Amazon is a vast ecosystem of diverse sellers and brands, each bringing something unique to the table. But how can sellers leverage brand partnerships and exclusive wholesale deals to distinguish themselves in this crowded marketplace? To answer this, we sat down with the knowledgeable Isaiah Fritz in our latest podcast episode.
The Promise of Brand Partnerships
Our conversation started with Isaiah emphasizing the essence of brand partnerships. These relationships, according to him, can serve as the lifeblood of an Amazon business. They can bolster your product offering, augment your brand’s credibility, and potentially pave the way to more consistent sales.
The Allure of Exclusivity
Isaiah was unequivocal about the benefits of exclusive deals on Amazon. Such arrangements provide sellers with a unique edge, enabling them to stand out in the marketplace. By partnering with brands that offer exclusive wholesale rights, sellers can effectively minimize competition and position their brand prominently on the platform.
Scouting for Brand Partnerships
However, these exclusive deals don’t just land on one’s lap. Isaiah shared the importance of research. Before approaching a brand, it’s vital to understand its values, product quality, and market reputation. By aligning with brands that resonate with a seller’s business ethos, the partnership becomes not just about sales but about mutual growth and vision.
Resources From This Episode
For those keen on diving deeper into the episode’s insights, here are some of the resources highlighted during our chat:
- Online Selling Partner
- Amazon Brand Registry: A tool emphasized by Isaiah to help brands protect their intellectual property and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers on Amazon.
- Market Analysis Tools: Platforms like Jungle Scout and Helium 10, recommended by Isaiah, that assist sellers in understanding the market potential of specific brands and products.
Brand partnerships, especially those exclusive to Amazon, can be transformative for sellers. Our discussion with Isaiah Fritz underscored this notion, illuminating the various facets of these collaborations. For sellers aspiring to elevate their Amazon game, understanding and leveraging such partnerships could be the key to sustained growth.
If you haven’t already, make sure to tune into the full episode to hear all the gems Isaiah Fritz shared. There’s nothing like hearing it straight from the expert’s mouth!
Isaiah Fritz (00:00):
You’re just buying stuff and trying to make money off of arbitrage. Like that shouldn’t be your mindset. Your mindset should be like, how do I provide value to other humans? Because at, at the end of the day, that’s the only way you’re really gonna make that long-term money. And if you really wanna make money long-term on Amazon, the only way to do it is by selling a brand. You can either sell your own brand, which I highly recommend. If you’re good at selling your own brand and building your own brand, that is great. But there’s other way you can hack it, is by selling someone else’s brand.
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the Amazon Sellers School podcast, where we talk about Amazon Wholesale and how you can use it to build an e-commerce empire, a side hustle, and anything in between. And now your host, Todd Welch.
Todd Welch (00:53):
Great to have my friend Isaiah here with me today. He is the owner of Online Selling partners, founder and owner. And him and I met over at the Amazon powwow in West Palm Beach, what was it last year, a couple years ago,
Isaiah Fritz (01:12):
Something like that, whenever that was. And that was, you know, I thought it was a great show. But then I found out later that the attendance was way down because it was during prime Day . So,
Todd Welch (01:24):
Yeah, it, it was interesting. And they, it, they didn’t announce it until really late, so they’re like, oh, crap. Yeah. Not to have a conference on Prime Day, but it was really good event because I got to meet a lot of good people met you, of course. And that’s been fantastic getting to know you a little bit. And I, I think the, the listeners today are really gonna be interested in your story and what you’re doing, because you and I are both doing a method of selling on Amazon that’s a little bit different than what a lot of people know. So a lot of people know private label wholesale arbitrage. But of course, you and I have really moved into a method called Amazon Exclusive Wholesale. And so we’re gonna dive into that a lot on this episode and go into what that means to actually get exclusives on products and stuff. But before we go into that, let’s dive into your background because I heard you on Aaron Cordoba’s podcast, and you have a really awesome background. So if they want to hear your full story, they can listen to Aaron Cordoba’s podcast. It’s a, a fantastic one. I’d check it out. But let’s let’s have the five minute version here, and then we can dive into the Amazon exclusive method.
Isaiah Fritz (02:47):
Oh, wow. Well, thank you so much for that introduction. That was that was too nice of you, Todd. And, and I am, I’m so glad that we happened to be sitting at the same table down there at the powwow and, and got to meet each other. And I was like, man, there’s another guy out there that’s, that’s doing this model that’s about my size. So I, that’s the thing. There’s not a lot of people like that are doing this model. There’s a couple big companies out there that are doing this model of what you call the the exclusive wholesale. And I, I like to call it a brand partnership model because I like to just partner directly with the brands and, and work exclusively with them. So I, I look at it as a partnership. So you know, obviously that’s why I named my company online selling partner.
