How to grow your Amazon & eCommerce Presence in 2021 ⎜ Dima Kubrak ⎜ EP 67
Ryan Cramer: What's up, everyone? Welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer, and this is Crossover Commerce, presented by PingPong Payments. The leading global payments provider, helping sellers keep more of their hard- earned money. Happy Monday, everyone. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer, and welcome to another episode of Crossover Commerce. Episode 67, presented by PingPong Payments. PingPong provides marketplace sellers and entrepreneurs global solutions for controlling their domestic and international funds. An account with PingPong allows companies to significantly reduce their cost when receiving or making international payments, all in one platform. Helps increase operational efficiencies, saves time, and allows sellers to manage their business profits from one single source. For more information, check out the show notes in those comment sections below, or the links wherever you're watching. We appreciate that. inaudible more information and to save at least 25% on any... guaranteed on any FX sending or receiving fees, go ahead and check out PingPong Payments in that link below. Thanks for watching us or joining us live on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter, or on our new Crossover Commerce page that just launched this past weekend. Thanks for watching us live. Or if you're catching this on audio form later one via Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple, or Google Podcast. Truly wherever you can catch or listen to audio podcasts, we'll be there. Just search Crossover Commerce as well. Do me a favor and follow, like, and share this episode on social media. Follow, like, and share our social pages as well, so you can be notified of when we go live. I go live now four to five times per week, with different leaders in the ecommerce, Amazon space, so we can bring you the most relevant information. As sellers, as entrepreneurs, and as just industry experts as well. That's my job. I want to be just learning, just like everyone else. I want to understand what is happening in space, and bring you the best and relevant information. But go ahead, and because this is live, we can interact with our audience. Make sure that you comment, tell us where you're listening from, or even what questions you have for myself or our guest. We'll be able to see those live and answer those as applicable to this show as well. Go ahead and comment in the section below. Or if you're catching us on Team Replay, make sure that you tag us in those comments so that we can see them and answer those questions as well. Again, about our guest today. I'm really excited to kick off this week of four guests that will be going live Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Our guest today has been on Amazon for seven plus years, is an eight figure seller himself, but also is a CEO and founder of a company called Sellerise, to help Amazon sellers take their business to the next level. We're going to learn more about that company and about his journey on Amazon, ecommerce in general. Both the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur and then also just the fun things that he is going to be talking about. He's got retail, he just said, " I have property I'm buying up right now that's a hot market." He's down there warm, sunny Miami. But welcome to the show, Dima Kubrak of Sellerise. Dima, how's it going today, sir?
Dima Kubrak: Hey, Ryan. Thank you so much for such an amazing invitation. I'm so happy to be with you guys today. We will have a crazy good time.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely. We have a lot of fun on this show. You'll get to catch up with me, because I know we've never talked. But I always fun with my guests on the show. That's the whole point.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. Being in Florida now, it's such an awesome thing. It's just cool weather and the beach and all inaudible. That's cool.
Ryan Cramer: Sounds amazing. I'm here in Indiana and we don't have that kind of stuff here. The closest beach is in Lake Michigan and that's three hours north of here. That's cold this time of the year. No thank you. Down in sunny Miami, I'm about that all the time.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. Yeah. We're actually planning to host a live event here in April. Would love to see everybody in the live event, every Amazon seller and ecommerce guys from ecommerce spaces. It's going to be a real live event. Not a Zoom call. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: crosstalk no more Zoom calls for you guys? That's amazing. I know a lot of people are starting to... Even as this 2020... it's been about a year since we've all had to ebb and flow with shutdowns and pandemic and restriction of traveling. Again, everyone who's watching live, again thanks for joining us. Just wanted to give a couple shout outs for people on. Scott here on YouTube, everyone from Facebook, Nikolai. Then we have a couple other people. Just saying hi. Yeah, everyone else. Sorry. I can't personally read Russian, or any other language besides United States. For English I should say. But I'm welcome to different audiences around the world. Happy to answer questions that you guys might be listening from. Dima, you're not from... have you been in Miami long? What's that been like for you down there in 2020, 2021?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. Listen, it was an amazing journey. Remember, it was just February of last year when everything started. It was like hey, me and my wife was just every day let's inaudible. There's some statistics in China, what's going on. What we should be prepared for. Then everything hits like a brick in March. I remember everything got locked down or shut down. We were sitting in the house as well. But we stayed for a few days, but then we see our sales jump six times. Some accounts did ten times. We was like nobody wants to come to the warehouse to work, so we went back to the warehouse. Start working packing and all that. The sales went up like crazy. I'm glad we were also prepared inventory wise, because every time before inaudible, Chinese, this holiday's coming in February, always buy more inventory. You stock up. This helped us to sustain longer. But some of our suppliers unfortunately fell off and we was forced to change the suppliers in 2020. Some of the big suppliers we was working for few years, unfortunately now somebody didn't sustain in the business. Somebody just increased some rates crazy. We was saying guys, for us, nothing changed. We keep continue working.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Well, yeah. Some people were lucky with that I think. The planning logistics, more seasoned sellers were very much like okay. I think it depended on what category you were in. Do you share with people what category you sell in? Is that something that you tell?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. We sell in grocery, we sell in baby, we sell in industrial, we sell in musical, we sell in health and supplements, we sell in beauty, and we also sell in sport and outdoors. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: So you're not staying specific to one category at all. You're across the spectrum of Amazon.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. Look, right now we developed a team that every Friday, the team gets together. For six hours we're just searching and masterminding new products. This helps us to speed up, because this year we want to launch 300 new SKUs. That need to be teamwork. We cannot just do it individually or hire a couple inaudible that will do product search and then guess if it will work or not. We want to scale this process for 2021 and just push forward. Sorry. I have my crosstalk. With my energy, no, it flies here.
