offer account audits for possible acquisitions and project-based consulting services such as pick-and-pack engineering, warehouse management audits, and customer service audits.

Lesley and her team are not “gurus” or sole proprietors – they manage a team of Amazon sellers, former Amazon team members, and highly skilled consultants who love working with small business clients.

So if you’re an Amazon seller needing an emergency room, Riverbend Consulting is the place to call. Stay tuned for an insightful conversation with Lesley about Amazon selling and her expertise in the field.


Talk-Commerce-Ben Knegendorf

The Drop-Ship Breakthrough with Ben Knegendorf

Ben Knegendorf is the co-founder of DropShipBreakThru.com, where he teaches people to start an e-commerce business in the next 30 days for $500 or less.


[00:02:40] Brent: Welcome to this episode of Talk Commerce. Today I have Ben Korf. He’s a co-founder of drop Ship breakthrough. But I’m gonna let Ben introduce himself. Tell us what your day-to-day role is, and maybe one of your passions.

[00:02:56] Ben: Yeah. Of the co-founder of drop ship breakthrough.com, where we teach people just like you to start an e-commerce business in the next 30 days, usually for around $500 or less. That that’s a big, bold statement. I hope to back up here. But to our passion, I saw the Minnesota on your wall.

[00:03:08] Ben: I am just over the border and I’m the absolute Minnesota twins junkie. Baseball runs through my blades for sure, runs through my veins. 

[00:03:17] Brent: That’s awesome. I just interviewed somebody who helped with, she was a teacher in the seventies, and she had a bunch of the early twins in her class. And it was, not early twins.

[00:03:29] Brent: The twins kids in their class before baseball got big money and people stuck around. So Tony Oliva still lives in the Twin Cities. Anybody’s baseball fans would know that. Rod crew, we might be back. I don’t know. Anyways Ben I know I warned you before we get started that I’m just gonna tell you a joke and you’re gonna tell me if that joke should be free or if we should charge for it.

[00:03:50] Brent: So here we go. Losing my hair made me sad. So I bought a cheap wig. It was a small price to.

[00:03:59] Ben: I think you should not charge for that one. . Okay. 

[00:04:03] Brent: I agree. That was a stretchy. All right. I’ll agree with you. Okay. So can I throw one back 


[00:04:07] Ben: you then since we’re here? Yeah, go. Let’s do it. Tell me, how do mermaids wash their fins?

[00:04:12] Ben: How tied ? 

[00:04:14] Brent: Let’s see. That’s a good one. I like that. I’ll, I might reuse it. , actually, we’ll publish that one. Good. All right. Nice. Yeah. Free joke project. All right. Alright, so today we’re gonna drop, we’re gonna talk about drop shipping. We in our green room, I mentioned that, we’re a magenta partner and for 13 years now and all of our clients have done drop shipping, but I think you have some ways to get people into the business.

[00:04:36] Brent: So tell us a little bit about your story and why you decided to do that or this. 

[00:04:41] Ben: Yeah, I mean it all started quite a few years back, right? I was working at a Walmart distribution center and the holy grail, there was first shift, like your whole goal was to just get the first shift. It took me seven years to get there in this building, and I got there and I remember walking in and just everyone looked dead inside and I was like, oh my God, I’m 29.

[00:04:57] Ben: I’ve. Quote unquote made it at this job. Maybe I’ll become a coach again, cuz we’re all a team. Give me a w. But there’s, this was it. And I was very disappointed with what I saw. I was disappointed in how everyone looked around me and I knew there had to be a better way. And so that’s when I started looking for.

[00:05:11] Ben: A way to get outta there. And honestly, at the time I was working at a warehouse. My wife was a cna. My dad worked at a warehouse and my mom was a cna and like that, that, that’s all I knew, right? And so I had lived up to the box that was built around me and it took a little effort to look around at other ideas and start experimenting.

[00:05:27] Ben: Some of those were like going to clearance aisles. and flipping that stuff on eBay or Amazon, going to garage sales, things like that. Just trying to understand how to, make money while you sleep if you will or make money on the side. I just, I didn’t know anything other than go work at a warehouse.

[00:05:39] Ben: And my first pure a into this was flipping things or finding the arbitrage between clearance aisles and Amazon or fba or eBay. And then eventually I stumbled on the term drop shipping, which I’m sure many of the listeners have seen. The latest guru talking about drop shipping. I immediately was turned off by the low ticket stuff shipped from China.

