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Shipping and Freight Forwarding Made EASY (Everything You Need Know) TAS 479: The Amazing Seller

Shipping and Freight Forwarding Made EASY (Everything You Need Know) TAS 479: The Amazing Seller
hey hey what's up everyone welcome back to another episode of the

amazing

cellar podcast this is episode number 479 and today we are going to be talking all about

shipping

and

freight

forwarding

and a way to make it

easy

or at least easier and we're gonna talk about

everything

that you

need

to

know

everything

from

know

ing your product to selecting the

shipping

type to creating a shipment plan packaging your shipment labeling your shipment getting through customs all of that stuff that sometimes seems a little bit overwhelming so I invited on one of my friends also someone who works at Flex port who's kind of an expert in this field and his name is Michael Gallardo and I met him in in Florida actually a

seller

summit but I met him before that online him and I were we're talking about this about you

know

freight

forwarding

and

shipping

and all that stuff and we became friends and and then we met up in in Florida and then from there you

know

I decided to invite him on to really kind of go through this and do a deep dive and from him working with a whole bunch of different

seller

s he's kind of seen where people get stuck along the way so what he's also done for me which I wasn't even expecting this is he had his team create a free guide that will actually go through all six of those steps in detail it'll also give you ways to see what your product falls under so this way here you

know

the code and again we'll get into all that stuff because...
shipping and freight forwarding made easy everything you need know tas 479 the amazing seller
there's certain codes that will either throw up red flags and getting through customs and all of that stuff so that free guide can be found at the

amazing

seller

comm forward slash flex port alright and that will give you that guide with those six those six topics those six steps really walking you through what exactly you'll

need

to get this stuff going and and really how to make it easier than thinking you have to do all this stuff yourself alright so that's there for you as a resource now I'm gonna stop talking because well Michael and I talks for almost an hour on this topic digging into all six of those and then a few other things I even asked him what he felt were some products that he probably wouldn't start with because there is a few more challenges there not that you can't but it'll just make it a little bit harder when getting started we talked about those and a bunch of other stuff too I mean including some workout stuff I didn't

know

how we got into that conversation but anyway I'm gonna stop talking so you can listen to this interview or this conversation that I did with my good friend Michael Gallardo enjoy hey Michael thank you so much for coming on the podcast what's going on in hey Scott thank you so much for having me super excited to talk about

freight

and

shipping

ya

know

it's gonna be fun and you

know

you and I had a chance to meet each other I think it was was it last year at cellar summit yeah it was yeah...
shipping and freight forwarding made easy everything you need know tas 479 the amazing seller
that was in Florida I think yes it was yes and that was the first time you and I got to meet each other we had a lot of conversations before that and we actually got to hang out and talk a little bit and not even just about business but about life and stuff and and I think at the time were you talking about like shaunti and insanity were you doing insanity then yeah I was and now I'm doing a new program and actually my wife is a Beachbody Coach oh nice yeah yeah so I swear by it I mean a lot of my success is her just forcing me out of bed and forcing me to do it but it is working and getting results so super super happy with it yeah no I I'm a big fan of Beachbody I've been I've been a part of their program for a long time and right now though I'm into this peloton thing the bike riding so that's nice yeah yeah riding the bike in the morning and it's busting my butt and I'm sweating but it's cool it's cool it's working alright enough on that but yeah and the other thing is Michael you're a lot taller than I thought you were gonna be you're tall guy he would get you into basketball I

know

that's gonna say where we're trying to get a basketball team together I'm about six four yeah my mom is Swedish and that's where that comes from so okay yeah everyone's always surprised they seem like oh wow you're like a skyscraper yeah you are man you're up there my sons about 6-3 and you seemed like you were...
shipping and freight forwarding made easy everything you need know tas 479 the amazing seller
you

know

taller than him I'm like it he's got to be 64 65 anyway all right so let's get on to some some business here so I wanted to get you on and really kind of demystify some of the things that people think about when they hear

freight

forwarding

and really like when should someone be thinking about it but also when they do decide like what are the steps that you

need

to consider or that you

need

to kind of go through to complete this process because I think like once you're first starting you're kind of thinking to yourself like man it that sounds like a lot to do to get you

know

to get my shipment from you

know

China or wherever over here in the States and into Amazon it seems like it's a huge mountain to climb and you

know

you've done a pretty good job of explaining to me especially but also you guys created a nice little report that will give out as well that kind of goes through all the different steps but I really just wanted you to come on and talk a little bit about that and we can kind of dig into some of those questions that a lot of people have and I

know

that you work with a lot of different

seller

s and I'm sure you hear a lot of different questions so I wanted to get your take on it and also give people kind of that roadmap that we can that we can kind of go through before we do though a little bit about you how did you even get into this

freight

forwarding

thing yeah that's a great question I came to Flex port trying to get...
into the sales team for some of the the bigger companies that we have but I only had about six months of sales experience so very long story short they opened a position lower than the lowest sales position so I could start and they said hey like there's a lot of small businesses out there that we'd really like to hope that's you

know

the mission of the company so if you want to you

know

kind of take that on lead the charge then we'll give you that position and I was all for it I love a challenge I love building things and a lot of my experience was with helping small businesses in the past with other technology companies so I just felt like it was a really good fit at the time I didn't

know

you

know

a ton about

freight

forwarding

so I started really started talking with clients and then you

know

I got to give you big props Scott because I was like I really got to learn like you

know

these people and learn what's important and how we can be helpful so I started listening your podcast learned about you

