Growing a Global Ecommerce Empire from Thailand with David Caruso

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

Tune in as David unveils the journey of establishing and growing a vast portfolio of 600+ e-commerce sites, operating across various industries and niches, spanning an incredible 32 countries. Notably, this ambitious venture operates from a dedicated warehouse in Thailand, securing the esteemed title of Thailand DHL’s No.1 exporter based on volume.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Establishing & Growing a Global E-commerce Portfolio

    David has established and grown a portfolio of 600+ e-commerce sites operating across x32 countries, spanning various industries and niches.

  • Operating from Thailand - Thailand DHL's No.1 Exporter

    Operating and distributing products from a dedicated warehouse in Thailand, David’s company has earned the esteemed title of Thailand DHL’s No.1 exporter based on volume.

  • The Early Journey

    Learn about David’s journey into the world of e-commerce, how he started the venture in 2019, and built a portfolio with a combined revenue stream of 7 figures.

  • The Structure of the Portfolio

    David walks us through the structure of his vast portfolio. Are all websites using the same business model, specifically Shopify? Is he managing remote teams or physical office teams?

  • Shipping and Export Markets

    Discover how David manages shipping operations from Thailand and the markets he exports to – B2B, B2C, or both.

  • Setting up a Warehouse and Becoming a Top DHL Exporter

    David shares insights into setting up a warehouse and achieving the status of Thailand DHL’s top exporter, along with logistics from Thailand.

  • Traffic Generation and Advertising Tactics

    Explore David’s traffic generation strategies for over 300 websites. Find out how Facebook ads for Shopify stores play a significant role in his traffic tactics.

  • Tips for E-commerce Entrepreneurs

    David provides valuable tips for aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs, sharing ways people can learn and grow from his own success story.

  • Get in Touch

    Learn how to reach out to David and explore potential collaboration opportunities.

Thank You, David!

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

David’s VIP Page
√ Cross Border Summit
√ Visit our GFA partner – Mercury – for US banking solutons for your ecommerce businesss
√ Visit our GFA partner – Casia Cross Better Logistics – for your logistics needs

Episode Length 44:54

A heartfelt thanks to David Caruso for sharing his inspiring journey. Don’t miss the chance to meet him at Cross Border Summit 2023 in Chiang Mai on November 16-17, 2023! It promises to be an event filled with valuable insights and networking opportunities for all e-commerce enthusiasts. See you there!

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Episode 406 of Global From Asia. Maggie, say hello. Hello. Alright, so let’s go into the show. Maggie will be doing a little intro with me. Let’s go. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice.

And now, your host, Michael Michelinie. We are in 406 shows of Global From Asia Podcasts. Before Maggie [00:00:30] was born, we started this show. Do you know that? The radio show is longer than, older than you? No. No? What do you want from me? What, what are you, what are you bringing here? What do I have to… I bring, I bring money.

For what? For Robux. Robux? I need to buy Robux for you. Yee. Alright, you just gotta let me finish this recording, okay? Okay. So in today’s show, we’ll ask Maggie some questions after the little preview in the blah [00:01:00] blah blah session after David’s interview. So in today’s show we have David Caruso, I got connected to him through uh, a listener and friend in the community, thank you for that, we’ll talk about that in the interview.

And he has 600 plus websites. I think I look going for a thousand e commerce enabled websites. He’s based down in South Thailand, near where I visit Hua Hin. I do hope to visit him sometimes as well. And he’s also coming to cross border summit. Super awesome. He’s talking about his. You know, a thousand websites of e [00:01:30] commerce, his journey, starting them, becoming one of the top DHL customers in Thailand, shipping around the world.

It’s really fascinating. One, I learned a few things. We talk about, you know, how to manage all these sites, what kind of product selection, email collection, marketing and everything. So let’s tune into the show after this interview. If you want to hear some questions with my daughter, Maggie, we’ll ask her some questions.

