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Become an Expert Amazon Salesperson With Isaac Kuhlman

Click here to download the episode. 

  • How to grow and sell on Amazon
  • Ad strategies
  • Promotional email campaigns
  • Use your Amazon store as your own website
  • Create your own sales funnels on Amazon 

Apply To Work With Wes

  • Amazon is mainly for physical products or digital copies of items like books but they do have referral programs for selling services
  • Function vs. fashion focus
  • Test your audience's interest with an Amazon offer
  • I could start a health & wellness line since I'm an active guy
  • Three stages
    • Before
    • During
    • After
  • Follow your passion to launch your Amazon store
Make money while you sleep, or work until you die."
  • Private labeling is a great way to grow
  • Get your messaging and marketing right
  • Optimize your listings according to the rules of Amazon

Related Posts:

  • Amazon helps you know what your customers want
  • Source your products affordably
  • Get visible on page one via research—demand, competition—so you know what it will take to launch profitably
  • May need a 3PL (third party logistics company) at first
  • Nothing is truly "passive income," but it can make you money around the clock
  • This takes less capital than starting a traditional business, but it does take time and money
  • Search for private label suppliers for supplements
  • Probably sell what's already selling, but have a unique twist/improvement
  • Amazon will hold onto your funds at first to confirm you're legitimate
  • You can outsell Amazon on their own products because who wants "Amazon Basics"?
  • People trust the better branding you can create
  • You can compete with the big guys with better marketing and branding
  • Hire overseas sourcing agents
  • Cut out the middle man
  • Figure out your exit strategy

Join The ClubLinks Mentioned In The Sales Podcast

  • Visit Isaac's website to master your Amazon sales at Go Team Real

Isaac Kuhlman GMT20210301-190619_Wes-Schaef.m4a: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Isaac Kuhlman GMT20210301-190619_Wes-Schaef.m4a: this m4a audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Wes Schaeffer:
Isaac Kuhlman, going to show us how to sell mo' better on Amazon -- all the way from Vegas. Welcome to The Sales Podcast, man. How the heck are you?

Isaac Kuhlman:
Pretty good. Thanks for having me, Wes. It's great to be here.

Wes Schaeffer:
So do I really need to be on Amazon, you know? Come on. I think it's a flash in the pan. I don't think they're going to be around very long. What do you think?

Isaac Kuhlman:
Yes. I mean, there's lots of ways to make money. Let's put it -- put it that way. But one of the ways that we've seen to be very successful with the least amount of probably working capital has been to create an Amazon business. And there's multiple different ways to do it. The way that we do it is through private label brands and we see high return on investment, high profitability. And the sky's the limit really for how you do that.

So, I mean, you can go out and do any kind of business model you want. It just depends on how you allocate your money and how much work you want to put in. But, yeah, I mean, it's definitely not going anywhere. COVID told kind of showed us exactly how necessary Amazon is as a business model and as a company itself. And third-party sellers make up more sales than Amazon does on its own platform.

Wes Schaeffer:
Right. Are they like a necessary evil? Because I've heard -- hell, I was selling on Amazon. I was reselling a very hard to find sales book that I had access to way back in. I don't even know, man, 2008.

Isaac Kuhlman:

Wes Schaeffer:
And so it's like a love-hate. What I hated was they wouldn't give me the contact's info, right? I had -- I was doing the mailing, so I got their name and their physical address, but I had to create little bonuses, little incentives I'd slip in the book to hopefully get them to go to my website and I could find out who they were. But I remember like I just had a thank-you email that, like, mentioned a URL and, man, back in 2008 Amazon was slapping me. So, I mean, like I said, are they a necessary evil?

Isaac Kuhlman:
Well, let me put it this way, because there's going to be a difference between what you as somebody who might want to be and what we call an Internet marketer or to market via lists versus somebody who wants to create a business that will actually create income within the platform.

So I don't want to say that you can't do both, because you can. And I won't say that one's better than the other because you can make tons of money doing either. What we want people to focus on is trying to simplify the Amazon business model to where you work through Amazon's guidelines and you can make an income that you don't have a cap on. You can create an endless amount of money for yourself through their platform. In that sense, yeah, they have structure, they have rules. They have different things you can and can't do.

And 100 percent, they can be a burden if you want to do some of these other things, like create an email list that then turns into a upsell list or whatever you want to use that for. But if you just focused on what are the high impact tasks for an Amazon business, we actually don't tell people to do any of that stuff because you can work on Amazon and create everything.

They've got their own ad strategies now. They've got -- and actually this is just literally brand new, like, it showed up like yesterday or the day before, where they're actually allowing you now to do promotional email campaigns, which they usually said, don't send emails. They're going to allow you to basically use your store as your own website, and they're going to allow you to do sales funnels to that store through their system.