know

what you said like all these myths and kind of things out there about

freight

forwarding

and so kind of instantly you

know

I was like the way that we can help is to really empower our clients to really give them the education we

need

to get people that are really smart and then also really helpful patient humble so really you

know

help build these businesses and that's kind of been our vision and premise the whole way through you

know

long story...
short we started with three people we had we had two operations people and myself one of the people a lot of people on your podcast probably

know

is is Travis we call him the Kanye of Amazon because he

know

s so much but he was like the backbone of you

know

all the logistics and

know

ing how it works and I just I I went all-in you

know

seven days a week was learning with him really building this out and just recently we got the investment to open an office in Atlanta Georgia last June and we've grown our team to about forty people and it's looking really good we're helping a ton of people and that's and that's basically how I got started just jumping in learning like everyone else I was basically like you

know

all your podcast listeners out there learning how this works and things like that and just jumping in the deep end no I love it and you

know

you got my attention you sent over a video actually and you

know

he said hey hey Scott I just want to let you

know

I'm a a fan of the of the pile of what you're doing and you

know

I just wanted to just kind of say hey and and that was it and it was pretty cool that you did then I talked about how I have done that before too to reach people but I thought it was cool because I could see right there that you were genuine and that you really did want to help people you

know

to me yeah yeah like 100 percent I'm the first person and my family to go to college I grew up in like a small farm town in Northern...
California so it's always been about like I don't feel fulfilled I don't feel passionate unless I feel like I'm truly making a difference and as far as like the videos go I mean it kind of speaks to as an entrepreneur you

know

I'm not you

know

selling stuff on Amazon but I am building a business and you have to have that entrepreneur mindset so things you

know

there can always be challenges I'm like how do I reach you

know

Scott Volker you

know

the

amazing

seller

you

know

I mean we had a team we had a team of three and I just got creative thought of some ways to personally connect and that's what people can do with their Amazon businesses as well for sure absolutely yeah no I love it so all right so so we got people caught up now you're a you're a cool guy you got some some cool things working there you started with with a three-person team and now you're up over 40 and you

know

you're telling me before we got on here it's gonna it's gonna get even larger and that's just because you

know

you guys are doing a great job servicing you

know

uh

seller

s so what I want to do here today those I want to give people that roadmap I want to give people you

know

the how to if they choose to do it themselves and then we also will talk about Flex port and how they've

made

it really a lot easier for people to to kind of go through that process without having to do it themselves but if people want to do it themselves where do we...
start let's start there yeah exactly so I would say you

know

moving your shipments around the world this is obviously a very can be like a complicated process and the first kind of place I'd like to start is you

know

like when like when should I even consider using a

freight

forwarder when should I you

know

just stick with my supplier like right at what point does that make sense I have some basic rules you

know

this is just my experience and the way that I kind of break it down is just between ocean and air first so the real

easy

one to remember is if you're

shipping

ocean you want to use a

freight

forwarder it doesn't have to be flexible it can be someone that you trust someone that you've met or through your searches has a good reputation but if you're going oh Sh in I highly highly recommend using a

freight

forwarder just because there are more steps you you

know

if you're going and working on your own you kind of have to find your own kind of like customs broker and things like that to make sure things get cleared and a lot of times what I've have found personally with the thousands of clients that that we've helped is that when you're

shipping

ocean and things like that your manufacturer could be working with a local

freight

forwarder and things like that they're not really focused you

know

on your shipment they're more focused on producing goods and just getting things moving and when they when there's questions when...
there's you

know

like a port delay or something like that you don't really have that point of contact that's really looking out for your business and really making sure you have the transparency and that's what I'm all about you

know

at flex borders like making sure that like you have that and the reason why it's important to is I want to get you

know

people are selling on Amazon and e-commerce to really start thinking a little bit down the road just because when you're first investing all that time into making your product learning how Amazon works and things like that a lot of people don't consider what happens when your products like actually successful so when your product is successful if you put in the time and I can walk you through some of the things that what the top

seller

s do the product can take off and

shipping

becomes more and more important and so if you're going by ocean and it's a more complicated process you want to have those systems in place ahead of time so you can scale so that is really really important on the on the ocean side like I

know

the thing that I always think about is you

know

Sam Walton with Walmart before he even launched that company he had all of his estate taxes planned and things like that because he had that vision that his business was gonna be big so on the ocean side definitely use a

freight

forwarder when it comes to air I would say stick with your supplier who's you

know

gonna use air...
express DHL UPS things like that if your air shipment is 250 kilograms or two less now the reason I say that and that's 250 kilograms or less is that your supplier is going to use you

know

DHL UPS it's the same thing basically if you're using that stateside like in the United States that's service and basically you

know

it's going to be you

know

door-to-door there's I have like trust that that system works the only difference is just that's international and things like that but using that service on those smaller air shipments it's totally fine when you get to that 250 kg mark that's when the price is between your supplier courier service and a

freight

forwarder is going to kind of converge and that's like those shipments are more important and that's when you want to start having the conversation with a

freight

forwarder to maybe see if the prices are in line makes sense for your business and things like that so big takeaway if it's ocean in my opinion always use a

freight

forwarder if it's air you

know

feel comfortable up until 250 kilograms for air anything above that I would definitely start trying to build those systems and have those conversations okay and so like if you're at that point and for anyone that's doing math kilograms I kind of did the conversion here while you were talking about 550 50 pounds is about what we're talking it's 551 to be exact if we were to convert that so you

