Confessions of an Ex-Amazon Employee⎜ PingPong Payments ⎜ EP 222

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This is a podcast episode titled, Confessions of an Ex-Amazon Employee⎜ PingPong Payments ⎜ EP 222. The summary for this episode is: <p>On Episode 222 of the Crossover Commerce Podcast, Ryan Cramer talks with Erik Schutzler of PingPong Payments. They'll take a look "behind the curtain" with confessions of an ex-Amazon employee.</p><p>---</p><p>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 <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">today</a>! </p><p>---</p><p><strong>Stay connected with Crossover Commerce and PingPong Payments:</strong></p><p>✅ Crossover Commerce @ <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p>✅ YouTube @ <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p>✅ LinkedIn @ <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p>---</p><p>You can watch or listen to all episodes of Crossover Commerce at: <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p>

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 Ping Pong Payments, the leading global payments provider helping sellers keep more of their hard earned money. Hey, what's up everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Crossover Commerce. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer and this is my corner of the internet where I bring the best and brightest in the Amazon and e- commerce space. Every episode here is presented by, you've guessed it, Ping Pong Payments. Who's Ping Pong Payments, you might ask. Well, Ping Pong Payments is a cross border payment solution helping you save more of your time, money and effort. If you're sending payments internationally to your suppliers, your manufacturer, your VA's, if you're making any transaction that person might be in a different country hey, it's easy to save a lot more money with Ping Pong Payments. It's free to sign up. Just go to usa. pingpongx. com/ podcast to sign up for free. Just mention you were sent over by Crossover Commerce and you can check out all of our past 221 episodes. That's right, the magical number of 222, which should have in hindsight, been on Tuesday, February 22nd of 2022. My mistake everyone is, is happening today, but all those past episodes will be found on our website, transcriptions, key takeaways, things like that. Go ahead and check that out of past episodes or you can catch us live, like every episode, on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Just subscribe or follow our channels wherever you might be listening or watching this from. That's right, this podcast is live initially, and you might be listening to us a couple weeks later. If you like the live session or if you're happening to be tuning in from a live location, just go ahead in the comments section, ask your questions, let us know where you're listening from and we'll throw them up on the screen so that our guests and myself will be able to answer those questions or just interact with you as well. So that being, said over the next hour or so, I'm really excited because not many people get to say that they've been in the belly of the beast and by beast, I mean Amazon. This is not a bad thing. This is an insightful conversation and podcast that I want to have today. It's really exciting to have one of our very own here at Ping Pong Payments come directly from Amazon, used to work in the global selling division of Amazon for a few years. And just the insights that he gives me on a day to day basis plus what he tells about the good, the bad and the ugly, if you will, of the insights of working there are very insightful. And I think that's super important to understand as sellers grow, if you might be a service provider, you might be a seller or even going to work for Amazon itself, I think that there's a lot to learn about it. So super fascinating insight that I wanted to bring on today, on a Friday where it's very nice and relaxing. We get kick back our heels a little bit when we're working hard but it's nice to step back and talk about these conversations. So we're going to be calling today's episode, let me pull up here on my graphics, The confessions... This is so scandalous. Feels scandalous, not supposed to be scandalous. The confessions of an ex Amazon employee. So without further ado, coming to us from the great state of Colorado in Denver, Colorado, my colleague, Eric Schutzler of Ping Pong Payments. Eric, thanks for hopping on Crossover Commerce man.

Erik: Hey. Great. To great to be here Ryan.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. I give Eric credit everyone. He's in Denver but he has a Tom Brady jersey in the background. So first and foremost, let's get this straight, you didn't grow up in Denver, did you? Or you're just a Tom Brady fan?

Erik: No, I grew up in Seattle but spent a couple years in Boston, Massachusetts as well and I just have an affinity for greatness, what can I say.

Ryan Cramer: Okay. That's what we'll call it. No, you don't have a Tampa Bay jersey so can't say you're a Tom Brady fan, but you're a Pat's fan. Okay. From Indianapolis, I have to give all my Patriots fans a little crap, but they gave us the ringer too many years as he was quarterback. But no, hey thanks for hopping on today. I've been super excited working with you the past couple of months and getting your insights but to give some clarity for our audience and listeners today, why don't you give us a little bit background on what you did at Amazon, maybe before that, how you got into the e- commerce space and then where we are today.

Erik: Sure. Yeah, absolutely. I'm super thrilled to be here. So yeah, obviously once again, I'm Eric Schutzler, joined Ping Pong here a couple months ago after hopefully, an illustrious career, just kidding. But a couple years at Amazon's global selling department. I joined there right before COVID and really never went into an Amazon office actually. I never stepped foot into a building other than one time, and really was just to walk around more than anything. So yeah, a pandemic baby of Amazon for sure. Worked there for a couple years and I was part of the team helping with the Middle East expansion. So into the UAE, Saudi Arabia and then now Turkey and Egypt as well. So yeah, it was a super exciting time, worked with some fantastic people at Amazon.

Ryan Cramer: Well that's so fascinating too. I joined Ping Pong here, everyone knows this, that I joined right before the pandemic so I haven't been in our offices either. It all feels not real to me until you walk through there. Did you feel that way at Amazon? I'm curious, if you never walked to an office building, does it feel like you're a part of the company or on your own?

Erik: For sure. Yeah. I grew up in Seattle and I spent a lot of time there. I've seen the culture and I guess the city changed dramatically when Amazon really came in and made it their own baby inaudible city more than anything. So I was familiar with Amazon for a super long time of my life. But not going into an office for sure, you feel detached to a degree and I think everybody's been experiencing that during COVID for sure. And you don't really feel as much of that familial bond that I guess, I think some people would say you really need at a company like Amazon. It was very much a put your head down and work from that perspective. But luckily, the team that I was on inside of Amazon was pretty great.

Ryan Cramer: All good things to say over here. That's awesome. So what'd you do before Amazon? What was that lead up to it? Because I don't think anyone just naturally just says, I'm going to work at Google or Amazon or a big tech company right out of college. Maybe a lot of people have that build up to it. Was that your background to a degree?

