Aug 6, 2019
The more a seller expands his net, the more buyers he can catch. Often on the Amazon seller revenue lines we see the lack of traction on the international side of the game. How can you get your brand safely and productively into other Amazon Markets? The truth is that Amazon UK or any other country off the .com grid are potential revenue streams and expansion opportunities if approached in the right way. Today’s guest walks us through that expansion process step by step so that business owners and buyers can envision the opportunities to be had.
Kevin Sanderson is a multiple six figure seller with over three years of experience on Amazon. When he started out simply selling on Amazon he had one item and very quickly turned that into about 80 skus. He learned that by expanding into the international marketplace he could target products that he could plug into that market successfully. He has a passion for helping others successfully sell on Amazon’s International Marketplaces via his website and podcast and is here to tell you how you can succeed beyond dot com.
Mark: Joe welcome back from your vacation, you’ve been gone for a few weeks and Quiet Light Brokerage absolutely nothing happened because you aren’t here.
Joe: Did you missed me at all? I think I had an email reminder, a notification in there that said if you really need me find me on Whatsapp and no one needed me at all which is very humbling. The reality is that we think we’re really important cogs of the wheel and if there’s enough cogs you’re not so nobody missed you at all.
Mark: Well the truth is actually people would email you and then they would get my email and then I was home that they don’t want to work with you they actually want to work with me so I’ve just been picking off all your potential clients.
Joe: I love it, no, take all those 10 million dollar listings. Thanks, I appreciate that.
Mark: Absolutely I appreciate it too, very much, and so does my wife. Anyways this week I want to talk about something that we’ve seen a lot of with Amazon Sellers. We look at these P&Ls and oftentimes what you see are these revenue lines on the P&Ls where it’s your typical Amazon sales coming through and then you see this Amazon UK or Amazon Europe or something like that and you see some revenue kind of pop and then trail off after a while. And when you talk to the client or the seller about this the backstory is always the same. I thought about expanding to Europe and UK but I didn’t really gain traction there and it was just a lot more work than I really anticipated so we’ve decided not to really do that. The fact is though Amazon UK, Amazon Europe, Amazon Canada, and some of these other countries are really, really good expansion opportunities but you have to go about it the right way and that’s not always as straight forward as putting the product up and launching that store. You talked to somebody who we guess went over exactly in that process how do you actually expand into in other markets on Amazon.
Joe: Yeah it’s Kevin Sanderson from Maximizing Ecommerce. He’s affiliated or associated with Scott Voelker who we enjoy from the Amazing Seller and Brand Accelerator Live. And Kevin talks about just that. Okay if you’re going to expand start here then go there and then go there so that you’re getting your feet wet and doing it in a way where you’re learning without getting so frustrated you just throw your hands up and walk away which as he said I see too often. Interestingly enough yesterday I’m doing a valuation call and exactly what you talked about revenue line for Amazon.com and Amazon Europe overseas and there were 3 or 4 months of revenue starting to climb, climb, climb, and then nothing because that particular individual just got frustrated. She didn’t think she was going to get a bang for a buck there because it was so complicated and confusing for her. But the reality is she took on too much all at once. Kevin’s approach is more methodical and I like it. It’s simple. It’s clean. It’s logical. It’s not going to be earth-shattering for anybody listening. But what it is going to do is going to give them reinforcement to what they probably already know and what they should do and hopefully will do as well.
Mark: Yeah fantastic topic we do have a shout out to give to somebody who guessed the right intro to one of our podcast and you got that email, Joe.
Joe: I did it’s from Westin Woodelf, I’ve got a cold after this vacation, Westin Woodelf, he sent me an email actually while I was on vacation. It is one of the very few emails that I checked. He guessed The Founder which is the story of McDonald’s the movie clip. So shout out to you Westin and thanks for listening. I appreciate all the kind words and I assure you we will get more people that bought e-commerce businesses or online businesses from us and we’ll get them back on the podcast 6, 12 months after that something that he said he enjoys listening to Mark and wants to hear more of.
Mark: Yeah and you know I went to a meetup; a shout out to the people that I met up with for the Rhodium Minneapolis Red Calibers meet up just a couple of weeks ago. I got some good feedback on the podcast there as well you know the point here being not to say guys you have to praise us because we need it for our egos more what do you want to hear. And I got some really good feedback on that. If you guys have stuff that you want to hear or a style of podcast that really stands out to you, let us know, send us an email. We do insist that we want to create content that’s useful for you and helpful. And again keep guessing those movie titles that should be fun. The Founder is a great movie as well highly recommended for anyone that loves entrepreneurship.