know

yet you...
have to look and see what that is going to be and it may be even at this point where you might even want to just break that order up if you're going to do you

know

multiple orders so this way here it fell in there one quick question on that I

know

we'll be talking a little bit more on that because I've we've dealt with this ourselves actually in the early stages that we didn't

know

about but it kind of threw a red flag when we had an order that was going by air and it was over a certain amount of money going through customs and I

know

this is for like our customs we'll talk more about that but uh what's the deal on that do you

know

anything on that that you could shed some light on or is that just a random thing yeah I mean without more details I'm gonna say that that's probably more on the random side but what I can but what I can tell you is that customs highly depends on having all the information that they

need

filed ahead of time got you so a lot of that you

know

if if I had to break it down into the most important things is you

know

you really want to

know

your product and it's HTS code classification as early as possible and basically you

know

there are some sites that you can use it to kind of look it up yourself but I do highly recommend having a customs broker like a licensed customs broker have a look at it just to make sure but basically you just

need

to

know

like your product you

know

what the material is that it's

made

...
out of and the intended use so if you get that information you can give that to customs that can class or your broker they can classify the product for you and you also want to have things like your business information you

know

your IRS notice and things like that all your kind of business paperwork in line as well and I

know

that can kind of sound like a lot in the beginning but this is kind of like a one-time kind of setup saying if if like you work with a

freight

forwarder right they're gonna ask you for this they're gonna store it have it in their system so that they can just use it going forward it kind of depends customs is you

know

a separate government entity they have they don't you

know

fully show all the things that factored in so when something gets inspected or not sometimes if you you

know

import a new product or things like that it can it can you

know

put up a red flag where where they can hold it sometimes it's just truly random things like that so I can't say specifically for your case and like the price but the price changes can trigger it for sure so it's something just to be like ready for and cognizant of as you start building your supply chain for sure yeah no absolutely and and I think you bring up a good point there too and and that's that you

know

your special code you

know

you you definitely want to

know

what that is because that will shed some light on as far as like what that will potentially be they'll never tell...
you exactly what it's going to be at least in my experience but it at least give you like like you said it will give you give you an idea but no so a custom broker for someone that's listening would that just be someone that they would find through their supplier or would they find that person just by doing a google search or something like that if they're not going through like a company that's doing

everything

for you like flex board but if they were to get that on their own where they just go and look for a customs broker yeah you could just search online for a customs broker I would try and get one in like in my area just so I could like potentially meet them and things like that but I I'm a former accountant so I'm a little bit on the conservative side so it doesn't that's not like you have to follow that but yeah you could search online try and find one there's people online that can help classify and stuff like that if you're deciding to go on your own okay okay cool all right so what's next okay so we kind of figured out like air versus by sea and I think also like you said you

know

you're giving like the idea like 250 kilograms is probably okay up to that point after that you might want to go think about going see my only thing is on that we just recently did this where we broke up an order because we were out of inventory we wanted to get it in a hurry so we broke it off we like 750 units and we've got another...
3,000 that are gonna be coming by sea you

know

so you

know

that can happen but when other than that is the time to go or is that the time that you say we you should start thinking about sea because there is quite a bit of difference in cost as well for us you

know

go by sea I mean it's crazy actually era has been just going nuts recently and I think after the fourth quarter it's kind of settling down but it was pretty knots actually yeah so like that's something to really keep in mind as well too is that you

know

the air market right now in general is highly volatile it's it's one of the most volatile seasons that that we've seen in the

shipping

industry and basically like the complete history of it and the reason being you

know

long story short is there's that hongting collapse you

know

last year and and a lot of you

know

see like air shipments and thing or sea shipments getting pushed to the air side and just the general growth of e-commerce is creating it's like anything else it's like supply and demand the demand is really really high and there's a lot of you

know

really big shippers out there that are kind of taking all the demand or taking all the supply and so the prices are going up so if you're just starting and you're doing it on the small side and those small amounts like you can go buy air but I would also once you get to that threshold like really be looking at ocean 2 because the price can be like at a minimum four...
times less expensive sometimes like a like eight times depending on of course the weight and volume of your product and things like that okay so alright so at this point again we're still trying to decide if if the time is right let's say that it is the the time is right and we're ready and we've got you

know

a couple thousand units that we're going to be

shipping

by sea what's the what's the what's the first thing that we

need

to do do we tell our supplier that we are going to be handling that or do we ask them I think you already said you we kind of want to have our own

freight

forward or so would that be it we want to find our our own

freight

forwarder that can handle some of these steps for us yeah exactly so if you're really at that point where you're considering a

freight

forwarder you definitely want to reach out there's gonna be information that they

need

ahead of time like your business information the type of product that you're importing before you can even get that process going just so they have it already and you want to get that done as early as possible and the way that it works kind of very big picture is that when your product is ready your

freight

forwarder will have a team you

know

in China or India or wherever the suppliers based where they can do all the coordination with your supplier so they're gonna help that shipment and coordinate

everything

from your supplier to the seaport or the airport and then...
from there you

know

to the seaport or airport in the United States getting it to a warehouse if

need

ed in the United States before having one of Amazon's partnered carriers like UPS or an LTL truck come pick your shipment up so they're really going to handle the entire coordination of your shipment and that's like very high-level how it works when you're working with a

freight

for okay so and I guess the other question that I'm sure a lot of people are asking is is okay you get a

freight

forwarder and stuff you

know

what do we generally expect to pay on top of our of our regular cost of the the item because you