Isaiah Fritz (03:30):
So, but going back a little bit let’s talk about the history. So I started selling online when I was 11 years old. I sold some Legos on eBay, and my mom, she taught me how to do it. She had been selling on eBay since 99 as a sidekick. And we like yard sales, buy stuff, flip it on eBay. And eventually in 2015, I seen this button on Amazon. It said, sell on Amazon. And I said, mom, I gotta click this button. I wanna sell on Amazon. And so I, I started selling on Amazon and it you know, and then I learned about this thing called F B A, you know, and, and then I was like, man, there’s all these customers on Amazon. And so that was great. And then so I, I was going to yard sales, going to , doing the retail arbitrage eventually, you know, buying pallets, liquidation did very well.
Isaiah Fritz (04:27):
I ended up selling around 14,000 items by in 2018. And then my entire Amazon account got shut down because of three inauthentic complaints. That’s always fun. Yeah. Yeah. No, that was crazy. So I didn’t have invoices from the manufacturers, the distributors, so it was, it was, it was done for so it was down for eight months. They were holding $40,000 from me for eight months. It was a nightmare. And I said, I never sell on Amazon again. I’m getting into real estate, which I, I, I did learn a lot about real estate, and actually I do build single family houses on the side. And so I’m, you know, I’m kind of glad that I learned about real estate during that time, but I, you build, you build single family homes. Yes. So I have a building company locally here in Indiana. Wow.
Isaiah Fritz (05:16):
And we built about 20 homes this year. And we’re, we’re continuing to scale that company. And it’s it’s a great, it’s a great company and it’s a, you know, I, I work with my family on it, and my grandpa is the manager company. And it’s, it’s, it’s really fun. We, we, what we try to do is we try to get people who are renting to be able to afford a house. So we build and sell the most affordable house in the entire county entire area. It’s, it’s really rewarding when I’m sitting there at the closing table with a, a family that’s, you know, young and and they’re like, we were renting and now we can afford a house, and it’s actually cheaper than our rent payment. So that’s, wow. Very nice. It’s, it’s, yeah, it’s really cool. So, don’t mean to go on a tangent there, but so we do that.
Isaiah Fritz (06:07):
And then but as far as the going into the Amazon thing, I was like, I’m never gonna do it again. But, so, but I, they still have this $40,000, so I’m trying to, trying to get this money back. I, I hired a consultant that was an Amazon consultant that didn’t work. You know, I had 40 or 50 appeals to Amazon. I, I contacted Jeff, I did everything. You know, email@example.com there, you know, there’s an email out there. Yep. They, they did nothing. So I eventually got ahold of somebody on LinkedIn, actually, that’s when I started going on LinkedIn. That was AM Jeff Bezos’s technical advisor. And he ended up giving me a call from Seattle and said, you know, sorry for what Amazon’s done for to you, and here’s your money back. Here’s your account back, sell from the manufacturers and distributors, .
Isaiah Fritz (06:59):
And I said, all right. So I learned that, you know, back then I wasn’t very good at real estate and wasn’t making any money. So I said, well, I do know how to make money selling online. And so I started knocking on doors and manufacturers near me. I just went to manufacturers near me. And I finally found a, a manufacturer that was a candle company, and I ended up partnering with them. And I started opening more accounts with distributors and doing the wholesale model with distributors. So this candle company, they were used to sell on Amazon. They had been shut down. I started selling with them. And we grew their revenue to about a million dollars in revenue on Amazon. And we were the only sellers. So that was my first brand partnership, nice exclusive deal or whatever was the, the candle company.
Isaiah Fritz (07:51):
So I got to a point where I realized, I said, if I really want to scale this, then I’m going to need some money to hire a good team. And so that’s eventually I made enough money where I could start hiring, you know, people that were smarter than me. ’cause I always heard, you gotta hire people smarter than you. And it’s so true. hire people smarter. You sure. And so I, even if they’re expensive, but they’re, they’ll, they’ll pay off in the longer, and you just gotta look multi-year out, don’t look like a person. The, when you hire someone, the r o i on that person does not happen in one month. It doesn’t happen in two months, usually for an expensive head. It, it, especially at a startup, usually you don’t see that r o I until years, maybe two or three years later, if, if there’s somebody that is gonna really help you out. And so it, you know, for me as an inpatient kid, it is kind of hard. But now, you know, after seeing the fruits of it of, of hiring a good team, it’s, it’s been really, really wonderful. So, and we’re continuing to, to try, try to scale and grow. And now we have 32 people, southern Indiana. We work out of a 60,000 square foot facility here in sellers, Burg, Indiana. So everybody’s usually like, wait, you’re, you’re an Amazon seller from sellers burg. I mean, what’s, what’s
Todd Welch (09:10):
That all? Yeah, that’s a, that’s a good area though, right? Because you got a lot of Amazon warehouses around there, don’t you?
