“The Transcript Is Auto Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors”
Beau Crabill 0:01
You’re listening to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and dreamers who want to learn from the experts of today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgenson has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world a serial entrepreneur himself. Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz ninja entrepreneur radio.
Tyler Jorgenson 0:40
All right, welcome out everybody to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. I am your host, Tyler Jorgensen. And today I have a friend and colleague here and I’m very excited to talk about because, or to talk entrepreneurship with because in entrepreneurship, a lot of people think that age matters. But Bo like me got started in entrepreneurship as a kid And now is a major player in the online retail space and dominates Amazon. Welcome to the show, Beau crabill.
Unknown Speaker 1:08
Thank you, Tyler so much for having me on. So excited to talk to you. But yeah, thank you so much.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:13
Absolutely. So we’re gonna go through your journey. So we’re going to peel it all the way back to the beginning. You were a star athlete in high school, but you got bit by the entrepreneurial bug early. What happened?
Beau Crabill 1:25
Yeah, so long story short, we’re gonna go from the very beginning, I guess the first glimpse of, I guess, internet entrepreneurship, where I started making money online and call it internet money is when I was in middle school at 12 years old. So it was like sixth grade. They’re all these like Nike elite socks that came out. You were the cool kid. A lot of the basketball players had them if you had these $12 pair of socks that they’re really stupid. I guess they’re they’re okay. They’re like cushiony, but they’re 12 bucks. But Nike only had at the time. I think it was like black white they came out with and they came up with red and blue, very limited colors. I actually saw Saw a friend of mine. And they invited me over to their house and they were like dyeing the socks, different colors like, Oh, that’s interesting. And they weren’t doing another business idea was like, I probably could do this and sell it to classmates at school. So I took that idea ran with it. And one of the classmates at school said, Hey, do you want these in red or purple or rainbow or whatever car you want, and then they would put in their orders and I would sell them back to the bright $25. So I double my money. I go to Joanne’s and entire process for it. And that was fun. I prior to that, I was doing some other small things like a newspaper route. I would do lemonade stands. I picked up dog poop from my neighbor’s yard and I tried to do a bunch of weird things to make money. But then the principals at my school said I can’t be collecting money on school grounds because it was a public school and they’re IKEA. You need to give us a cut. If you’re going to be doing that. I’m like, all right. I was very fortunate. We’re actually had a father who was dabbling on eBay quite a bit like throughout the year, so I know how to make a listing on eBay because he showed me how to do that. So it’s like Alright, well, if these classmates on my school, like the socks, there’s Probably 10s of thousands of other middle schoolers out there that would want these socks. So post them on eBay and they just took off. I was like, Alright, this seems too easy. Like I was being I was 12 years old, I was making like two to $3,000 a month. And that’s when like the light bulb went off. I was like, Alright, there’s money to be made by selling things online. So that’s where that started. And then after that, I you know, Nike later came out with new colors, which I kind of imagined was going to happen. So that kind of phased out a little bit. I got into buying things that are from China. I was selling like these kendama yo yos that was like a little ball on a stick and you like fully open?
Tyler Jorgenson 3:34
Yeah, I remember that trend.
Unknown Speaker 3:35
Yeah, so I caught hopped on that trend as well. So a lot of them. I was doing probably like 20 to 30 day on eBay buying them for $1 selling for 999. And I just kept you know, getting to a bunch of different things on eBay, Craigslist, and at that point, I was not an Amazon. I got introduced to Amazon from a friend of mine who had a dad I’m pretty sure was selling counterfeit like Dr. Dre beats or like headphones and stuff right he’s Selling. He said he was selling headphones and stuff like that. And he was like, I didn’t know you could sell on Amazon. So I tried the Amazon thing. I tried to list some kendamas because I was my biggest seller at that point. I didn’t get any sales. I didn’t know how Amazon works. Because eBay, practically anytime you want to go sell a product, you have to create an listing, right, Amazon, what do I know? Now I didn’t know back then is that practically you can just sell something that’s already in Amazon’s catalog unless you’re creating your own brand and things like that. So right anyway, didn’t really do much Amazon, I got really competitive and cross country and track. So as soon as I kind of realized I was really good at running around a 422 mile, I was pretty fast start to get a bunch of recognition from like schools and things like that. So I kind of put my business to the side until I got injured. And then when I got injured, I was like, Alright, there’s nothing else to do, except for my business and kind of went from there. Awesome.