Ryan Cramer: It's okay. On Friday I knocked all my pens off my desk because my hands went flying. It made this big crash. That's being live. You don't get to edit that stuff out. It's wonderful. But yeah, I have my notebook inaudible here as well. Your team, how big is your team right now? This is apart from Sellerise. Let's get into that. You're selling in just. com or where are you as a brand or brands? Where are you focused on selling your goods?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. For us, the major channels right now, it's USA, Canada, and Mexico.
Ryan Cramer: Okay, North America.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, North America. Yeah. We're also expanding to European markets, but this seems a bit more complex in terms of taxes and calculations. I think PingPong is a great company to help with the financial things there. We also tried to buy in Australia and we just got the approvements for Japan. I think inaudible there. Generally speaking this is what I do usually. When I try to hit some new market or some new idea, I usually hire someone or find someone in my team who has additional couple hours of work that they can spread, or I can delegate some tasks to other guys in my team. I pick this one person and I say hey, I can give you one hour per week and your idea is just entire week you need to search for this market. What requirements, what we need to jump in the market. Then once a week just report to me and I will just give you all resources. But I don't want to be involved in the processes that doesn't make money for myself. And yeah, for the company.
Ryan Cramer: Well, it sounds like your number one currency is time. Right? That would be for you as a business and entrepreneur, your time is of most value to you. How do you, when you're scaling your business and brands, what is it like for you to either entrust other people to do that product and scaling for you or you have to work them in slowly? What's that process really like for you as a brand and business owner and entity, to scale?
Dima Kubrak: You're saying about my personal time or other people time?
Ryan Cramer: Well, either crosstalk I guess. I guess we'll talk about your time too, because you're leading the charge on most of these operations. I call them minimum wage activities. They're something where people can actually, and I tell this from Mike Zagari of PPC Entourage. he calls them minimum wage activities, where other people can take it off your plate so you can focus on the money making aspect of your business. Right? The new products, the sourcing, the logistics, building out listings, so that you can launch products quicker and easier. Is that what you're truly focused on? What's that now that you've done this for so many different years, what's that focus for you?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. Let me tell something. Every time I'm listening to someone's podcast or every time I'm reading a book, one thing or something, I always feel like this guy's so smart. This guy's just so well organized and balanced. And sometimes I Feel like my company is organized and I have enough team. But sometimes I feel like it's total mess. Nothing can be organized and it's just like sometimes I inaudible what I've done and so many people working and I don't know what direction we should go. Everybody can have this up and down times time to time, but it's very important to... unless we all know life now. Okay. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: You're just pulled different directions. You're pulled all these different areas. But almost like you are... you almost have to refocus yourself and say I can do this. You've done it, you are doing it, just almost like that snap back into reality. It's like I'm going to make decisions and quickly ebb and flow. Right? Is that more how you're operating?
Dima Kubrak: Listen, this is what I've done. For the last two weeks, this is my main book that I'm following, the traction.
Ryan Cramer: Okay.
Dima Kubrak: I don't know if you've heard about it. crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: I have not.
Dima Kubrak: You have not? Oh.
Ryan Cramer: I have not.
Dima Kubrak: crosstalk this one, if you want to scale your company to, say, 200, 300 employees, it's not... what I realized throughout all of these years I'm working, I have a high level of energy. But I cannot do everything myself. Of course it's a common thing that you need to delegate and do other stuff. But how? How are you going to organize, how are you going to make sure people who are working in your company for the salary, how are they going to perform at the highest level. This will be ... I remember about nine years ago I met a guy. He was the owner of the huge trucking company, selling parts. He was saying to me always like hey. I remember one thing. Any employee you will hire, they will work way less than you. Even if you expect they're going to work harder, it's usually never happen. Only on the short period of time. This book, Traction, it's basically about how to put right people on the right seats. Generally speaking, if I find someone, like a great guy, like you, Ryan, and I see how you perform, I'm so excited to see. Hey, I wish to have a person like you in my team, as an owner or as a leader of marketing in the podcast division or content creation division. Because everything that you told me about your background, everything sounds awesome. You know? So I think PingPong, just so happy that they have you in the team.
Ryan Cramer: I hope so. That's what I keep trying to tell myself. I hope they see all that work you're putting in. And that's the thing, is if you're passionate about what you do, I think it always makes it more enjoyable to wake up every day and say I'm going to talk to somebody new I've never talked about today and this is the mentality I'm going to go in with it. I'm going to learn something new about either ecommerce of just about that person or even networking. That's how I've seen this podcast grow. I think a lot of people respect that as it's not a webinar. It's like I don't want to go through a boring PowerPoint. Those are valuable in the context, but if people are going to dedicate up to an hour's worth of time I'm going to make it enjoyable, interactive. But then also informative because every person in this show is specifically we talk about perspective. No one does the same road twice. It's always because of one thing or another, a series of decisions that they made that led them up to that point. I think that's what's so fascinating about a brand or an entrepreneur, is that there's a reason why they got into this space. Whether it's I don't want to deal with a 9: 00 to 5: 00 boss, or I don't want to... I want to have a second source of income, or I want to see something grow and scale internationally and exit it eventually. Those are the conversations that we have on this show, which is really fun to have with people like yourself. It's been, honestly, easier through pandemic because people aren't traveling as much and I know where to find them. So I can just say, message them, hey, do you want to hop on real quick. Or hey, let's find an hour's worth of time to talk on the day. That's what's nice about this show. I appreciate those kind words as well. What's been the most unique challenge for you, Dima, starting off this year? Is it just the quickness and what you're scaling? Or is it something more broader than that, or I should say more specific than that. Is it like my sourcing is difficult, or trying to get products to my locations and FE warehouses, that's difficult. What's been the most unique challenge for you this year?