Isaiah Fritz (09:16):
Yeah. Yep. And we actually do enough volume where we send semi-truck directly to Amazon facilities, so, which is, which is really
Todd Welch (09:26):
Very nice. So, yeah. So with all of that stuff that you’ve done you’re, what, about 55 years old? Is that right?
Isaiah Fritz (09:36):
No, no. I, I 23 and going on 24.
Todd Welch (09:41):
Yeah, 23 going on 24. That’s just crazy. And when, when I first met you, that was one thing that really impressed me, because, you know, I, I’m, I’m at about between four to 5 million in sales this year, but you guys are what, 16, 20 million? Something like that.
Isaiah Fritz (10:01):
We’ll see how this year finishes, but it’s, yeah, you’re right, right in the ballpark for sure,
Todd Welch (10:05):
Right. In that area. So, doing fantastic. And you’re not quite half my age, but getting there, I’m gonna be 42 here in a few days, so, well, well, that’s definitely, you are way ahead of me, at least age-wise.
Isaiah Fritz (10:22):
Yeah. Well, it’s not about age, I guess, but I’m just really blessed that I have an awesome team and I have an awesome you know, family and, and people around me that, that we can make this happen. Because if it wasn’t for them, I could only do so much by myself, maybe a million or 2 million in revenue. But you gotta, you know, I, the biggest thing I’ve learned is you gotta build a awesome team around you. And, and, you know, our goal’s a hundred million in revenue, so, you know, in a couple years we want to hit a hundred million. That’s why we’re, you know, we might have a 32 people, it seems like a lot, but it’s like we’re trying to build something for the next couple years for the future. So that’s what we are constantly investing back in our team.
Todd Welch (11:02):
Yeah, I I think that’s really important point to press home is getting the right people around you. Correct. So how did you, we kind of jumped through that quickly, but how did you get to the point of being able to afford those initial big hires?
Isaiah Fritz (11:23):
Well, all I did is I went to Silicon Valley and got a big investment from, no, I’m just kidding. I did not do that. But some of my friends did that. But I did it the hard way by buying and selling and getting good deals. And I, I mean, I, I did one deal with some yeast during Covid where yeast was selling like crazy on Amazon, and I was buying pallets of it, and for $2 50 cents a pound and selling on Amazon for $20 a pound, you know, and that’s just a wholesale deal. Mm-Hmm. you know, and that’s, you know, I was able to really, that really helped me be able to afford more people. But it’s just, you just do it as it comes, you know? And you know, first you start off with warehouse, you wanna, you know, or, or, or get a three pl for us, we have our own warehouse, you know, because it works for us.
Isaiah Fritz (12:16):
But a lot, you know, a lot of people, I would recommend getting a good three pl. And that’s what you hire out first. And then from there I started hiring people for Amazon event seller central management. And then I hired a really good integrator. So I use e o s as a framework more recently and Eeo what e o s entrepreneur operating system, which is same one we were using. Yeah. And so I have a, I have a really good integrator. I’m the visionary, so anybody who reads that book knows what that means mm-hmm. , and and it’s hard to find a good integrator. It’s, it’s harder to find a good integrator than a visionary. There’s plenty of visionaries that are terrible at executing. And so, but having somebody that can really work with a visionary and execute well together is a hard pair to find.
Isaiah Fritz (13:11):
So I’m really glad that I found that early on. And it was a guy that I knew most of my life, big corporate guy, had worked 26 years in Fortune 500 companies and doing operations. And so you know, he had just retired and at 54, he retired younger. And I was this young guy and I was like, I need somebody with maturity. So I, I knew I had enough wisdom to know that you, you need every thing in your business. You know, you can’t just think, oh, a bunch of young guys are gonna win or something. I mean, they might, but it’s good to have a mix of abilities and on a team. Right. You know, you’re, if you’re building out really good team and, and baseball and everybody’s really good at, at hitting home runs, but nobody’s good at pitching, you’re not gonna win.
Isaiah Fritz (14:04):
Right? You’re not gonna, you’re not gonna get anywhere. So you gotta have people that, you gotta have a good pitcher, you gotta have a good guy out in left field. I mean, you gotta, you know, if you’re gonna really have a good team, and then you gotta have your power hitters too. So that’s something that I’m really glad I gotta integrator early on that really works well with me. And I said, Hey, I need you to manage the people because I don’t like managing people. And I know I’m not very good at it. I have no experience at it. And I, and now, you know, I’m getting more experience at it. So I, that’s one thing I think that intimidates a lot of people is, oh wow, I have to be a manager. Well, no, you don’t, you don’t. You just gotta hire a manager, , it’s then then it works out. So and then from there we started hiring all kinds of different, supply chain was big for us you know, somebody to buy and sell. And and then now we have marketing people salespeople. We just, we just have the whole gambit. We even have a international sales manager now. So because we’re doing more international sales and off channel, all kinds of stuff. Yeah. Advertising .