Joe: And we actually respond to emails. Its firstname.lastname@example.org Mark and I get those personally. We also have our own personal email addresses which are really complicated email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and Mark as a K, not a C.
Mark: I spell it the right way.
Joe: You do spell it the right way, sorry everybody else. Alright, let’s get to this Kevin Sanderson, Maximizing Ecommerce, how to get your brand safely and productively in other Amazon markets.
Joe: Hey folks Joe Valley here from Quiet Light Brokerage and today we’ve got Kevin Sanderson from Maximizing Ecommerce on the podcast. Kevin, how are you today?
Kevin: I’m doing excellent. Thanks for having me.
Joe: Where in the world are you?
Kevin: I am in south-ish Florida, about 35 minutes north of West Palm Beach.
Joe: Alright so we’re recording at the end of July so you’re definitely inside the house as always, right?
Kevin: Oh yes, it’s nice and humid.
Joe: So as I said in the pre-call here that we don’t do fancy intros so why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what your background is.
Kevin: Sure. So I’ve been an e-commerce seller for about 4 years. I remember when I got into the whole thing I just happened to be looking at my phone podcasts and this podcast called the Amazing Seller podcast came up. I was like this sounds interesting so I listened to it. I was like this sounds like something I want to go towards and I went out to Walgreens and they were closing out the summer specials of like whatever they’re going to close out to make room for back to school and I bought a bunch of those blue cooler thingy’s you’d use in your cooler to keep your cans cooled in the freezer.
Kevin: And I remember sending some of them off to Amazon with a few other things. And I got an e-mail that my stock had been checked in and I was playing with the app like most people do once you start doing this for a while. It keeps saying this 0 sales, 0 dollars, all this and then all of a sudden I refresh it and there’s a 1. I was like hey someone bought it. It was like the day it got checked in. I was prepared like mentally that it might take weeks or whatever but this just like rush of adrenaline came over me. And I went running into the living room and my wife and was like you have to see this and I almost like threw the phone at her. I was so excited. But at first, she thought it was insane just kind of like where is my husband who is this person but then she realized I was just excited about it and then she kind of got it. And so from then on, I’ve been hooked on the whole e-commerce game.
Joe: So it’s that easy just go to Walmart, Walgreens, buy some stocked out items and put it on Amazon and you’re in business. Everybody succeeds that way, right?
Kevin: Yes I came to learn there’s more steps in the process for that. It was like one of the things I learned very early on in my resale arbitrage career which is short-lived was that I didn’t like having to keep finding stuff and bending it in. So at least what it did was it clicked the switch in my head that like okay this is possible. It’s not just I’m hearing someone talking about it. I actually saw like the 0 go to a 1 and it became real to me. Like okay now let’s go after building my own brand. And so the fall was coming up and at the time I was a high school football official and I decided to take a year’s worth of earnings and put that off to the side to go towards my 1st product. And so from let’s say February of the following year which would have been 2016 I put up my own branded products and then I kept reinvesting into it. And then back in December of 2018, I left my job and it was like I’m going to do all this full time. And I now have about 80 products that I sell. 80 different SKUs as well as…I sell mostly on Amazon but still try to diversify as much as possible. One of the things that’s been very successful for me is selling internationally; so I sell in Canada, the 5 European marketplaces, Japan, and I’m about to launch in Australia and Mexico.
Joe: Okay and that’s what we’re going to dig into today folks is how to expand beyond Amazon.com into these other marketplaces. You know I have multiple valuation calls a week talking to people that are looking to exit someday and just yesterday I talked to somebody that we have…she’s a friend of Scott Voelker from The Amazing Seller who you’re friends with as well. And she tried to expand to Europe and found that it was just too complex and complicated. So it’s funny one of the growth areas that savvy; not savvy, that’s the wrong word because this person is actually very savvy. One of the growth areas that people with a kind of international experience see is international. They’ll look at an Amazon business it’s US only and they can see where it may plug into one of the European markets or all of them. Whereas others they try it and they fail because it’s just at a level of detail that is not good for them and their business and they stick to one; focus on the US. You set up a business for that where you’re helping people expand beyond the US. So talk to me about A. which country because I have a couple in mind I want to see which countries are the best or if it’s not that simple that different products are better for different countries.