Erik: Yeah. So I had a couple internships when I was in college, I went to the university of Denver. For my first job I wanted to get as good sales experience as I could. I worked for a company called Paycom in the payroll space, competitive with ADP. Probably see their commercials all over the place with Barbara from shark tank or anything like that. I worked for them and they do a great job of teaching you core sales, I guess, functions or responsibilities, anything like that. And then I worked for a company called Sumo Logic in the data space as well. And worked there for a little while. And then I started my career out of college, working for Sprint. I worked on their IOT and machine to machine team as well as their corporate business development team here in Denver, Colorado. And then I was there up until basically right when they through the merger with T- Mobile and then transitioned over to Amazon after that merger. So it was quite a whirlwind of experiences. Paycom when I was there, was operating like a startup, they definitely don't operate that way anymore. I think with Sumo Logic and then going and working for two large corporate entities from that perspective, large conglomerate organizations, I got a good feel of different types of organizations and the reason I went to Amazon was I really viewed that as an MBA in e- com. Was really interested within the space and I always knew I was going to really go to Amazon for a couple of years and then move back into the smaller company SMB, mid market space, where I could be more of a Jack of all trades and be able to have more responsibility from that perspective.

Ryan Cramer: That's a good perspective. I think that's definitely a skill to have and a lot of people, they want to either stay somewhere over a very long term or you want to just get that different feels and insights, right? Of payment startup mentality, which I've definitely been in. And then I've also gotten the corporate structure too. I've worked for Scripps Howard company. So that's a technology sold to USA today company. So I've gotten the good and the bad and the ugly of everything too. But to get an e- commerce, your background, it didn't seem like there was e- commerce background until you got into an e- commerce company. So I'm curious, did they see that as a pro, a con? What's that conversation like when you're going through an interview process, if you will?

Erik: Yeah. So I'll debrief the interview loop of Amazon a little bit. It's definitely inaudible the year loop. It was a multiple month process. I think I went through six interviews to able to get the job inside of Amazon global selling. They have what's called a bar raiser interview where you go basically through a table of discussions with five, six individuals in one day, I count that as one interview of my six.

Ryan Cramer: Right. Oh, wow. And these are people not in the same division too, if you've read the book. Yeah, I was going to say, for reference, this is all laid out in the book Working Backwards, which I actually just consumed pretty quickly. And it's all laid out in through there why this is the case. Super interesting concept for sure.

Erik: Yeah. Pretty high up my bar raiser for my interview was, Amazon had purchased IMDB pretty, I guess, recently, maybe in the past year or so before and I think it was a VP at IMDB, was one of my first interviews in the day. So it was a little overwhelming for sure at that time, 23 years old. It's an overwhelming loop comparatively to what you would experience at most interviews processes or anything like that and you've got to come prepared. They follow the STAR method, situation, task, action, result. If you can't be able to break that down, if anybody's known of the STAR method in interviewing, if you can't break that down cleanly and concisely, it's a move and pass to the next person. So they're very, very methodical in the way that they go about their interview process. It works very, very well in my opinion, to be able to bring in top talent. But yeah, it's quite rigid from that perspective.

Ryan Cramer: So you're going through this process, you call it six full days of multiple interviews with different people in the industry. Did you feel pretty confident throughout the process or did you have to look at yourself where you're like," man this one person's probably going to think I'm an idiot or they have no idea what I'm doing." I don't know, I guess, of all the data that they're inputting to have a role in a white collar job. You would call this a white collar drop, right? Not something in a warehouse. You're talking about this as a, I'm working in an office or a representative of a division. That's a pretty important breakdown to have to have, right? How'd you feel throughout that process?

Erik: Yeah. It's definitely overwhelming for sure. No, I would definitely agree with the, I guess, white collar versus blue collar side of Amazon. The blue collar being-

Ryan Cramer: Warehousing and things like that. More physical, hard labor. Yeah.

Erik: Yeah. And the logistics side and inaudible they work a hell of a lot harder than the white collar in my side. And they get worked to the bone. I think you can just read Twitter for a lot of that stuff and get the crosstalk. But I think the big thing from, I guess, the corporate side of the business is they're very thorough in the way that they go after people. They look for strong backgrounds of experience in large corporate companies so I think my time at Sprint and T- Mobile at a corporate organization, I think that they want that assimilation with being able to work inside of a conglomerate as opposed to someone that was you running their own company or anything like that. But as I mentioned that as well, I was running my own company while I was in college and I think they value the entrepreneurship aspect because, how can you speak to Amazon sellers or people within the zeitgeist of Amazon if you don't have that entrepreneurial spirit where you can understand what it's like the from a bottom line perspective of someone running an Amazon store or running a private label brand on e- com. So I think my experience of running my own company while I was in college and then working at a conglomerate, or I guess a corporation afterwards at the end of college, I think that pairing of those two was what was attractive to get me at least in the door. And then I think beyond that really, what they look for is... There's a lot of personality traits that they really target within that side of people for global selling from that perspective, mostly around entrepreneurship, personable, anything you'd see obviously within sales. And then they look for people that can use data. So Amazon, as you can probably read from anywhere, is one of the most data- centric and data driven companies in the world. And in your interview process, you need to come prepared with exactly tangible data and a lot of people within sales... Ryan, you've met lots of people with sales over the years. I'd say 70% of the time they don't come prepared with a lot of sales crosstalk

Ryan Cramer: You can, for a lack of a better term, sniff BS from a mile away if you ask them questions and they can't answer them for you. I think that makes sense in the interview mentality of hey, what do you see about this, about the growth trajectory, put that in front of you and say what do you forecast and see, what do you need to change here and there. I think that's also pretty prevalent their books too of, numbers might look good at one way, but hey is that really the underlying reason of hey, there's not growth here, what is it? And you have to look at different areas of built out processes years in advance so that you can catch it before it goes on downward trajectory. So that's a really difficult talent to teach. So you have to come prepared with that. That's interesting.

Erik: For sure. Yeah. I think they're methodical and I guess they're more inflammatory and maybe more maniacal in the way that they go about a lot of these processes or anything like that. And they adhere to that. Anything you read within that is pretty much the truth from that perspective.

Ryan Cramer: Right. So why global selling division? You can go on LinkedIn right now and there's thousands upon thousands of jobs anywhere from obviously engineering, sales, AWS. There's so many divisions that go on. Why global selling?

Erik: Yeah, absolutely. For me, I had a personal contact that I had known that worked at Amazon and worked in the global selling side and had spoken extremely highly of it. And he was a lot like me in the way that he's gone about his career, anything like that and I think just that familiarity made me intrigued. Obviously a lot of people that go to Amazon, they really do it for the resume more than anything. And I can't say that I didn't do it for that as well. Having Amazon and your resume opens up a lot of doors, it can propel your career, anything like that. It's not just Amazon, you work at Microsoft, Google, large companies within the tech space, it can really propel you to that next position. But I think the big thing about why global selling was really interesting to me is that it is a very entrepreneurial environment. It's very centric to that and that's something that I've always been in from early childhood. Starting a company when I was in college or whether it was calling up local businesses when I was an eight year old kid, trying to figure out how I could purchase them or stuff like that. I was always very intrigued in this process from a very young age. So I think it just really followed within me from personality trait and I think that's something that not a lot of people really think about in the subconscious, but not as consciously as they should within when they're going after their things in their career. I think a lot of people really just go for how do I get to this step or this step or that. You have to do things that line up with you and your personality traits to be able to have success so I think that was a big thing for me. The reality is I would say, a lot of the people that go into the Amazon global selling side, they're doing that as a step stone to get to AWS. A lot of people want to work in AWS so they'll take a job in global selling-

Ryan Cramer: So that's the vein, that's the stepping stone of where you're trying to get to is AWS?