Tyler Jorgenson 4:49
So I know like, a lot of people that I know in my age group did eBay did Craigslist did that kind of stuff. You’re younger, right? You’re How old are you? 21 right So you’re 21. And I mean, you were doing this in your teens. So you were doing this when other people were doing in their 20s or 30s. And the eBay craze was going on. And so you’ve got, you know, you’re approaching a decade of experience. And so even though you’re 21, you’ve been doing this a long time. Some of the big things that I’ve heard you talk about, you’ve talked about why, why you’ve moved so much of your energy to Amazon instead of eBay. So if somebody is just getting started in wanting to sell online, let’s just say between those two A or B, why Amazon over eBay,
Unknown Speaker 5:32
so they’re definitely different marketplaces, we still sell on eBay and do fairly well for the marketplace. And it’s, you know, there’s definitely some products and categories that sell better in on eBay. Like if you have a bunch of used clothing for whatever reason, it’s probably better to sell it on eBay. So yeah, I get that question quite a bit like okay, a lot of people assume that eBay is better to start off with for beginners, but I see it’s like kind of two different business models. So Amazon, I think of it more as like a shopping mall, where it’s like it’s new product. To the newest stuff, you know, if you’re selling things, new conditions, they’re doing a lot of volume in revenue. eBay, I would say it’s more of a garage sale where, you know, you can probably make higher profit. It’s more used products, more like a deal type of website. eBay’s try to change up their algorithm a lot. And they’re trying to like, match up to be Amazon, things like that, which I don’t know. But I think the one thing that eBay really does out very well is they have like, like when people think of eBay, they think deals when people think of Amazon, I guess they kind of think of deals, but like things are so much more expensive on Amazon than eBay. Like if you want something particular. Like go on eBay. I do actually most I do more shopping on eBay, and I do on Amazon because it’s the same stuff.
Tyler Jorgenson 6:37
Yeah, I would never think Amazon deals I think Amazon convenience and speed. That’s it. Yeah, but never deals. Yeah, I mean, you might occasionally find them but that’s not I don’t think their driver. And so there are two different business models, right. So yeah. What are the upsides of Amazon for a seller? Yeah, so definitely upsides of Amazon. Like you’re not like he I would say it’s more scalable like You can use Amazon’s FBA services when practically you send a bunch of inventory to Amazon and they’re the ones shipping it out. They’re the ones fulfilling, which takes up a lot of effort and time. I remember actually my eBay business. I think I was a junior in high school. This point I was doing pretty well. I was doing 10s of thousand dollars a month on eBay. At this point, I was just kind of really dabbling, doing okay with Amazon. But I spent probably two thirds of my time shipping out stuff on eBay. I have pictures of like, up till like 2am, shipping out a bunch of headphones, and damas and just crazy things every single day. And it’s like, what I’ve noticed, like if people do eBay on a, you know, a level that’s not like buying a bunch of inventory up front, and you’re kind of like hustling to find inventory and flipping things and collectibles. It’s as you do more revenue, you have to spend more time or than hire more people with Amazon. You know, I’ve done it myself. I’ve sold millions millions of dollars and we have a team of less than four or five people in our Amazon business right prepared for it. So I think that’s the the benefits of it. Like at scale, you can keep a pretty lean business, and like, it kinda just depends what you’re selling like Amazon There’s definitely, I would say there’s not a lot and there’s definitely advantages, like if you’ve been on Amazon for a while since you like you know more than ins and outs. But like, if someone’s a beginner amazon seller, you technically could have the same advantages. Anybody who’s on Amazon with eBay, like, there’s definitely more advantages, especially if you’re like, have a seasoned eBay account because eBay goes a little bit about seller history, and like ratings and things like that, and feedback. And you can actually sell things at a higher price on eBay. If you’re a seasoned eBay seller on Amazon, they create a little more fair where if you’re doing FBA, they don’t really care about your seller rating. They don’t care about what you’ve done your history, etc. So that’s also the other good apps. Yeah, as long as you have as long as the products there and they got the it’s in their warehouse. It’s all the same to them. Right? Exactly. Cool. So let’s go through a little bit more of your story, your journey so you, you’re in your teens, you’re in high school now you’re thinking, you know, five figures a month on on your