Kevin: Well there’s a little bit of different products are the best for different countries. But one simple thing people can do is if their product is selling in the US and they just look up the keyword of how someone might find their product, so if they are selling garlic presses as our friend Scott would use or fishing lures they could look up garlic presses or fishing lures on Amazon.ca or Amazon.co.uk which are the Canadian and UK versions of Amazon and just go to Jungle scout and Jungle Scout will give you an idea. Now don’t get caught up in the numbers but what I would say is if you are making sales in the US and similar products to yours are making some sales internationally in those international marketplaces it’s at least worth evaluating. You should at least try. Now to your point, there are some hoops you have to jump through. One of the things I recommend to people if you’re going to start off with go into Canada because logistically I personally find it easier. They have what’s called GST, HST which is their goods and services tax, harmonized sales tax, it’s all kind of the same thing but for the most part most people are just going to register with the federal government there and it works very similar to how sales tax work in the US except it’s simpler for most people. And in most cases, they’re going to have to file for that sales tax once per year.
Joe: So do you do that just for the exercise of learning how to go international because it’s easy because it is Canada, are you going to get your bang for your buck there, right? The population is 10% of the US so you can expect 10% of your US revenue in terms of Amazon. How do you; is it really worth it? And I think I know the answer. I think I know what you’re going to say but I want to hear you say it. Is it really worth it in terms of dollars or is it a combination of dollars and revenue and the exercise of going international and getting comfortable with it?
Kevin: I would say all of the above. So the way I look at it is you have a net and as widen that net in the sea of Amazon you’re going to catch more fish. And some of those fish are exclusive to; and by fish I mean customers, some of those are exclusive to Canada or they’re exclusive to the UK. And as you catch more of those fish you’re going to get more sales. So the way I like to look at it is if you said I’m just going to go into all the international marketplaces if you try to do it all at once it’s going to be too much. Canada is relatively simple. I think it’s a good place to get your feet. So what I did was I went to Canada and then I went to the UK that which is their sales tax is a little more complex and there’s more kind of like landmines you could go hit on that you don’t want to. So it’s best to start off with Canada going to the UK. And then you can go into other parts of Europe and use UK as a base of operations. And the nice thing is if you go into the other marketplaces in Europe you’ll most likely have to translate your listings but at least if you’re starting off in the UK and Canada you’re talking about 2 English speaking countries. So that also lowers some of the barriers.
Joe: Okay, so you’re saying a little bit of everything going into Canada so I think it’s a great idea that people start there. And if all you do; if you’re doing $100,000 in discretionary earnings or profit and you expand to Canada and all it does is add $10,000 it’s not hard. Kevin will talk about a little bit in terms of how to do it and can help people do it but that additional $10,000 in discretionary earnings if your business is worth a 3 time multiple you just added $30,000 a month to the overall value of your business if you decide to exit someday. But I like that baby-stepping it doing one country at a time starting with Canada and then another English speaking country being the UK. As far as VAT it is complicated. We’ve done podcasts on it with Avask accounting; the folks over there.
Kevin: That’s what I use.
Joe: Great. Folks use them as well. I know Melanie they refer people back and forth to us. Anytime we’ve got someone buying a brand that’s selling in the UK we always connect people with them because they’re good. And for folks, that’s AvaskAccounting.co.uk A-V-A-S-K. In terms of the next country so you’re going to go Canada then you’re going to go UK where do you go next?
Kevin: I would say most likely Germany. Germany outside of the UK is going to have some of the best sales in Europe. Now you’re starting to get into a different language but there’s translation services out there. Amazon has translation services but there are some asterisks that you might not actually be eligible for kind of strange.
Joe: I don’t think the automated translation services work all that well and here’s why. I was just in France and Switzerland and used Google Translate. It kind of worked. I’m literally driving down the highway from I think at the airport to Paris and I’m in the car with an Uber driver and he’s got Google Translate up on his phone. I’ve got it up on mine. I say something and it spits it out in French. We’re having this weird conversation but it didn’t quite fully translate it properly. So I couldn’t imagine using a translation service, an automated translation service like that. What kind of experience do you have with that if you’re going to translate something to German? Do you hire individual people that are native speakers or do you use a translation service?