Dima Kubrak: In 2021 you're saying, yeah?
Ryan Cramer: Yeah.
Dima Kubrak: Let's take crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: we're three months in, so I don't refer back to 2020 too much anymore now.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. For me I think it's consistent challenge of many things. Because look, here's the biggest thing. What I usually like to say, imagine I'm a good size seller. But someone who's just starting their business, it's more different challenges. The bigger business are growing, the bigger challenges you're facing. That's why sometimes it's good to refer not just to high level guys and only listen to them, but also get in the groups where people have just the beginning. Because look, these people, why I like to learn from the beginners, because their eyes are on fire. You just look at them and you know what advantage they have. For example, me, I'm making enough money sometimes I get to the comfort level. For me, if I want to launch new product, I have enough budget. But for them, one of the advantages they have, they have a disadvantage let's say. They don't have enough money. But at the same time, they have advantage, this pure energy that they pump in. They find in this different ways of squeezing market to the level where they start to make money. Then they accelerate and they start to grow the teams. Sometimes they get stuck. For me, one of the biggest challenges was because I'm running multiple businesses, it was an organizational thing. For me, nowadays it's so popular to sell Amazon businesses. I asking myself consistently, do I want to let it go, some of my companies that I run, or do I want to just keep continue building them up. For me personally, I found out that... because my life anymore doesn't connect to financial problems, I can just keep continue growing my businesses. Of course I can multiply some things, but now after we start this weekly calls with my team on Fridays, for researching new products and new ideas, I see so many opportunities. I just want to let go all my companies and just start brand new ones. Because it's really challenging when you start a new business. Some people, look, I think there's a cool TED talk on YouTube. You know TED talk?
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Yeah, I know who you're talking about.
Dima Kubrak: There's some guy or girl. She was saying about how to be always happy. The happiness is in the progress. The happiness on the speed of how fast you can adapt to the new things. 2020 happened and this suddenly, we're all wearing masks and all this shit going on, on the Zoom calls and Keith's now going to school. Some people really get challenged and some people lost a bit of positivity. But some people, they adapt faster. Same as me. I was like hey, what's going on, where are we going, what if the entire economy will collapse inaudible. Always ask this question of yourself, especially if you see them on Facebook and watching TV.
Ryan Cramer: You go down that ugly path of yeah, get sucked into what other people are saying. Exactly.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So yeah. After all this pandemic happens, I start to mute people who was posting about coronavirus because I just get so frustrated about this. I want to just keep continue going on the progress. But anyway. I'm not saying I'm trying to ignore this thing and all. But I think crosstalk is very promising.
Ryan Cramer: When we're talking about the topic of growing your Amazon ecommerce presence in 2021, what is for sellers like you who have been around a little bit, where are you looking to grow that presence? I guess it's where you're looking to grow, but also how you're looking to grow. I would call those two separate entities. Let's focus on the where you're going to go grow. What's that growth area look like for you? Is it a different marketplace? Is it different countries? Is it off of Amazon? Where are you looking to grow?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. We were actually drop... we split this on few things. For instance, if we have a product, there's two answers we need to answer, on what channels we're going to sell. The second, how we're going to acquire additional traffic. The second one, it's why people are going to be interested in our brands. We decide to build content. The more content we build right now and more collaborations we build with the influencers and other channels, like blogs and forums, the more traffic we're getting into our Amazon business. We see some correlations. The more we just distribute content across social media, the more sales we get into the Amazon. Even if we're not trying to directly make purchases of our products right away on the spot. Let's say if we were building some cool content or calibrating with some influencer, even if you're not trying to give them a link to directly buy our product on Amazon people still go and check out and we see spikes in sales all the time. We're also looking at what our... we're not trying to hit one specific influencer. We want to see how broad we can get. How would say in English?
Ryan Cramer: The micro- influencer network?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. For example, one micro- influencer has 10,000 followers. But 100 of them have 100,000 or one million.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, you're focused on more the entry level influencer, if you will. inaudible can spend the resources, the time and effort, focus on you. Instead of a million follower influencer, they charge you like$ 30, 500 for one post or something like that. I've worked on that scalability too. It's crazy to think... I think friends like Norm Farr, Paul Baron, people of the show, are constantly touting that too, is work with those micro- influencers. Because those people will... they will put their time and effort and energy into you. If it's images or just content that you can reuse, that's where a lot of people are really touting. I'm glad to hear that from you as well. That's interesting. You're growing your social following in that regard. Is that more on the branded side?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. In our company, me and my wife are working together. It was very challenging for the first few years, I'm telling you. Working with your wife is one of challenging things. But I strongly suggested to learn how to work together, because this way you will become like a machine. I was more like a technical guy and I know how to make money on the short terms. My wife, she's more like a vision. She likes this beauty, she know how to organize, she know how to put proper science and colors and how to organize all this feeds. At this, she is awesome. She knows how to communicate to influencers and they love to communicate with her. Me personally, I'm more about calculations and algorithms and how to make this and that happen. We merge our abilities and she basically handles all of our social media. I basically hold everything that connects to logistics, financials, creatives, loans. Everything.
Ryan Cramer: Awesome. What was it like? You said it was challenging in aspect. Was it just because your personalities didn't match in the business world? Obviously you're married. What was the hardest thing to merge the two? Then what was the most surprising thing of working with your significant other? Because I hear a lot of husband and wife teams that are starting to emerge. I had one on the show last Wednesday that they're traveling abroad. Before they have kids, they're both on the ecommerce side and seeling in different marketplaces. What was it like with you to start that path with your wife?
Dima Kubrak: Ryan, I didn't ask you. Are you married?
Ryan Cramer: I am married, yes. I have a six year old as well.