know

I'm we're our suppliers gonna say okay it's gonna be you

know

four bucks for your unit for us to create it and basically have it ready to be picked up for you

know

your your shipper or your

freight

forwarder okay what would be a good rule of thumb to say that not the

shipping

cost but the fee that we are potentially going to be paying you

know

to have a service take it from end to end yeah so I would say like that depends to on you

know

the types of goods that like you're moving okay how quickly you want them moved like a fast air shipment is gonna cost more than you

know

a deferred air shipment oceans going to be less than all that what what a lot of

freight

forwarders I can do is provide you the quote and the breakdown of how much that that shipment is going to cost so you can like before you even have the

freight

forwarder...
move it like you can engage with a

freight

er speak with them make sure someone that you trust and then see what the price is to move it and your

freight

forwarder should be very transparent about you

know

the different line items and things like that to expect when it's going through so when you have your you

know

kind of taking a big step back the reason why it's good to have your you

know

HTS code classification in the beginning is you can

know

what you

know

the customs duties are going to be and then when you get your quote you can kind of look at okay what are like they're gonna show me the price to get it you

know

to the poor and then like the transit and then the coordination in the United States as well it's hard to give again yeah it you'll

know

it before you actually move it okay as the point I guess that was my question because a lot of times it's hard when you're especially when you're first launching your products or even a new product for that matter because your supplier will give you the cost to produce the goods but then it's always okay now I got to figure my

shipping

is that going to be a dollar a unit more is gonna be four dollars a unit more so we always kind of want to have that and I've just found that depending on the on the size and and the way generally our products are falling within under the to two pounds you

know

they're not oversized so for us we kind of

know

that if they quoted us and we always get a...
quote from our supplier for air just because right and now what we can do is we could say well if it's gonna be that for air we can probably like you said probably step that down three to four times because we

know

by sea is going to be less so this way here we kind of reverse it and say this is what it would be for air okay it's gonna be four bucks we

know

if we do up I see it's gonna be a buck closed you

know

what I mean we can kind of guess to me because I think that's always the deciding factor and you

know

on you

know

in order to give someone all of the information to get that we kind of want to

know

that so what you're saying though is is what we would

need

to do is we would have to

know

the size the way you

know

and the weight really on how much how many come in a package and how much the way it is for that you

know

150 are in a box or whatever and it weighs you

know

whatever 20 years 25 50 kilograms whatever it is and then and then from there we would give that information over to our

freight

forwarder and say this is

everything

this is the HTS code this is all of our information this is where it's going and this is our shipment that we want what's the price going to be is that what you're saying yeah exactly and there's and you unpacked a lot of great things there so one one thing I do want to point out is a really good place to start with the HTS code is just asking your supplier yeah so if you if you ask your supplier they'll...
give you the code that they think is correct the thing to

know

there is that the first six digits work globally but it's really the last like few digits that are specific to the country so if you give that code to your you

know

free fort or they'll be able to look at it okay these are the first six it'll help them quickly or more quickly identify the product but the one point I think you've really touched on that I want to spend a little bit of time on is the fact that you

know

you said that you ask your supplier for the air you kind of divide it by four to get like a like a really rough estimate yeah and the important thing to

know

if these estimates you

know

obviously they can change but more importantly is what I do like a mistake I do see some people make is that their margins are too small so

freight

forwarding

and in general you can do the work find a great partner of things like that but there are some things that you

know

just market wise like say Hajin collapses or something random like that or it's a volatile air market prices can go up and things like that you want to be padded and protected so you really want to feel like when you're moving forward with a product that you have healthy margins to really like cover some of those things that can change and there's a lot of reasons for that so if you if you ship by ocean and you're like wow my products at home run and now I want to consider air but now the ship being you

know

is four...
times five times more expensive and you have to take a huge loss you can mitigate a lot of that by having healthy margins you don't have it you don't have to look for a unicorn product and ask that you

know

I have you

know

really huge huge margins but it

need

s to be healthy and you soon there's going to be costs and expenses and kind of unforeseen things even if your product is a success that comes up that you can set up yourself for success by making sure your margins are really healthy because I do see some clients that kind of had that first learning point where is some little change happens and it's kind of you

know

quote unquote making or breaking the product if you're in that position then it wasn't really set up you

know

well in the beginning and something that you really should be thinking about when when you're doing your product selection yeah and I I want to definitely highlight that because it's a great point and what we always do and this is kind of what I even talked about here on the podcast and I teach is really you should be profitable even if you go with the air price so if the air price is you

know

if like we just recently had you

know

an order and it was like three bucks a unit to get it shipped you

know

by air you

know

and you

know

the cost of the goods were three bucks so it's six bucks but we're selling it for you

know

twenty two right so we're like okay we're closed right it's pretty good but we

know

...
when we go by see it's going to be less so our margins will they even get better but we could still make it work with air right so that's kind of what we do is we try to look at that is like that's the worst case scenario and that could still could fluctuate I could go even go up a little bit more we get it but we want to keep ourselves in in that in that area so this way here we've got that room you definitely do not want to say I'm gonna be losing money if I go by air but if I go by sea I'm going to be making a profit you do not want to do that so oh nice you

know

that's a really good rule time yeah I love the kind of tactics that you have to kind of ensure success and I guess my question there is you

know

how long did it kind of take you to kind of learn things like this these little rules of thumb because I think a lot of people could get you

know

like overwhelmed with the information when it comes to

shipping

and things like that but I think it goes to your Testament of always taking action I mean did it take you