Kevin: So I’ve tried all kinds of different things. I’ve had Amazon help me with translations and theirs is essentially machine in most cases.
Joe: I got it.
Kevin: The ones I’ve seen it’s machine translated and then a person checks it. Now the issue is who’s checking the checker? So if you’re English speaking and you’re trying to check whether or not German is correct it’s got to be a regular translator. I found a German translator that I’ve had good luck with and I had someone else check it. So if you find one let’s say on Upwork or Fiverr or something and you have someone translate something for you, see if you can hire someone else to critique it. Or if you know someone who speaks German or Spanish or whatever language you want to translate have someone else verify it for you and then you know okay now I’ve got someone good. I’ve got; actually oddly enough in the office building, I work out of there’s a translation company down the hall that actually they’ve worked with American Translator Association translators. They have contracts with all the court systems and they’ve done stuff for GE and Disney and a bunch of other companies. So I’ve found them to be pretty reputable too. But if you’re not 100% sure always have someone else check it. Even if you’re hiring let’s say on Fiverr and you give like a paragraph of stuff, you can hire 3 or 4 people and have them check against each other. And whoever’s getting the best load out of everyone else is probably the one to go with.
Joe: Awesome. I think that’s a great idea. There’s been times I’ve looked at Amazon listings and I could tell it’s been written by somebody that does not speak English as their native tongue and it’s obvious and I lose confidence and I don’t necessarily want to buy that product. And I imagine it’s the same somebody is in Germany thinking it. As far as the countries go, I know that one product is not going to be perfect for all countries but from a brokering standpoint and what I’ve seen over the last several years is that Germany stands out amongst all of the European countries as the one that seems to bring people that are exiting that have the most sizable business, sizable revenue. Why do you think that is? Is there something about the German marketplace that makes it stronger and larger than the other marketplaces? Is it population? Is it because of the affluent nature of the individuals in that country or is it just pure happenstance?
Kevin: I think it’s a combination of several different things. So I think as; to take a step back as you go outside of the US and you have more hoops to jump through fewer people want to take those hoops. And then as you start getting into other marketplaces that aren’t English now that’s another hoop that you have to jump through of getting it translated. So fewer and fewer sellers I think are willing to do that from what I found and so you have less competition. So then combine with I think the population size and the people in Germany; I still do better in the UK than I do in Germany. It could just be my product but I’ve heard people say the opposite. So it just depends and you never know until you test it.
Joe: Okay, Alright so 1st step go to Canada, give it a shot, 2nd UK, and then 3rd another country; Germany. What services are out there? How do you expand? What steps do you recommend someone take in order to go through this process of expanding? And like how much time would you give it? We’ve talked about 3 countries here so far, what kind of timeframe would you give that in terms of checking those off and moving and expanding into these countries?
Kevin: Well if you’re doing it alone what you would do is you would 1st register with whatever governmental agency you need to register with. So if it’s Canada you go to the Canadian Revenue Agency and register for what’s called non-resident importer status and also a GST, HST number. It’s all basically the same number, it’s just the programs that you’re under.
Joe: Can all that be done through your Amazon accounts when you want to expand to different countries? Because they’re always asking you to expand to different countries, are they offering those services or connections?
Kevin: So Amazon will often times help you. Here’s my take on Amazon. If they’re calling you, answer the phone. It’s the way I look at it. See what they have to say. Now I don’t want to disparage Amazon but what I’ve come to find is the people at Amazon they’re always very well-intentioned but they’re siloed. So no one fully understands the whole journey as a seller that you’re going to go through like another seller. So I’m happy to help walk people through that. If people have other friends that are doing it check with your friends and get some advice as well. Just because there are a lot of pieces that even some services like let’s say you know I know that there’s freight forwarders that will help you get registered in Canada or another country but they may be not getting you into all the programs that you really should be in because they’re looking at it from their standpoint of like okay to get stuff across the border you need this but maybe you also need something else that they didn’t register you for because that’s not necessarily their focus. And then Amazon, their focus is really in my experience the folks who are calling you saying hey sign up in wherever country they’re just trying to get you into that country and then from there it’s okay go for it.
Joe: Okay. First, do the research on that country and make sure that your products are selling or something similar is selling and you’ve got buyers there. Okay, and how are you dealing with the taxes and registrations? Can you cover that a little bit? We had Avask on the podcast talking about that. Can you talk briefly about the differences on how taxes work on products in the US versus over in Europe?