Dima Kubrak: Listen. Try to tell your wife to do something required. You will hear the response sometimes. Or try to judge her work. But that will be complex. That was one of the biggest challenge for us, because since I was travel a lot to different seminars and events and I learn a lot, I read tons of books, I love self- education. Sometimes even when it comes to social media or branding, I have a lot of knowledge. Some things I never implement. But when someone implement and show me, complete the work, I can say hey, that's not how we should work. Me being adjusted and her being adjusted was the most difficult. I was firing her like three times per week. We actually at some point, we realized okay, we have to go different directions in terms of business. She going around her agency, I'm going around my company. I just call her and say you know what? I realize without you I cannot build a beautiful company. I cannot build a billion dollar company. I will be always an Amazon seller. Let's just sit together and figure out what our responsibilities and just never fight again.
Ryan Cramer: The communication was open and honest.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: You had to rely on her. I think that was a great way to approach it. That's awesome. How long have you guys been working together on the business side of things?
Dima Kubrak: Since the first day we started the business. We actually start together everything. Yeah. We was doing everything. Actually one of the biggest challenge for us was when we get the kids. The kids was also another challenge because now she was focusing more on kids, I was focusing more on business. But after we hire nannies, it becomes just another freedom. I would say the first year maybe it's more challenging. But after that you get used to it and you just... kids bring you so much power and so much energy. And so much discipline actually. Before I was not disciplined at all. Now it's like everything goes by the schedule. You enjoy your life even more. Going back to the discipline. Build some specific disciplines in your company, in the commerce business and the private label business, just to make sure you guys keep continue going. Because you can be just busy but you are not productive. That's the one of the biggest challenge. I know a lot of people who they launch few products, like a year ago, they start to make some money. And then for some reason, they get comfortable level, like comfortable zone, and they not launching new products, they not improving. In all the competition, inaudible. Every day there's new courses, new people joining the market. Slowly your products can go down. Every product has a cycle, which means life cycle. Yeah? Life cycle it's called.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Mm- hmm(affirmative).
Dima Kubrak: When you know ... I remember seven years ago when I start to sell first my green tea, I was selling matcha, and there was nobody on the market. There was only like two companies selling matcha. It was almost impossible to do the search. Just one guy and another guy and that's basically it.
Ryan Cramer: Exactly.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. Then we started, one of the Russian, there's a big Russian group, they used to exist, it's called Sales Hub. Now they discontinued their business I think. But they took my product as an example of a perfect product to launch. Imagine what happened. Every Russian crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: You were the garlic press seller of them.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, exactly crosstalk. They made a showcase study based on this specific product. Imagine how many black hat guys, white hat guys, any guys start to join this market. The sales started dropping them all a bit. I was diversifying my focus to partnerships and those kind of complex. I lost part of the market. Now we're gaining back. Not now, but about three years ago we gained everything back and we become a good seller as well, in this specific niche. Also there was another product I was launching, the collagen. Another company, Amazing Selling Machine, they took my product again as an example of a perfect listing and a perfect product. What's going on with this guy? Why they always picking me? why are they just cannot go and choose someone else and just crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Anyone else who's a little bit less perfect. Come on, guys. You're taking all your hard work and everyone's going to start targeting. Yeah. The guys that have Amazing. com. Yeah, it's a... that's funny to hear. But I mean with that, it's almost like a compliment right? You have to take it for what it is, of they're giving... probably focusing not on their own products for that very reason. But you have to say I am doing something right in ebb and flow. With that being said, I'm always curious to ask Amazon sellers. What is the expectation of a good product from launch to maturity to it being on the market? How long do you expect a product to be a viable, competitive product that will continue to bring you money and profitability? And then for you to maybe discontinue it at that certain point. What's that timeline pretty much look like in your mind?
Dima Kubrak: I will come back to this answer. I just want to finish what I crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, no problem. Yeah, you finish. Yeah, no problem.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. I was just trying to say guys, don't be to stay on the inaudible. When I just started Amazon business, I was thinking everything limited, I have to be quiet what products I'm launching. It's absolutely fine. The business is so big everybody will find their own paths. As I'm saying, you just need to figure out what type of skills you want to bring to the market and what you want to learn. This way, everybody will find their place under the, how say, inaudible.
Ryan Cramer: Under the sun, yeah. Any product under the sun, yeah.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah, yeah. As I'm saying, you don't have to be number one. Unless you actually crazy want it. But one of my good friends, coming back to your inaudible.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah.
Dima Kubrak: The question that you asked. One of my good friends say launching a $100, 000 product, you have to do a lot of things right. There's also have to be some magic. But launching product and doing$10, 000 a month, you just need to avoid couple mistakes, like the people usually do in terms of product research, keyword picking, proper PPC structure. Basically majority of the people, they can hit 10,00, $20, 000 in sales per month. With average 20% margin, you will get additional$ 3, 000, $5,000 a month. I know it's not a lot of money and this is the big thing. When you go into the Amazon business, or any type of business, you have to know. You have to understand if you come with zero knowledge, zero experience, because you watched someone entertain and fun and cool course or webinar, it doesn't mean you become automatically successful and everybody makes money. I know a ton of people losing money on Amazon. But it's not because I think wrong expectations. Yeah, wrong expectations. They just feel like they have to become millionaire in one year and it doesn't happen. No. They feel like for a year, they already losing money. But if you keep continue going. I know so many other examples when people was launching first product, they lost money. Second product, third product. But they was just keep continue going and they just keep educating themself, building their social media platforms. It's not... Amazon is not the magic. It just a simple marketplace where other clients doing checkout of different products. You can gain this ability. You can gain social media presence, you can gain blogs, you can do a lot of different things. For me, to launch good products, I think one of the biggest things, it's a margin level. I have to buy, let's say, for$ 2 and sell for 20. This way it will allow me to make enough, with a good ROI. But I think one of the biggest thing that I also count is how much it's going to cost me to discontinue this product. I'm not looking at how much money I make, I will make. It comes within calculations, yeah? One of the biggest things that I calculate, it's what I need to do to discontinue it. To lose as less as I can. For instance, if I launch something like this, like inaudible, if I buy let's say for a dollar and if I see the average market goes for$ 19.99 and then I check. Okay. What is the menial price someone sells somewhere on the second or third page. Let's say they sell for$ 15.99. If I buy this for one dollar, I can discontinue this at$6. 99 without losing a dime. This is one of the biggest calculation I usually do and how long it will take me. I think, yeah, you have to... there's always some saying no plan B, you that thing. But I always have plan B.