[00:05:56] Ben: Stuff that really wasn’t big back then. But I did hear about high ticket drop shipping, which is basically how Wayfair got started. They had hundreds of different stores that they were selling, niche, high ticket, e-commerce, drop shipping stores that they brought together into Wayfair.

[00:06:09] Ben: And when I understood that, I was like, oh, this is, you’re building a real business here. You’re becoming a retailer. You’re selling brands people have heard of from companies within your country. And at that moment I realized, all right, this is what I want to do. This makes too much. . Yeah. 

[00:06:22] Brent: Do you think you had a little bit of that entrepreneurial spirit in you to drive you to do that?

[00:06:27] Brent: Or was it just you’re so sick of working at Walmart that you wanted to just get out of there? 

[00:06:32] Ben: Yeah, I think in hindsight I did, but I didn’t have anyone around me to spot that. So if I look back at my childhood I didn’t do, I didn’t pay attention in class, but I knew all the answers. Math was a good one.

[00:06:41] Ben: Like they would, here’s how you do complicated math. I’d have the answer in my head, and then they’d be like, you didn’t do the work this way. And I, I don’t understand why we need to do the work your way. I got the answer for you. And I was told I w wasn’t quote unquote normal. And I got told a lot of things as a kid that I think were just signs of, I’m an entrepreneur and I’m constantly questioning things and I’m unsatiable curious around everything.

[00:06:59] Ben: And I think in school they try to fit you into this little box. So in hindsight I think I saw the signs, but I don’t really think I noticed it until my mid twenties. I was big UFC fan and Joe Rogan, when somebody would get knocked out, he’d be like, oh, he got hit right on the button. So I started on the button fi gear.

[00:07:13] Ben: That was my first business I ever. Don’t ever, don’t sell clothing. People, whoever’s listening to this, don’t start a clothing line. It didn’t go super, super well, but that was, that, that was fun. Even though it sucked, it was fun. And then, realizing it didn’t work was a big l and that kind of, pushed me back down for a little bit.

[00:07:27] Ben: But look, that was my first adventure in entrepreneurship and it was fun. Like being able to solve my own problems choose my own path was fun. Yeah. 

[00:07:35] Brent: And I think, so I just wanna make a distinguish because my wife had a eBay business back. Nineties, early two thousands, and she actually had a warehouse, and I think what you’re talking about is not having an manage a large warehouse full of stuff.

[00:07:48] Brent: She did Wayfair, like every, there’s all those returns, right? There’s such a huge market for that return business. And she would get truckloads of. Stuff from where Wayfair and Fingerhut and put it onto eBay. You’re, it sounds like, just explain a little bit more about your, the model that you’re proposing and how that differs from what I just described.

[00:08:08] Ben: I actually had a buddy who did the exact same thing you just described, but did it for Golf Galaxy. And so he would go get all the trade-ins and then he would pay, pennies on the dollar and then he would flip them as well. So that’s interesting. The model I’m speaking of. So I’m sitting down currently, but I’m sitting at an Apex standing desk and so I was part of a company called Standing destination.com, which is a good example of what we teach.

[00:08:26] Ben: And we would sell these apex desks and we would. I can work through this whole process, but essentially we’d work out an agreement with Apex to become a retailer for their brand. We would go run Google, we would go acquire the customer, sell the product, then go to Apex and say, we need you to drop ship this product to our customer.

[00:08:41] Ben: And then they would charge our credit card and we would keep the arbitrage in between basically high ticket drop shipping. In a nutshell, it’s a marketing, it’s a customer acquisition and customer service business at the end of the day. Okay. Yeah. So 

[00:08:51] Brent: you’re Handl. So you’re working in effect, like a salesperson for that manufacturer and you’re, they’re, you’re arranging the sales and they’re doing the drop 

[00:09:00] Ben: shipping, correct?

[00:09:01] Ben: Yeah. But in the meantime, you’re building a real business. So I’ve referenced Wayfair. I’ll reference another one. That’s hopefully nationwide. I know it’s local to us here. Re e I is a good example. They’re very niche focused on outdoors people. And so that’s what we’re trying to build to.

[00:09:12] Ben: We’re trying to build a focused. Retail store on the internet that is not only just being a salesman for the other brands, but being a destination for anyone who’s interested in that type of product. So if you go to a standing destination, there’s articles on standing desk benefits there’s all sorts of content around the benefits of standing desk and around the brands and reviewing the brands.

[00:09:31] Ben: a destination on the internet for you to look at standing desk products versus just us being out there trying to be salesman for the brand. . 

