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The Scale Your Agency Podcast | Bright Ideas

Mar 16, 2021

Episode Highlights

[02:28] — Who is Mark Lewyn?

  • Mark co-founded Sorfeo — an eCommerce company that acquires Amazon private label brands.

  • Mark was the managing director of JEM Partners. They used data analysis to create and distribute popular consumer products through a global network of eCommerce platforms.

  • Mark is also the owner of his private label brand that he created from scratch.

  • Finally, he is the author of a book called The $500 Start-up on Amazon: How a dad of three launched a business on Amazon and escaped the hamster wheel of nine to five.

[03:35] — Coming up with new product ideas that have something to do with the patent office

  • Mark recalls when he came across a product that costs $80 on Amazon but only $5 on Alibaba. 

  • Out of curiosity, he started researching the product and found out that the patent has recently expired.

  • He realized that he can compete by charging a lower price and still be making a very nice profit.

[6:08] — Sorting through products on the Patent and Trademark Office website

  • Like most websites, the Patent and Trademark Office website has a search function you can dig through to find products with expired patents.

  • Utility patents typically last for 20 years. 

  • Meanwhile, design patents usually last about 15 years. 

 [7:35] — What’s next after finding an opportunity? 

  • Once you find a product you’re interested in, begin the standard product research. 

  • Nine out of ten times, you’ll see that they are charging a premium for that product.

  • Check out Mark’s book to know more about how he sells these products on Amazon.

[12:04] — Mark’s advice in starting a business

  • Get over the analysis paralysis problem — take the first step!

  • You don't have to spend much money to start a business. You can usually start with a small amount and get the real product going.

  • Don’t be afraid of failure; flops provide valuable lessons to learn.

  • Go through a whole bunch of different ideas. It’s a process of going through good and bad ideas. 

  • Mark settled on the Amazon private label model because of the low cost. He saw it as an exciting opportunity.

[17:00] — Amazon FBA brands  

  • Amazon’s private-label ecosystem has been booming recently. 

  • About eight or ten companies are in the business of buying existing Amazon FBA brands. 

  • This is a massive opportunity for people who want to sell their businesses.

[21:04] —  Want to sell to a roll-up company, but you don’t want to start from scratch?

  • One strategy is to buy a couple of microbrands and pool them together. Then streamline operations and grow sales. In 18 months, sell it to a roll-up company. 

  • The research process in finding microbrands can be systematized and handled by a VA.