So this is something they're rolling out to brand owners now. And while they're keeping the information kind of on their side, they're allowing it to do everything you want to do. And they're trying to streamline and kind of put it all on their system, which for most people, that makes it easier because then they'll have to go learn how to drive traffic to their website. They don't have to learn how to do promotional campaigns through an email list of their own and all that stuff.

So they don't have to find ways to get their Amazon customers to that list. Their Amazon customers are now that list through Amazon. So there's some things rolling out and everything kind of changes on Amazon. In 2008 I can tell you, I started selling in 2013 and that's eight years ago. Even since then, things have drastically changed about what you can or can't do, what things they've put in there, what new tools you have available on the site, what brand protection you can have, all these other things.

So they are working with third-party sellers -- and my business partner, Kirsty and I, we actually sat down with some people from Amazon about three, four years ago to have a conversation about how they can improve their platform; and lo and behold now it's these many years later and they're starting to actually put that stuff together. So it's not saying that we drove that, but we were just another voice that was telling them the same thing, that you need to kind of let this be kind of more accessible for third-party sellers; we're the ones kind of driving your platform these days. Your products don't pick up as much slack as we do. So let's make it easier, not harder. And so they kind of took that on board and they've been making these changes. It's a massive company, so it's slow to roll out. But they're making these changes. And I think now it's much easier to actually work through their system than to try to go off Amazon and try to build all your own assets out.

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah. So who can or should have -- be on Amazon? I mean, do I need an Amazon store? I sell my books on Amazon, but I mean, can I sell a digital sales training program on Amazon and do it in my own storefront for that?

Isaac Kuhlman:
Most of the time, as far as I know, everything is a physical product. There are some services that have been equated to the physical products that have also reached through the Amazon. So like, for example, if you need a TV installed in your house, they'll have like a service company come to your house and that company is linked to that sale. But I haven't seen anything like, digital training course or anything like that. However, they do have like referral programs, if you need, like, you know how to track your rankings.

They've got referral companies that actually do those tools. If you need help with your taxes, they have referral companies. So there are things like that where you can connect through the Amazon platform to do that. But you're not selling anything on Amazon.com, per se. You're selling to the sellers who are on Amazon.com and selling our Amazon UK or whatever. But for most people, it's physical products or digital versions of that same thing. So like a book, but like an audio book or something like that. So digital media or physical products, we we mostly are talking about when I say private label brands, physical products, branded physical products.

And we specifically think that there's great margins and things that have function versus fashion, meaning if the thing -- if you buy something and it just works, that's going to be a much better, much easier product to sell our brand of products than, say, something that looks good but only a certain amount of people think that it looks good.

So if you're saying, hey, I sell this T-shirt that says have a great day on it, but only a certain amount of people want to buy, have a great day. Some people will be like f- you or whatever; that's the shirt they want to buy. So there's opposing. It's the same t-shirt, same function. But because it has fashion involved, you're not going to attract the same people. So we try to think about more things that have functionality versus fashion.

Some of them have like a fashion twist, but that's the kind of products we're talking about and that's the kind of businesses we would be helping people set up and run.

Wes Schaeffer:
So as a sales trainer and CRM guy, I mean, what would I sell or should I just like -- and I've got an interest in, like knives or interest in jujitsu. I mean, should I make a jujitsu store, because it's this more tangible versus -- because just reselling or recommending somebody else -- once you buy my book, okay, well, what else? Well, there's a thousand other sales books I could be selling; is that even viable as like a referral partner?

Isaac Kuhlman:
Yeah. So for example, like people who are doing training or books or whatever, we've worked with people and I've actually partner with people in the past who were essentially Internet marketers. And what they did was they said, okay, I want to test my audience to physical products and just see if that's something that can work. So essentially what they'll do is they'll say, what am I interested or what is my audience interested in? And they'll tie something to that.

So, for example, say, well, you've built up a list that, yeah, they're sales entrepreneurs, but they're kind of drawn to you because you have kind of a military or jujitsu or you kind of have like this different kind of like athletic or fit kind of attitude and say, okay, look, you know what? I'm going to do a health and wellness line on Amazon, because I know entrepreneurs actually want to do something like that. They're always looking to stay fit or to stay active. And at least my audience is anyway. And that's kind of where we're going.

So you might say, hey, you do like certain actual exercise products on Amazon. You might have recovery products, you might have pre-training products, because really with everything, there's kind of three stages of using a product. There's before using it, during using it, and after using it. Even anything that you can think of, pretty much that's the case. So you really kind of thinking about would that be something that I want to do? So a lot of people can go out and sell -- I shouldn't say a lot of people go and sell books.