[00:09:39] Brent: And so you’ve mentioned high ticket. How do you get started or why would you start on high ticket rather than just commodity items or lower ticket items?

[00:09:50] Ben: Yeah, I think this is what turned me on most to this business model was simple math, right? I also have a a brand myself, a pet supplements. And so I understand like the low end market, but if I want to make let’s just use $30,000 in revenue next month, and I’m selling a $30 product, I need to sell a thousand items versus if I’m selling a high ticket product that is $3,000, I need to sell 10.

[00:10:10] Ben: And you can imagine with 10 orders versus a thousand, you’re gonna need much less employees. You’re gonna have less damages in returns, you’re gonna have less overhead in general. The business model seemed to make a lot more sense for me. You could, we’ve, I have, and I have students who have grown a business as a solo operation to a seven figure business without needing the help of VAs or team members.

[00:10:29] Ben: And to me that was intriguing, especially when I was first starting out and wondering I, I didn’t know what I was doing as far as hiring a team or really doing anything. And the idea that I could work by myself and not be overwhelmed with orders or inventory or things like that was very intriguing.

[00:10:44] Brent: how do you differentiate then? Like the pluses versus having your own warehouse? I guess setting aside the fact that you don’t have to own it all. , do you have to, do you have to take back returns or do the re I’m assuming the returns go right back to the place 


[00:10:58] Ben: were shipped from. Yeah, so that can vary, right?

[00:11:01] Ben: That’s gonna depend on the relationship you have with each brand that you are associated with. Everyone has their own rules. Some of ’em. Wildly creative restocking fees, we’ll just call it that. Others are like more generous than others. They’re happy to take it back. Other brands, there’s nothing you can do about it.

[00:11:16] Ben: Like it’s going back to you and you’re gonna eat that cost. And certainly I would say the, that is one part of this business model that’s a little bit out of your control. It’s like having a three pl, right? When you have a three pl, you hope they do good by you. They charge you all sorts of fees.

[00:11:27] Ben: You don’t really know what’s going on with your product. You hope it’s getting packaged well. And the only way you find out it wasn’t packaged well is when the customer complains to you. And It is a, I don’t wanna call it a downside but it’s certainly something that isn’t always fun when you’re dealing with this because it’s out of 

[00:11:40] Brent: your hands.

[00:11:41] Brent: And what about price point to get started? What do you recommend a user has or a person that wants to get started in this sort of thing? What does the pricing . 

[00:11:50] Ben: So again, I think that is one of the most appealing parts of this business model. Let’s imagine you wanted to open a franchise Taco Bell would fit right in, in your area.

[00:11:58] Ben: That’s gonna cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to get set up and running on a Taco Bell. Or if you wanna launch your own brand, likely it’s gonna cost you thousands of dollars as well. To do the research, get the samples, place a big money. Order launch Hope people enjoy your product. I prefer cash flow, and that’s why starting this model for less than 500, which I’m happy to outline here.

[00:12:14] Ben: And also everything is cash flow in the beginning makes so much sense to me. So you’re gonna need a domain, right? That’s $12. I’d like to use name chief, you can use whatever you. , you’re gonna need Shopify. I know you’re a Magiano guy, Brent, but I’m gonna say Shopify’s the way to go here for sure. $29 a month for that.

[00:12:29] Ben: You might want a paid theme. You might want to, have something customized. You definitely don’t need one. But if you do, it’s 180 to, I think they’re up to $400 now. We give Superstore from out of the sandbox. We give that to every student of our course because we do believe a paid theme is important.

[00:12:42] Ben: You’re gonna need Google Workspace so that you have Brent at your new e-commerce domain.com. Not Brent Brents Commerce store a Gmail. That’s just not super professional. You’re gonna need an 800 phone number, so I would recommend Grasshopper. That’s $40. You might need a little branding. So fiber’s a pretty easy place to go get a logo done and get some homepage images and branding and things like that for your website.

[00:13:03] Ben: And then the biggest expense you’re going to have is Google Ads. That’s where we’re gonna acquire most of our customers. Google likes to give you a coupon. Spend one 50, get one 50 or spend 500. Get 500. Definitely look for the ladder if you’re gonna start this model. And within that first, Thousand dollars of ad spend on Google.

[00:13:19] Ben: You should have acquired one customer or multiple customers where you can then roll that cash flow back into, get the snowball moving and acquire more customers. outside of that, your biggest expense is time. Like you’re gonna have to put in the sweat equity. You’re gonna have to understand how to build your site, upload products, contact the brands.