know

a year or so or how long would you say yeah well I think in the beginning I think you

know

like everyone you

know

see

shipping

kind of scares you so you're like can I can I make this work by just going by air and I don't want to wait as long for to get started I mean I'm impatient you

know

I'm an entrepreneur and I want to get stuff done so it's like I want to order something get it here get it launched and I...
just want to see if it's going to work and then I can figure

everything

else out but again I have that little bit of padding that I say if I can make it work on the front end so I was doing I mean right off the bat I would say I mean it didn't take me that long to figure that out because I didn't want to go see right off the bat because it scared me in a sense and also it seemed very complicated and I didn't want to wait that long so now we were able to obviously do that especially in the new brand we're doing you

know

see

shipping

but again I'm I mean we're out of inventory right now like for excuse it's killing me I mean we look at the debt the inventory report of the money loss that we could have had if we had inventory it's over 40 50 grand you

know

so it's like it's not small change but in the same breath you

know

we thought we had ordered enough we ran out it's not a big deal but you

know

it's it's one of those things that if you can get it here quicker you want to but I would say to be honest with you is just one of those things that in the beginning I wanted to think the worst and then I knew that it could get better and I even tell people that even when you're ordering a first quantity right like you might say all right I'm gonna order 500 units as a test and it's going to cost me five bucks a unit your next question

need

s to be okay mr. supplier or mrs. supplier what is it going to be when I order a...
thousand what's it going to be when I order three thousand what's it going to be when I order five thousand so you can get the break that breakdown so you

know

that the five hundred unit order is the worst case and you're still gonna make good money at that and it's just only gonna get better make sense yeah yeah that makes a ton of sense but my counter to the ocean

shipping

taking too long and this is just my opinion but I'm go ahead is is that the that extra time on the water and while it's moving is the perfect time to say build your email list go to the launch list build you

know

your listing do the research to make sure you're optimized with your keywords and things like that I think it kind of gives you that time especially it's like your first or second product to kind of time things and not be too much in in a rush and so that's what I will advocate for you can do you can do air I'm not against it but I'm just a big fan of of ocean mai-san and I agree with you I think and for me it's just in the beginning I want to get it there I want to get it quick I want to test I want to validate and just as just to see that I can get some momentum here and then like you said like right now we've been out of inventory on one of our SKUs for about three weeks four weeks and it's killing me but it's coming by sea I think actually we I'm thinking what my partner we agreed on I think we're actually doing a small order...
that it should be here Wednesday at 4:00 see we did four I mean I'm by boat I'm sorry by air that we did I think 500 units cuz we're we've been out of inventory way too long so we're paying a little bit more or getting it but we are on you

know

she shipment on the rest but um yeah you're 100% right you you totally have time and I always tell that I actually did another episode the other day where I was talking about you

know

like there's things that you just can't control and that you can't be worrying about and if you run out of inventory you could say well could I have control it well maybe but not really because you don't want to slow the momentum so what do you do you don't worry about it you keep your head down you focus you take action what can I take action we can build your email list you can optimize all the stuff you just mentioned you can do so absolutely you're right and I agree with you it's just when you're first starting you're like I don't want to wait like 45 to 60 days to get my product here time to test it so if you can do a hybrid I'd be all for it yeah definitely and the one thing you kind of hit there too I I will recommend a book called the one thing oh yeah yeah I love it have you read that one yeah and that's like yep that's the best way if you're an Amazon

seller

or you're starting and you're just like this is a lot of information I'm feeling a little bit...
overwhelmed it's it's totally fine that those are normal feelings but what that book basically breaks down is that you pick the one thing that you can really focus on that's gonna make the biggest difference and you

know

in this case would be your business and you just focus on that and make sure to execute and take action like Scott always says and you

know

no there's probably some chaos in this whole learning experience which is totally fine but really making sure to pick like what stage am I in now what should I be focusing on and making sure to execute on that as best you can with information that you

know

at the time for sure yeah absolutely a great great book by the way that goes hand-in-hand with my other recommendation the compound effect love that one too that's all about small little small little things you do every day that compound but yeah I'm a big fan of that it's it's funny it's a lot of people talk about the 80/20 I heard a guy the other day say no it's more like the 98 - it's like you

know

what I mean like there's really two percent that you really should be and could be working on but we choose to dabble in all these other things because we think it's going to work like you you kind of

know

what you can do right now like what can you do ask yourself that question and then just do that but yeah I agree we're just impatient as entrepreneurs I mean we just I

know

I'm not saying I'm the same way I...
want it done yesterday exactly you

know

when when a we launched things really took off and when we had our team of three and you

know

there's a time we don't have the wait list anymore but we had it we had to do the right thing and you do wait lists you did yeah and remember that's hard yeah it's it's it's hard but you you

know

things change all the time it's it's hard to plan for

everything

so you kind of just gotta you

know

jump in the deep end get going and learn and really plan it out for there for the long term but yeah there's there's always like the 98 - I totally totally agree with that all right cool so alright we pretty much covered a lot of things to think about in what to do and again I'm kind of skimming this this you

know

kind of report you put together or this checklist really is what it is and I'm just gonna read through these really quickly and you just tell me if there's something that we should bring up before we before we say goodbye and we could talk a little bit about flex port as well but you

know

you put together this your your team put together this really good guide it's really

know

ing your products I think that's important actually you

know

I'm at right now is there anything that you would say for people that are just starting to stay away from there anything that might be like you