I mean, a lot of people can go on to write a book; that doesn't mean they're going to sell it very well or be very good at it. They can write a book. They can put it on Amazon and hope that somebody comes to it. But you're kind of stuck to that. You have to have the following to drive the traffic to Amazon to get there. They're not just going to put you on the number one bestseller list just because you wrote a book.

So with Amazon products, it's a little different because you can drive a lot of that that visibility using their ad system, using some of these services out there that help you get visibility and you can drive that books. It's not quite as easy because they kind of put a lot of restrictions on what you can do with your books anyway.

But yeah, so you can do that with physical products and you can actually drive your visibility and use that platform to kind of make this launch process really easy and kind of systematic. So, yeah, if you're like, hey, maybe there's not a lot of things that you can use during jujitsu, but how do you get stretched for jujitsu properly? How do you get -- recover from jujitsu properly? So you've got products around that perhaps or whatever you might do. But yeah, that's exactly right. I mean, you usually go by a passion that you're good at about, and then you kind of pick the products in the brand and develop it from there.

Wes Schaeffer:
So would I need to, like, white label my own stuff or just be a reseller?

So we talk about, yeah, white labeling is essentially what we call private labeling, basically the same concept of, you take, calf stretcher,for example; thing that you might roll your calfs out or stretch your calves out. That might be your product. So it'd be, Wes' BJJ is like the brand name, so it'd be Wes' BJJ Calf Stretcher. And that would be the brand. That would be the messaging. You know the audience better than the next guy because you know exactly why they're using it for this particular instance. And you got to get your marketing messaging right. You got to get your branding right. You got to get your images right, all that kind of stuff. Because on Amazon, unlike most other communications and sales forms you -- like you know this. When you write an email, it's you have the ability to write like a very detailed email. You can touch on pain points, how you can solve their problems, and you can be sales-y in that way. On Amazon you can't do that because all you've got is a listing and you just have to make that listing better than the rest of the listings.

You have some structure around it. You have limitations on what you can put in there and how many words you can say. So you have to know your ideal client very, very well. And I'd say that's probably the one thing that if even for your guys who listen to this podcast versus anybody who's already selling on Amazon, when you go to sales, sales kind of go across everything.

But the really good thing is with Amazon is you get really good at knowing what your customer wants before they say it. Like in an email, you can say, hey, just respond to this and let me know what your biggest issues are. And then you go back and forth and find a way to fill in the gaps; whereas on Amazon, you just have to pre-know exactly what they're looking for. So you get really good at this, knowing your ideal client and understanding the problems, their benefits and understanding how you can help them solve that with the products.

Wes Schaeffer:
Interesting. So, okay. Let's say I want this calf stretcher here.

Isaac Kuhlman:
By the way, I don't know that that's a real thing. I'm just assuming it is.

Wes Schaeffer:
I don't know, I need a hamstring stretcher. So let's say we're getting a hamstring stretcher -- not a hamster stretcher. So do I have to go buy 1000 of them and store this big container and take over my garage and move my cars out and get a divorce attorney because my wife's mad at me? How do I get this Sales Whisperer Hamstring Stretcher at a reasonable price with my fancy logo on it?

Isaac Kuhlman:
Yeah. So, I mean, obviously what we try to do is we definitely get our products sourced from usually Southeast Asia, China, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, something like that. They manufacture things very easily there. They have a very good system there.

You can absolutely get them sourced anywhere. It depends on your products. And some products are going to source in Western countries like the United States, Canada, Mexico, UK, even for the majority of consumer goods. I mean, you look around everything like you touch pretty much is made in China. So that's where the easiest manufacturing is. Now, do you need to order 1,000? It depends on the product. It depends on what you're selling. It depends on demand; depends on what your goals are.

But essentially, our goal is to be visible on page one for main keywords for each product. So for "hamstring stretch" or if that's what you're selling, you want to be on page one of hamstring stretchers. So what you got to do is do some research there, see what the current demand is, see what the current volumes are and competition level; ad then we basically put together a spreadsheet that you put in some -- you input some data through it and it'll tell you how many you have to launch, like how many units you have to order to actually launch this properly and be successful; essentially, how much you're going to make, how much profit, ROI -- even after ads, we can help estimate your ad costs and how much money you're going to make each month in income versus just how much money the product will make.

And we put this all together so that we can understand how to order the product before it's ever even purchased before you place an order with your supplier, you know how much money you're going to get. So we put all this together. Some products might take 800, some products might take 2,700, some products might take 5,000. And then it's based on your budget. But the idea here is that we're not sending it all to our house and saying, hey, this is what we've got to do. We got to fulfill these orders ourself. Amazon actually has a system where you pretty much can send the goods trading to Amazon. N ow, right now they have -- sorry, there's dogs barking there.