[00:13:36] Ben: In the process you’re gonna learn Google ads, a little seo, a little conversion rate optimization, a little copywriting a little how to code a little bit in the back end of shop. But hopefully you’re doing all of this while making sales, while getting paid, rather than, paying a college a hundred thousand dollars to go learn something and hope you get a job.

[00:13:51] Brent: There’s a step before that though. It’s choosing what is the product that you want to sell. And there must be, I think getting the website is a big investment and certainly even Doing the theming part is even, is gonna be more time consuming. How? How do you choose which product 

[00:14:06] Ben: you wanna sell?

[00:14:07] Ben: So this is interesting. I think too often the world of e-commerce is focused on the product. . And the reality is you should be focused on the human behind the screen. So a good thing we always talk about like 2% is the average conversion rate. What about those other 98 people? Those were 98 people raising their hands saying, I’m interested in your product and you didn’t serve them, and you’re just letting ’em leave your website.

[00:14:27] Ben: That’s wild to me. So John and I, John’s my co-founder here we try to get you to focus on the human. Who is the human that you want to market to every day that you want to deal with in customer service? Ideally it’s you, right? If you have a passion ideal. Whatever you’re passionate about has products that are $800 and above, and you are going to be able to sell to that person better than anyone because it’s you.

[00:14:47] Ben: So we like to focus on the who first and then find the products that they buy. And if you get the who wrong, it can be a nightmare. I bought one of my consulting clients businesses, saw the opportunity, enjoyed the marketing, but the who behind it was an older. Less fortunate human being and they were awful to deal, literally awful to deal with.

[00:15:04] Ben: I got more chargebacks in the first three months of that business than I have anywhere else. And I ate my own dog food there of Hey, focus on the who rather than the products and the marketing. Who do I want to serve every day? Whereas I, the biggest company I was part of that we went 1 million to 11 million in two years that was serving the golf industry.

[00:15:18] Ben: I’m a golfer. I knew the pain the customer behind the screen had. I knew. How to speak to them. I knew the language they used, I knew the places they hung out online. I knew exactly how to write a headline that would hook them in because all they cared about was getting one more stroke. That was much, much easier than talking to a different who that I didn’t have any relation with.

[00:15:33] Brent: And I’m just gonna put a plug in here for Big Commerce. They have the exact same plans as Shopify. Nice. I’ll just do that my, cuz we’re a big commerce partner as well. and I, there’s no differentiator. Your checkout if you ever wanted to do, to customize your checkout. Big commerce is open source where Shopify’s lockdown anyways, so that’s beside the point.

[00:15:56] Brent: So I think, you’ve chosen something, you’ve built out a store. Google ads can be a money suck if you don’t do it right in your course. You give some sort of. Help around that. Even if you’re, and $500 goes nowhere, especially like if you’re gonna compete against I would imagine that you’re going to some, sometimes compete against the actual manufacturers that you drop shipping for at times in Google Ads.

[00:16:20] Brent: Yeah. I think 

[00:16:21] Ben: this is where we are different than anyone else who’s. Teaching something similar or really anywhere you go for Google ads. Once Google bought the Chinese Go AI and brought it into their system and started doing smart everything that’s where everything fell apart in Google.

[00:16:35] Ben: My ads back in the day. You’d have to build everything and do everything yourself, and there was a very specific way that you should do this. We still teach that, so rather than doing performance, or smart shopping or whatever you’re on currently we do use like smart list that makes sense. But most of the, like Google do it for you is a very bad idea, especially for high ticket products.

[00:16:52] Ben: And I’ll say that because again, I sell glucosamine for dogs. If somebody’s searching glucosamine for dogs, they actually might buy this, right? That’s generic. But also like they’re willing to probably spend 30 bucks and see if their dog can stop limping. If somebody’s searching infrared sauna, they are so far from buying, it’s not even funny.

[00:17:08] Ben: And so if Google. Buy all that traffic for you and show you tiny price clicks cuz they’re serving you for infrared sauna. No one’s gonna buy from you, right? And you’re just gonna burn all your cash. So there’s a way to set up a manual shopping campaign and choose your priority. And anyone listening to this might understand that you can choose high, medium, or low priority.

[00:17:27] Ben: And if you set everything up as a high and seg segment, the brands by ed groups. Duplicate that and set it up as medium. The only thing that can go to medium priority is when you put a negative keyword in high, so all your junk, everything will go to high, right? And then you can pull out your semi-important keywords and move them to medium, and then you can segment your most valuable keywords and segment them to low.