Kevin: Okay. Well, I think the simplest way to look at it is you have 2 buckets of taxes. You have sales tax and you have income tax. So income tax you’re still most likely as long as you’re using your US-based entity you’re going to still owe Uncle Sam assuming someone’s from the US, but you’re still going to owe Uncle Sam for income taxes or whatever country you live in. So then in that country, there’s going to be some sort of tax on the sale; so whether it’s a GST, and the VAT; whatever.
Joe: What does GST stand for?
Kevin: Oh sorry goods and services tax which is the sales tax of Canada. So the nice thing about Canada is in most cases and a disclaimer here is I’m not a tax preparer so please make sure that you check with an appropriate tax professional about your own situation. But what I found is for most people and in talking to people that do this in the tax world is that you’re most likely going to in Canada register for the goods and services tax and the harmonized sales tax. It’s all just the same thing. Basically, federal tax and you file once per year. It gets added onto the sale just like here in the US. So if they live in a province where let’s just say it’s 8% and it’s $20 then now 1.60 is added on and then you’ll remit and file and then you actually in Canada have a few ways that you can save money on what you’re giving to the government because if you pay GST at the border or some other way that you’re paying you can get credits back. And then it works kind of the same way with credits back in Europe. Now Europe is where it starts getting a little bit more complicated. So the simplest way to look at Europe is where is the inventory getting imported into and where is it being housed. So if it comes across a border you have the requirement to file for VAT or to register and file for VAT in that country. If it’s being housed in that country you’re required to register and file for that country. So I think the simplest way to do it in Europe is to go into the UK and then keep your inventory in just the UK and they’ll allow you to do what’s called the European fulfillment network and have your products shipped to the other 4 countries from the UK. Now a lot of times what some people might steer you towards is what’s called the pan-European program. It’s a little bit of savings but I don’t think it’s really worth it because you save about a Euro per fulfillment fee and so you think oh wow that’s going to add up over time. So the going rate is probably about 7,200 euros per year to be tax compliant, to have somebody do all the tax filings for you and then you end up with like Amazon will put some of your stock in Poland and the Czech Republic those aren’t even countries where they have market places but they just store them there. So again once it’s stored in a country now you have a VAT requirement and you might have to file; they’re filing monthly for you and you have to pay. So you might have to pay the equivalent of like $10or $8 some months to the Polish government and it’s just; it’s almost like a little nap on your side and it’s just like why am I having to do this.
Kevin: So it’s expensive and what I came to learn is well I would say the best thing for most people is in Europe you want to sign up for what’s called the flat rate scheme. Now when we think of taxes and scheme we think about handcuffs and going to jail. But in Europe scheme just means calculation method. So in most cases, someone who’s listening to this is most likely going to be an online retailer and basically, the way it works is if let’s say they sell a product in let’s say the UK for 12 pounds. The price is actually 10 pounds and 2 pounds of VAT is included in that because the thing that’s different about Europe is the price includes the VAT. So just to walk through that math there so you would owe 2 pounds for that sale to the government minus whatever you paid in at the border and whatever other VAT credits you had. Now if you’re on the flat rate scheme you don’t have to keep all your receipts for everything else. You just file 7½ % so that; just to make the math simple there using that 12 pound product you really just, it’s 10 pounds is what you’re selling it for so you would owe 7.5% of that which would be 75 pence which is like their pennies over there instead of having to figure out all that other nonsense of like credits and all that. What I found and I could be completely wrong on this is my accountants, they told me, there’s not a flat rate scheme currently in the other countries. So if their VAT is 22 or 23% you owe that full 22, 23% as opposed to; because basically, the way it works is instead of like in the US tax is based on, sales tax is based on where the customer lives, in Europe it’s where is it being dispatched from; so where they’re shipping it from. So if everything is being shipped from the UK you pay the equivalent VAT to the UK.
Joe: So that’s a pretty substantial saving. You’re saving if you’re doing penny you’re saving a dollar or a euro but the percentages that you’re talking about could be pretty substantial in terms of saving if you’re shipping off from the UK.
Joe: Plus it sounds like your life’s going to be a little simpler too.
Joe: And I think that’s why a lot of people don’t expand or expand to the UK and then pull back because it is a little complicated if you do too much too fast. So I like your simple approach here in terms of the flat rate scheme and sticking to the UK. What are you finding in terms of customer service and things of this nature? How do you handle that aspect of it when you’re dealing with the European market place if you’re in an English speaking native?
