8 Figure Amazon Seller Steve Simonson


Steve Simonson is an 8 figure Amazon Seller with us talking about the trump tariffs, his ideas around negotiating with suppliers and how mitigating against the on-going USA and China trade war has helped his business weather this storm.

  • Shipping 150 containers a week
  • Been doing ecommerce a very long time
  • Reached into multi-channel
  • Team is managing around 125-150 containers a month
  • Maybe 300 containers in the order process
  • Just customs takes 3-5 people
  • Marketing and other parts with different teams

Trump Tariffs

  • Import tariffs on product imported from China to reduce people buying from China to hurt them
  • Not ideal for Amazon Sellers
  • Made a couple of strategic moves to prepare for it – some right moves, a few have gone wrong
  • Looked to mitigate it for section 201
  • What can they buy in USA, CAmbodia, Vietnam
  • Massive parts of manufacture are still in China – see this as chest thumping from Trump and China to strike a better deal

Mis-steps

  • First one was tariffs on big industrial things – most people didn’t notice
  • Hit a bunch of stuff with Sept’s section 201 tariff
  • First phase hits Friday and then January 1
  • Immediately bought a bunch more containers to beat the 15% Jan tariff
  • Had massive inventory for 3 months as Trump delayed the tariff in the end
  • Then got a little complacent perhaps
  • Steve did not anticipate this escalation in recent weeks going to Section 201 being full 25% and going after a further 300 billion worth
  • China is also ratcheting up so expecting more pain to come for an Amazon Seller
  • Hoping it gets resolved in the next 2 weeks or it could go nuclear
  • Have over the last year moved a lot of the supply-chain to avoid it

Share the Pain with Manufacturers

  • A major hit to margins eaten up by this tariff
  • This could have wiped out your margins as an Amazon Seller
  • Steve implores Sellers to have margins to begin with
  • Several factories in CHina that are desperate to keep buyers and they will take the tariffs hit and get China gov subsidies
  • Time to go an re-negotiate where you can to make it a more fruitful long-term relationship by them sharing this pain

Trade Cold War

  • Must consider risk mitigation going forwards
  • Very complex issue and not going away any time soon
  • A trade cold war

Negotiating Terms

  • You need to be buying enough volume to generate leverage
  • Need 4 things
    • Peg the currency at a point where you agree on the price
    • Always get terms – speak to Steve in London
    • Product liability from the manufacturer (not an easy one)
    • Ask for Help on tariffs, anti-dumping or counter-weighting duties
  • These are the main components along with quality and time

Seller Sessions Live in London

  • Steve is coming to London
  • Traveling coach for a good price
  • Love entrepreneurs and helping them out and hanging out
  • See you there

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