[00:17:46] Ben: So now all your junk’s flowing into high where you’re bidding 10 cents, 25 cents, something like that, your branded terms likely your middle of the funnel terms, you’re paying a little bit more in medium. And then those exact match bottom of the funnel, people looking for this exact product terms you can pay more for and low and you’re not getting you’re not getting si, your cash isn’t getting siphoned away, which is what, Google’s very good at that, if I’m honest with you.

[00:18:04] Ben: I’m not a huge fan of everything they’re moving to do. I understand they’re trying to hit the bell curve, right? That, 80% of people just want this. But I’m not in that 80%. I’m, I’m at the other end of the bell curve. I wanna be optimized. I wanna be bringing the right traffic to my business, to the right pages.

[00:18:17] Ben: And so I, we definitely teach a method that I don’t think has taught much anymore out in the universe. 

[00:18:22] Brent: And you mentioned high ticket and. So I’m assuming no high ticket items like high ticket clothing or shoes or something like that. 

[00:18:31] Ben: Cowboy boots. Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t recommend apparel. That’s a return nightmare.

[00:18:35] Ben: But I’ve sold everything from 3D printers to tiny house products, to standing desk products to golf products. I’ve literally been all over the place and I’ve coached hundreds of students and whatever the first thoughts come into your mind. If you’re thinking about doing this, don’t do those.

[00:18:47] Ben: Those are the ones everyone thinks of. Spend some time writing in a notebook, gathering some ideas, and once you like point your reticular activation system at looking for things above a thousand bucks, you’ll start seeing them everywhere. And it honestly the list is endless. And there’s just so many things that you can build a business around and the Internet’s made it even more possible to really niche down and still find all of that audience looking for what you.

[00:19:08] Ben: How 

[00:19:08] Brent: about doing FBA fulfilled by Amazon? Is that the same type of model that you’re talking about? 

[00:19:14] Ben: Yeah, with fba. My pet supplements here on fba. I wouldn’t recommend selling someone else’s products. Via fba. I don’t If you have your own FBA brand, I’m sure they’ve been you’ve had people reach out to you that said we wanna ride your listing just in case Amazon cancels you.

[00:19:26] Ben: I’m not a big fan of that, and I don’t think selling high ticket products is a good idea. So again, I sell pet supplements on there every single day. I open my email and it says, refund initiated for this refund, initiated for that. Amazon is in total control. And I can eat that on these 20, 30, $40 products.

[00:19:41] Ben: But if that’s gonna happen on 800 to $10,000 products, the I’m in for a world of hurt because Amazon’s always gonna side with the customer. 

[00:19:49] Brent: Yeah. So you talked about you talked about Amazon and the price points. Is there a highest price point that you would recommend? You’re not gonna do a car, right?

[00:20:00] Ben: I think where you’ll run into issues is actually with Shopify itself, with the payment processor itself they’ll start wondering, who are you making these big sales? I knew some people that were selling 15 to $20,000 things and quickly Shopify payments shut them down. They went around the backside, just went to Stripe, who Shopify’s using and Stripe had no issue.

[00:20:18] Ben: But that’s where you’re gonna run into issues is. That’s a lot of money to be moving around without being questioned, why you’re moving that kind of money around. So I tend to stick in the two to eight range. I think that’s the sweet spot. The lower you get, the more you’re just eating your margins with shipping.

[00:20:31] Ben: So if you’re selling an $800 product where you have 25% margins rough math, that’s 200 bucks. You have to acquire the customer. You have to pay the 3% credit card fees when you take their credit card and you have to pay for shipping. And oh, by the way, you’re a business, you’re trying to make profit on the back end.

[00:20:43] Ben: So really anything below 800 doesn’t make a lot of sense. But if you’re selling a $5,000 product with 25% margins and it costs you $250 to ship, now you have a thousand dollars in arbitrage there that you can go acquire the customer. That seems to make a little more sense the higher you get. Got 

[00:20:58] Brent: it.

[00:20:58] Brent: You had mention. Alley Express no nonsense, no Alley Express nine. Explain that. What does that mean? 

[00:21:05] Ben: So that’s been the hot thing for drop shipping over the last, I don’t know, three to five years. And it is simply go find the hottest trending product. Go find it on Alley Express. Set up your store.

[00:21:16] Ben: It’s a turn and burn website, right? You’re gonna drive traffic and hopes you can convert a ton of people. On your website selling a, honestly, it’s gonna be a terrible product. It’s gonna ship from China, show up 40 days later in a heavily tape box. And you’re gonna have a bunch of disappointed customers who aren’t gonna reach you to tell you they’re disappointed cuz you’ve already turned and burned that website.