Kevin: A great question, so there are services out there that will do customer service for you. I’ve had translators make templates for me because there’s a variety of issues that may come up if you’ve been doing this a while you kind of know what questions people are going to ask you. But also you can do and this is not necessarily something you have to worry too much about because at the end of the day Amazon requires that there’s customer service for that customer in the native language. If they’re fulfilling it they look at it pretty much as they’re handling the customer service. So you will get some emails from time to time that you have to respond to within 24 hours just like you do in the US. And so I sometimes will take the message put it in Google Translate see what it is in English and then I flip it around. So if I’m going back from English to let’s say Italian, I then write my response copy and paste the Italian or whatever language I’m using, send it to the customer and I’ve not really had anyone write back and say I can’t believe you just said that to me.
Joe: Alright, so it does work in many cases. I did like it. It was an in-depth long conversation about soccer and kids and family with an Uber driver in France where it doesn’t work. But I’m sure that in customer service it does work fairly well.
Kevin: Yeah like my product didn’t arrive, okay we’ll send you a new one, usually that that type of thing works pretty well and you can figure out and they can figure out what you mean.
Joe: Pretty simple. So, Kevin, you’ve gone from living in the corporate world to being an entrepreneur. Now you’ve got 80 different SKUs and you’re also; you’ve got the Maximizing Ecommerce podcast, you are helping other people expand internationally as well. Are you doing that through Maximizing Ecommerce? How does anybody listening that maybe just bought a business and wants to expand internationally is it a service that you offer to help people go beyond the US?
Kevin: Yes. So what they could do is if they wanted to go beyond the US actually for your listeners I’d be willing to do a free 30-minute strategy session; no obligation. They could just go to MaximizingEcommerce.com/quiet and it will take them to a page where they can schedule something with me. Just looking for people of course that have an existing business, if they’re looking to get started I’ll give them a free checklist on how to get their 1st product kind of like how I did.
Joe: We’ll put that in the show notes as well. Okay.
Kevin: Yes and then also if they wanted to hear more live you and I will be hanging out together in September in Fort Worth at Brand Accelerator Live and I will be speaking about selling internationally and then Quiet Light will be there as a sponsor. And then you, I will plug you as well. You will be on stage speaking about how to maximize your sale if you’re looking to sell your business one day.
Joe: Yeah for folks listening that don’t know some of the names we’ve talked about, Scott Voelker is an entrepreneur, an influencer, a speaker, a motivator, he’s got the podcast the Amazing Seller. Scott’s local to me sort of in South Carolina. He’s got a place up here North Carolina. And Kevin’s working with him on Brand Accelerator Live which is Scott’s 1st big event. He’s bringing in the best people in the marketplace; Greg Mercer from Jungle Scout, Mike Jackness from eComCrew and a whole lot of other folks. And I’m sort of in a very, very low tier of those folks. Greg and Mike and the other folks like that are very, very well known.
Kevin: We’re really excited that you’re going to be there.
Joe: Well thank you. But it’s a place where I’ve heard in terms of the Amazing Seller podcast and what you’re doing with Scott it’s a place where I’ve talked to so many people who get such value to grow; and this is the thing, grow their Amazon business but take it beyond Amazon as well and learn about how to market off of Amazon and Shopify and e-mail marketing and Facebook or things of that nature and in the affiliate world and blog world and all that stuff. So I think Scott’s done an amazing job with that. I love that you’re working with him on this 1st and then we’re excited to be there. Anybody that hasn’t looked it up yet it’s Brand Accelerator Live, is that right?
Kevin: Yeah Brand Accelerator Live. They can go to BrandAcceleratorLive.com and if someone is listening to this and is saying well I’ve never been to a live event before whether it’s Brand Accelerator Live or something else if they’re listening to this in the future go to something. You never know what’s going to come out of it.
