Mega online seller Brett Bartlett was just interviewed by The E-commerce Momentum podcast. Grab a pen and take notes because if you paid for one-on-one time with a guy like Brett it would easily cost you up to $1200 (and worth every penny). (Open up the podcast here or right-click this link to download it).
Things I learned:
1.) Brett went from nearly broke to selling $5MM+ annually in just 4 years. His start - with no prior experience - was rooted in his purchase of Proven Amazon Course by Jim Cockrum. (By comparison: my Amazon product sales for the past 3 years averages $120,000 annually - and I've been selling online at least three times as long as Brett has. What's the difference between Brett and me? Brett has chosen to run and scale a business - with employees - where I've chosen more of a 'lifestyle' business where I don't have to worry about payroll, facilities, etc. I spend very little time on managing my Amazon/eBay business (under 10 hours/week), where Brett is constantly 'working it.' Brett's risk, commitment and financial investments are higher, but - as you can see - so are his rewards.)
2.) Garage sale sourcing has the highest profit margins (It's the most profitable of Brett's 12+ revenue streams). Brett has a whole team sourcing for him. See (free) the "Phase #2 on this page.
3.) eBay is alive and kicking (80% of Brett's inventory sourced from garage sales is being sold on eBay - an example is a vintage Star Wars toy he sold for $1,000+).
4.) 'Duplicating' yourself (hiring someone) to scout for products for you to resell on Amazon and/or eBay takes time and attention (but pays in spades when you hire and train right - See (free) "Phase #3" on this page.)
5.) VHS (remember those?) VCRs are great sellers on eBay (buy for $3 to $4 from local garage/estate sales, thrift stores, and resell them on eBay for $35). So are vintage shirts (buy for $1 and sell for $25). (See how those items can be 'throwaways' for the homeowner who is selling them so cheaply?)
6.) Retail arbitrage (not online arbitrage) is (generally) expensive to 'scale' (=hire folks to help expand) because the margins are slimmer. Your cost of goods is relatively too high to outsource most retail arbitrage). Retail arbitrage is still excellent if you are a 'company of one'. See (free) Phase #4 on this page.)
7.) Brett's best business now is creating, in large quantities, 'bundles' for Amazon. That is, creating a unique bundle of products - and listing it on Amazon - versus piggybacking any existing product on Amazon.)
8.) "Private label" to Brett means taking a product not on Amazon that a small U.S.-manufacturer has 'under-sold' (or failed with), produced too much inventory, and then rebrand it (give it a new life) and market it on Amazon. This is a longer process of 'earning the right to be heard' by those manufacturers. Small manufacturers heard (locally through the grapevine) that Brett 'was the guy who could sell stuff' and they began approach him with a product that they tried to sell on retail/wholesale. Brett will take samples from the manufacturer and test it on Amazon first before making further moves.
9.) Amazon is not the 'be-all, end-all' platform. Brett uses his quickly-learned knowledge of Amazon, products, marketing and buyers to spin off new product lines online (selling his own products directly to consumers via a dedicated web site) that is successful without relying on Amazon at all.
For FREE content, webinars and ebooks from Brett, go here.
Free "How to Market Your Product with Instagram" webinar (live Tuesday 12/8/15) here.