[00:21:31] Ben: So if you’re out there for a cash grab, maybe this makes sense, but I don’t know, my ethics and my integrity aren’t going to allow me to sell a terrible product with a terrible experience attached to that person. . 

[00:21:43] Brent: So that would be a, an example of that would be can 95 masks when the, when they got all sucked up in the pandemic and all of a sudden people got ahold of them.

[00:21:50] Brent: They’re gonna sell ’em on a quickly made up website, and then by the time they, they land in your doorstep, you’re they may not, it might be PA post pandemic. 

[00:22:00] Ben: The one I think of is there was I was flicking through TikTok. It’s like a girl on a beach and then he zooms out and it’s supposed to be this like monocle that can zoom, thousands of yards away.

[00:22:11] Ben: I can imagine who they’re trying to target. I’m a dude, so I understand why they were targeting dudes with that. I actually bought that cause I wanted to see the experience, so I bought it again 40 days later, heavily tape box the thing. You can’t see anything out of it. It does not work. And so it, yeah, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.

[00:22:24] Ben: Now, on the other hand, if you’re using this to judge demand, and go sell, I dunno, 50 of something, and see if your audience is into that. And then you’re gonna turn it around and actually make the product better and serve it to your audience as part of your brand. Maybe that makes sense. But the folks who were out there teaching turn and burn websites and just, destroying all customer trust, I, I can’t get behind that.

[00:22:43] Brent: Tell us a little bit about your course. You’ve mentioned that a few times that you’re teaching, you have a course on this te tell us a little bit about. 

[00:22:49] Ben: Yeah, so the beginning part of the course is, and we just did a podcast on this, so I might have the numbers actually. Yeah. So the beginning part is like 68 videos long.

[00:22:55] Ben: And that is simply how to get started, right? This is gonna help you choose your market. This is gonna help you identify the suppliers inside, upload products, build out your website, and actually have an over the shoulder look of John building all of this stuff in real time so that you can follow along.

[00:23:09] Ben: And then the backside of that. Something we’re continuing to grow. It has 150 plus videos currently, and that’s everything John and I have learned over the last eight years of doing this personally. And both John and I have taken stores to eight figures. And so there’s a lot of learnings in there that we wanted to put inside the course.

[00:23:23] Ben: And so that half of the course continues to grow as we continue to learn more as we continue to network with other experts who we can bring in and create some videos for us. And . Yeah. It’s an over the shoulder look like this model isn’t that difficult to understand. To me, it’s pretty simple.

[00:23:35] Ben: The work is hard. You have to do like hard work. That’s business. But the model of, it’s pretty simple. So we give that all away on our podcast, drop ship podcast. And if you want someone to hold your hand and walk you through it, that’s what our course is for. 

[00:23:47] Brent: What is your biggest win in terms of a product in the.

[00:23:51] Ben: The biggest one, I have two months left on a non-disclosure agreement, so I will say it’s in the Gulf industry. But we, yeah I coached two gentlemen. They brought me on as a consultant. I coached ’em to a quarter million in the first three months. We remained friends for the rest of the year as they were in Wisconsin.

[00:24:04] Ben: We would just rib each other on slack basically. And then they asked me to come on board and we went, they did 1 million in revenue in their first year. Two, two years later we did 11 million. And by far that was the biggest business I was part of growth wise and just big. And they bought me out about a week before the world shut down for Covid.

[00:24:18] Ben: And I can only imagine what they went on to do after that with everything shut down. Yeah, it was a good time. 

[00:24:23] Brent: And what was the biggest lose? . 

[00:24:26] Ben: Yeah, that one. Like I said, it was serving an older demographic. It would be like mobility products. The sales came in, but again, the chargebacks came in.

[00:24:33] Ben: There’s just, that’s not an audience of people I want, without bashing that type of audience. They’re just, they’re very difficult to deal with from a customer service front. A lot of handholding, a lot of walking them through the buttons to click on the website, like there’s just. It’s not a group of people I would like to serve personally.

[00:24:51] Ben: Whereas I would say middle-aged men who are trying or who are passionate about something, is the ideal audience. If that’s who you wanna serve and you have products that fit that is the ideal audience. Cuz men just lay in bed and will buy it on the phone. They won’t think twice about it.