Erik: For sure. And I had no interest in AWS, not because I don't think it's a great organization or an extremely competitive product, obviously, and anything like that. The thing for me was I was more intrigued about the e- comm space and eventually running my own company or doing something later in my career and AWS wasn't really in line with that for me. But I have a lot of colleagues that have transferred over to AWS or anything like that and just as competitive as Amazon global selling and all of Amazon is, AWS is the cream of the crop within that space in terms of sales. It's high, high growth metrics, sales metrics and if you don't make it's...

Ryan Cramer: Yeah, you're out the door. Well, that's the curious thing too, is when you're talking about talent, it used to feel Google was the toughest one to even attempt and get through the door. In my past I've had interviews with Google, I've had interviews with social media networks and they ask you the why and you start that process and it's always interesting to get their perspective and it always felt Google was the one that was the toughest. But I think it's shifted a lot in the tech and e- commerce space of, Amazon is really inherently difficult to get into if it's the right fit or not. It used to be that was the focus. I don't know if that's shifted in years past. But in your mind, as an employee going into it, you say everyone does it for a resume builder. Is that apparent, if that's a notion that everyone has going into it, is that received by Amazon that, we know you're not going to be here forever now? Because I think in the past, they always wanted people to be loyal, rewarding and now it's pretty public knowledge of, we're going to pay you this but then hopefully give you equity down long term for rewarding growth and being loyal to the company. What's that Amazon side of things you think?

Erik: Yeah, for sure. I think the big thing within that, I guess, is you definitely feel it within the culture of what I spoke to of when you get in, you can tell who's doing it for a stepping stone, you can tell who's not. And they're all high performing people. You don't get a job at Amazon if you don't have at least the aptitude-

Ryan Cramer: Right. You're not pushing paper and you're just taking a nap in the background.

Erik: No, this is not Dunder Mifflin, where you're just throwing paper or anything like that. It's not super geniuses or anything like that. It's not like it was at Apple back in the day or anything... Wosniak or anything like that. But I think the big thing is, you have very hungry, I guess, shark mentality people within that org and it bleeds into the culture of that organization, especially at what I would call more of the entry mid- level of where I was at with inside of Amazon. And then you get into the director roles, VP's. Those are the guys that stay there for 5, 6, 7 years. And the reality is the guys that come into those roles, a lot of the times they don't grow from the entry level or the mid level that I was at. They come from external. My director came from New Egg, came over into Amazon. Ya Wen, who's now at competitive org Payoneer, he was a VP at North America over there. He came from different organizations before and stayed at Amazon for a very long time. But the entry level and the mid level, a lot of these people are coming in one, two, first job out of school, second job out of school. Not typically first job. Mostly it's the second job or third job out of school. And they stay there for a couple years and they move on to the next experience, anything like that. They definitely have a reputation of, and I think this isn't crossing a boundary or anything like that, of using individuals like myself to get the growth metrics that they need, get that to there and if you want to stay within the organization, there is hundreds of different things to be able to get to that next level. You can speak to anybody at that entry level, mid level, the almost dissertations or proposals you need to put together. It's almost like you're writing a thesis of a PhD to be able to get a promotion. It's not purely off of your performance. you have to perform, you have to create something new and different within the org that you're in. That's a big thing with inside of Amazon, you have to change something systematically. And then you also have to go through another bar raising example of proving your mettle and your worth of why you should get that next level up. Whereas at most companies it's hey, you've done this job well, you're basically doing the next job, let's just give you the promotion. And I think there is a two edged source that that creates a level of competition and dynamic inside of Amazon that I think has a toxic element to it. But I think there is a positive to that as well as you're always feeling like you're getting the best of the organization out of people. So there's pluses and minuses to everything from that perspective. But yeah, I think it's very much apparent within the culture and I think you can see. That's why there's a high turnover rate even inside of the corporate culture. It's not because people don't have success or aren't good at their job, it's because they don't want to fit into that environment or that culture a lot of time.

Ryan Cramer: Well, I feel like you'd have to be on a hundred percent of the time, right? Not that you shouldn't go to any job and not give your best foot forward, but to constantly be aware of that factor but then also feel like there's other people that if you even let up just for microsecond, someone could be in there, swoop in, perform at a different function, whether it be sales or whether it be tech or engineering or anything like that, there's that mentality of, if I'm not on and being aware of my constant swivel mentality, you're going to get subverted from someone underneath you or right next to you. So I can imagine that not being exhausting on a day to day basis.

Erik: Oh yeah. For sure. And I only took two days off in two years.

Ryan Cramer: Really?

Erik: Yeah.

Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, it's not a startup mentality of hey, you get unlimited PTO. You're accruing days off, but I'm assuming-

Erik: Yeah, you have minute by minute PTO accrual. It's not like other companies where it's unlimited, you have to earn the PTO and honestly, it's almost revered to not... It's not something that's really spoken of, of using PTO or anything like that. It's not like they're sitting there like, you have to work and putting your head down or something. It's not that intense, but because there is so much growth metrics and because everybody in Amazon is someone might that think wants to be a high performer, it creates an inherent culture of having that done. And I actually had an analogy that I would say to my manager or the director of the time and I think a lot of us felt like race horses, where if you win the Belmont or anything like that, okay great. You won you a race, that's awesome. But can you win the triple crown?

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Do it over and over.

Erik: Then what's the next year? If you start to really slip off or anything like that, they're ready to send you to the glue factory. That is the truth.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. That's tough to hear.

Erik: I had people within the organization, even on the management level or director level and obviously keep it to the names or anything like that. But I think the big thing was I talked to them about that and I told them the analogies or anything like that and they were like, sometimes at Amazon you have to have rose colored glasses. You have to pretend and feel that everything is right because there's so many things going on inside of the org. And I think a lot of things that you read on Twitter or these social medias, they're just condemning Amazon for a lot of bad practices, anything like that. I think the reality is, it's such a huge organization it's hard to control everything. And there's so many fires going on all over the place. It's like the meme of the dog where this is fine or anything like that-

Ryan Cramer: I was sent that today by my manager.