Todd Welch (15:24):
Very good. So, so essentially you flipped products to get the funds to then hire people to help you build your business.
Isaiah Fritz (15:35):
Yeah. The business has, has grown very organically. Another thing is banks have helped me with getting loans. Yeah,
Todd Welch (15:45):
That’s what I was gonna go into. I have you guys taken much debt to get to the size that you are? Correct. What kind of percentage is that, if you don’t mind sharing?
Isaiah Fritz (15:56):
I don’t know about percentage off the top of my head. But we do, we do take a lot of loans for like we have a line of credit with a, a really nice reputable bank that gave us a million dollars line of credit which is very nice early on. I would say early on I was able to get that. And then I those lines
Todd Welch (16:17):
Of credits are, are great. But I I bet you your operator knows what your debt to income ratio is. ’cause That’s, oh,
Isaiah Fritz (16:24):
Absolutely. I have a, I have a controller now that, that does that
Todd Welch (16:28):
They probably know as well, but your operator will know as well. ’cause You wanna keep an eye on that and make sure it’s at least 1.5 to one. Yes. So basically if you have a million dollars in debt, you need to have at least a million and a half in inventory.
Isaiah Fritz (16:41):
Yeah. Well, I say that, you know exactly as well as I know that can’t can’t be underwater to survive very long. So Yeah.
Todd Welch (16:52):
Yeah. And we, we were talking about that a little bit before we hit record, that the, the interest rates have just gone through the roof.
Isaiah Fritz (17:01):
Todd Welch (17:02):
And my, my lines of credit went from, I think when I started and got them, they were in the 4% range and now they’re all nine, 10%. It’s just gone crazy. So basically my interest payments have doubled.
Isaiah Fritz (17:16):
Oh, absolutely. Now, similar, similar scenario with us. Amazon loans are nice. Just do ’em for short term, you know, don’t do long-term debt, short-term debt, let’s try to stay away. You know, I’m like, I can tell you I’m not a Dave Ramsey where I say don’t do any debt, but I’m also not for long-term debt. So I think, you know, try to, if you’re gonna take on debt, take on a safe amount that you know that you can at least sell that inventory for cost and, and you’re not out too much. So
Todd Welch (17:48):
You gotta be really careful. You gotta know your numbers, make sure you’re profitable. All that stuff don’t
Isaiah Fritz (17:54):
Carry a lot of inventory, especially right now in this environment. It is a crazy environment out there. We see a lot of manufacturers and distributors getting flooded with extra inventory because they’ve tried to overproduce during covid because of the spike. Mm-Hmm. So just, just don’t carry a lot of inventory, try to, you know, we try to carry about 60 days on hand, 90 at the most, you know, if, if you could,
Todd Welch (18:19):
Does that include what’s in Amazon or are you talking in your warehouse?
Isaiah Fritz (18:23):
Both, yeah. In Amazon too.
Todd Welch (18:24):
So in Amazon and your warehouse is a total about 60 days.
Isaiah Fritz (18:28):
60 to 90 days. Yeah. 60
Todd Welch (18:30):
To 90. Okay. Yeah, we’re about the same. I try to keep about 20 to 30 days in the warehouse and about 40 to 45 days in Amazon.
Isaiah Fritz (18:37):
Yeah. It, it’s, it’s about the same. Yeah. And so we, you know, keep your turns, you know, low and, and we’re always trying to figure out how to get, keeps turns lower and, and you know, you’re gonna make bad buys and buys, but, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s just do whatever you can right now in this environment to keep, I mean, it can be really tempting because you might see some really good deals where we’ve had to pass up some deals where we’ve had some suppliers come out and say, Hey, if you take all of this inventory here, we’ll give you. And then we’re like, eh, we’re not doing it. We’re not doing it. The inventory’s too expensive right now with interest risk. Yeah.
Todd Welch (19:12):
Yeah. We, I just had one where one of our suppliers is basically end of life one of these products, and they offered us the entire like a hundred thousand dollars plus rest of their inventory. It’s kind of a take it all or not kind of thing. And I’m like I cannot really drop a hundred thousand dollars on this inventory that’s probably gonna last me for six, seven months, you know? So
Isaiah Fritz (19:39):
Yeah. It’s hard. It’s hard, you know, there’s shiny objects out there where you’re like, I know the return is gonna be good, you know, but it, yeah, yeah, it is just, you keep low inventory right now, we don’t know what’s gonna happen in six, 12 months, so, yeah. But anyway Todd, you wanna talk about brand partnership and exclusive wholesale. I think it’s a great,
Todd Welch (20:00):
Let’s dive into that and just give us an overview for you. What brand partnership is Amazon exclusive wholesale, as I call it, and how you got into that?