online businesses, and you’re gonna go and run in college right? Yeah, that is Correct. So you face you face a big life choice at this point what happened? And you know, where did it lead you? Yes, I became really passionate about running. I was definitely gifted and being able to run fast for long periods of time. I actually didn’t even like, I don’t think I ever actually really got to my peak or where I could have done real life of potential because I actually, I joined track my sophomore year of high school at the end of my sophomore year, I didn’t join cross country until my junior year I technically only did one year of cross country because I got injured my senior year and only two years of track but that’s still like a bunch of division one schools offer me like scholarships, I all that good stuff anyway. So I became really passionate about that. I verbally committed to the University of Portland, which is actually one of the better cross country schools in the US. I had a friend who was actually going there and there’s really competitive athletically, but then Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, which they’re not as good athletically, they’re still division one, but it’s just a way nicer school. It’s better weather and I was like, Alright, do I want to live in the northwest any still or go to Pepperdine, so, I accepted a scholarship there. I was still entering my senior year so I can April I signed my noi now said I’m going to Pepperdine, like I knew I at this time, like my Amazon business was actually growing quite a bit, because I got into my entire senior year. So pretty much all of September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, when I signed my noi to Pepperdine, and I finally got healthy again for running like in May, pretty much every single second that day was focused on my Amazon business and growing that and at that time, towards the end of my senior year, I actually got on YouTube a little bit. So that kind of adds something else to my plate. But sure, anyway, so it came to be in the summer now, Amazon business going well. I’m starting grow YouTube following quite a bit. So I’m just kind of making videos on the side, right a little bit, which is kind of getting some traction, and I go to preseason training camp for Pepperdine University. So at the time, got a lot of things going on, and I knew how much effort it took to be an athlete and runner in high school, but I did not I definitely underestimated how much time and effort it was going to take. While I was being a college athlete, I was like alright, these are two different things in high school out there in college I’m really very different. So yeah, so I definitely had a pretty hard decision I got the Pepperdine nivens school yet preseason training camp I got my ID card so I technically was a student and a little bit I guess, right? Yeah, actually I used that ID card to get a discount at the Apple Store later for a MacBook but anyway
yeah, so five days in I’m like there’s no way I can do everything I there’s no way I can run my product business. I’m just now like I’ve had people like reaching out to me too. I do one on one coaching and stuff like that, which I was doing a little bit there as well as I knew I was going to later come out with a course and a training program because people are asking about that quite a bit my youtube so I was like, there’s no way I can be an athlete. Do school. I don’t even factor that in yet. My business now is not possible. I rose Okay, which 1am I gonna regret more? It was not an easy decision because like I put a lot of time and effort in becoming Yeah, it was hard But yeah, I think made the right decision. And then laughed. I cried quite a bit. I’ve had to tell my coach. And then, yeah. So five days you made it in college. Yeah, you know what, like, I have a ton of respect for you being able to make that decision. So many people when their identity is tied to something, you were a runner, right? And you you committed to that you would put passion into it, you’d signed a, you know, scholarship you’re going in to make that big of a change. Like it’s gonna shake you a little bit to your core, but it shows a lot of maturity that you were able to ask that sort of question. I know people, you know, they go through the four years of college because they made a decision when they’re 17. Then they get a job and the degree because that they went to school for just because they did got the degree, all of a sudden they’re in their mid 20s based off a decision they made at 17 years old. Like I think it’s totally okay to pull the ripcord it’s totally okay to be like, Hey, I’m changing. And like obviously, you went all in on the business and you’ve really scaled up it’s gone. Well, you know, most of your of your classmates still haven’t graduated college. You’ve got a multi million dollar business. So you’ve obviously, it obviously went well for you. Do you ever add Is there ever a day or a night where you have regrets on that?