Okay. You ready, Maggie? Alright, so let’s tune into the show. Alright, we have Tommy, the sales manager at CrossBetter Logistics. How are you Tommy? [00:02:00] Hi, I’m fine. We just got to meet here in Shenzhen, China. It’s great. Uh, they support the show at Global From Asia, and we also use them ourselves for many of our brands and e commerce businesses.

And Tommy really cares. They always are, uh, trying to help us save money, you know, not, you have some products you keep for us in China, you have some products you keep for us in the U. S. warehouse, and So, uh, we’re I really appreciate that. And you’ll, you can talk to the seller, right, you can give them your advice.

You work [00:02:30] with many Chinese sellers a lot, right, and you can help, um, help the sellers understand more. Yeah, we are very professional for the shipment to USA and Canada. Also we have warehouse in USA and Canada. We can help our factory suppliers, the sellers for the shipment, for the e commerce. Yep, and you even keep stuff in China too.

So, sometimes if you have the [00:03:00] limitations of sending too much to Amazon, you can keep it here in China with, uh, CrossBetter, or you can send it, of course, to the U. S. warehouse. They have many different options, and they’re always trying their best. To find, uh, find out what’s the best solution for you. So definitely talk to Tommy, talk to Crossbetter, and thank you for your support of the community.

Yes, we have good pricing and better service. Thank you. Thank you so much.[00:03:30]

Hey David, don’t forget that you have that interview with Mike. Wow, that time already? Yes. I think I’m doing quite a pool.[00:04:00]

So that was quite the entrance, David, just down the fire, fire pole. So as some people not be watching or listening, I know a lot of this audio and video podcast, but those that didn’t see, but David’s in his, in his office. And he just heard about this podcast and. You got a fire, I call it a fire pole, you know, slid down fireman’s pole.

There we go. And for this interview. So thanks. Thanks for joining us, David. How are [00:04:30] you doing today? Yes, buddy. That’s great, Mike. Thanks for having me. That’s I’m excited to be on the podcast. Sure. Yeah. I mean. We’ve connected through a, you know, common friend and he’s also up here in Chiang Mai, you’re down in the South, South of Thailand.

So we’re getting more and more content about the, you know, about, about things, but Simon, Simon introduces Simon Bakker and he is here. Having some entrepreneur lunches with him recently. So that’s really, really great. But a bit about, about you, you know, I [00:05:00] mean, it seems like you have created quite the background from just doing all kinds of entrepreneurship and small and business ventures in your career.

But I think, well, I think we want to. Highlight today is that, you know, the e commerce venture started always here with your business. And it seems like from what I understand 2019, you’re got a portfolio of 300 plus websites with, you know, revenue streams over seven figures. And I think we can learn a lot, a lot from, from that experience.

So thanks for being [00:05:30] here, David. My, my, my pleasure, mate. My pleasure. I’ll just correct you on that, Mike. Sorry. 600 plus. 600. Sorry. Sorry. I got, I’ll update that right now. 600. I think maybe. And we’re heading to a thousand. That’s a, our goal is to get a thousand this year. So, yeah. Amazing. Amazing. And 32 countries.

And I think the, the highlight I like is you’re doing a lot from Thailand with DHL and you’re like the number one exporter based on volume from what I, yeah, yeah. I’ll just give you a bit of a background. What, what, [00:06:00] yeah, let’s hear how we got here. That’s. So I, I, I’m a, I’m showing my age now, buddy. That’s a 32, 33 year veteran, business veteran.

So, uh, born, born and bred in Sydney, born and bred in a place called Blacktown, which is kind of about an hour out of, out of Sydney. And my, my biggest fear in life was, you know, I was born in Blacktown, raised in Blacktown. I had a business in Blacktown for 20 years. My biggest fear in life was dying in Blacktown.