Ryan Cramer: That's good.
Dima Kubrak: This something that makes me sustain longer in the business. I saw so many attacks in the past on my products and the companies. Every time that there is some nasty player comes and it may happen to you guys, you have to know one thing. Just keep continue working. You know? Keep continue working building your business, engage with your customers, and this will help you to sustain and make money. These things is temporary. People who relies on the black hat and short term strategies, they don't stay long. Usually it's like three, four, six months, and then they disappear. I saw this many many times for the last seven, eight years.
Ryan Cramer: Stay consistent and just keep doing, put in the work, and try to... or shutter the waver or whatever, if someone's attacking you. I think there's an interesting question that came in actually. I will throw it up on the screen, from Brendan, one of our listeners. It says, on Facebook, what is the number one mistake that people make when they want to make money on Amazon? Is that something consistently that you see across the board that stands out in your mind, Dima?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. I'm saying one of the biggest... there's two different ways also. We can answer this question for the beginner, for someone who just started the business or have only few products. Or someone at my level, like with our top mistakes. There's a different mistake we guys make and they cost different amount of money.
Ryan Cramer: Let's go to the beginner first. Yeah, go ahead.
Dima Kubrak: I can tell it this way. When we're talking about different level of money, think about percentages. If you join just the market and you lose$1, 000 with your first investment, it's like losing for me$ 100,000 when I invest in a wrong launched product. $ 100, 000 feels a lot for you. You feel like hey, he has a budget, he can outbid any competition. It's not. Sometimes, it just there was not enough magic. And yeah, things happen. We're the same guys where every day we're grinding, we're working, we put in the same amount of hours and focus to overcome this obstacles. For the beginners, I think number one mistake, they don't calculate financial part properly. Also, it comes with this. It's they simply rely too much on Amazon. They think if they're all common they will give away 100 units, that automatically sales will come. But they may not. Let's say you need to sustain for the next 21 days with the PPC target and specific keywords on exact campaign. Maybe it doesn't sound right for the beginner, but I'm just saying you're starting crosstalk and you need to spend$ 150, $200 a day for the next 20 days, it's close to four or$ 5, 000. Sometimes you get nervous because the result only there after 21 day, not here. And you want to make sure you're doing things right. Yeah. crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Yeah, go ahead.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. Financial. Financial. Look, some people also, they go for the product. They go so demanded product and so much competition and they think okay, I'm going to change the color of the product and everybody will like my product and they're going to buy my product. It may not happen. Also, I suggest they don't do proper research. For example, they went to some tools like let's say inaudible or Jungle Scout or Wire Launch and they did simple product research. However, they follow somebody course on doing product research and they've done this and they feel like they searched proper product. But they never buy their competition products. It's your future competitor, you need to understand who you're going to deal with. It's so essential. You have to buy all this products. You have to take... if I will turn my camera, you will see how many products that are laying down crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, you're probably buying your... yeah. You said with those sticky notes, you're buying your competition, your top page one competition, just to see what they're doing. So you can get a feel of how can I differentiate, how can I be better than them. Is that what you're talking about?
Dima Kubrak: Ryan, this is the fastest way to learn. I'm telling you crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: That's smart. No one talks about that. Or at least I don't hear people talking about that enough.
Dima Kubrak: I can tell you. From my personal experience, from all the courses that I've been, I was paying 5, 000, 10, 000, the biggest I paid 75, 000 for a course. I'm telling you, there's not a single course that will teach you faster than you yourself buying other people products. You breaking down their inaudible. You will see all sorts. Stickers, SMS strategies. Nobody going to share with you this, you know? But they right here, right on the front of your nose, and you're not utilizing this. By just going and simply start to check out, buying this and adding this products into your Amazon checkout and just buy them, look at them. You can always return them, you don't have to keep them crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, you can have the return rate go up a little percentage point or whatnot. Just for whatever reason, after you keep it around. That's smart. I never think about obviously have a tangible good. I've heard of blackout strategies of they go on discount and you buy their inventory and resell it. I say blackout, people do that. But the way to know your competition is to get it in your hand, feel it, touch it, see the packaging, and really differentiate from there. Like hey, this one has great packaging but lacks in quality of product. B, almost on a whiteboard, just break down, this is work, and differentiate. Then, like you said, the follow up marketing. If they had an insert, yes, if they did it or not. That's cool that you can almost build out a sheet of check marks of what's being successful and if they follow these different, essentially, tactics. How you can step in and say I can do this better than them and so on and so forth. And then if it's a viable product, after going through everything. Interesting.