Isaiah Fritz (20:13):
Yeah, so I, I mentioned before that candle company kind of got my interest early on because I was the only seller, right? I they were not on Amazon, right? And we brought ’em to Amazon, but I was like, wow, you know, this is really powerful. It’s different, you know, normally with wholesale, it’s like you’re not really focused on the customer, you’re just, how do I flip boxes, right? But this is different where you’re, if you’re the only seller for a brand, you start thinking like, the brand, well, first off, you wanna please the brand and you’re trying to please it because they’re your customer, but you’re also thinking about your Amazon customer because you’re thinking we, you want the Amazon customer to, to buy your product, not the competitors. I mean, it’s, it, it, you kind of get into this private label mindset where, you know what I say, I treat every brand that I’m partnered with, like my own.
Isaiah Fritz (20:58):
And that’s the whole company. We want to treat every brand like it’s our own. And we also want to be of the key solution for the brand. So the brand can just have us do Amazon for them. So essentially what, how it works is we buy the product wholesale, and then we become the only seller. And we do everything for the brand. We do the a plus content, the storefronts, the advertising management, the you know, whatever else it is to do with Amazon. We, we, we do it for these brands. And it’s very much about building that relationship with the brand to trust you to do that. Because we’re like, well, how, why should we trust you to do that? When we have Joe that’s been selling on Amazon for a while, and Steve and Mark and, and, and Susie, you know, but you’re like, well, you could go to these brands and say, well, they only have one picture on your listings.
Isaiah Fritz (21:53):
There is no a plus content. The they’re not in stock all the way and they only have half your catalog listed. You know, are they really have your best interest in mind? If you go with us, we’ll list your full catalog, carry everything. We will, you know do all your storefront a plus content, everything. And then for the brand, all they have to do is give us exclusivity and there’s no cost to them. ’cause They’re selling it to us on margin. And we’re not greed. We’re not trying to take some crazy margin. So that, that’s essentially how it works. And, you know, make sure you have good contracts in place. And it’s one thing my, my operations integrator guy has really taught me is he’s been in business long enough. Don’t do business on a handshake. Doesn’t matter if it’s your best friend.
Isaiah Fritz (22:38):
You know, it’s like there’s too many things that’ll go wrong. It might go right for the next, for the first six months, but two years from now it could be, you know, something might happen and then you gotta go back to the contract, what does the contract say? So but yeah, the contracts are, are, are not only protect you, but they protect the brand. So they’re in the best interest for the brand to have a good contract in place. So anyway, I’m kind of rambling on into a lot of this brave partnership, but that’s generally how I got into it and generally how the model works.
Todd Welch (23:09):
Yeah. So essentially you are partnering with the brand and in exchange for allowing you to be the only seller, you’re treating it like your own private label product and doing all the images, the copy, the a plus maybe ads as well and everything, everything that goes along with it.
Isaiah Fritz (23:30):
Yeah, and I will say for ads, we manage the ads, but the brands will contribute to the ad spend. Like we don’t, we don’t fully, it depends on our relationship, but the, the brands will, will contribute to, to, to that. Like some, some brands we might have like a really crazy margin and, and it’s, it just makes sense for us to, to just do the ad spend. But most of our brands, we have like a thin margin and and they contribute to the ad spend, but we manage everything. And we also do, you know, we’re motivated to sell as many units or products as possible. So, you know, we’re, we’re doing affiliate marketing now with brands. We’re trying, we’re testing out creating TikTok videos. We’re doing a lot of cool stuff in our r and d department to try to bring more value to the brands. We’re helping them with their D two C sites, even, you know, we’re doing a lot of, you know, we’re going international with the brands. I mean, there’s, there’s a lot of things that we’re doing because every time we sell a product, we make money. So it’s, our incentives are very aligned. And a lot of times these brands, they don’t have an Amazon department. They, or if they do, it might be one guy and he’s overwhelmed because he is also doing 10 other things. So it’s, it’s hugely needed service for most brands.
Todd Welch (24:51):
So now are you 100% exclusive brand partnerships or do you also do the regular wholesale?
Isaiah Fritz (25:01):
We still do some regular wholesale. If we can get a good deal we’re trying to move away from it. I will say that we are.
Todd Welch (25:08):
What percentage would you say?