Wes Schaeffer:
All good. Right now I have kids barking, dogs talking. It's all --

Isaac Kuhlman:
So they have this like COVID restriction basically right now for new products that you can only send in a couple hundred. But that's temporary. We expect that to be lifted. But ideally, basically, you can send it straight in to Amazon. You might have to get like a three-person logistics company, a 3PL, that can hold it for a little while you grow your inventory element. But basically, yeah, our biggest thing is we're not trying to do the work ourselves. We want to be as hands off as possible. We just want to make sure that we inspect our stuff, make sure it's good quality, make sure we know exactly what we're doing, why we're selling this, who were selling it to and then just get it into Amazon's ecosystem and just let that work itself out.

So we don't want to be people working from our garage. That's not our goal. We want to be entrepreneurs that make money while we sleep. And that's the best thing that Amazon can do. Warren Buffett said if you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you work until you die. And that was one thing that when I heard that, I was like, yeah, because, you're trading time for money no matter what you do, except for if things are happening when you're not even doing it. So on Amazon, you get sales all throughout the day, whether you're at your computer or not, whether you're thinking about it or not.

People say it's like passive income, but there's no such thing to me as passive income unless you're doing investments. Even that you would require yourself to look into things, keep up with it. So, yeah, it can grow on its own and make you money on its own, but you still have to work. Amazon business itself does require work. So it's not a get-rich-quick scheme. It's not one of these passive income strategies. It is an investment business, just like if you open a restaurant, you have to do the work. But unlike a restaurant where you have to stay open all the time or you'd actually have to then go in and work there, Amazon, you just you can sell all the time, all through the day, no matter the holidays or whatever, keep selling. And you can do that in multiple marketplaces now as well.

Wes Schaeffer:
Right. So I'm glad you mentioned that because everybody's looking for the quick fix, the silver bullet. It's like, regardless, this is going to take thousands of dollars and some time. I mean, if I can order 1,000 hamstring stretchers for just $5, I mean, that's $5000 jump right there, plus the lead time, plus the development, plus the marketing, and blah -- I mean, this could take months to launch, right?

Isaac Kuhlman:
100 percent. And we want everybody to make sure that they have clear expectations because there are people out there that say you can start with $500 and make a million-dollar business. And I would say the chances of you doing that is like winning the lottery. I mean, it's not very common. You need to have capital investment. We say 10, $15,000 is ideal. You can do with more; you can do with a little bit less. But it's just like any business model. But you need a lot less. For example, if you're starting a real estate company and you just decided, hey, I'm going to need $200,000 to start buying homes and flipping them, that's a lot more money, right? You want to start a McDonald's franchise, you need 2 or $3 million. You want to open your own restaurant, you probably need a quarter of a million dollars.

These are different strategies out there to make businesses. But Amazon, it's a fraction of that. And you can get started pretty quickly because you don't have to go through like full business training. But we would say go through some sort of training and get some mentorship on this because you want to find people who can help you out when you're getting stuck. And that's that's a problem that most people don't understand is that they think they can watch some stuff on YouTube, go out there, spend $5,000 or $3,000, put it on Amazon and it's going to work. You might get some sales, but you're not going to get an income that you can rely on and you're not going to do this thing very successfully unless you know kind of all the strategy that you need to put into place.

Wes Schaeffer:
It's a joke we always make in jujitsu; it's like, you'd better watch out, man, I've been watching YouTube videos this weekend.

Isaac Kuhlman:
YouTube Blackbelt.

Wes Schaeffer:
Let's see how this works out. Mike Tyson, right? Everybody's got a plan until they get punched in the face.

Isaac Kuhlman:

Wes Schaeffer:
So, like, how how do people get started? I've never made a physical product. I mean, I would love to make -- you mention supplements. I'm almost 51; man, I'm testing everything because, like, I'm just -- I'm sore. It's longer to recover. It's like, welcome to middle age. And so if I found like a great -- what am I looking for -- prescription --.

Isaac Kuhlman:

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah. I mean I'd love to resell it but I've literally never done any of that. How does somebody even get started?

Isaac Kuhlman:
Yeah. Well, I mean, you don't look a day over 35, first of all. So you're looking pretty good for your --

Wes Schaeffer:
Your episode's going right -- I'm canceling everybody; we're publishing tomorrow and I'm quoting you.

Isaac Kuhlman:
Yeah. So I think the idea here is, say, like a supplement, for example, there's going to be certain differences between that and a physical product like like I sell an ice scraper, for example, I get the ice scraper. It's a plastic mold. I sell that thing. It does great in the winter. It doesn't do so well in the summer. I know this is a seasonal product.