Dima Kubrak: Ryan, look. What I can tell you. We are super ethical company. This is what comes. Look, you have to build a list of principles that you will always follow. When the hard times will come, because look, I used to have a lot of partners. Like a business partners. I can tell you, I've inaudible so many times people cannot sustain. Imagine I have one partner who was building a crazy good business. In first year we did 2. 5 million in sales from only$ 5, 000 initial investment. It was a great company. It was building and everything looked bright for us. It was launching products. And then we start to get massive competition attack. You know? It destroy him a bit. He start to be stressful, didn't show up at work and all. You know. I'm not trying to judge him. It's okay. Tough times may come, and probably they will come in any business. It's based how you're going to face them. I buy out his part and all and I rebuild the entire company. Everything was good after that. But until... if you'll get a list of principles that you can follow, like for instance me myself, I never attack a single competition. I never left a single negative review, or I was never trying to increase, you just mentioned this.
Ryan Cramer: crosstalk return rate.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. It was not intentional, like you say, increase their refound percentage. I know we can be better at other aspects of the business. We don't need to look at competition. We only can learn from the best. But learn it from the best and implement in best strategies on the market. It's not bad. It's actually great you're doing this for your business.
Ryan Cramer: Drives competition. Yeah. Exactly. Or it drives more people to innovate and grow. Just like in software in general. I feel like that's where people, they were first to market but people are like I need to innovate on this because of it doesn't have XYZ. I can build it better. And those tools too. Maybe that's an easy segue into Sellerise and what you guys are doing with your software. Like look at me, I've been doing this awhile, I can segue myself. What's maybe that one thing that made you want to build the software?
Dima Kubrak: Oh. I can tell. Look, this is how it happened. About few years ago, I got my first project manager. He was a big team lead in the company who was doing softwares. By that time was was handling over 300 SKUs and it was very difficult to monitor because all of the SKUs was sometimes attacked by competition or Amazon just doing stupid mistake and remove your product for no reason. You know? You guys know better. I don't need to explain you, be kind of like... Amazon, it's not a sunshine and easy to run business. My favorite saying, it's like when people ask me hey, how much money you make on this and that and how easy it is to run this business, I always say let's try to pretend it's a passive income. Which is completely not. It's an active business that you have to run on a daily operations. This is what happens with the Sellerise. We realized we need to build something that was not solutions on the market that you need to monitor your listings consistently. This how we built Sellerise. Right now when I was building Sellerise, I was trying to make a unique solutions on the market that doesn't exist. Somebody was asking me before, like hey Dima, your Sellerise missing keyword tracker. You cannot track inaudible. Guys, if you want to track keywords, go to inaudible.
Ryan Cramer: Or 10 other different companies. Yeah, exactly.
Dima Kubrak: Another different company. I'm not trying to convince you that my tool are the best. Yeah, we have keyword tracker right now, guys, so please stay with us.
Ryan Cramer: If you really want keyword tracker, we got it. Yeah, exactly.
Dima Kubrak: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Of course we'll listen to our customers and we try to improve different things. But basically Sellerise was built as a system that I was in need. That something was missing on the market. We have a shipment optimizer, we have a review dashboard that analyze all your common keywords. It's very advanced and very cool stuff. But also we hire a beautiful designer, Katerina, from Russia. She made a beautiful UX design that makes it easy to use. We was trying to hit two goals. One, it's to build a unique set of tools that nobody has on the market. And the second was trying to build something that's easy to utilize and easy to use. So you don't need hours and hours and hours of tutorials to learn how to click here or there. Or why I just need this.
Ryan Cramer: crosstalk you give them a Ferrari, but with the ease of a really simple Honda Accord or something like that. You give them the tools and something that you can go quickly and effectively, but you give it with ease of use with your tool. That's awesome. Congratulations on that. How long has Sellerise been on the market? In terms of the competition, when you guys were public, how long has that been your new focus? I would say it's a lot of focus to build out a software set of tools. What's happened?
Dima Kubrak: Soon we're going to hit one year. I think we opened last year April.
Ryan Cramer: Okay. crosstalk pandemic. I'm a pandemic baby. Something that emerges from the pandemic.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, exactly. I think we start to gain some traction in April and then May we become very popular on the market and people start to sign up and we got profitable. In just less than one month we become profitable in the company. Which is amazing inaudible. Yeah. But it took us few years to build a solid tool, with the many features. We keep continue adding. Right now we're covering North America, whereas my all marketplaces stays, generally speaking. We're moving directions of my company so it's Canada, it's USA, and Mexico. By the way, guys. Canada, just amazing market. It's simply amazing. crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: One of the few people I hear that really touts Canada. I like Canada in terms of a marketplace growth opportunity. But I want to hear your insights, Dima, on this.
Dima Kubrak: My biggest insight that I can give you, guys, if you have a bad product, or let's say not a five star product, basically it's better to skip Canada. Because Canadian guys, for some reasons, they so honest and they leave reviews by themself. You don't need to... we actually don't have any strategies of reviews in Canada. Products that stays for six, eight months, they have around 1, 000 reviews. Which is a lot. People just leave reviews themselves. Maybe it's with the help of our review requester, but I'm just saying generally speaking. In USA, you have to do way more effort to achieve this numbers. You know?
Ryan Cramer: Right.