Erik: Exactly. And that's the truth that about a lot of orgs but at Amazon, it is really crucial. You have to be able to be someone that can compartmentalize very well and be able to say, okay X, Y, Z things are completely broken and wrong but how do I move on to the next thing? And they're like, we'll eventually fix those. But the reality is, a lot of the times they don't ever get fixed because people are moving so fast and it's really just moved on to the next person, the next person, the next person. And I think that's a part of it is when they're bringing in the people that are young in their career, unless you are a different breed of an individual, what I just described is very difficult to do, to be able to have systematic change at to you young point in their career and I don't think that they enable people to also make those changes at a young point in their career so it's a catch 22 from that perspective.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. That's why I feel like that'd be a tough situation to be in if you want to prove yourself. But then obviously, like you said, you might be two days and two years. The greatest minds in this space, they need that kind decompression. I don't even know if you were working weekends. A lot of us are just tied into, day to day we can get slack messages, we can get emails and we have to feel like we have to respond to those in an age of where we are today. So I'm curious from a organizational standpoint, in a global selling division, who are you interacting with on a day to day basis? Is it typical for you to just be silent or do you guys talk with cross categories and departments and things like that or do you guys just hang out like hey, slack channel, this is only Amazon global selling and that's it?

Erik: Yeah. It's not like it's a ton of cross- functionality across the different teams. So I'll break down what selling inside of Amazon looks like. So there's the EU division which is UK, France, Italy, all the ones are basically that are transacting in Euro from that perspective. Obviously familiar from that, from the payment side, they're all connected to inaudible. Yeah. So that's a huge division inside of Amazon. Their growth metrics, the numbers that they're hitting on a monthly perspective are far higher than countries like Brazil or the UAE, which are much-

Ryan Cramer: Well, selling is so much higher in those countries. Obviously, if you look at breakdown, US is number one. Number two and three or two and 2A or UK slash Germany and then it goes from there. You have Japan then it bounces around, but yeah, you're right.

Erik: Yeah. So there's Australia, Japan, they work cross- functional really well with one to another. Hailey Smith was leading the team for Australia and Japan. I worked with her for a really long time, really great. If Hailey sees this, she's awesome. Their team is really, really great and they work against one another and work with one another really well. Brazil's its own division, middle Easts is it's own division. They're all siloed from that perspective but I think the reps have really strong relationships with one another because we learned from one another, figuring everything out and I think transparently, I don't really know what it's like at the director level of working what the middle east team was working with or the Brazil team or anything. I think they are pretty siloed from that perspective, from what I saw. I think the big thing is, it's even more than that. There is local teams in each one of the countries as well. So in the Middle East we have what's called... So there's 3P or US seller, which is the team that I was on. So you're bringing us sellers, Canadian sellers, people from North America, anything like that, having them sell in the Middle East. There are domestic sellers as well. So Dubai, Emirati, anything like that. People that are working in Dubai and want to sell on Amazon have domestic... They have different gating for their products, they have different things. So they're able to sell things that we can't sell. And you're all ASIN hunting to a degree. You're going after the top selling ASIN's because you have a sales metric, anything like that. So it actually creates a culture where there's a local team in Dubai where they're actually incentivized to try to beat you and your part of Amazon so you're actually competing against people that also are W2. Amazon-

Ryan Cramer: So they're trying to find sellers in the UAE, for example, competitively versus you guys finding outside of UAE trying to sell into UAE.

Erik: Yeah. And they can sell all the same products that we can, much higher-

Ryan Cramer: Theoretically, yeah.

Erik: Oh, well yeah. And they basically have all gating responsibilities gone because they can prove to buy general trading licenses, all these different things that are really hard to obtain outside of-

Ryan Cramer: Get goods into the country, so on and so forth. Yeah.

Erik: Yeah. And then you also add on the logistics cost of having to ship into that country, cross an entire ocean from that perspective. The freight are much higher from someone that's based in that region that has product there and is selling it. So it's very different. It creates a very different competitive balance and I think that only increases the hunter and the competitive mentality of the US to the MINA team that I was on.

Ryan Cramer: Sorry about that. I was editing something in our little comments section. Interesting. So for any listeners out there, so I'm in the global selling division. What's a day to day like? So you and I were talking about this the other day, I found so fascinating of hey, I got the job. I start on Monday. On Monday, what is that first day like? The day one mentality of what's day one look like for an Amazon? I'm really curious.

Erik: Yeah. I think it's different for every team too. I can't speak what it's like from a software engineer or anyone else outside of Amazon. But I think the day one inside of Amazon, what they speak to, is having the appetite and the thirst for knowledge of wanting to learn from day one. And I think for me it was, there was no onboarding for me. It was-

Ryan Cramer: The training, no nothing.

Erik: No.

Ryan Cramer: Maybe how long had your computer, these are the resources you have available, go get crosstalk

Erik: inaudible part of that too in fairness to the org. It was completely remote and at the beginning of a pandemic, realistically-

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. People are trying to figure out what's up. Was this role going to always be remote? I'm just curious as a-

Erik: No.

Ryan Cramer: This was going to be in a office?

Erik: Yeah. So I was living in Seattle at the time and I'd always wanted to come back to Denver. I've had a house here for a while and that was a big part for me as well. Part of the reason I left the organization when I did was the pandemic was starting to ease a little bit, we'll see fingers crossed. But things were starting to ease and I knew that they were going to bring people back into an office at least minimum three days a week, in my opinion. It's a very, in the office centric company. I don't know if that'll change with Jassy versus Bezos or anything like that. But I think that was a big thing for me, was that it was not going to be a remote role or a role where I would have more flexibility, which I think a lot of people are craving and I think transparently will be an issue for Amazon. Why you're seeing they're raising the base pay or the structure is because they're going to have a big challenge competing with the Microsoft's or anybody that is offering the ability to be remote.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah it's a benefit now, all of a sudden. It's something that no one had to compete with because everyone was going to an office. Now it's a thing where hey, people crave that attention of I like walking down my steps from my bedroom down to my office and not driving 30 minutes to work. It's a nice thing. Some people don't feel that way, but yeah, it's now a benefit.

Erik: Yeah. I like the ability to go in when I want to go in and for us it's like, I'll fly to New York to see leadership for Ping Pong or I'll go to San Mateo to our office out there or we'll go to events. And especially in e- comm, there's so many events to go to or anything like that you can always be around people and have that, I guess, familial aspect of a company. And I didn't even like it when I first joined, which I think is why people have issues with my generation of feeling like we don't want to work that hard or anything like that. But I don't want to go into an office and drive an hour back and forth every single morning for five days a week. And then in the afternoon at 5: 00 PM, everybody has different time clocks and schedules in the way that they function as an individual and I think it just gives you a level of flexibility that I think it should just be standard, and I felt that years ago. And obviously the pandemic has created that situation which, not worth it in my opinion in any way, shape or form.