[00:25:04] Ben: Whereas, women take a little longer in the buying cycle to make decisions. They also buy differently. They wanna see things on sale. Where men, I don’t think really care. They just, if they want something, they’re gonna buy it. And yeah. More on the, who there it’s the definitely.

[00:25:15] Ben: Middle-aged affluent men that are wonderful to serve. 

[00:25:19] Brent: You’ve mentioned a who quite a few times. Tell us how you as a business owner determine who is the best, who for you. 

[00:25:28] Ben: Trial and error, I think. But I’ll go back to what I said, like if it’s you, that’s gonna be the best. Like whatever you are passionate about, if you can build a business around that.

[00:25:37] Ben: you are going to wake up and wanna work on that business more than I’m gonna wanna work on the business I’m not passionate about, right? So every day work needs to be done. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward. That statement is definitely true. And so if you’re passionate about it and you’re consuming content late at night about it, and then you wake up and you get to work on your business that is driving more content into the world or driving more people into the passion you’re just gonna work way harder than me.

[00:25:57] Ben: And so that, that’s what I recommend. Go find whatever you are into and build a business. 

[00:26:01] Brent: If you have a one kind of nugget of advice for somebody that’s wanting to start on this besides taking your course, what would you say to them? 

[00:26:10] Ben: Yeah, and just the kind of, I don’t think you need to take our, if you want to, great.

[00:26:13] Ben: We’d love to have you, but I think we have quite a few students in our Facebook group who have only listened to our podcast and they’ve built a real business that’s making decent money and That’s amazing. My goal is to. Help people change their life through e-commerce. The same way e-commerce changed my life.

[00:26:26] Ben: And so my advice would be just start you’re gonna learn. So I don’t understand why people are afraid to get going. If Brent, if you’ve never golfed in your entire life and you decided you’re gonna, you’re gonna go be a golfer, would you sit like months on end going, oh, what if I suck at this?

[00:26:40] Ben: What if I fail a call? Think no. You just go out there and you’d shank the ball around and it wouldn’t be fun, but you’d have a good time and you’d slowly get better. This is the same way you should treat business. So stop. Think. You are a failure. If it doesn’t work, first off, the business can be a failure, and the entrepreneur itself is not a failure, right?

[00:26:53] Ben: And so go in there, set up a Shopify store, start screwing around, run some ads, maybe make some sales, and then you might understand, oh, I, I kinda like serving this person versus this person. I kinda like selling these products versus these products. I kinda like working on big commerce over Shopify or whatever it is.

[00:27:06] Ben: Like you’re gonna learn a lot by doing. And if, yeah, my only advice would be just start, just get moving and iterate. 

[00:27:13] Brent: Yeah. And I just want to point out that my golf score and my bowling score are identical. You guys can take which one is good or bad. . Yeah. From a learning standpoint, I know that doing it for me there’s all kinds of different ways of learning, but I’m a big, I’m a big advocate of learning and doing at the same time, and I think that, You’ve hit it right on the nail right on the head, where that type of learning helps you to really see how it’s gonna ha what, what’s gonna happen in that, how you’re gonna get it done and how it’s gonna come out in the end.

[00:27:44] Brent: Last question in terms of this was I know that we, in the magenta world, we work a lot on say, firearms. Products that that aren’t like Google ads can’t serve up. Is there any model where that would work? Cbd, those type of products that say Google won’t work with or even sometimes PayPal won’t work with.

[00:28:05] Brent: Do you have any recommendations on those or just you’re clear 

[00:28:08] Ben: of them? Yeah, I think with what specifically I’m teaching, I would tell you to steer clear. On the other hand, the biggest revenue driver in any business is not gonna be your ads. So what we teach ads are definitely gonna get you started.

[00:28:20] Ben: You have to go acquire that customer first off. But if you aren’t like building SEO from day one, you’re doing yourself a disservice. And so whether you’re in CBD or firearms or wherever else which God only knows if Google suppresses that stuff too you have to get out there and create content.

[00:28:34] Ben: Now, I’m a big fan of seo. I think you should do it on your website. In this like retail environment when we’re, when we become a retailer, I take a drop show. You’re a retailer of brands. Creating collections that rank for a brand name is quite easy. You have a cluster built for you. The brand is the collection page, the products are the cluster content around it.

[00:28:49] Ben: And so it’s actually quite easy to do good SEO in an e-commerce store. Above and beyond that, you’re gonna want to also be someone who’s putting out best articles cuz you’re selling all the brands. So if you can put out the best standing desks of 2022, that’s gonna rank really well too. And then. Just loads of supporting content, right?