Dima Kubrak: By the way, in Sellerise we built amazing review requester that helps to target specific users. Which is maximize the conversion of your inaudible the reviews. It's not like you hit a button and everybody gets review request. It's about 12 different filters we use to customize segments of your customers. That's what I'm saying. Let's say review request that we have in Sellerise, sorry, it maybe sounds a bit promotional. crosstalk I'm really excited about this feature because there's not a single company that have a better review requester than us. Utilizing the best tools on the market for your business, it's what a real owner have to do. That's my personal vision.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. What is that? Because Amazon has changed its TOS in terms of requesting review. It's only one shot basically of a click. What is this filter function? Is it repeat customers, it is breaking down per who's more likely to give you a review or how quickly you can request it from them? What's the differentiating factors that you're looking at to get more reviews? Also to more quality reviews, but also more quantity reviews as well.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. When we was focusing on building additional features and segments for the customers, one of the biggest one for us was eliminate people who already left you one or three star negative seller feedback. If you're going to hit these people with a request, then you potentially will get a negative review. The second one was it's delay on how many days after you purchase the product. Because different categories, because I told you in the beginning I'm in different categories. I see how people react differently in different categories on reviews and other promotional materials. Sometimes some products require more delay than others. Some products it's better to hit right away so people don't forget about your product and they leave a review. But some products, like let's say in beauty and supplements, you're better to have delay like 12 days, so people can try your product. Sometimes you see the reviews. They left you two stars and saying I didn't have a chance to try product yet. Why are you spending time to leave such reviews? I don't know. But people do this crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: The box looks good, haven't tried to use it yet. Yeah, exactly.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Another one, very very good one, it's a specific time when we're going to hit the customer with this review request. It's a specific time, let's say you can customize this also. We have two cool features. One called AI time and another one called buy time. Buy time, it's we analyze when customer purchase the product, let's say they buy it at 5: 00 PM. After certain amount of delay, we're going to hit him specifically at 5: 00 PM seven days later. So we assume he is more active at this time. Or another filter we have. We calculate when you receive reviews to your ASIN. If you're receiving more reviews at a specific time, we know that at this specific time probably people more consistent to leave reviews. The first filter, it's more ASIN based. The second filter, it's more customer based. I spent a lot of time analyzing. And I'm telling you, I'm very technical guy. Every time I produce something as a feature, it works awesome. In terms of features and additional things.
Ryan Cramer: That's awesome. We never dived into this before we started. What did you do before you were selling on Amazon in the marketplace? Has it always been a technical job? What was that background like for you?
Dima Kubrak: I told you, I've been a pedicab driver. crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Oh really?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Why did I miss that conversation? Where was I when we had this conversation? My god. crosstalk maybe this was, I assume this, so you were a cab driver before you sold on Amazon?
Dima Kubrak: Which is more like a ... not a cab driver but pedicab crosstalk. A bicycle. It's a bicycle with the seats.
Ryan Cramer: There in Miami?
Dima Kubrak: No, in Key West. In Key West.
Ryan Cramer: Oh, in Key West, okay. Yeah. I know exactly what you're talking about. crosstalk.
Dima Kubrak: I forgot because I didn't tell you that. It was in the morning in the clubhouse. I have inaudible.
Ryan Cramer: crosstalk. I'm like where do I leave people off with my stories on backgrounds. No, interesting. You had a pedicab. Was it a business you ran or you just yourself are your own entrepreneur?
Dima Kubrak: Oh, just myself.
Ryan Cramer: Just yourself.
Dima Kubrak: Listen, Ryan. Don't think I'm some amazing guy coming from somewhere. I'm a basic guy, coming from the village from Ukraine, move to United States, was trying to look for any job possible. And one day working at the pedicab, I just found a guy who was a cool fan and he was spending money like crazy. It was my client on the pedicab. I ask him hey, can you show me what you do? He said, " I sell products on eBay." I asked him crosstalk. I'm kind of smart guy. Just show me the way and rest I will figure out. He invite me to his house in Tampa. I spent three days, he was showing me how he sell products, he show me his Porsche. It was awesome. Then that's how we start ecommerce business with my wife.
Ryan Cramer: You basically just saw a vision, you saw someone's lifestyle, and you're like how do I get there. So if they would've said I'm in retail or if I'm real estate, you would've probably gone into retail or real estate. Right? Is that fair enough?
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. It was just a chance. Look, few days before this guy I met another guy who was selling doughnuts. I went to this guy house, look at how he made doughnuts. I was looking. I just... basically I'm very entrepreneurial. All my life I never have a paid job. This is probably what was the inaudible, why I came to United States. Because all my life I was just looking for projects and jobs where I just not getting salary but where I'm getting percentage and where my efforts directly communicate to the money that I make.
Ryan Cramer: Right. Your effort and time. Yeah, your effort and your time and your hard work translates into the amount that you get paid out essentially. Yeah, that's the entrepreneur mindset in very much of a nutshell. What kind of... with that being said, do you still go back to that same mentor and say hey, look where I'm at now? Thank you for the journey that I. Is that person a mentor now or what's that relationship like for that first person who taught you eBay?
Dima Kubrak: Listen, this guy was just amazing guy, with a good energy, doing good money. But when I start doing my business, in the first year I hired almost 40 people to work. In one year, we made I think first year inaudible we made like 1. 5 million. Which we did twice more than him. He get upset on me for some reason, I don't know. He was thinking I'm cheating the system or doing something. Because I was always on the edge of TOS compliant, so I'm non- TOS compliance strategies. Eight years ago there was no courses, there was no tools, there was nothing exist. People was just... imagine, I paid$ 12,000 for the event, Grow Into Amazing in Aruba, and we was talking about nobody knows how to set up PPC. Nobody even turned them on. There's no PPC crosstalk people was not just using it. I was only guy who put my hand and I said I'm running PPC. This is what I do, this is what I do. You know? I remember my first event, I went to the Amazon, they was having a big event in Las Vegas. I didn't understand 60% of the English because my English was so bad. I would just go and try to connect with people. Every time they have a break, I was running through the room to every seller and asking questions, questions, and questions. I was trying to learn and absorb. They pull up a contest for the best strategies to build a business. I went on the stage because my strategy was building a multi- branded businesses, which means let's say if I launched a pen and I understand inaudible why I'm not trying to launch 17 different brands of the same pen and just hold the market with this products and make just more money, cover more crosstalk of organic searches.
Ryan Cramer: Interesting. Yeah, just almost flooding the market in general, just with different brands and companies. Did you win that competition?