Ryan Cramer: Right. So you left because of this was going to be an in- office role, this was going to be something that you had to be with a section of these offices in downtown Seattle, not remote a hundred percent. Interesting.

Erik: I would say that was a 30% aspect of why I left. There was-

Ryan Cramer: No, it's not a bad thing, but it's also not a crosstalk a major factor.

Erik: I would say it was the straw that broke the camels back of for me, it was starting to be like okay, am I going to stay in Seattle and stay at this company for X more years or do I want to make the move now and go to a different org? And that was the thing for me.

Ryan Cramer: Cool. So when you're going there, you start at the beginning of the pandemic so it's hey, start your job day one. Walk me through someone in your position. So you're technically in a sales, but you're also helping assist customers trying to get into the country. First and foremost, did you have to speak any foreign language or anything like that in order to understand the localization or anything of that sort?

Erik: No. luckily in the region that I was in, it's very different for Japan or Mexico where there's a lot of translation issues that they deal with from that perspective. The UAE has a large amount of people that speak English as well as Arabic. But no, there was no requirement or anything in terms of knowing Arabic or being able to familiarize with ourself with that. I think the biggest thing was getting accustomed to the logistics challenges of getting into the free trade zone in Dubai or anything like that. Or when we launched Saudi Arabia, it was like, we opened up a warehouse, just throw your stuff into a warehouse. There was really nothing other than that when we launched. You can speak to anyone from that team, it was very difficult. You're communicating with sellers on a daily basis, whether it's your classic third party resellers across every single region or replicators, anything like that. Or it's a private brand in the US that's trying to expand their global expansion across every single different region for, I guess, funding or anything like that. So everyone has different reasons why they launch into each region, but you have metrics that you need to launch to launch people and get them into those countries and have them selling. And so there's a lot of hurdles or hoops or things that get passed around just to get people into a region from that perspective.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. It makes a lot of sense to me. So what are some of the metrics that... What's important for Amazon in this capacity? Is it a revenue? Is it a number of sellers? Is it a number of SKU's available? What are those breakdowns of weight of importance?

Erik: Sure. Yeah. So there's two teams inside of each division inside of Amazon global selling. So there's what they call DSR. So it's direct seller recruitment from that perspective or direct seller representative is a DSR rep. Or ESM, which is existing seller management. So it's account management upselling versus net new business. So from a DSR side, you have two real key goals that they care about. I guess, three, from that perspective. But the two really large ones are a launch goal, so that's how many sellers you launch in a fiscal year. And I think a lot of the times it was people trying to launch a hundred or stuff like that in different countries, anything like that. So it's pretty difficult rep by rep to be able to get that when a lot of people launch on their own. You have to actually personally recruit them, personalize links, anything like that. And they can launch on their own, they can just go on the website and do it themselves, so you're responsible for, I guess, bringing them into the region and then managing for them for that 12 years. Excuse me, not 12 years. Geez. 12 months.

Ryan Cramer: That'd be a long metric.

Erik: Yeah. Geez.

Ryan Cramer: Impossible to track.

Erik: Yeah. And then they have a GMS target, so gross merchant by sales. So basically a sales or a revenue target. And that's different for each individual inside of the org, depending on if they're an L4, an L5, how long they've been inside Amazon as an employee. You have different revenue targets like any sales rep. The longer you stay at a company, your target goes up year over year from that perspective. And then the other one-

Ryan Cramer: How generous of them.

Erik: Yeah, right? That's normal everywhere but it is aggressive at that org for sure and you don't really get much of a pay bonus, but it's okay. But the bigger thing on that is there's another metric as well, the BA's or BO's from that perspective, buyable offers. So that's the amount of ASIN's that you bring into a region. So they have a metric of how many different products available on the site you bring into a country. And So they'll have a metric of a million, 2 million, 3 million products you have to bring in. So you're highly incentivized to find sellers with more buyable offers so that really incentivizes you to go after a reseller that has 50, 000 different products inside of electronics, to have them come into a region versus a private label brand that has two products. Unless they're super successful sales, you're not hitting your metric and so that hits a catch 22 of you're going after a lot of these resellers or anything like that versus the private label brands where it's the mom and pops, anything like that. They get thrown to the side unless they have ridiculously high sales and. com or anything like that.

Ryan Cramer: So what would be the benefit of, if I'm a seller and you're coming to me Eric, and you say hey Ryan, launch in UAE. I might say yeah, I've been thinking about it. What's the benefit of me working with you versus me figuring it out on my own. For example, it's not just in global selling, say Amazon post or anything... Gosh, I'm trying to think of all the programs that you have there. As a seller, you have all these different little... Depending on how much you're selling or how long you've been a seller, you have opportunities, people reaching out via email and conversation like I'm sure you were doing, that say hey, join Amazon XYZ program or whatever. It's a new beta program we're launching, do want to be a part of it? What are the benefits of just me fiddling along doing my own thing or a self- service model versus a little bit of a hands on model that you're crosstalk

Erik: Sure. Yeah. I think especially for these regions, they offer free account management for that first year for these new countries, anything like that. So in the UK or anything like that, it's not free. You have to pay for account management and I don't know that they provide so much value to the...

Ryan Cramer: I'm just saying, what does account management get you for resellers? Like oh, I probably should use this. What is...

Erik: Yeah. It's white listing into new countries. So you can be the first people into the country from that perspective, which helps you from, I guess, a margin perspective, you can really control the pricing of the products and then that country at the beginning. And when you're selling into a country like UAE or anything like that, there were people that were able to sell products for two times as expensive as they would it in the US so they make more money per product that they sell in that region. Even though I guess the volume of people purchasing is lower, the amount per unit is a little bit higher than other countries, especially the US, where it's extremely saturated with sellers. I think that's one big thing. I think another thing from an account management perspective is opening up to exclusive marketing opportunities, putting your products, especially for private labels, putting your products on front page from that perspective of the entire site of the UAE or whether it's Brazil or Japan or anything like that. They open you up to different opportunities and exclusive offers that really nobody else can get unless you have account management. But that's all really determined off sales, to be honest with you. So unless you're selling well in the country, they won't give you those things. It's quid pro quo a little bit from that perspective.

Ryan Cramer: Right. Well you have to prove yourself too, they want to... That's why the A9 nine algorithm is so where a lot of people are trying to figure out of what is it, reward versus inaudible deter from people... Even on that level, are you having conversations with people of hey, this is going to reward you for your rank. What is that conversation... I can imagine they're asking how do I rank? Well how do I stand out? What are my translations? You're probably just as much equipped as an agency at that juncture than probably anyone in the space, I'm thinking, at the end of this.

