Gary Pageau of the Dead Pixels Society talks with online retail expert Jason R. Boyce about the challenges of today's fourth-quarter holiday season, strategies for competing against Amazon, how to respond when Amazon copies your product, and the benefit of private-label products.
Boyce is the founder and CEO of Avenue7Media.com and the co-author, with Rick Cesari, of The Amazon Jungle. Boyce is an entrepreneur and CEO with nearly 20 years of e-commerce and Amazon Marketplace experience. He founded Avenue7Media.com in 2019 and co-founded Dazadi.com in 2002. Avenue7Media harnesses the power of Amazon for product development, account management, and marketing on the U.S.'s largest e-commerce platform.
Erin Manning 0:01
Welcome to the dead pixel society podcast, the photo imaging industry's leading news source. here's your host, Gary Pageau.
Gary Pageau 0:09
The Dead Pixels Society podcast is brought to you by Mediaclip, Photo Finale and Advertek Printing. Hello again and welcome to the Dead Pixels Society podcast. I'm your host, Gary Pageau. And today we're joined by Jason Boyce, author, and founder and CEO of Avenue7media. Jason is an Amazon seller expert. And today we're going to be talking about challenges facing retailers in the fourth quarter. Hi, Jason, how are you today?
Jason Boyce 0:38
I'm great. How are you, Gary? Doing great doing great.
Gary Pageau 0:41
So as we talked about prior to the call, you know, the photo industry is a big fourth quarter business, you know, this is where people make most of their revenue and profits is in the fourth quarter. What is the outlook for people who are selling on Amazon in the fourth quarter? Who may have a reseller shop or something like that?
Jason Boyce 1:01
Well, I tell you, you know, last year, an industry expert called Scott lingo, coined the term ship again. Because because of the increased demand on e commerce was going to create a lot of problems. And it really did. I mean, Amazon performed better than everyone. But I don't know about you, but I received a gift from my kids in February, through the USPS system, and you know, what we're looking what we're headed towards right now ship again, in part two, which may even be nastier. You know, I think last year, at this time, I'm in LA, outside of LA and if you look at the San Pedro port, there were about 25 ships anchored off the shore. At last count there were 17 this year. And you know, the backup is starting Well, you know, if you can get the raw materials you can get the parts is starting very early in the supply chain is going all the way to the final mile two mile delivery. I will say this, though, Amazon is in an incredibly strong position to take advantage of ship again, in part due. Because they have leased their own ships, they have their own containers, they have their own warehouse fulfillment centers. And they now have more delivery drivers and trucks than USPS and FedEx combined. And so they're in a really good place. So if you are an Amazon seller, and if you have inventory that you can get into FBA centers, or you can fulfill by merchant, and you're in a really strong position, I think going into holiday, if you're none of those things, you know, grab your ankles, it's going to be a rough holiday season.
Gary Pageau 2:32
You mentioned before about, you know, the different types of products that are in shortage right now. And we're really seeing in across all levels of the supply chain, whether it's raw materials or finished product, everything that needed you know, paper and chips.
Jason Boyce 2:47
Yeah, it's a disaster. I mean, especially for your for your camera, folks, right, any paper, there's a worldwide pulp shortage, and you can't get the you know, the paper producers can't get getting the raw materials to produce paper, even if they can, you know, and they can get enough workers to do the production in their warehouses, then you got to get a container, if you can find an ocean container, then you got to get it on a ship. And then once you get it on a ship, if you're lucky enough to get it on a ship, it's gonna anchor at port for weeks, and then you get it unloaded and then you got to get it delivered to your warehouse and or, you know, fulfillment center. And then once it's in the fulfillment center, there's no guarantee that a truck will be able to show up on time and deliver on time it is never see anything like it. I was wrong when I predicted last year that by this time this year, everything will be resolved. We're actually exponentially worse. And you know, in the camera folks just got to the chip shortage has to be affecting them as well. I mean, right, right, Gary, I mean that all the same things apply. Paper, chips, plastic, you name it. Never seen anything quite like it. It's a disaster right now.