Unknown Speaker 13:10
I didn’t have any regrets moving forward. Well, I think you actually hit on the nose right there. That’s a really good point, like having the identity of it because yeah, a lot of people are like, Okay, this is like who I am I go, I’m gonna be a doctor gonna be this as that. I think a lot of people definitely have a lot of issues like, you know, removing from that because yeah, I was definitely like, in my eyes and stuff. I was known as the the running guy. I was like, parameterize No, and no one’s gonna, like, take me as me as the running guy. But back then, like, that was my thing. So it’s interesting, but it’s definitely good point. But yeah, I had a you know, not really, I mean, I know fear, like leaving. I was like, Alright, this is it. So,
Tyler Jorgenson 13:43
when I was dumping lunch, you made the decision. You were done. It was all in. Yeah, pretty much. Well, I remember as soon as I went back home, I worked quite a bit. I remember Actually, it’s kind of bad. I was, uh, I would work until I probably like four or five or 6am every single night to practice when it’s sleeping. I would go to bed like it Seven the wake up I like noon like okay, I need to get our back so I cover the first like two weeks like leaving school. I remember I didn’t go for a run for at least like five or six months in a row like after leaving school in the Mirage I went for a run again because I actually I don’t know if anyone’s a runner endurance runner listen to this, like, you know, like part of the sport is getting injured in just having a messed up body and everything like that. I like after I think like five or six months after taking a break from running. I went for running and I could still feel the injuries. I added my body’s like, wow, I really did a lot of damage to my body. But yeah, I think so. Yeah, interesting. So your business is getting going. You’re now scaling up on Amazon, you’ve still got eBay going you’re starting to do some coaching. In this phase of your business when you’re just kind of in that early momentum. What was an obstacle that you hit in your growth and how did you overcome it? Yeah, that’s a good point. I would say I got pretty lucky where like a lot of things that I did, I had success right away, which is definitely not most people but I mean obstacles. I mean I don’t know, I honestly like the first like part like the first few months of like, you know, starting take my business easily. I just had fun with everything. So I don’t really think there was really too many obstacles. I mean, you weren’t sleeping, or nothing. So how did you shift from being like, Okay, I’m bone, I’m doing 100% of this. Yeah, start bringing on team members and start growing that way. Yeah, I would say that’s definitely the biggest issue that I had for like, over a year or so is like, Okay, and now I’m going from like, you know, this has been like a side thing. Now. It’s like a full time thing. Like, this is like what I’m doing. So where that involves, like, getting more people involved, like having employees and things like that, actually. Yeah. From like, day one. When I started doing things a lot more actually, like the first person I hired. Was it just complete joke like, actually, I hired somebody to like, build out like a Click Funnels website, stuff like that. And the dude said he had so much experience with Click Funnels, I actually ended up teaching him how to do everything. I’m like, what I urge you to do this, but uh, right. Yeah, so definitely, like, learning about other people and how to work with people, like get people to be motivated and things like that. So I learned like, what now I understand like practically no one really cares more about your business than yourself. So for sure you have partners or like get people involved. I remember actually. So I was going to get a software built out from a, it’s actually kind of funny. Hopefully the person who’s listening this, he’s probably not gonna want to hear this. But practically, I had a friend who was like a coder. So I know, I was like, affiliating and promoting a software, like to my audits and things like that. And I just want to build my own because like this company that was affiliating, they were dripping me on affiliate commissions and I thought I could make a better software so I did and I reached out to my friend who’s a coder and he like you said you could easily built it. And like I told him, let’s go 5050 onto it. Alright, you’ll build it you put in your time and I’ll sell it he didn’t think I could sell it. He was like kind of so he want to get paid up front and like at the time like amin I didn’t want to like waste a bunch of money at that point, right I like because I was a pretty stingy like person, very frugal at that point that I wasn’t like, I was very frugal so I wasn’t really like investing a lot of money into my business. I don’t really understand the difference between like spending money which is a waive things that you don’t need