know

what yeah don't don't go at that because that that HTS code is is going to throw a flag or...
whatever is there anything or you say

everything

's open no there's there's there's definitely some stuff that I would stay away from it's kind of like the first products just because there's a little bit more to them and as a first-time

seller

may add some complexity that maybe it should be better save for later so maybe anything that where you're basically like a wood product has additional things you

need

to do any products where basically you're claiming that there's some kind of health benefit to it is regulated by the FDA we see that a lot something to be aware of not that you can't do it but like you

know

children's toys have certificates that that you

need

as well we provided a link in this guide as well where you can kind of search your product and see if it's regulated by anything to make sure but anything with just things to be aware of like I wouldn't say you can't proceed but just

know

that there's complexities and you should be speaking with a fray for at least like don't go into these products by yourself without some help is anything that has like batteries or you

know

like lithium-ion batteries or any kind of like hazardous materials or things like that you want to definitely be reaching out to a

freight

forwarder but those are the main ones a lot of people don't realize that if you're claiming a health benefit so it's like you

know

a massage or something like that those have...
additional regulations that a lot of people don't foresee and so you really

need

to be bringing that to the attention of your

freight

forwarder to make sure that there's nothing that you should really be looking out for and would that

Freight

forward or even you

know

you guys for that matter would that be something that you would help through that process or would you just say I wouldn't go there like oh we can definitely help so there's like you

know

as far as you

know

just to use it as an example you

know

the wood products is it's called the Lacey Act and there's additional forms so a

freight

forwarder if they're like us is going to have an in-house customs team that is you

know

specialized in

know

ing like exactly what's

need

ed so like all your T's are crossed and your eyes are dotted so what we do is take that product information give it to our in-house brokers and they go through and let us

know

if there's anything that that we should be aware of okay okay good so we don't have to discard them total it's just like you're saying if it was your first products you might want to stay away from them because it's gonna be a couple extra hoops you got to jump through but right now you

know

you're saying though if you were to go through those other ones you you guys could still help or a

freight

forwarder could help and that or a good one should be able to help in that yeah absolutely and if they're staying down and...
things like that and that's probably a red flag okay okay cool yeah all right so

know

ing your products you've got that in this guide which i think is awesome and you got a little link there you guys can you guys can use to to kind of search your product or what you're going to be selling I'm selecting air LCL FCL what is LCL and FCL for people that don't

know

yeah that's a great question so LCL is less than a container load okay and then FCL is a full container so I would say a lot of people don't

know

this too but basically you want to start considering a full container when you get right around 22 CBMs okay so any anything under that it's gonna be best to you

know

be moved as an LCL just from a cost perspective but once you get to that 22 CBM that first container size which is a 20-foot container can hold up to 28 but once you get to 22 the prices can kind of converge around that and you should be asking your

freight

forwarder if it makes sense to maybe consider a full container there's things that consider like you

know

the transit times between those two things and stuff like that so you definitely want to be in contact with your fray for into having at that conversation it's kind of another reason why kind of getting these systems in place and kind of learning this stuff is is really important as a

seller

okay yeah no that's that's good okay and then moving through the list here quickly before we wrap up creating a shipment...
plan again that's that has to be done on our end really and then we supply it to our

freight

forwarder I'm assuming right yeah so a couple of things on the shipment plan to really

know

is to

know

that the ship from address again that's the ship from address is not your suppliers address like it should be the warehouse address in the country that you import to so in the United States right that's one thing that you

know

people get really confused on like what I put as the ship from you're basically letting Amazon

know

what's the last point that their trucks are going to come pick it up from so it's gonna be that warehouse address in the country that you're importing to and another thing with the shipment plan I think is really important is that you can put all your SKUs in one shipment plan so there's no so there's no limit to the amount of SKUs that you can put in your shipment plan and that's important for a lot of reasons you

know

one every say you want to you

know

have the LTL truck like the big truck pick up the shipment and and take it to the warehouse if you do multiple shipment plans like you break it up you're gonna have to dispatch a separate truck to each shipment plan so instead of just having one truck pick

everything

up you're gonna have four or five and it really adds to your costs and then too if you're creating you

know

multiple shipment plans instead of just one there's a chance that you

know

Amazon...
might split your shipment up to different warehouses across the country instead of just say one in Moreno Valley which is the big one and in that area so putting all your SKUs in one shipment plan is a big one that people miss from from my experience and yeah so those are like really good things to

know

also on the shipment plan just like really cover some of the like the high level stuff that I think is important is really

know

ing the transit times and kind of the differences between you

know

SPD which is small parcel delivery and LTL you

know

small parcel like FedEx is is really for you

know

30 cartons are less it's really fast but it's more expensive and LTL although cheaper it takes a lot longer time two to three weeks so really I don't want to just you

know

throw a bunch of numbers out there just

know

that that final trucking has differences in prices and transit times and it's a great conversation to have with your