Gary Pageau 3:51
So how is this? What happened? I mean, why is this so much worse? Didn't people not learn a lesson as we're coming out of COVID? Or is it just the labor shortage? Or what's what's the what's the big culprit this year?
Jason Boyce 4:05
Yeah, I mean, I think all roads point to COVID. In one way or another being the source of the problem. There's a lot of pent up demand that happened from suppliers trying to get stuff promotion, our our massive dependence on Asia supply chain is proving problematic. Now, I don't know how to do this. But we've got to find a way to bring some of this manufacturing to North America, whether that's Mexico, US or Canada Auto Care, we've got to do something about this. By the way, I'm not the person to solve that problem. It's a big one. But I think that dependency is there. There's been a big increase in an e commerce demand as well. Stores even brick and mortar stores who had half empty shells through COVID or were suffering through COVID because they couldn't open their doors, which is his bag, backlog of product pent up demand from consumers at all. This is a very long list of how we got here. I don't know that anyone, I don't know that you can really point blaming anyone I'm looking at Amazon, for example. There's plenty of things I blame Amazon about but supply chain, I mean, they've added 30 plus 1 million square foot warehouses, they've added massive amounts of capacity that is akin to a war effort, or the shipbuilding in World War Two, you have to go back to that time to see a company or an industry. And we're just talking about Amazon, to do that kind of a build up in terms of personnel and staff. And then sort of the last thing that's been lingering, is this worker shortage, and I'm still scratching my head. You know, Gary, I don't know what it's I don't know why this is here. I don't get it. You know, I know that depending on which side of the political aisle you sit on, you may be because there's too many unemployment checks, or maybe, maybe COVID cause people to reevaluate their lives. I think wages are going up, which is good for those those workers and maybe that will entice many more to come back. But yeah, never seen anything quite as a giant cluster bang, and never see anything quite like it.
Gary Pageau 5:59
Yeah, that's when things I mean, I'm in, you're in California, I'm in Michigan, and you know, I routinely see driving around, you know, either in fast food place, or even machine shops, you know, I'm kind of in the Rust Belt here. And you know, machine shops are saying, you know, starting wages 18 $19 an hour, We'll train, right. So if you're unskilled, you can get skilled, pretty quick plus a signing bonus. And it's amazing, because it's an all levels, it's retail, it's productions manufacturing. And again, I don't know what the mystery to that is. But hopefully that'll be resolved soon.
Jason Boyce 6:32
I totally agree with that, by the way. And I think that, by the way, that's good for businesses, that if more workers are making more money, certainly their cost structure is going to go up, but you need customers, and you need people that are above the poverty line to be able to buy your product. And so I think this is good. I think this is a good thing. Look, CEO wages have gone up 300%. In the last, you know, five to six years, why hasn't the lower end workers wages gone up as well, and they need to I think, I think I think this is sort of hopefully it'll all work itself out on the wage, wage and worker side by this time next year, but it's definitely fascinating to watch.