A supplement, it's going to have a little bit more strict rules around it because it is ingested. So for us, what we would say is like you can literally Google search, type in "private label suppliers", "joint supplements" or something like that, and you'll get a handful or a couple of pages of results of people that manufacture this stuff. And we I've sold supplements myself in the past and I have a handful of contacts there. So then you go to them and you kind of say, here's what I'm looking for. Here's the kind of thing I need in order to sell this on Amazon. And ideally, you'd sell something that currently exists, not like some brand new thing that people aren't looking for, because that's how Amazon sales are created; is like, If you said, hey, I'm going to create a big toe formula that only helps the big toe for recovering people.

Like I don't think anyone is looking for a big toe formula. It's like overall joint support or any support or ankle support, something that's more common, I would think. So people whatever they're typing in, that's what you're the kind of thing you're looking to sell. You might just create a better version of it or a slightly different formula, maybe doesn't have any inactive ingredients or doesn't have any fillers or whatever; it's all organic. And you just say that to your suppliers and you say, okay, give me a quote on this. They come back with a quote. You'd say, here's how many I need in order to get started based on what we tell you to put in the spreadsheet and how much you need to launch based on the volume and the demand in the competition out there. And then that's how many order.

You may -- maybe it's 2,000 and your quote is like 350, so you're looking at $7,000 in cost of goods. The good thing is with those products different than ones that you get from China is you don't have to ship them across the sea. So your freight cost is a lot cheaper. Your lead times are a lot faster as well. So supplements, a lot of people do go into supplements because they're kind of like they think that that's the easy way to do it because they don't have to work from another country. The difference is, is because so many people do that, supplements tend to be very competitive on Amazon and you need to be really, really good and have deep pockets.

So we always tell people, look, you can sell anything on Amazon you want and you can do it successfully. You just have to have the money to do it because you can get there. And obviously it might take a little bit longer to get there for like a page one of a supplement. But if you have $100,000 is going to be a lot easier. You're going to be a lot more -- give yourself a better chance than somebody who's starting with $5,000 on supplements.

Other products out there, they're not so competitive. So we say, hey, look, if you're in this niche, for example, maybe health and wellness, but it's not supplements, you go out there and find products, hamstring stretcher, big toe stretcher, whatever it is. These ones might not be so competitive as a supplement, for example.

Wes Schaeffer:
Right. How does Amazon know that the stuff is safe and I'm not just packaging up poison? Expired stuff?

Isaac Kuhlman:
I mean, I will tell you that Amazon doesn't entirely know. They do require their sellers to have certain things. Now, do they check it? Do they enforce it? Not really. Like they say you're supposed to have, I think it's like $250,000 product liability insurance for your products. I've never seen them email me and ask me for that. I've never been provided -- told to provide any proof for that.

There's a lot of people out there that will sell counterfeit products of what they say is the same thing, but it's completely not -- doesn't have the same packaging, doesn't even look the same, might not be the same color. And people do that. The kind of thing that runs itself, like it kind of moderates itself in a sense that customers immediately start knowing that it's a bad product and that supplier or that seller gets shut down pretty quickly once they're found out.

Does that mean they can't make some money in the meantime? Potentially. But Amazon does hold their funds until they kind of confirm that they're selling properly. So for your first couple of months and first couple of weeks, you won't see a disbursement unless like you've made a lot of money, you might see a little bit. But in the end, if you don't like, essentially sell properly, they'll actually take that money and reimburse all the customers or they'll actually put it back into the Amazon ecosystem somehow, but they won't actually pay you for it.

So there are things built in the system that kind of stop people, but there's nothing no, I wouldn't say any inspection process to see what's good and what's bad. And maybe they don't even know the difference. And for -- if you don't know, there's like actual robots at these factories, at these warehouses, actually stocking shelves a lot of time. So they're not obviously looking at what products are being put in the shelves and what's not. Only the human beings that kind of pull things out of boxes would know that, but they don't know what -- they don't know the active ingredients in these things or anything like that. So it's down to withholding money I think is the biggest key factor for Amazon to stop that kind of selling.

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah. What's the protection against getting ripped off? You know, I buy this one gi called Origin, because this guy, he was making gis, and he went overseas -- they're all made in Pakistan, I guess -- and his manufacturer stole his design. He literally saw his design with another patch on it at a tournament. He's like, dude, where'd you get that? And I've heard some bad stories. Amazon sees a popular seller, "Oh, hamstring stretchees. Oh, well, we'll make our own Amazon-branded hamstring stretchers." I mean, does that happen?

Isaac Kuhlman:
It does happen. Amazon -- what I'll say is Amazon doesn't even do a very good job of selling their own products. You can outsell them quite easily. I mean, they call their stuff like Amazon Basics, for example. Like that's not a very good brand name, in my opinion, because people don't want the basic version of something. They want the best version of something; the best value. So for a lot of people, they're going to buy a brand that's trusted, that has good reviews, that has a good marketing message, that has decent looking packaging, a good logo, that kind of stuff, because it seems trustworthy.