verse, like, invest in your business. So that was actually an obstacle that I didn’t really until like now I fully understand like, okay, there’s no return on your time, there’s a return your best, all that stuff. But yeah, back to the coder guy. He just, like, didn’t want to do it. And then he tried to do it a little bit and just couldn’t do it. And then like, so then I reach out to like, professional, like, developers go make it. They got it done in six weeks, and I had like 700 members that are I was like, I think it’s like 300 some members a day at launch. Now we have 700 members, and it’s like, making 2030 grand a month. So But anyway, so finding right people in developers or partners, employees, and definitely like, getting over the hurt, like, not hurdle, but like understanding like, where to put my money into my business is definitely huge. Because I think I remember when I started making pretty good money, like, Okay, I’m gonna put money in the stock market. I’m thinking about now it’s like, Alright, well, why was I putting a bunch of money in the stock market and things like that, where it’s like, I could have put that money in my business or hire someone else and things like that. So that was the other school so awesome. So you know, we were both in econ Very different kind of sides of the world. When you you work with a lot of people in coaching and in your you have online retail Master, you’ve got training programs, you’ve got your book the secrets to selling on Amazon, which people can get at Bo Kraybill comm slash book you’ve got a lot of and one thing that I’ve noticed is your students and people who go through your stuff. It’s like Bo, what do you actually take teach us the practical like how to step by step not just fluff. So if you if someone comes to you at the very beginning of the journey and says, Hey, I want to get into eecom What should I do? What should I know? What is your like first bits of advice for those people?
Yeah, so I mean, there’s really two routes you can go you can create a brand which like obviously you do that like with Shopify and e commerce zone direct to consumer or you can sell other you know, people’s brands or partner with other brands. So like in my Amazon business, we sell a lot of video games so we buy products at wholesale and sell for more like on Amazon and eBay and Walmart, and it’s just more of like a you know, put money into it, put inventory and and sell more There’s also like some smaller brands that we work with that we actually partner up with in a percentage of sales, you know, they pay us fees and things like that. So, with me, I’ve always found that to be like, I’ve never actually created like an actual brand of a physical product brand from like scratch. It’s always just been like, going through that now I have a lot of friends I know like, you know, Tyler yourself like you like create that you can definitely create pretty successful brands through e commerce. So anyway, I would say the first thing like someone want to figure out is like, Okay, do you want to create your own brand from scratch? Or do you want to sell other brands, there’s definitely a more of a no, definitely higher profit margin. And, you know, you could probably scale faster if you’re creating your own brand. But with me, which I would say I’m not really an expert with like, you know, being a marketer or advertiser and like I started a very like a very lean everything like that. I found what I’m doing is like, you know, was better for me on that aspect. So then from there, I would definitely educate yourself as much as possible. I see a lot of people who like a lot of people interact with me who are in my YouTube and Facebook group are people that are like, on the edge of like wanting to start like a business. online. And I see with a lot of those people, it’s they like they see a lot of ads they see a lot of marketers who are marketers first who are like hey, this is super easy to go do this you just go make a put a thing on Amazon you’re gonna make a bunch of money which is like, not true at all like Amazon not like building a business like 3d commerce is not easy now. I mean, definitely can be lucrative. So I would say people will definitely take a step back like one ask themself like, Okay, can I actually do this? What skills do I need for it? What do I need to know and make sure you have like all of your ducks in a row before you do anything? Because like people definitely can waste a lot of money in e commerce very quickly. So I really like that bow. It’s basically like step one, pick what type of of e commerce business you want to do, whether it’s a brand or it’s a selling other people’s stuff, then at then focus on educating and and really, like get an overview of the full process and then then really go deep on the first step, right like that’s my my thought so that makes a ton of sense. What are some common mistakes that you see people making when they’re getting started on Amazon or eBay.