Gary Pageau 7:11
Yeah. And what's interesting is it's unlikely, you know, once things start stabilizing, and it's unlikely those wages are gonna go back down. Right? I
Jason Boyce 7:20
mean, what are they? I don't think they can. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I don't think they can. And on that lower rung of wages and hourly rates, it's long overdue, long overdue. I mean, I remember in high school working at a speaker factory in Central California, and I was making for 25 an hour. And you know, that was like in the late 80s. It was a long time ago, right. But that job today, where I was sweeping the floor to factory, making speakers, vandersteen audio, you know, that would be like $22 an hour for the floor sweeper, if it had kept up with inflation, right? We're just way behind. And it's long overdue. So I think that will I think, over time, those increased wages will help solve the worker problem, hopefully, hopefully,
Gary Pageau 8:02
what is the advice you would give somebody who, again, is relying on the fourth quarter, and they they may need to stock the shelves or something, right? Yeah. What can people do now in terms of sourcing product that they can they can do
Jason Boyce 8:19
Start planning for next year, if you haven't already. That's the first thing. I mean, I hate to say it, but it's too late. You know, it's too late. If you don't have inbound product right now, right? Even in Amazon, they're asking to have inventory in Fulfillment by Amazon, an FBA center, to have it ready to sell for the cyber five day. They're asking you to have your inventory received into an Amazon warehouse by November 4. And so I'm not sure when we're going to air but you know, we're recording here on October 5, you got a month to get your stuff in. I have seen shipments going into FBA take more than a month to get received in after it's left your warehouse. And so if you don't have inventory, and FBA, looking at Fulfillment by merchant out of your own warehouse is a good option. And you should start planning for next year. If you do have a limited amount of inventory and you're concerned about out of stocks, you know, I'm not trying to say profiteer here. But if you're if you're talking about e commerce and you need your inventory to stay in stock, so you can maintain your rankings especially on Amazon, then you should consider if Amazon will let you increasing your retail prices to stand stock longer so that you don't lose all that ranking that you've built up right but you know, if you were smart enough to get inventory landed in you know, June or July or August, then you're going to be fine and you're going to probably run out of stock because everyone else is going to run out of stock before you should also consider a pricing strategy that keeps you in stock throughout the holiday season raising prices so that you know incrementally and not not not a profit you're here to price gouge anybody and it's I'm trying to say but but just sort of taking some of those profits because I know If you landed an ocean container, which used to cost 40 $500 to land, year and a half ago, you're probably paying 20 grand or 15 grand or 30 grand to land it now. So by all means, make sure you're covering your costs and you're profitable, because the law of supply and demand is going to work in your favor. If you've got stock,
Gary Pageau 10:18
you know, if you're a retailer, you know, your costs have probably gone up, because you've had to pay more to get people to come into work and stocked the shelves and whatnot. So you know, those costs are going to have to be passed on.
Jason Boyce 10:27
Yeah, we're seeing that in the inflation rates, right, the well above 2% inflation rates. I think some of that is temporary, and it'll iron itself out. Sure, there's some, you know, some potential monetary policy reasons for why inflation is there. But all you have to do is look at hard Goods Sold soft goods sold, and see the cost increases that these brands and sellers have been, you know, taking it in the shorts for the last 12 months to know that's why prices are going up. Because you're not in business to lose money on every sale, you have to make money. So prices are gonna have to go up in the near term for sure.
Gary Pageau 10:59
Are there any alternative sources other than amazon for sourcing some of the some products like hard goods, I'm thinking in particular, I mean, everyone talks about Amazon because Amazon is obviously the 800 pound gorilla. But it seems to me like the reliance on that is a little dangerous at this point that maybe the message there is that needs to diversify a
Jason Boyce 11:21
little bit. I couldn't agree more. And there's a lot to say on this topic. If you look at online market share, gross merchandise value, retail value of goods sold online, in in the United States, depending on which analysts you talk to Amazon has 40 to 60% of the online retail Goods Sold market share. Second place is Walmart, which is a really big company, right? The largest global retailer in the world. Guess how much market share Walmart has online at 7%. Right? And so you know, all you have to know and I like I'm an Amazon shopper to guilty. I'm the buying public who wants to buy something online start and finish most of the time on Amazon. And that's the that's the case. And so I believe they're a monopoly. I think they have monopoly power. I think they've mistreated sellers who they wouldn't be here without brands through that wouldn't. It wouldn't be Amazon without the third party seller, they just wouldn't. Sure. I think the third party seller drives more profit dollars. So their bottom line then, and even AWS does, there's some argument on that, but they don't share those numbers. So right. And so I think Amazon has mistreated them, and they're continuing to mistreat them. And so the legislators are starting to take action, right? So there's 14 laws that are working themselves through Congress to try to limit the power of Amazon that Amazon has, so that it will open the door to more competition, more innovation in the space, and so good retail brands can sell on 10 Amazon's instead of one where Amazon plays as the judge jury and executioner to so many listings, right? With an AI bot. That's like a six year old, right? It's just frustrating. So So I totally agree with you, Gary. There's absolutely time for diversification in online sales channels and I think unfortunately Amazon's so powerful it has to come from legislators just we just hope they don't muck it up and make it worse and it is
Gary Pageau 13:14
well it can't seem to be getting much down done now as it is so you mentioned the third party seller thing which I think is interesting because we had a case here in the industry and I know that you can speak to this we had a case where as a very high profile case where there was a certain camera bag that was very popular company called Peak Design designed it
Jason Boyce 13:33
Peter Dering! Can I tell you can I tell you guys, my very I'm a co contributor on the podcast Day two from geek wire our very first podcast interview Peter Dering. So check it out, Day2 podcasts (https://www.geekwire.com/2021/day-2-third-party-amazon-seller-turned-tech-giants-knockoff-product-win/) and
Gary Pageau 13:47
and they got knocked off anyway by or copied by Amazon.