And that's just how we've been kind of brought up in this American capitalistic country of this is how you do it. People go to the store, they buy Advil; they don't buy the generic ibuprofen as much. Sure people do. People that are savvy enough to understand that they have the same ingredient and they're going to work exactly the same. But in the end, people trust Advil because it's been around for 60-plus years or however long it's been around and they know that it works. Their mom used it or their dad used it and they've they've used it since they were a kid. Tylenol, the same thing. Right. It's the same concept now. The difference here is you're not building or you don't have the consistent global trust that brands like those have.

The difference is that you're being put right next to them in Amazon and you can compete on price, you can compete with your messaging, your reviews. And so as long as you look as good or better than some of these big name brands, you can sell equally as well or better than any brand on Amazon. And as far as the brand protection stuff, you can patent stuff and you can get trademark designs. And yeah, your your factory can be a piece of crap like that. Sometimes there's not a lot of legal ways to get your rights protected in another country.

You can do it. There are ways to do it. It's a little bit more costly, a lot of admin work. But for example, if you want to make sure that your Chinese factory or your Pakistani factory is doing the right thing by you, you can get a lawyer to draw up a contract in both languages and make sure that this is done properly. We don't necessarily say that you have to do that. Absolutely if you're putting in a lot of money and that investment is a big deal to you, then you can do that. We just tend to work with pretty good, reputable sources.

Now, Alibaba has a website that you can find a lot of these factories on it. I actually don't use Alibaba. I actually work with a sourcing agent who's in China. And I let her use her common sense a lot to find good factories. And if she -- she's pretty good at smelling BS. And when you get people that work with you like that, you don't have to worry about this as much because when they say something like, oh, yeah, it's going to take a couple of extra weeks to find the material, you're like, well, that doesn't sound like a factory that knows what the hell's going on.

If you can't even find the material, like you just said, you could get this in 15 days and now you've said it's going to take two weeks to get the material. These are kind of like red flags that go up. So, yeah, we work with people on the ground there that kind of can fish out these these scams. And there's not as many in China because China is kind of a strict country, to be honest with you. And if they start being seen as a fraudulent country -- and this is kind of a big deal for India. They've had that issue in the past, like PayPal wouldn't be in India. A lot of other companies wouldn't go to India because they had like all these scam artists and these call centers running scams out of there.

If China had that issue, they would know that they're not going to be able to be the global manufacturing leader anymore because people would be scared to do this. So China's government even cracks down on this stuff and basically will give them the full penalty of the law. And that I don't know if that means they disappear or what happens. But, yeah, you just know that they're going to try their best in a lot of the scenario, and they do have kind of mediation systems within certain websites if you want to go through them like Alibaba, you can actually put in a trade assurance I think is called. So if you give them money, you kind of give them money based on them reaching milestones. And Alibaba, you can dispute it if Alibaba if you say, hey, they didn't do what they're supposed to do, you can get that money back. So there are some safeguards out there.

But, yeah, I mean, the biggest thing is that the fact that you would think -- if you even think that before you go into it, it's helpful to kind of establish some sort of ground rules with suppliers and stuff. And that's kind of what the sourcing agent does very well.

Wes Schaeffer:
Mm-hmm. Have you seen any pushback from using overseas vendors, with COVID? Because I've seen articles talking about like racism and attacks against Asian-Americans, whatever, is up since COVID; and then others are like, buy American and blah, blah, blah. And people always say that. But then they're like, oh, well, I can buy American for $25 or I can buy this overseas product for $7; uh, yeah, I'm not so patriotic all of a sudden.

Isaac Kuhlman:
You hit the nail on the head. I call it "they're patriotic until it comes to their wallet."

Wes Schaeffer:

Isaac Kuhlman:
So I mean it, it'd be great if companies can manufacture at a reasonable manufacturing cost here in the United States. If you could even contact suppliers in an easy way, if there was any sort of system for us to actually manufacture stuff in a global way like China does, 100 percent, I'd say, look to source in the United States, look to selling assets. I've tried myself. I asked them I asked a couple of companies to find me ways to get a plastic ice scraper, high quality with a foam handle and built kind of like the one I have, or even exactly like the one I have. The one I get in China is $0.72; the one that I got quoted was $7 in the United States. And I was like, I can't sell that. That's my selling price.

So you're telling me I have to sell -- I have to buy it from you at my selling price, essentially. So there was just -- it's not even possible. And if I went out and try to sell like literally an ice scraper that's seven or eight inches for $20, I would sell -- I would never get a sale. So "that's patriotic until it comes to your wallet" is kind of the idea that is kind of prevalent, ongoing concept for sales on any website.