Dima Kubrak: I got second place, I got second place. Yeah, yeah.
Ryan Cramer: What was the first place?
Dima Kubrak: The guy, he was talking about YouTube influencers. He was talking about the YouTube. But there was an SMS, there was an SMS voting, and who's going to vote for the Russian guy who just barely speaking English? It was, yeah, it was crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: What year was that, when you did that event?
Dima Kubrak: 2013. It was 2013. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Eight years ago or so. That's ... I mean look, and now you can tell people when you go back to that same event here whenever they have it again, look at where I'm at now. Just eight years later.
Dima Kubrak: Yeah, yeah. That base inaudible, I was building lots of softwares and other solutions. A few big guys from Amazon saw me. We got connected there and they went to Miami here. They asked me hey, if you're going to sell one of your system that you do, we're going to pay you$ 50,000 right away. Cash for you. I said, " No, I'm not going to sell it." I've been young and I've been stupid. I was thinking my strategies, some of my strategies, will last forever. Which is not, guys. If you have some idea now, great. Implement, because in six months this strategy may not work. I can tell you from eight years experience, it will be always up and downs. But you will always figure out a new thing to work. But now, I can get to the basics and explain to the audience what they need to focus to make sure they sustain longer. In addition. Because you need to have foundation, you need to have foundation in your business. On top of this, you can add this, all this fancy Amazon live things and Amazon posts. This is not something that will make a big difference in your business. For some people, yes. But majority of the people, when they're looking for the magical pill, it's when they realize after a few years it's something that they need to skip. They need to crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely. Dima, before we have to sign off today, what's the one thing that you're looking forward to in Amazon? What's the thing you're keeping your eye on in terms of growing your audience or just growing your market share? Online or is it different marketplace or how... your presence. How are you growing that? What's the thing you're looking at right now? Or keeping an eye on.
Dima Kubrak: Launch more product. Increase conversion consistently. And try to bring as much as possible, profitable paid traffic. This is three things that you guys need to be focused on. Build more products. Watch for your conversions. And find the more as much as you can of ways of bringing profitable paid traffic. That's crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: It's just different forms of traffic, driving them to your Amazon listing or your organic listing on your branded site. That's what you're saying.
Dima Kubrak: Because look, trying to scale free traffic will be more complex than trying to scale paid traffic. Because paid traffic directly correlates to the amount of money you spend. Free traffic, it takes a lot of time and effort to build that. But eventually it will pay off.
Ryan Cramer: Awesome. Well, I have... there's just so much more questions. But I know for sake of timing, your time as well, if people want to learn more information or if they want to ask more questions, where's the best way for them to reach out to you or get in touch with you, your team? However they can get in contact with you.
Dima Kubrak: Listen, follow me on Facebook and Instagram. That's the best channels to reach out to me directly. Yeah, I always keep an eye on every message. All inaudible I always look at them. And also inaudible to communicate and help you. I love to help. Everybody who ever worked with me, they know how much I love to help. Sometimes I get busy, but I always getting back and trying to help you as much as I can. Also the last thing I want to add, guys. If you know a good, talented people who love to join team like mine, I always love to talk to you guys. Pull the referrals, guys. I love to see this ecommerce directors, marketing directors, copywriters, programmers. Would love, guys, for you to join our ecosystem. I'm telling you, working with us is just so much fun. Yeah. You will have a bright future with our company as well.
Ryan Cramer: Team Getaway's in Miami Beach, Florida. Look at that. Yeah. Whenever obviously can travel and get to you. But you have events coming up, you have so much content coming off, you have new solutions. I'm very excited for you and see your growth of what your company's doing. Dima, thank you so much for hopping on our show today. I appreciate just the insights and the content you're able to drop. Again, follow Dima on Facebook. Those are all in our show notes, everyone. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram, as well as Sellerise. That website will be located in the description below. Dima, thanks so much for hopping on today.
Dima Kubrak: Thank you, guys. Have a good day.
Ryan Cramer: Awesome. Thank you. Then for everyone who's watching on Crossover Commerce Live, if this is your first time or it's your 67th and watched us every single episode, thanks for tuning in live. Again, we go live four to five times per week on LinkedIn, Instagram. LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and on Twitter. Go ahead and follow us on PingPong Payments. We also have a Crossover Commerce Facebook page. Make sure you follow that as well, for the up and coming episodes that are going to be released. Again, this week is action packed. Tomorrow we'd be having on Steven Pope with My Amazon Guy. On Wednesday we're going to be talking with Tyler Jefcoat of Seller Accountants, talking a little bit about velocity versus profitability. And then also on Friday we're going to round out this week an entrepreneur but also a business owner, Jeff Minnichbach, of No Limit Creatives. He owns a business of 250 plus all remote employees. He's managing it from his home and growing that ecommerce/ graphic design business to a whole new level. I think he's fantastic in what he's doing over there. Make sure you tune in and check those live episodes out. I'm Ryan Cramer, for Dima at Sellerise, thanks for joining us today on Crossover Commerce. We'll catch you guys next time on the next episode. But until then, stay safe and keep business going.
Ryan Cramer of PingPong Payments talks with Dima Kubrak of Sellerise, about how you can grow your Amazon and eCommerce presence in 2021.
Crossover Commerce is Presented by PingPong Payments. PingPong transfers more than 150 million dollars a day for eCommerce sellers just like you. Helping over 1 million customers now, PingPong has processed over 90 BILLION dollars in cross-border payments. Save with a PingPong account today!
Stay connected with Crossover Commerce and PingPong Payments:
✅ Crossover Commerce @ https://www.facebook.com/CrossoverCommerce
✅ YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/c/PingPongPayments
✅ LinkedIn @ https://www.linkedin.com/company/pingpongglobal/