Jason Boyce 13:51
If you go back and you listen to that it's it's fascinating to hear Peter Dering's perspective because he is a high class individual. Sure. And he was great not only that innovative, creative, amazing small business owner, who's who's creating really great stuff with tremendous value. All of that creation cost money. It costs time It costs treasure. It costs creativity, right? And so he became a best selling camera bag at a very at a premium retail price. Because you know what? It's a premium is that much better last? It's way better. Right? And what did Amazon do? And you can hear my rage when I'm asking questions. I'm trying in the podcast. Yeah, I'm trying to get Peter to take the bait and start yelling at Amazon like I was doing because I was so frustrated by this, because I've had it happen to me when back when I was a seller and I know it happens daily to sellers, but he was such a class act. But Amazon copied everything, even the shape of their logo tag which is IP protected, right? And they made a inferior product that looked identical Then gutted the retail price. It was more than 30%. I think it was almost half off, or like 30% of the retail price. It was insane.
Gary Pageau 15:07
And then they can also Game Of course, the search results when people search for peak design, they can put theirs right next to it.
Jason Boyce 15:14
Absolutely, absolutely. Now look, Peter is brilliant, and will survive. And what did he do? He went out and created this amazing YouTube video that's got 10 million hits on it, where he made fun of them in a professional kind of way that is googly eyes. If you haven't seen it, check it out. There's a link on the on the podcast. But But yeah, this is unconscionable, in my opinion, that Amazon who owes so much in my opinion to the third party seller, Amazon wouldn't be what it is today. Without without third party sellers like Peter and your audience, Gary. They've provided depth of skews half a billion skews listed. Amazon retail has 15 million which is a lot but but the rest come from third party sellers, innovation, grit, hard work 20 473 65 to have Amazon successes as Amazon sellers now. And then finally the capital. Amazon couldn't be as big as it is without the inventory Amazon third party sellers own title of that inventory that's in FBA centers or their own warehouse until it sells and so Amazon This is crazy to say but almost $2 trillion valuation company Amazon would not be able to bring the capital to bear to buy all the product that third party sellers hold title to right so to have them come in and do what they did is infuriating to me. It's tough as you can tell my bloods boiling a little bit right now. Remembering that episode, Gary.
Gary Pageau 16:42
Any opinion on this at all?
Jason Boyce 16:46
Yeah, I mean, it's maddening and you know, Andy, Jesse should go to work every day and think thank God for third party sellers. They wouldn't be where they are today without them.
Gary Pageau 16:55
So do you think they're all be tricks? I mean, if you're a camera's for I'd say for example a camera surely some of them have. I have shops on Amazon and some of them don't. Um, yeah. Big ones. Of course don't your B&H's, your Adorama's, whatever they have their own infrastructure. They sell you then of course you have the brands themselves and you can go to Canon and buy a camera if you wish, right? So what do you what do you recommend for people who maybe have that shop? That's not an Amazon shop and you know, you got it. So now you're kind of competing against Amazon, you're not being a and you're also competing against the brand themselves sometimes now, the brands are usually smart enough to not get super price competitive, it's more of a convenience thing, right? People want Yeah, you know, all the crap that comes with a certain camera.