Isaiah Fritz (25:12):
I would say right now we’re probably getting to, you know, I actually have like the real paperwork on that. But I, I would say we’re, we’re, we’re getting close to 70 30. We’re 70% brand exclusive and 30% wholesale where it was 50 50 for a while. But I feel like we’re going that way. And I mean, my goal is definitely 80 20 or even a hundred percent brand exclusive.
Todd Welch (25:39):
Yeah. Yeah. Same on my side. We’re, we’re more probably about 40 to 50% brand exclusive right now, but trying to move as fast as possible towards that route because the, the number of competitors that are popping up on a lot of these listings are steadily increasing every day.
Isaiah Fritz (25:58):
Yeah. And what kind of value are you bringing to the brands just by being another seller out of the 17 and already on the ASINs? So, I mean, it’s, it’s so much more gratifying and a better business model to partner directly with the brand and grow them. You know, it’s, it, you know, it takes more work, I’ll omi it, but you only have to hunt once. You don’t have to constantly hunt for another deal. It you just, you hunt once you get a relationship and you, you’ll work with that brand if you’re good, you know, for years to come. I mean, you know, most of our brands we’ve been, that, that we’ve had don’t, don’t leave. I mean, they usually, if we constantly provide value to them, they have no reason to leave us. You know, you’re always gonna have, you know, somebody that for whatever reason that, that they can’t work with you for Yeah. Whatever reason they sell or whatever. But, but yeah, I mean, for the most part, if you’re constantly providing more value, you know, it’s, it’s a great relationship that you could have for years and years and years.
Todd Welch (27:00):
Yeah, for sure. And it’s you know, most of my exclusive partnerships, 90% of them came from originally being one of many sellers.
Isaiah Fritz (27:12):
Yeah, same here. And I built
Todd Welch (27:13):
That relationship along the way. I’m, I wasn’t just sending purchase orders, I was calling the owner and talking to ’em, seeing how business is doing and becoming more, you know, like friends getting to know their business and the products they sell and stuff like that. And then it shifted into the exclusive do you have a lot that were like that, or you more going directly for the exclusive from the beginning?
Isaiah Fritz (27:40):
It’s both. So I mean, I’m, I’m not sure what the split is right now of ha but I mean, it’s, it’s both and, but a lot of times we’ll go maybe directly for an exclusive on a few skews and then to kind of try us out, and then we will eventually with the thoughts of getting the whole brand.
Todd Welch (27:59):
Yeah. That, that’s a really good tactic, especially when you’re talking to ’em. If they say, no, we don’t want any more Amazon sellers or something like that, then you say, well, how about this one here that’s not selling very well and it looks horrible? Maybe we can try that one. That one’s worked for me to get your foot in the door and then build the relationship from there.
Isaiah Fritz (28:19):
That’s right. That’s great. I like that. Sure.
Todd Welch (28:22):
So the brand exclusives, do you think that is the route that people need to go in the future? Or do you still see a lot of opportunity in just general wholesale, maybe retail arbitrage, stuff like that?
Isaiah Fritz (28:40):
Depends on who you are and what your goals are. That’s what I say. There’s always gonna be money in retail arbitrage. There’s always gonna be money in wholesale. There’s, but if you’re trying to scale your business to a multimillion dollar predictable business, you can’t do that with retail arbitrage. I don’t know, one retail arbitrage guy that’s doing $10 million a year and selling the same products every day. Mm-Hmm.
Todd Welch (29:06):
Isaiah Fritz (29:07):
. It just doesn’t,
Todd Welch (29:08):
That’d be a lot of hustle in retail arbitrage, maybe online arbitrage, but still, you’d have to have a big team.
Isaiah Fritz (29:14):
Yeah, you’d have to do a big team, but none of them are selling the same stuff. You’re just always mm-hmm. going new stores, and you know, one day the store works great for you and then the next day they’re like, nah, we don’t have anything in stock. You know, it’s just a constant headache. Wholesale’s similar, you know, wholesale’s similar. It’s just, it’s a little better. I recommend doing that versus retail arbitrage, but Right. But you’re, at the end of the day, think about what you’re doing. You’re just buying stuff and trying to make money off of arbitrage. Like, that shouldn’t be your mindset. Your mindset should be like, how do I provide value to other humans? How do I provide value to, to, because at, at the end of the day, that’s the only way you’re really gonna make that long-term money. And if you really wanna make money long-term on Amazon, the only way to do it is by selling a brand.