The good thing about Amazon and the difference being that in a retail store, though, is that you're not paying a third-party necessarily. So you don't have to sell it to Wal-Mart, you don't have to sell it to Target, where they're going to take their cut and then they're going to increase the price again. You actually are the manufacturer and you get to sell directly to the consumer. So that is a big difference between what we do and what retail stores do. Retail stores are kind of -- they're buying it from two or three extra people and so they have to jack up the price.

So my ice scraper at Target, unless they got some really, really, really good deal, is going to be like $12 or $9.99, where I can sell it on Amazon for a couple of dollars less because it's direct-to-consumer. Got to pay some commissions to Amazon, but it's not nearly like what you would pay through all these other middlemen and and driving the price up through a retail store. So that's where a lot of people say prices are cheaper on Amazon. They're not for global brands like Tide because people are just reselling that stuff and trying to get a profit.

But they offer essentially private label brands like what we do because we can go direct to a supplier, get the exact same quality stuff, put our brand on it and sell it directly on Amazon for a lot less.

Wes Schaeffer:
Mm-hmm. I've been an Amazon affiliate forever, primarily like books. I have an author on, whatever, I'll link to their Amazon book, but I don't make anything. Is that just not a very viable way or you just need like a mega list to make that work in any meaningful amount?

Isaac Kuhlman:
There is ways to do it. People have done it and done it pretty successfully. I'd say it's not as common and it's not as easy. And I know like selling physical products sounds like it's complicated and it is. But building a list of consumers who then are driven to a site that then goes to Amazon and you become an Amazon affiliate. It's a big endeavor and it's basically an entire learning system and its own kind of microcosm of a world itself.

So, yeah, you can do it that way. And there are websites out there that actually do this, where you can just link -- a lot of a lot of ways that they do it. There'll be like "The 10 best versions of something for 2021." So they'll write an article for that. They'll have 10 products on there, they'll write it, and then those things will actually be the things that they shop for and get affiliate commissions for on Amazon. I've had people contact me about, hey, we put you on our top 10 of this thing for the year, make sure to share it with people. So they're just trying to drive their affiliate commissions.

And those strategies can work, and if you do enough of them, you can make some money. It's a lot of work. You have to be kind of creative with that stuff, especially with article writing. If you're not a writer, you're probably going to struggle with that. If you don't write good copy, you're not going to be very good with affiliate because that is the core of affiliate stuff, is writing good copy to drive sales. So there is ways to do that, for sure, and it's a different strategy.

But again, Amazon's built this sales and purchasing entire world, that there's -- you might think of it like big fish, little fish, krill at the bottom; there's different ways to survive in it and make a living and there's just different methods and everybody's got their own way. Wholesaling is another one; arbitrage is another one. Lots of different things out there. And services -- again, like everything kind of revolves around it. And if you find the right thing that you want to do, then, yeah. But for us, we found that the thing that's systematic and scalable is building private label brands on Amazon.

Wes Schaeffer:
Mm-hmm. So who do you help? Brand new people to get started? Existing people to get optimized? Both?

Isaac Kuhlman:
Yeah. So actually when we first started, we were actually working specifically with people that currently had businesses helping them scale and grow and get to where they wanted to go. Over the years, we've built out some training to help people get started. Our core thing is no matter if you're brand new to Amazon or if you're making a million dollars on Amazon or beyond, you're going to have issues getting to where you want to go. And we know exactly where you're at because we've done it. We know exactly how to get to the next step and how to get you to your result.

So if your result is I want to get my first product launch on Amazon, I want to make $5,000 in sales a month off it, we'll help you get there. If your current business is doing $50,000 a month on Amazon, but you're not making much profit and you want to take an income will help you find out how to do that. Maybe your products just don't get you profit. Or maybe you've run your ads way too -- blown your ads way out and you're not spending what you should on them, we'll help you figure that out. We'll also help you scale.

We've had people literally -- like, one guy was doing $125,000 a month in sales, doing pretty well. He was paying himself a ten-figure income every month. So ten thousand dollars every single -- sorry, not ten figure. Five figure --

Wes Schaeffer:
Sign me up.

Isaac Kuhlman:
Yeah, $10,000 a month in income, which is pretty good living. And he was like, okay, I don't know how to scale this thing because I only have like four products but we were like, okay, well your conversion rates on your products are terrible. They're like 10 percent. If we can just get them to 20 percent, that doubles your business. And sure enough, on his top-selling product, his conversion rates doubled. They went from like 11 to 22 and he ended up going from $125,000 to about $230,000 the very next month. So these are things that can be kind of done.

And when that kind of explosion happens, those are things that you can take and you can implement them on every product and then you can build in scale more products and more marketplaces, go to the UK, go to Canada or wherever and build those out and build an actual global empire kind of thing. And there's actually people out there, Thrasio is one of these companies, there's a couple of few other ones, Empire Flippers, that buy and sell Amazon businesses, brands just like ours.