Jason Boyce 17:41
You know, in my book, "The Amazon Jungle," I talked about being a private label, having your own brand name of product is the way to go on Amazon. That being said, there are multi billion dollar sellers on Amazon that are only resellers. Right? Okay. So they're selling other people's stuff. But here's the thing. Here's the way to be successful as a reseller. And I did this I did this with Spaulding. You know, I was a drop shipper when I first started and then we started carrying on inventory and then we worked in an Amazon came in and kneecapped us and started selling same stuff that like 30% less than we could buy it, right. And so we went back to Spalding as in Spalding. We've been your number one e commerce dealer for five years, you've been inviting us to the NBA All Star game in putting us up in the Ritz as a result. I mean we did a lot of business with them. And you just let Amazon come in here and kneecap us we think that if you take product x and tweak it to make it product why and you take product y and you and you tweak it to make it you know product W and change happy to glad and give us our own unique UPC code so that we can sell your brand name but we're the only seller of it with an exclusive relationship that we think it will do great. We think it will do great and it did and we convinced them to hand us a give us a handful of products and they were only ours and we had this exclusive relationship with the brand because we were doing big volume with them and it was great Amazon nor anybody else could attach to the listing so that's one strategy. The other strategy that a lot of big big resellers thinking farm packs thinking retail they have their own logistics networks and so they have warehouse capacity in multiple locations across the country they have seller fulfilled prime and it's a logistics game and they're even you know sometimes buying product all the way from the factory for a brand they're paying fob so anywhere during throughout that supply chain where you can go in with the brand and lower your costs potentially. Right work with a brand to get exclusives is a protective layer with your with your business. And so that's one or two strategies there Gary that I'd recommend
Gary Pageau 19:49
The good thing is that's already happening in our space, right? I mean we have you know, a buying group here in the US that does the warehousing. They do this they do a lot of those things. They have exclusive products and Thing things like that. So it's good to hear that more that shouldn't be going.
Jason Boyce 20:03
Yeah, that's a viable strategy definitely viable still,
Gary Pageau 20:05
You said right now you gotta start buying for next year. That seems kind of crazy, but it seems like every year it gets earlier and earlier. And I mean, honestly, it's it's just it's just crazy. Do you think at some point though you're you're kind of losing touch with the customer, because you're buying stuff a year out just seems kind of like you're you're, you're making educated guesses based on zero consumer input into a fourth quarter that is a year away?
Jason Boyce 20:33
Yeah. Well, Gary, look, that's the the life of the CFO, right, you have to plan, you have to plan a year out and you have to put your best guess your best estimate based on past performance and expectations of future performance into financial model. So that you can you can you can identify what you're going to need next year. And look, we were in the home rec space, and we sold most of our sales. When I back when I was a seller, I'm no longer a seller or just an agency owner. But back when I was a seller, we would close out by December 15, we were working on our performance for the following holiday season, right? And what will we do with those numbers, we'd make our best estimate, we would put together their quarterly projections, we'd send it to the factory and say, hey, look, here's our order. We'd like to right before we finalize this purchase order to change our mind on the quantities based on what's happening on the ground. But we want you to have capacity to create this much product for us. Right. And we didn't always buy exactly what we predicted. Sometimes we bought less sometimes we begged them to give us more than we projected. But what that did and by the way, you need to do this in capacity with your freight carriers as well. You need to let FedEx know you need to let ups know you need to let your USPS know, hey, this is the capacity I'm expecting and q1 q2 q3 q4, can you give it to me, right? That's another supply chain Messman, right? Is FedEx last year in peak season said I'm sorry, Nike, I can't come pick up your stuff. I don't have the capacity, right? Everyone that explained that to Nike? Well, Nike didn't do a good enough job in their projections. Right? They didn't give it to them early enough. So that FedEx guaranteed that capacity for them. And so you got to dust off that crystal ball. Now more than and guesstimate what you're going to do each quarter next year now. Put those pios and get them in there. Get them in there now and say, Look, I will sign this bill when we're closer to the production date. But I want to give you these numbers now. So you can start thinking about the rest of your year to help us helps the factory plan.
Gary Pageau 22:26
Well, in Nike's case they probably like shortages, because it raises the retail price creates an article Yeah,
Jason Boyce 22:31
look, because of Amazon, you run out of stock on Amazon, you lose all that ranking you gained. So you know I'm pretty heavily heavy e commerce guy. So I never like run a stock because you lose that Google rank that organic search rank. But certainly I could understand that from a store perspective. But isn't it better to sell more?