Erik: Having been out of Amazon and meeting different agencies and people in the SEO and I guess the PPC world, anything like that, that I can help with marketing, they know hell of a lot more than I would say, 80% of the reps inside of Amazon. Reps inside of Amazon I think the last thing, I guess, to your last question of, well what's a value or added service is, they can raise specialized tickets within the platform that when you go through to seller support and raise a case, you're throwing it into a queue of hundreds of thousands.

Ryan Cramer: Right. And you might get a competent person. No offense to Amazon employees that are listening to this, but you might get somebody who's never encountered that problem or someone who's encountered a hundred of those and they're like yep, this is who I send it off to, this division. They may not know that.

Erik: It's around the auto rejection aspect of Amazon, from that perspective, it can help you not get suspended in regions, anything like that. And it helps you with cross- functionality against anything. And so I think when you have an account manager in one country, if you're having an issue in a different one, they can personally reach out to someone in that country as well and can find and back channel things for you. So I think that is a big value add, especially when it's free. But I think that's really the majority of the things that they provide from that. But in terms of ranking or anything like that, a lot of the stuff they try to keep close to the belt from that perspective. Amazon doesn't want to really skew out of, okay this is exactly how you beat the system or anything like that. A lot of people try to find localized reviews in each country, anything like that and Amazon, you've seen this right, is cracking down a lot of the fake review agencies or-

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Lawsuits just happened recently.

Erik: Exactly. So that was a big thing, especially in these new countries where they want to rank immediately in a brand new country and be number one on the charts, that was something that we experienced for sure within that. And that's not something that reps assist you with or anything like that. But to say that they don't have a vested interest in you being number one on a chart as a rep, because that helps your GMS target, there is definitely a conflict of interest from that perspective as well.

Ryan Cramer: So I was going to say, is there a lot of internalized, you have to self- assess and see your bad actors on the outside on a third party perspective. Isn't that just as apparent, you can possibly look inward and say shoot, this person was working with this person da da da. You can network web people together and say well yeah, of course this person did so well because they had the back door open and anyone who knew this person as a bouncer could get into the club pretty quickly, you knew the guy who can let you in the room. Doesn't that have go both ways? It's not just externalized factors, someone has to let them in through the door, right?

Erik: For sure. Yeah. I think the big thing is, especially in my time in the global selling side, everybody has their own agendas and that's the reality at every company you work at. And the ethical perspective of anything is a big thing. If you have a strong, ethical standpoint, you're not going to cut a corner just to do better. But there are bad actors inside of every org, it's not just the sellers. People cutting corners. There are reps inside of Amazon. And I would say, I didn't have really familiarity with them on the US side, I saw it more at the domestic teams or anything like that or different things like that where you could see... You can log into any seller central in your rep. I can log in to someone that is not my account and go into their seller central and see what products they're doing, anything like that, from that perspective. Keywords, any of that stuff. And so there is a lot of data at your disposal and that's why you see a lot of these data protection issues at Amazon or anything like that. And I think they'll just become more stringent on that over time. But it's really down to the rep, they instruct you, you can't do these things, you will be terminated or anything like that. But the reality is some people still bend those corners and do the things they can. And even when I was at Amazon, I think beyond that as well is you're constantly offered consultancy crosstalk

Ryan Cramer: Incentives.

Erik: Yeah. Incentives is the way to say it.

Ryan Cramer: External incentives, yes.

Erik: For sure. I definitely had multiple sellers or things like that, that I dealt with within the region or my time or had known of other people that were offered things, and you just report that and go after that. But to say that has never happened where someone took an incentive to help someone, that is just not the truth. You can just look at articles online or any indictments or things that from that perspective, it's happened. And that's the truth that every company, that's not just respective to just Amazon. It's that Amazon's in the limelight and another commercial entity more than anything so that's why it gets a lot of the popularized things within media. And obviously, from a congressional standpoint, it just goes even further from there where it's inaudible button issue.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah, we won't get into politics of it. And at the end of the day, I know that Amazon partners with so many people who are one of those companies that we work for. And I'll go more off of your personal experiences. My question is, I guess, learning all these things and at this disposal, I hear from a lot of sellers, if they're listening to this or service providers, there's this barrier that, for some reason, there's just not a lot give and take. We were talking about this the other day of, if you broke it down third party sellers alone, they would be the number one marketplace in the entire world. That's a fact, that's just how it breaks down in the org of Amazon revenue breakdown, everything like that. Why is there not more of a push to either empower, but also just have that partnership more of the forefront instead of, it feels like there's fighting on every single level from a third party perspective, to get onto the platform and from Amazon's side, Amazon just resists trying to give more help in that regards. Why do you think that's a case? And it's a opinionated answer, I understand that, but what's your best case?

Erik: Yeah. I think the first aspect of that is obviously, it's a large organization where everyone has different agendas. Where you have a culture of people stare stepping to the next company, whether it's internally and externally, everyone has their own agenda and when you do that at such a mass level, a lot of the people that are really the core function of Amazon, which is the sellers on the platform, they get thrown to the wayside. I know that Bezos in the past talked about the sellers being our partners, anything like that. I think if you spoke to any seller, even the most successful ones that are third party, my token or I guess my phrase for it is always that it's more of an arranged marriage. They need you as more of a search engine. Amazon's like Google from that perspective, for a lot of private label, third party sellers from that perspective. And they use you to really get the brand out there, anything like that. But when it comes to really helping them or as simple as something as changing their bank information or anything like that, it can get thrown to the wayside and no one can get it fixed or people will get suspended for a superfluous, false review on their product or anything like that and they get shut down for months and lose sales. I try to stray away from saying they do a poor job of that because I think they are trying their best and I think there are people within Amazon seller help that are really doing a great job of this from the worldwide consumer part of the team now. But I think it's something that has become much more in the forefront of Amazon because they've been called to the carpet for it for years now, that they're really starting to put, I guess, the budget and team and, I guess, the attention towards it more than anything. And I think that will change to be able to help them long term because when I was inside of Amazon, the big brands are not operating as sellers on their own. They don't want to deal with that. The Clorox, the cotton out, the big brands that you see that are... The PNG's, anything like that, they're not operating their own crosstalk. They just throw the stuff to 1P, they sell it to Amazon, Amazon resells it basically as a wholesale operation from that perspective. And so I think from that perspective, you could see that even start to trend further and further because they do want to have more control. That's a core centric thing inside of Amazon is they want to control the product and they want to control the supply chain. From that perspective, you can see that in their purchasing behavior, logistics, anything like that. I think the big thing beyond that is, that leaves the middle man... Not the middle man but the small man inside of the sellers, the everyday third party seller, they get thrown to the wayside when a lot of those things are the more core centric part of it, where the third party sellers are really what built Amazon from the beginning.