[00:29:05] Ben: Go to answer the public.com, put in your generic word standing desk and go look at all the questions everyone’s asking. Now. Go answer those on your blog. Go build content around that. Once that ball is rolling, it really turns into something amazing over time. But again, maybe you’re not a writer.

[00:29:20] Ben: Maybe you prefer like me to be behind a microphone or on camera, right? Gary V says, this salon, this is a world of content and so whether you want to. Or speak or be on camera, you’re gonna have to do one of those things to grow your business, in my opinion, or hire someone to do one of those things.

[00:29:33] Ben: And I don’t think it matters what in industry you’re in, that’s gonna be the biggest driver of traffic in your business versus ads. And so you should get started immediately. 

[00:29:41] Brent: Yeah. And I’ll just, I’ll second that, that we at Woto started a content Around magenta at the time, but Adobe Commerce now, five years ago and it, within the first year it took about a year to, for our SEO to start catching up.

[00:29:55] Brent: And it is a very competitive space. And, but that does work. And I know in WordPress they called Cornerstone content and HubSpot, they call it pillar content. But I think what you’re saying is that you have your product, then you start writing about that product and pointing all that content to that product.

[00:30:13] Brent: and I can test that. Yes. That, that SEO works. And we, one of our longtime clients was a gun seller down in South Carolina. The, if you are in that space, you’re all, nobody else can be using Google Ads. And so you are in, if you can do better at writing those articles, , you are gonna win it writing that.

[00:30:32] Brent: So that’s great advice. I 

[00:30:34] Ben: just pulled up a really good example of it if you don’t mind me sharing, so yeah, go for it. One business I was part of that, we worked on this the first year. The site got 7% of its traffic, 7,000 users via SEL for $0 revenue. In year number two, 27% of the users, 76,000 people came for $854,000 in revenue.

[00:30:55] Ben: Year three. As we continue to compound here, 43% of the users now came from seo, which was almost a quarter million people that resulted in 2.27 million in revenue. And so it just continues to grow and grow as you put the time in and do things right. Don’t do things crappy. Don’t go buy bad links, put out really good content and play the long game here and I promise you it’ll pay dividends.

[00:31:17] Brent: Yeah, and I think you, I think earlier you also mentioned just testing it, making sure that your con what whatever you have on that page, your product display. Maybe doing some eBay AB testing on that. And even in Google you could do AB testing on those things. There’s so many things that you as a user, that as you dig in and especially if it turns into your for full-time job, like you said if you’re not moving forward you’re moving backwards.

[00:31:41] Brent: That’s a good good advice there. Ben, as we close out the podcast, I give everybody a chance to do a shameless plug. What would you like to plug? 

[00:31:49] Ben: Yeah, I think if you’re listening to this, you’re a podcast junkie, as am I. So just go check out our podcast. Like I I think you’ll enjoy the banter between myself and my Australian partner, John.

[00:31:57] Ben: I like to make fun of the words. He says he likes to make fun of the big orange guy in this country. And maybe you’ll enjoy that, but we literally give away the entire business model. You started episode one. It’s what is drop shipping? What is high ticket drop shipping, high ticket versus low ticket?

[00:32:07] Ben: If you start at episode one, you’re gonna learn this entire business model from us. And then if you decide. Work with us further. Obviously the information’s in there, but I would just say start with the podcast. It’s called Drop Shit Podcast and you can find it on any of your favorite players.

[00:32:19] Brent: Great. Now, we’ll put all those links in the show notes today. Ben, thanks for being here. It’s been a great conversation. Yeah, thanks for having me. 

Neil Twa

Amazon FBA and starting a business

This week we interview Neil Twa. Neil is an executive mentor to business owners responsible for over $100M in Collective FBA Sales. He has helped to launch, grow, and scale 7 and 8 figure, high ROI Brands. He is the CEO of Voltage Holdings which launches, operates, scales, and acquires ecommerce brands with a focus on Amazon FBA. He owns multiple ventures including Voltage Portfolios. His partners include Kevin Harrington, the original shark on the hit TV series Shark Tank and the inventor of the infomercial. He has sold 1000’s of products leading to over $5 Billion in sales. He focuses’ on buying ecommerce brands to take them direct-to-consumer across multiple channels. We discuss how you can get started on a new business selling on Amazon, with little to no experience, and how you can take your existing business to Amazon FBA and automate the delivery of your products. This is a great conversation around why a business needs to embrace all channels and even why a business needs to sell some branded products!