Gary Pageau 22:50
Now and no, I agree it's always want to have the product for the consumer, you know, what they want when they want it? Because you know, there's so many choices these days. And it sounds to me like what you're talking about works better in markets, though, where there's not a lot of technology change or rapid product evolution. Right. So for non Sure. You mentioned sprawling us and that was like basketballs or tennis racket. Yeah. So I mean, I'm not sure if there's a lot of radical change that goes here to here. So So I guess it depends on which market you're in that that is a concern.
Jason Boyce 23:26
Now, look, it's a really great point. Yeah, I was just having a discussion with an apparel maker recently, that's in fast fashion. And they were asking us how we can help them with their Amazon business, I said, Look, if you come up with a new fashion every 60 days, and we have to start a brand new Amazon listing every 60 days, you're never going to succeed on Amazon, that's never going to happen. Why is that? Because with Amazon, you're selling to the algorithm. And Amazon likes listings that last forever, you know, three, four or five years. And so once that listing gets ranked, even if you have small iterations or upgrades to your product, you should keep that same listing. And so what we talked to when we talked to the soft lines, folks in the clothing business is what are your evergreen products, you know, what are the jeans that you're going to sell on Amazon that are going to be the same kind of jeans, two, three years from now, or maybe two years from now, where we can build up ranking on that listing so we can get as maximum amount of sales. And so even in a space where you do have like Look, when you're talking to talking purchase orders, there's always still the old standby right? Even in the camera space, there's still products that are gonna sell the same this year as they do next year, right? So at a minimum, right, right at a minimum, you want to make sure that you're looking all the way down the road in terms of buying for those kinds of items. But if it's in a if it's in one of those spaces where you know the computer chip is different this year than it is next year and you're going to upgrade you have to ask yourself well let's order that new stuff to let's put in orders for the new stuff that they're working on. And, and and let's let's great update the listing with the new upgraded model rather than Getting a brand new listing, so it's just part of the e commerce game.
Gary Pageau 25:03
Yeah, cuz then, you know, on the camera world, we have cameras that are updated. But there's not a big radical revolutionary changes. No, there's no, I mean things happen and you know, but generally speaking, it's at a higher and higher margin product. I think people wait for it. And there's, you know, still a ton of views product and everything out there. So I think, right, you know, you're a camera retailer, you can make a lot of adaptations without relying on the latest and greatest, to be honest. I like the old days. I mean, there was a time where bring new cameras will be announced that people go crazy. But Yep, I don't think that's the case anymore.
Jason Boyce 25:37
I think that the death of brick and mortar retail, especially sort of these regional stores that provide a lot of high end service is is overrated, I don't I don't those retailers are going to die at all. I do think that they need to adapt. Right? I think they do need to have a hybrid model where they're allowing products online and and in their stores. And then I think those stores have to become more experiential. And I know you can probably rattle off a handful, whether they're given classes, they're giving, you know, updates, they're doing all of the things to build a community around their store, rather than just being another retail store that they can buy a product from the walkout. Yeah, that's where a retail store can really shine, and grow. And so I mean, I love the camera space. I look I run. I'm gonna brag a little bit here, Gary, I want a blue ribbon for best photo, and the Oregon State Fair back in the Stone Age. And so I'm a camera buff myself. And, Gary, I'm going to tell you a nostalgic story here. A friend of mine, he's the only guy I know that was selling on Amazon before I was gonna tell you a little camera story. Jeff Berman was a big camera retailer and one of the first sellers of camera equipment on Amazon. And this is in the early days when Jeff Bezos invited him into the room to say Panasonic and Sony won't sell to me, canon won't sell to me. We're thinking about creating this little marketplace where you can come on and sell your products third party, you carry title to the inventory. And that way we can get these high end brands on Amazon. How great is that story? Right, Jeff Berman sat in the room with Jeff Bezos, where he was literally inventing this third party marketplace that's now a monopoly. And poor little Jeff Bezos, who just went into outer space with the money he made off of third party sellers. And retailers. He he couldn't sell cannon on Amazon. Right? How great is that story? So what happened to your friend now he's a consultant. He's a C suite level consultant. And, you know, you know, I was just introduced to him last year and we've developed a fast friendship and he goes into big brands and helps them manage this jungle. Let's Amazon right.