Ryan Cramer: Well and it's still true today. You see, again, revenue wise, literally if everyone decided to stop, which again, just call it hypothetical. If everyone decides to stop and move to one other platform, in theory, you can take away Amazon as Amazon is known today, it would not be the same thing. That being said, again, it's like an arranged marriage but both need each other. The conversation is always, Amazon's more quick to punish but long to forgive and it's always an uphill battle of hey, we're going to get shut down. I was talking with the CEO of Riverman, who's still inaudible and he was telling me his background story. He goes, for months I had no idea why I was suspended. I talked to my now business partner and co- founder. She figured out what to do and for months as a seller, I didn't know what to do. And I still to this day don't know and this was years ago. I don't know why my listing was taken down, why my product was flagged or anything like that. There's no con communication in that regards. And I think that's what's super frustrating for sellers is, if they knew what was wrong they would fix it and move on and not try to circumvent it. I think Amazon feels like everything that sellers try to do is circumventing the system not to... They just wish it was more of a focus and these are the guidelines, we're going to work within the guidelines and not change every other day. Where does it go from here?

Erik: Transparently, they need to do a far better job inside of Amazon to be able to help the people that are doing legit in that business, on that platform, that aren't at 1P, to be able to be successful and to not shut down their business because they're really just hoping... And it's a constant state of anxiety for a lot of these sellers from that perspective where they're worried, you could take down my top selling ASIN and it goes away in five minutes and, what do I do? How do I get that fixed? And I think the big thing of what I even talked about inside of Amazon as well is, there's an opinion on this as well, but the saying of innocent until proven guilty is the inverse, in my opinion, for a lot of the sellers. It is guilty until proven innocent. Until you can prove without a shadow of a doubt that there is not one thing in your supply chain, not one thing in the way you operate in seller central, not one thing in the way you operate with customers through reviews or asking for reviews, anything like that. If you can't prove that with absolute certainty, the second you have one little chink in the armor, that's it. And so I think that has to be changed. I would say that 95%... It's probably higher than that, it's probably 98, 99% of sellers inside of Amazon are operating doing the right things inside of Amazon, doing everything from an upstanding business perspective and then there are the bad actors, but unfortunately it's the bad actors that, they cast dispersions on a whole thing and it calls Amazon to the carpet on a lot of the bad stuff that's going on. But they need to build a better, I guess, system of being able to escalate a lot of these things so that the people that are doing legitimate business can be able to continue to do legitimate business and it doesn't affect them and shut down their business overnight.

Ryan Cramer: So I guess in the few minutes we have left Eric, I'm curious to think, what would it take for Amazon to massively overhaul or make these changes? Is it Shopify coming up and making really big waves? Is it Walmart figuring out hey, we're getting a focus. We provide a better solution for people to get in retail, but also online, a better ecosystem, so and so forth. What is it going to take for them to feel pressure that they have to make these wide swept changes?

Erik: Yeah. And obviously it's just my opinion.

Ryan Cramer: Opinion. Again, these are all opinions, we get it.

Erik: Obviously if I knew the true answer to that, I probably would still be at Amazon in my role, but-

Ryan Cramer: You would be an L1 or I forget what the highest... L7.

Erik: I don't even know if there is an L1, that's technically the lowest. L7, L8, L10 all the way to L13, which I think was Bezos or anything like that. But the hierarchical part of that is another topic. But anyways, I think the big thing that will put the most pressure on them is the more they get called out publicly. I think the biggest things inside, from a third party seller and I guess the seller central centric folks within this space, the more that they talk about the issues and the problems within the space, those words do matter. And the more public that they are, the more I guess, anecdotes that they have within that. They have things where they collect what's called the voice of seller, where reps will show hey, this is something bad happening to them, they populate that up and up and up. I don't think those go to... If you've seen The Office where Michael Scott is has complaint box and it's complaints from 10 years ago, that's what it feels like. They don't go anywhere. So I think having something where it's a true voice of seller where you can escalate that really straight to the top, anything like that. And I think it should be done something that's external where a seller can publicly post these things. They can put it on Twitter, they can do anything they want from that perspective, and a lot of times at these big organizations, that's the way that it effects change. In terms of what will make them change immediately, I think it would be higher level of competition from Walmart plus a Shopify, anything like that, where if I guess they bring down the curtains and they allow a lot of these resellers to compete and make a lot of the same amount of money without a lot of the same issues. A perfect example of this, when I was in the UAE is, you have Amazon AE and then you have a company called noon. com. I worked with multiple sell... Noon is basically the equivalent of a vitamin shop or an iHerb. It's a lower level e- com company comparatively to Amazon in terms of purchasing power or anything like that but they're still very successful, great company in the Middle East. And sellers I worked with were like, I make the same amount of money on doing noon. com with 10% of the issues, why wouldn't I just divert all my time there? The reality is they won't fully divert their time because they make enough money on Amazon to keep them around. But if they had other avenues where they could make money, so if Shopify did a better job of helping them with growth from that perspective, anything like that. Shopify has their own issues, anything like that. And same thing with Walmart. If Walmart started to expand globally, that would force Amazon to make some systemic changes across the board. So I think as we see e- com grow over the next couple years where there's more and more companies getting into, I guess, the global expanded space of this and become more competitive even in the North American marketplaces where. com is prevalent in CA, and anything like that, I think that will pressure them to really fix a lot of these core issues where people have been talking about them for years. And I think that's what's going to make the big difference is, it's going to be twofold. It's going to be a cost perspective for them of okay, we make these changes now because we don't want to lose potential revenue. And then I think a big part of it is how much they're called out publicly. So I think those two things are pretty crucial to making the changes in effect. And I guess the first part of that has been happening for years but the competitive part has really not been happening up until pretty recently. Amazon was operating pretty much on their own in terms of from a seller perspective, at a third party, is really where you could make most of your money. But I think the more people that get involved in that space and you can actually make money, I think that's going to change a lot of things.

Ryan Cramer: Yep. Anything that can affect the bottom line, I think that's the quickest way to move and it'll be interesting to see in the next year or two, what that ultimate feeling is like. You can probably see the Jassy effect of hey, this is my vision now of the leader. And I think a lot of people are thinking it's both a pro and a con. What's happening? Hopefully things that are overhauling because it was messy, the end of the term... Again, it's all opinionated, and at scale can get messy, but that's a cool thing about being in e- commerce. I guess in the last of couple minutes Eric, that I have you, what's the most exciting thing that you're seeing that's happening, whether you see on a Amazon side or do you see it on e- commerce side, do you think?