So if you get to a point where you're like, hey, I'm making $2 million in sales a year, my earnings are $600,000, you could potentially sell your business for $1.5 million and walk away and do whatever you want with that money. Because we always say, look, I'm not going to sell on Amazon for the rest of my life. It's a thing that I'm doing now to help leverage to get to maybe another thing. Nobody wants to just keep selling on Amazon. So you have to have an exit strategy, whether it's sell your business -- a lot of people say, oh, I'm going to build this legacy for my kids and they're going to take it over. You might want to ask your kids that because they might have no intention on wanting to build this business and don't care whether they're on Amazon or not.

So whatever it is, you should have an exit strategy for any business you're in. I don't care if it's Internet marketing, if it's building or running your own restaurant, at some point you'll want to stop. So understand how you build to a point where you can get out of that thing at maximum valuation as well. And that's another way we help people.

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah. Cool. So you've got a website, GoTeamREAL.com.

Isaac Kuhlman:
Yep, Go on the website, we got some free training, we got podcasts. We've got blogs; got some really cool free information there. You can check it out if you're interested in learning about selling on Amazon. Definitely check it out. There's some really good business concepts within this; we just apply it to Amazon. So even if you just want to understand, hey, maybe just pick up some things and apply it to my own business, absolutely, you can check it out. But really, what we are looking for is people who are getting serious about wanting to start their own brand or think that it's a good opportunity. You check out why you could see kind of how it works and what it takes. And there's no pressure to ever work with us. There's no pressure to ever start an Amazon business. But if that's something that interests you, feel free to check it out and go to GoTeamREAL.com.

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah. So I'm looking here. I mean, you've worked with over a thousand business owners -- Amazon owners. Got some real -- I love that you have real -- you have pictures and their full name, not like "Chris S." -- real people, real results. So that's real cool, man.

Isaac Kuhlman:
Yeah. And we have videos from people -- I mean, the one thing I will tell people is find people who help you all along the journey, because what we don't want is you to pay us money, then you go through some training and then disappear. We want you to come back to us and ask us questions because we work with you forever. Through our programs we work with you forever.

So we want you to continuously ask us questions and use us to leverage us to get you to the result because we're a results-driven business. If we didn't get results for our clients, we couldn't talk to you today, Wes. We couldn't go help other people. We wouldn't be where we are because we need our customers and our clients to get where they want to go. Otherwise, what's the point of us being here?

We're coaches. We're not a training program. Like if we just put videos on YouTube or put a training course out and said, here, go watch these, there's not a very high success rate there because most people will watch it and never implement it. We're actually working physically with people; just like Phil Jackson tells Michael Jordan, hey, you got to pass the ball to Scotty when he's open; you got to hit John Paxson in the corner when you get three -- you get triple teamed. These are people telling the best at their position in the world. Michael Jordan doesn't have to listen to Phil Jackson, but he did. And guess what? Then he won six championships.

Tiger Woods had Hank Haney, Butch Harmon, and all these guys helping him with the swing. Why would the greatest golfer of all time need somebody's help to, like, look at his swing and fix it or do anything? This is how business isn't -- anything that you want to optimize works. You need somebody outside looking at what you're doing and telling you how to fix along the way. And that's the difference between what we do and what a training course can do. They won't tell you what you're doing and how you're doing it wrong. We will.

Wes Schaeffer:
Very cool. I like what I'm seeing here; show some of the podcasts you've been on, clicking around, so -- man, this is cool. It's not a silver bullet, but it is a bullet that can -- put in the gun, at least; multiple streams of income. And if you've been dabbling -- honestly, be a fanatic about something; focus; go deep. And yeah, it may cost several thousand dollars, but it doesn't cost tens of thousands of dollars. It doesn't -- you don't get a second mortgage; jeopardize your family's ability to live, to work with you and see if this is a viable tool to add to your -- a pillar to your business and your income.

Isaac Kuhlman:
For people to have physical stores, I mean, obviously you can sell on Amazon and see if that's the way you want to go. I mean, there's a lot of different ways that you can build. And just like you said, there's nothing wrong with creating multiple pillars of income for yourself so that when you have a better foundation.

Wes Schaeffer:
Yeah, because you could live in a little tiny town. If you've got a great product, advertise on Amazon and go ahead and ship, right? I mean, there's no reason to -- you're no longer limited by who can drive to your place of business.

Isaac Kuhlman:

Wes Schaeffer:
Get the word out. So very cool. All right, Isaac, GoTeamREAL.com. Thanks for coming on the show, man. It's been great.

Isaac Kuhlman:
Thanks for having me.

Wes Schaeffer:
All right, dude. Have a great day.

Isaac Kuhlman:
You too. Thank you.

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