Joe: I’m going to interrupt and say yes that’s absolutely true. You know when I 1st started doing what I do here in Quiet Light I had to go to an event and I think the 1st one I went to was in New Orleans. I can’t even remember it but it was a big event and I hated it. Because I didn’t like; I’m a bit of an introvert. Doing this right now, talking, podcasts, it’s great. It’s easy. I’m a bit of an introvert but I was at an event I forget exactly where it was and I heard the name Mike Jackness and I said to myself I’m going to find Mike. And I went to be pre-party and I saw Mike sitting there on a couch. I sat down beside and said hello and now Mike and I are really good friends. I sold his business. We’ve done podcasts together. We’ve got a lot of relationships in terms of people we know together. And I think he’s made an impact on my life and my business and I’ve hopefully made the same on his. And when you see people; you go to an event like this and you see people standing around in a circle talking to each other and you don’t know who they are, your instant thought is oh they all know each other I don’t want to step in there that’s really awkward. The reality is that they don’t know each other. They’re just getting to know each other. And I’ve been in a situation where literally I’m standing around like that somebody walks up and just sort of shoulders their way and starts to nod their head up and down and says hello and we had all just met each other and he came in and met us as well. So it’s a hard thing to do but I think in this e-commerce world, listening to podcasts like this is invaluable but the most important thing you can do is get out there and meet people face to face and shake their hand. And then you can connect with them directly about what they’re doing in their business and what you’re trying to do with yours; and in this case with you taking Amazon businesses beyond the US and into the other marketplaces in a strategic process and how to do that so that you’re going to have a higher success rate. So anybody listening get out there and go to a Mastermind event, whatever it might be, Brand Accelerator Live is not going to be a large one; it’s down in Fort Worth in September; what are the dates on it?
Kevin: September 18th through 20th and then we also have a Mastermind for high-level sellers on the 21st and we still have a couple of slots available for those mastermind folks. But yeah I definitely recommend that you go to something. So to your point like sometimes you will have that feeling like oh gosh it’s going to be hard connecting with people, I remember the 1st e-commerce event I went to and I walked into the opening reception and I go to the bar and kind of have that feeling like okay there’s safety at the bar, the bartender is giving me the drink.
Joe: Unless you’re in Mexico or the Dominican Republic but yeah, okay.
Kevin: Right exactly. So I turned around and I’m like okay not to go or I do have to like talk to someone. So there was this woman standing there and it was like hi I’m Kevin and then we just started talking and you know I still keep in contact with her to this day. And I started talking to some other people. And so just a random story here is that at this live event I got to know Scott Voelker and met him in another live event because there’s that power in connection where you’re meeting people live as opposed to even on the phone or messaging and Facebook groups or whatever case is and he was talking about how you wanted to do more to help people in the intermediate to advanced stage. And I like to think of the world as kind of like a puzzle with pieces that all have to come together that’s why I do this international thing and then things to work in hotels and conventions. So I told them I think you should do a live event and I can help you with it because I had that experience. And I was thinking like he’s going to say oh no [inaudible[00:37:19.2] whatever thank you graciously because he’s a nice guy. But he actually said yes tell me more how would we do this. And so this has become an opportunity that’s opened up doors for me because I talked to Scott. And I know all kinds of people, maybe it’s not Scott Voelker that they’re connected with someone who opened up some door connected them to a supplier, they found out some like I never knew about that service or that whatever and it opened up their mind to something else because they were having a conversation over drinks, breaking bread, or just talking or someone in between sessions at a live event because e-commerce sellers for the most part especially the ones that are doing it full time if they’re at their house or whatever and they’re just in front of a keyboard all day they want to connect with other people.
Kevin: Or if they’re doing it as a; they have a full time job they are like I don’t know anyone else that does this and so all of a sudden he’s like surrounded by people that all do the same thing and most e-commerce sellers are not surrounded all day by other e-commerce sellers so it’s like a treat being in the same room.
Joe: And you’ll be amazed when you connect with folks like that how you figure out after a time that there’s a half a dozen people in my surrounding area and then you can have a mini sort of mastermind group where you just get together for drinks once a month or something like that. So I think really important number one thank you for your time and helping people figure out how to expand beyond Amazon.com because it is going to bring more value for their bank account and an eventual sale as well. It’s going to bring more value. But for those folks that haven’t done it get to a live event, meet people face to face, it will make a difference in your business and in your life in my opinion and experience. It’s hard to do. I tell you it is hard to do. It’s what I do now that I’ve got this drink in my hand? You turn around and you say hello to someone and just take your hand out.
Joe: And you end up being amazed with value you didn’t get in that situation. Again MaximizingEcommerce.com, BrandAcceleratorLive.com, Kevin you’re a good man. I appreciate your time and I look forward to seeing you in September.
Kevin: I’m excited for it. Thanks for having me.
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