Isaiah Fritz (30:06):
You can either sell your own brand, which I highly recommend. If you’re good at selling your own brand and building your own brand, that is great. But there’s a other way you can hack it is by selling someone else’s brand. Mm-Hmm. . And so you can, it’s a little bit of a growth hack where you don’t have to do all the work of finding a product, importing, marketing, all that stuff. This, they already did that. You just have to do the Amazon side. Yeah. So, but you know, my ultimate goal is to own my own brands. I think like that’s the ultimate, you know, because then you get, you, you have no one to answer to you own it. You you, you call the shots and you own the equity. You can resell that brand, you know, if, but if, if you are, maybe don’t feel like that’s, it takes a long time to don’t have the patience or you don’t really have the vision for that and you don’t have a niche, then, then, you know, but you like flipping stuff on Amazon.
Isaiah Fritz (31:05):
You definitely should go for the brand partnerships and partner directly with the brand. And so, like, my goal is to continue to do brand partnerships, continue to scale other brands, and then eventually, you know, launch my own brands. And, and you know, I, I don’t think I’ll ever get away from the whole brand partnership model or have no plans to, but I think it’s good to, to diversify and, and own your own brands and, and, and build and grow them. But I wanna, I wanna do that when I’m, I’m ready to really launch and launch a multimillion dollar brand. I don’t wanna just launch a few SKUs on Amazon just selling another rubber ducky like everybody else’s and then Chinese factory comes in and, and beats you out in price. ’cause That’s not building a brand. There’s plenty of private label sellers that are not building a brand. They’re just flipping products. Yeah. So really what you, what you need to do is build a brand, build a customer, loyal fan base, build a a customer list, build a, you know, all that stuff that what I see brands actually do, real brands actually do. That’s, that’s really what you need to do. And if you want to be selling on Amazon in the next five years and, and, and scaling, so that’s fine. Yeah.
Todd Welch (32:21):
For, for sure. I, I agree with, with all of that from what I’ve seen, talking to a lot of different large wholesale sellers, they, they end up around between 20 to 30% private label and then wholesale from there as they grow. Because when you’re in the wholesale world, you see a lot of opportunities as well, and a lot of empty space. You know, maybe some of those companies that wouldn’t let you be the exclusive and you see ’em selling a ton, listings are all garbage. All those are potential opportunities to build a brand. But for sure, building a brand is super important because obviously here in the US or most of the world, we can’t necessarily compete directly with someone in China. And so we have to build that brand around the product so that people are willing to pay more for it.
Isaiah Fritz (33:16):
Yeah. It’s huge. Yeah, because, and then people there, you know, honestly, you know, there’s all this talk about people are not brand loyal and all this stuff and whatever, and it’s like, yeah, there is a lot to that. But at the end of the day, there, if you, if you are providing, at the end of the day, if you’re providing value, even, you know, whatever that value is, you’re going to be able to build a loyal customer base. And people are way more likely to buy again from you if you are a company that dealt with before, if it’s a product that they’re familiar with, you know, all of those things. So, I mean, it’s, it’s, it is, it’s, it’s never gonna go away. Brand loyalty and brands are never gonna go away. And especially if you can find a niche where you can really carve it out. Like, like I, I just seen a company the other day, they’ve been a brand that’s been around for 20 years. No, really competition. Like, they sell like board games, right? Mm-Hmm. , you can’t really knock off a board game. It’s an ip, right? Like,
Todd Welch (34:23):
Yep. Not legally,
Isaiah Fritz (34:24):
You know what I’m saying? Like, you don’t, it’s such a great thing to sell. Then like another guy, he was selling waterproof Bibles, and I was like, oh, wow.
Todd Welch (34:35):
Isaiah Fritz (34:35):
That’s random thing, you know what I’m saying? Waterproof bibles. But he’s like, you know, he’s, and I’m actually like talking to him right now about, you know maybe selling his product, but, but I’m thinking like, you know, those are types of things. Like I don’t see a lot of competition for it. It’s amazing. They, they’ve been around for like 20 years and, and they’re selling their, their niche, whatever it is that like, how do I, how do I do more of that? But anyway, that’s a whole other conversation. I’m sure you can talk to brand owners, but as far as getting the brand partnerships that really, if you’re in the wholesale business, you should definitely try it. I mean, at least try it, come clean don’t hide in the corner. Say, oh, I’m just this, I’m not really supposed to be selling on Amazon, but I am like, that’s the worst man. Like, you gotta come out and you gotta, you start talking to the brands is beat open about who you are, what you’re doing, and, and it can turn out a way better business model than hiding in the shadows as the secret Amazon seller. That’s, that that bottle’s never gonna last.
Todd Welch (35:36):
Yeah. Yeah. Don’t, don’t be those kinda people who are, you know, buying under fake names so that they don’t know you’re selling on Amazon and oh, and tanking the price and that that’s all gonna come around to bite you. Eventually
Isaiah Fritz (35:50):
It will. And I’ve seen it happen over and over. I got friends that do that, and it’s just, it’s not a lasting business model.