Erik: Yeah, I think the most exciting part of e- comm and. it's something that I guess was happening at a smaller level years ago, but I think it's the ability for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit to be able to get involved in a sourcing perspective, create their own brand and grow something from scratch on their own in their house. Especially when we were going through a pandemic, anything like that, if you could build a company in your bedroom, that's really unique and that's what the tech world was like and that's why the e- comm space right now reminds me a lot of when I was, I guess, really young but going through the early 2000s tech bubble and I was living in Seattle and my dad was in that space. And I saw that as a young kid and people were buying things to buy things. You see that at an aggregator level now inside of Amazon where people are buying brands to have brands. They have high acquisition metrics, anything like that it reminds me a lot of the early 2000s tech bubble and I think, like anything in the world, there will be winners to that and there will be losers to that. To the winner go the spoils and that's just the truth of most things in life and I think that's very exciting for the people that can follow that approach and do it in, I guess, a very analytical and methodical way from that perspective.

Ryan Cramer: Yep. I agree. I think time will tell and innovation will keep happening. I was telling someone the other day, software solutions are still continuously blowing my mind at how they're enabling to look at a holistic e- commerce view, D to C, Amazon, so on and so forth. Payment and solutions are continuing to evolve, translations, you name it. There's so many different cool partners in companies out there. And speaking of which, nice little segue here, for people who want to know and learn more about stuff, Erik and I believe it or not, him and I will be connecting at The Prosper Show. Let's get that other graphic out there. The Prosper Show, join Ping Pong Payments at booth 532 March 14th through 16. Erik, I'm super excited to be going in meeting obviously with you in person, but we're going to be talking with sellers and service providers all over the world in Vegas. So tell me a little about what your expectations are for that.

Erik: I have never been to Vegas for one, so...

Ryan Cramer: Same here. We both have that. People don't believe me that I've never been to Vegas. I don't know what's so hard about that. Just never gone.

Erik: I think it's probably a safe place for me not to be from a gambling perspective. But yeah, I think anybody that'll be out there, I'm happy to try to expense some chips back to the company just to... But yeah, I think it'll be really fun. I think there'll be a lot of opportunity for us to meet people all across the e-com world and I guess retail as a whole as well. But it's been a long time for me really going to a conference within anything, so it's be really cool to see a lot of people all within one space and seeing a lot of that thought leadership or I guess just learning from one another. So anybody that's going to be out there feel free, message me directly. I'd be happy to take anybody out to dinner, go out to anything within Las Vegas and I'll be out there from Sunday to Wednesday. So I'll be there pretty much the entire time.

Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Erik told me he's willing to expense anything, all you have to do is just talk with him. So if you're looking for a free... I'm just kidding. He said he's going to put it all on his card so I'm looking forward to taking advantage of that. Hey, if people want to learn more, how do they want to get in touch with you? They know how to find me, how do they get in touch with you?

Erik: Yeah, absolutely. Feel free to direct message me on LinkedIn. My email is just my name, so it's So you can find that anyway. But I would just message me directly on LinkedIn. You can probably find me on Twitter or anything like that as well, but that's the best way to get in touch with me across anything. If you just have questions about what's it like at Amazon as a whole, it doesn't have to be about... Obviously I work at Ping Pong, what we do within the payment space. But if you just have questions across e- comm, anything like that, I'm happy to chat or to give advice on anything with inside of Amazon, anything like that so feel free to message me and I'll send everybody my personal cell. I don't hide that or send you guys a VoIP number or anything to call into.

Ryan Cramer: Erik doesn't spam. I'll say this. He doesn't spam, he only reaches out and he knows a lot of people in the space. Him and I are very cut from a similar cloth. We like connecting people and finding ways. We did that recently, right? Between our team networks, we helped client how to solve a problem, right? We got them unsuspended, something like that happened. Something crazy happened which I'm glad that did work out, right? We're doing this live, so I don't know if we put them in crosstalk

Erik: Oh yeah. Everything all worked out we do that across the board and that's all that really sales is anyway, it's just connecting the dots and being able to talk to different people. So yeah, happy to help anybody with anything across the e- comm world. Don't feel like you're bugging me with a question. I know people have their own worries of messaging somebody they don't know or anything like that. I'm happy to chat with you about anything. You can ask me about sports too, I don't care.

Ryan Cramer: Big sports. But yeah, he plays miniature basketball in his back background too so my seven year old would be having a blast doing that right now. But anyways Erik, I know I took a lot of your time. Thank you so much for helping on Crossover Commerce. It's really cool on a Friday to look behind the curtain, if you will, to see your experience. I know a lot of people theorize what it's like. I'm sure there's really cool perks and things like that and you felt really cool saying it, but obviously that entrepreneur spirit, it lives pretty true with you. So I'm glad that we get to work together and obviously it's awesome to have you on today. Now a friend of the podcast, I don't have to say friend of work, but friend of the podcast now. Erik Schutzler of Ping Pong, obviously. So thanks for hopping on today.

Erik: Yeah, no problem.

Ryan Cramer: Awesome. And everyone else, thank you for hopping on Crossover Commerce today. This is episode 222, lovely number to round out today on a Friday. February, let's call it the 25th. If you're listening to this, thanks for listening to us on your favorite podcast destination. Or if you're watching us live, thanks for just tuning for a little bit. I saw a lot of people out there just seeing the whole time, listening to Erik. Didn't get any questions today but if you have questions in the future, feel free to tag Erik or I can point you into him, just connect with me on LinkedIn or Facebook or any social media platform. But this is Crossover Commerce episode 222. Next week, we have a lot of live episodes lined up so don't miss out next week. Like I mentioned before, check us out at Prosper. I'm going to start blasting this out at every episode, Prosper Show, March 14 through 16, 2022 Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay. Join us at booth 532. That happens to be right next to the thoraco booth, they're our friends over at Gemba as well as Payability. So you will find Ping Pong nestled right between all those three lovely companies. Come and check us out. We'll be there in full force. Lots of cool things coming out in the few weeks leading up to the show so you don't want to miss that. Other than that, I'm Ryan Cramer. This has been Crossover Commerce. We'll catch you guys next time on another episode. Take care.


On Episode 222 of the Crossover Commerce Podcast, Ryan Cramer talks with Erik Schutzler of PingPong Payments. They'll take a look "behind the curtain" with confessions of an ex-Amazon employee.


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!


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Today's Host

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🎙 Ryan Cramer - Host

|Partnership & Influencer Marketing Manager

Today's Guests

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Erik Schutzler

|Manager at PingPong Payments