Freight

folder as well but those are the main things I would be looking at when when thinking about a shipment plan okay and then the other thing you cover in this guide is labeling your shipment so what do we

need

to

know

on that oh yes that's a great one so labeling your shipment what a lot of people don't realize is that's something you can do to really cut down on the complexity is to have your supplier label the shipment at what we call origin which is basically where their factory is so you can create a shipment plan at any...
time for your shipment in Amazon it can be you

know

two months early there's there's no rule that you don't get dinged things like that it's you can have that shipment it can be in working status for as long as you want you can go in put in the cart in information you

know

the dimensions and the way and things like that and get your labels so you'll have your like let's say you're using you

know

FedEx to do the final trucking to their warehouse you'll have your FBA label and the FedEx label you can provide that to your supplier and they can put it on the cart ends before it's picked up by the

shipping

company and that makes it a lot less complex because what's gonna happen is that's gonna show up in the warehouse in the United States you

know

whoever's handling that you

know

you're free for two or another warehouse they can just see you

know

oh feta she's pickin it up a lot of times or they should just have a FedEx truck coming every day they can just hand it over to FedEx and they can take it on and you really cut down on the transit time because if you're having the warehouse having to apply the labels it just creates a whole nother process and then especially if it's during say you

know

Chinese New Year or peak season at the end of the year those warehouses can get really congested a lot going on it create a lot bigger delays than you think so having your supplier put those labels on ahead of time is is a...
really big key to success in my opinion okay no that's those are some great great points okay the last one is getting through customs and we talked a little bit about that but what else did you want to mention on that if we haven't if we hadn't covered it already yeah no that's a great one I mean there's I get a lot of questions you

know

like what like you

know

how often does you

know

customs exams happen and and things like that like a very high level like it is random there are things that maybe like they're looking at that you

know

they could do it but there's like three types of customs exams you

know

you have your x-ray exam where they're just going to put the container through the x-ray and take a look the tailgate exam where they're actually going to take a peek inside the container right and then the intensive exam is where the actually gonna unload it and look at

everything

so the thing to

know

there is that these things can happen and that they do have I've been more often than not they don't but it's something to be you

know

prepared that these things can happen sometimes you

know

it can add like a week or so to your shipment but what I might take away from that is really two things like one okay a customs exam can add some additional cost to the ship mix it is the supplier are sorry the shipper that is responsible for those costs another reason you

know

it's exactly why you should have good margin so when things...
like this happen it doesn't make or break you and then two transit times you

know

can fluctuate with things like this so you also want to be trying to really look ahead at your inventory and you

know

put in what you feel comfortable with and I'm interested Scott and what you use to say I'm trying to stock up for X amount of months and and make sure that there are some delays like this it doesn't it doesn't break the bank yeah well that is a challenge for all of us and you

know

it's like you can try to predict but you you can't predict a hundred percent you

know

I mean sometimes I'm going to have some sales that take off and and then then they'll back off and you

know

could be seasonal stuff could you

know

might not be might just because you're you

know

your products are getting displayed by an influencer in the marketplace who

know

s but what we generally do is now especially that once a product has kind of been validated that it's going to sell and and and what we see that we're gonna be selling through will generally place our order immediately from the time we receive a new one so if we if we receive you

know

one today we're putting in on our next order you

know

it means so it's kind of like so that way there we

know

that the production is going to be let's say 25 to 30 days and we

know

that the

shipping

if we're going by sea will be 45 to 60 days depending but then also we have the option before it's in...
that if we wanted to split the order and send some air we can because it hasn't been shipped yet we have that decision make that decision until it's been actually you

know

kind of loaded and prepared for that sea

shipping

but that's that's our general rule right now but it's never an

easy

task I got to be it's it's never

easy

you try to plan the best you can but again you don't want to turn down sales to to try to spread out your inventory because you want to be able to sell as much as you can as rapidly as you can because you

know

that's what Amazon likes yeah you

know

that's what we like it's a business owner so yeah that that would be that would be my advice for anyone is like if you

know

that your product is selling through and you can look at your reporting and all that stuff to help you but we generally find that you

know

we just received one we're gonna go ahead and place that next order because really what to place that next order for us we're not paying the

shipping

yet right all we're paying is a 30% down on the goods so it's really not even an outlay of money necessarily it's not all that much compared to what it'll bring later so that was my long-winded answer on that no I love that that's that's really good and I would say too like when when I'm hearing things like this the the big thing for me too is you

know

nothing and you say all the time like nothing replaces action like I can I...
can just give a great example of you

know

basically we're you

know

we started with a team of three and and now I'm leading the team of up 40 in Atlanta you

know

getting started and doing the best I could with the information that I had at the time the things that I learned and the the challenges that I faced you

know

in this time period was the greatest learning lesson of all like there I did my homework I looked I try to find all the information I could but at the end of the day I had to start speaking with people and telling people you

know

about our company and as you grow the challenges you

know

they get more complex and bigger and that's not to scare you it's more to say that developing that mindset in the beginning that hey I'm in it for the long term you

know

like one of our values is playing the long game like we're thinking down the road like we're we're really in this we're gonna take as long as it takes you

know

we're not looking at like right now you

know

the quick you

know

shiny objects and things like that like we're really playing the long game and investing in this the right way and if you have that mindset that that's how I'm approaching my business like I want to build a business on Amazon I want to scale it beyond you

know

into e-commerce I really want to you

know

use this for

everything

in my life like you got to

know

challenges are coming so developing that mindset to like I'm gonna take on...
challenges find the solutions and learn as much as possible how fast you can learn is actually the biggest determining factor of success in my opinion yeah I love it I mean it's its mindset in

everything

that we do and I think like you said going into this thing as it's a long-term thing for you the long game I think that you're already ahead of the game if you can kind of put yourself in that mindset and also that you're gonna be learning so much through this process like think about this once you learn this process of importing items it doesn't matter if Amazon went away or not you still have that skill set that now you could still do that whether it's for you or for another company so you have a skill set there and you can launch a new business if you wanted to just selling on your own e-commerce site or another platform or whatever so you have that skill which is something that a lot of people don't look at is you're building this skill set as you're building your business so I love it all right so to wrap up let's talk a little bit about Flex port what does flex port do if I wanted to use them what would do they what do they do for me the you