Todd Welch (35:56):
Yeah. So what, what would you say to someone out there who maybe hasn’t sold on Amazon or has just started selling on Amazon and they’re like, yeah, all this sounds great, but, you know, I don’t know how to make nice graphics or nice copy or a plus content and stuff like that. How, what would you say to someone in that position?
Isaiah Fritz (36:21):
Well, if you know any brands that are pretty large brands that need some help, definitely send them to us and we’ll give you a very good referral question.
Todd Welch (36:28):
There you go. But we
Isaiah Fritz (36:30):
Will really, but no, if you’re just starting on Amazon, start with retail arbitrage. You will learn the ropes, you’ll learn how logistics works. You’ll learn how, what sells, what dozens you’ll learn about sales, rank, rank and just start selling. The more you can sell, the better just to learn. And then if you’re then you, if you do any wholesale or anything like that, just, just, just, just buy and sell. Just learn how to buy low and sell high. That’s how I would start. And then I I, I would say that if you’re thinking about jumping into this brand exclusive partnership thing right away, the easiest way to do it is as the bigger the brand and the more experience the brand has with Amazon, they’re gonna expect more from you. But like how I started with a candle company that wasn’t even on Amazon, everything was upside, right?
Isaiah Fritz (37:23):
If you can start with a local, small company that has a great product, or it doesn’t have to be local, or it could be just a product you like that, you know, you know, it’s a small company that’s not on Amazon. Like, I had a friend the other day, they’re like, they were selling like Arizona made cactus holders, whatever, they were really cool and they weren’t on Amazon or something. I was like, well, just, you know, if you want to get into it, it’s a great way to learn. And, you know, you might not sell, let’s say you sell five a month or something, whatever it is, it’s all upside. The brand’s gonna be happy with you , right? So that’s a great way to start. And there’s plenty of little brands out there. Like another one they guy was talking to me about was some guy sells like Blackberry Jam or something, you know, where it was just like this little thing, but it was like this amazing, you know, no, it wasn’t Blackberry or some other like, very niche berry or whatever it was. It was like this elderberry or something, I don’t know, like something that you don’t hear about very often as a jam, and then mm-hmm. , you know, but people were searching on Amazon, there was search falling for it. So I mean, there, that’s, that’s how I would start if I were you.
Todd Welch (38:28):
Yeah. Yeah, I would agree. That’s a, that’s a great idea to find a local small business that’s not on Amazon, not thinking about Amazon, because there’s, there’s no really downside for them. And if you screw up, well, that’s a good learning opportunity to do it right the next time, and yeah, keep building from there.
Isaiah Fritz (38:49):
Yep. That’s what I would do. That’s what I did do. .
Todd Welch (38:52):
Awesome. Well, very good. Isaiah, this has been a great conversation. I think people pick up a lot of good tips. Any last things before we wrap up that we haven’t touch touched yet that you wanna dive into?
Isaiah Fritz (39:07):
I would just say keep listening to Todd’s podcast and all of his content. He is, he’s an awesome guy, and I think his heart’s in the right place, and he is only here to help. So that’s, that’s all I got.
Todd Welch (39:20):
I appreciate that. And if people want to get in touch with you, connect with you, what’s the best place to do that? Well,
Isaiah Fritz (39:28):
Linkedin, this is my primary social media, so Isaiah, Fritz on LinkedIn you’ll see me right, right there. And then Twitter, I’m on Isaiah Fritz, o s p on Twitter, and yeah, I mean, you’ll, you’ll look, you just Google, Isaiah Fritz on online selling partner. You’ll, you’ll, you’ll see me on, on one of those places. Love for you to reach out. Please reach out. And you know, I’m just, I’m all about networking.
Todd Welch (40:00):
All right. Awesome. I appreciate you coming on the show, Isaiah, this has been great. Yep.
Isaiah Fritz (40:04):
Sounds good. Todd, I’m gonna, I’m just starting a podcast here soon, so I’m gonna have to get you on mine.
Todd Welch (40:10):
Yeah, for sure. Do you know the name of it yet?
Isaiah Fritz (40:13):
I’m just gonna call it the Online Selling Partner podcast. It’s not very
Todd Welch (40:17):
Awesome. So if you’re listening, find that on your podcast or whatever you use to find podcasts.
Isaiah Fritz (40:24):
Yeah. But we’ll, we’ll we’ll work on it anyway, but listen to Todd .
Todd Welch (40:29):
Sounds good. All right, I Isaiah. Have a good one.
Isaiah Fritz (40:33):
This has been another episode of the Amazon Seller School podcast. Thanks for listening. Fellow Amazon Seller, and always remember, success is yours. If you.