Unknown Speaker 21:04
Yes, definitely common mistakes. People tend to be I don’t know why but people are pretty risky for some reason like up front, like they’ve just put a lot of money into it. Like actually I was dealing with or we’re about to fire a brand that we’re working with right now just because it’s like, they’re very small, they have no money to put in anything. And they like bought a bunch of units of a product that expires like it expires this December. It’s like a protein shake. And he just bought a crazy amount because he just thought it was gonna work he saw the numbers worked out on Amazon all the stuff I’m like, oh, like because like people see, I guess it’s kind of like a people look at things like price per unit quite a bit. So like when people see like an mo q where, okay, they may be expensive price per unit, but it’s also like, okay, you’re risking $10,000 versus 1000 bucks. So I don’t know. I feel like that’s one big mistake that people make is they put way too much money in inventory, or doesn’t come inventory could be ads could be, they go I feel like we would take too many steps from First before taking baby steps, if that makes sense, I think that makes a ton
Tyler Jorgenson 22:03
of sense. That’s a good way to summarize that down, like, get successful on making, you know, five units at a time. 10 units at a time be profitable before you go buy order a 10,000 unit mo Q and bring that in. You can be very lean and practically profit from day one, which I think like on Amazon can definitely do that. Like if you are coming up with a brand maybe you could like test it out. You put on Kickstarter, you could you know, put onto eBay, Facebook, what are the things like sell to friends and family first? So I think that’s one big step that people miss out is that they just go step six before step one. So I think like step one should be like, try to make your first dollar of profit without wasting $1. Like just try to like be like because you can I guess you can create you can put something on eBay. You can like get one unit but you can try to sell your friends and family like Hey, who would want this? So I think that’s what I’m a big, big believer in testing before you scale and that’s a great way to do it. All right. Bowflex a little bit for us. What are you guys doing in Amazon sales these days? Yeah, so we’re doing about 600 k a month in gross sales on the product side of the business. The other side of the Amazon business, which we actually we were doing, it wasn’t really like a serious thing that we were doing until this year, right? We’re doing a more on the side was we’re actually and we actually do it for free. So I kind of partner up the brands getting a percentage of them, which right now, we’re probably making an income from that like 15 k a month of profit because we have expenses with that, but we’re bringing it on some brands right now that could like really boost that number pretty quickly. But anyway, yeah, that’s a cool note heart. And then how about in the education side of your business? Cuz you know, you have courses you have your book? How’s that? What do you guys do in there? Yeah, so that’s pretty good for education in business. There’s a software and then we have like trainings and courses, books and coaching, things like that. The software does about 30 K, like monthly recurring revenue, which is great. Yeah, my expenses that’s pretty lean. It’s a very simple, straightforward software and if anyone’s like, if someone’s doing my business model into Amazon, like You need the software. More actually right now we have a telegram chat of like 30 plus people beta testing a bunch of new updates with it right now we’re actually nice getting get rebranded to supplier scout Comm. But anyway, so there’s that the rest of the education courses is probably doing around another 70 K, a month off of that, which like there’s a few expenses not as much as like a product business. Sure, yeah. So then it’s gone. Well, nice. And so you know, what I love about your story is, you start small, but then you iterate very quickly. You’re prudent in how you approach but you’re not scared to go big. And I feel like sometimes it’s one or the other for people. They either just take a big risk at the beginning and then they’re done. They’re out right, they bought one unit one big order, it didn’t sell and they’re done. Or it’s the other way around. The guys never they only do small tests and they never get into the next phase. And I’ve watched you just in the in the year or so year and a half of that I’ve known you I’ve watched you do this in several different things. And it’s been really cool to see so Guys I highly encourage you if you’re interested in Amazon or selling online, go learn from Beau go to Beau crabill comm get his book The secrets to selling on Amazon at bo kraebel comm slash book and for everyone listening it is now your turn to go out and do something.
Unknown Speaker 25:19
Thank you for tuning in to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared, go to biz ninja.com slash VIP and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favor if this episode was meaningful to you, please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us is ninjas. It’s your turn to go out and do something