Gary Pageau 27:46
Speaking of the jungle, tell me a little bit about your book.
Jason Boyce 27:50
Oh, thanks for asking. So yeah, it's funny. Rick's is area. My co author is a really talented marketer. Marketing legend, honestly, he and to give you an idea, he did the TV campaigns for the George Foreman grill oxiclean he hired George Foreman to be on those TV commercials and, and Billy Mays for the oxiclean. He also did GoPro GoPro cameras. That was his campaign. He helped make GoPro cameras look at all the cameras stores were weaving in here, Gary. And Nick became friends. He was a keynote speaker at an Amazon show. For him now on the board of which is a great show if you want to learn about Amazon sell selling. And I went up to him afterwards and went, Oh my god, you know, this is amazing. You blew my mind with your marketing tech tactics. And it turned out that he lived 15 minutes away from me. I was living in Seattle at the time and some ambition. He was an icicle. So we sparked up this friendship and we would have coffee every Friday morning and talk he would talk about the TV days and the marketing days. And I would talk about Amazon and he says to me, you should write a book and I said, Rick, it took me eight years to get a four year college degree. I can't write a book. And he goes, No, no, you know more about Amazon anyone I've ever met. Let's let's do this together. And so I'll layer on my branding stuff and which I had been using and to massive success on Amazon. And so we wrote this book and we started off writing a book we wanted to we wanted to wanted to be sort of this get rich quick scheme like hey, make a million dollars selling on Amazon, right? So I started writing that. And I was getting pissed. every paragraph I wrote, I was having these memories by Amazon screw me over at one step or another. Right and I went back to the issaquah Coffee House with Rick after I'd written a chapter and said, Rick, I can't I can't freakin write that book. You know, I can't write the get because we need to be honest about how, how difficult Amazon is. It's a friggin jungle. And, and so that's what we did. We wrote this book, we talked about our story, we talked about the importance of sharing your story as a brand. As a seller. I talked a little bit about the early days when Amazon just wanted to be as big as eBay someday, right back in the Jeff Berman days, and then we lay out in detail a successful strategy for how to succeed on Amazon. And we do it with stories because we think stories are more powerful. And that helps stick in your mind. And I ended up loving the writing process and love the book and loved writing it and thinking about writing another one now, it didn't take eight years to do it. No mazing year knocked out a year is that you know, all that great college education, double the normal path must have helped somehow.
Gary Pageau 30:23
So can you get that book on Amazon?
Jason Boyce 30:27
Yeah, the standard joke is that Amazon hasn't taken it down yet. So you can still get it on Amazon. You can get it on Barnes and Noble in any of your some of your local bookstores, books, a million in some of the others. But yeah, it's available on Amazon, for sure.
Gary Pageau 30:39
And if people wanted to find out more about you and your company, where would they go?
Jason Boyce 30:44
Go to Avenue7Media.com is our website. There's a form there to fill out. If you want help with your Amazon business, I will say we focus on private label brands. So if you've got a nascent private label brand, or one that's that you'd like help with on Amazon, we can help you. So there I'm also on Twitter at JASBOYCE. And LinkedIn, my profiles Jason the R as in Robert Boyce, and I'm very active on LinkedIn and Twitter. And I mentioned the day to podcasts, which is a labor of love. And yeah, you can reach out to any of those ways. Well, great.
Gary Pageau 31:18
Jason, thank you so much for your time and your expertise. And I look forward to connecting you with you on LinkedIn.
Jason Boyce 31:24
Thank you, Gary. Keep up the great work in your community. It's just awesome. And I'm envious. Keep up the good work.
Erin Manning 31:32
Thank you for listening to the Dead Pixels society podcast. Read more great stories and sign up for the newsletter at www.thedeadpixelssociety.com
Transcribed by https://otter.ai