know

the person that is like just pretend I'm getting into the game for the first time I've never I've never done this I've done air only through my supplier and I want to use flex port what do I

need

to do in order to get started using you

know

like what would you require and...
kind of what does flex port do that makes it

easy

yeah that's a great question we're a partner meant for all the guys and girls out there that are going from that situation you

know

where you've been working with your supplier you're considering you

know

bigger shipments and things like that we're like first and foremost going to really empower you with information education to really help you be successful our goal on our team is actually to help grow and scale you

know

your business to really get to that next step where you're basically moving on to teams that can you

know

provide a lot of consulting and and really think of supply chain strategy and things like that we're actually going to have an event a local event in Atlanta where we have you

know

an Amazon

seller

that went from you

know

their own storage unit making you

know

you

know

$500 a month or something that like a really small storage unit to like a 16 thousand foot warehouse we're like they're having all their goods brought in and things like that having them speak on how they're successful and and how we've empowered them to

know

that so that yeah so that's where we are first and foremost is a partner to help you learn about this crazy I think sexy world of logistics I

know

some articles let's say it's unsexy but I disagree highly but to help you with that and then on top of that icing on the cake we have best-in-class software and technology to really...
give you the transparency to really

know

where your shipment is and things like that once you say booked a shipment you can look you can look at the schedule every single stop along the way you have a like a really great messaging feature to you

know

speak with your team we have a robust Help Center where you can go you just click on help there's a bunch of great articles and help like that so that's kind of what I call the one-two punch of flex support what you really

need

to get started I

know

we're listed on the

amazing

stellar resource page you can find us there we we do have a promotion there help you

know

get Scott as much coffee as possible and you can sign up there what will happen is and you

know

you'll work with our team we'll get you set up on an educational webinar to kind of help you learn about kind of initial first steps and things like that I do say you do

need

to be a registered business so you would

need

to have like an LLC or an Inc set up it's just it's good for you and it's it's good from a compliance perspective but other than that that's kind of the first step just gain signed up attending the webinar to learn and and then from there we'll get you on the platform we'll get the rest of your information like your products and things like that and that's how it works yeah cool and I'm gonna make a shorter URL here so you guys can can get there quicker it's the

amazing

seller

comm /a flex port if...
you go there it'll direct you to the resources and that guide and all of that stuff is it cool to mention the discount that you guys were saying that you guys were gonna give it's on the it's on the the guide is it okay - oh yeah hundred percent yeah yeah so you guys at you well you put it right in here in the guide so if you guys download the guide or if you just go to that link I gave you you guys are eligible for one hundred fifty dollars off your first shipment using Flex ports so that's pretty that's pretty awesome again I think you guys are doing that more or less to say hey let let us let us do this for you let us prove to you that it's going to be really

easy

and and we're gonna like you said partner with you in a sense so I love that I love all the information that you provided today Michael you're always awesome to talk to and hang out with in person so if you guys ever do get the chance to hang out with Michael at an event or maybe even a flex board event who

know

s definitely definitely do that wealth of

know

ledge and I think it's awesome that you're constantly learning as I am and that's what it's all about right like just continuing to learn through this process so I want to thank you Michael guys if you are interested in checking out flex port or if you want more information or even just download the guide that we just kind of covered here in rapid-fire but

everything

is laid out for you there's some helpful...
links there for you as well inside the guy that will help you determine some of those things that we discussed one of them being your HTS code and customs and that type of stuff packaging creating your shipment plan

everything

is kind of outlined in this guide you can find that at the

amazing

seller

comm forward slash flex port and there will also be that discount there if you guys do decide to use flex port for your

shipping

so Michael I want to thank you once again brother it's been fun I'll have you back on again because I

know

we can dig into a lot of different topics and I also just want to keep my pulse on the on the

freight

forwarding

world so I'll definitely want to get you back on and we can kind of touch base and see how things are moving along on your end as well appreciate that Scott it's been an absolute pleasure that was a lot of fun man all right so there you go hopefully now you feel a little bit better about this whole

freight

forwarding

this

shipping

whether it's by air whether it's by sea you feel a little better and you

know

if it feels like there was a lot there that we covered there kind of was and that's why he created this free guide for you guys and again I'll remind you of the link so you guys can go download that and you don't even have to enter your email or nothing it's the

amazing

seller

com forward slash flex port that will give you immediate access to that guide and it'll walk you through those six...
steps that we talked about there will also be a link on there that if you did want to use flex port that you would get a hundred and fifty dollars off your first shipment alright so that's pretty cool all you have to do is go through that link yes that will buy me a cup of coffee as I've talked before and actually Michael talks about that on there and he actually had a cup of coffee as we were doing this interview he told me before we got on and I did too so we were actually having coffee together which was pretty awesome so anyway that's what I want you to do right now download that guide because that guide will definitely give you a good overview of what it will take whether you want to do it on your own or not that's fine but it'll at least give you the step-by-step and what you

need

to do when going through those steps all right now the show notes can be found at the

amazing

seller

com forward slash 479 transcripts show notes I'll even include a link to that guide there as well and you can also again go directly to the

amazing

seller

com forward slash flex port alright so guys that's it that's gonna wrap it up remember as always I'm here for you I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to you have to come on say it with me say it loud say it proud action have an awesome

amazing

day and I'll see you right back here on the next episode you you