So I had to get out and just, I’ll be living in Thailand for since 2010. We sold out [00:06:30] our business in Sydney. And retired. I, I, I retired at 40 was one of those kind of lifelong dreams. So retirement doesn’t last long, mate. It’s very boring. I wouldn’t retire. I feel like, I feel like even if I haven’t had, I don’t think about the point, unfortunately, but I think even if I got there, I, I, I, I’m, I don’t see myself stopping.

Right. Like we’re addicted. It’s, it’s, it’s part of our like blood, right. It’s like in, in our, in our DNA. Yeah, exactly right. That’s I always need to do something that’s a boring, [00:07:00] you know, retiring is very boring. So last 12 months, retiring, got into motivational speaker and being a motivational speaker.

Yeah. And so I didn’t want to go back into a big business again. I had 50 plus employees back in Australia. That’s how anybody who’s had employees or have employees. Knows the headaches. It’s actually, I was in it. Sorry. I was entertaining. It’s just this weekend. I came from Australia, visited me and, and he’s got about 20 employees and, and I can say, well, from what he’s told [00:07:30] me, things haven’t changed since I got out.

And if anything, it’s got worse, but yeah, so employees can be a little bit of a headache. That’s true. It’s also a responsibility. It’s like a burden, you know, I mean, in a good way, of course, they’re contributing, but you know, it’s pressure is the entrepreneur business owners. It’s overhead. It’s it’s fixed, mostly fixed costs.

Right. And businesses up businesses down, you’re, you’re still kind of responsible for those people, which, you know, it’s kind of in a way a little bit empowering because you’re changing lives, right. You’re giving [00:08:00] opportunity, you’re giving, you know, giving even educating, they’re improving, but of course it’s also.

Yeah. I mean, it can be nerve wracking with a lot of them. I think you make a valid point there. It is a responsibility and, uh, and we used to make our, our staff family, but I think what you tend to do, and I know we’re going alpha tangent, we’re going to get back to you in a second, but you know, you, I think you had these core staff members that, that, that you kind of build around.

So I had guys with me for. For 17, 18 years and, uh, and they’re the ones that you [00:08:30] really need to look after. There’s going to be some fringe elements that, that come and go. And sometimes, unfortunately, it’s those fringe elements that kind of cause you the headaches a little bit in the stuff, but we’ll, we’ll get off stuff anyway.

So I wanted to be a motivational speaker because there’s no staff. So, so we traveled the world. We traveled, uh, mostly Australia, New Zealand, UK as a speaker. And, and basically I was speaking about online marketing. How real world businesses. SMEs, I come from an SME kind of background, small to medium [00:09:00] enterprise business and how they can benefit from online marketing and the internet.

So, yeah. So, and then around about 2019, so we did that for about eight, nine years and, and got, got a bit weary of traveling. So traveling sounds great at the start, but, you know, I agree. So I, I started my e commerce journey. I went to Matt Diggity’s SEO conference, 2018, Chiang Mai. It’s a great one. Yeah.

Yeah. Fantastic. They’re doing it again this year, which [00:09:30] I think there’s. Been a two or three year hiatus for COVID and whilst I was at the conference, there was all these young, I call them young whippersnappers. I was 48, 49 at the time. And, and the, the kind of genre or the theme I got from that conference was all these young guys that were making a lot of money, not consulting, not doing stuff for other people, but actually doing the work for themselves.

And I don’t want to sound arrogant or anything, but I’m thinking if you young guys can, can be making some good money, I think I could probably do all [00:10:00] right as well with my business expertise and what have you. So I came back to, to, to Petrobri and I said to my wife, darling, 2019, not traveling, we’re going to concentrate on building e commerce sites.

Yeah. So I think the first year we did something like about 400, 000 revenue. Revenue’s a vanity figure, of course. Then we jumped up to something like about 2, 2 million, 2. 5 million second year. And we’re well over 5, 5 million a year now. So it’s still growing. That’s great. That’s great. [00:10:30] That’s a story to get into Ecolist.

Yeah. I mean, we’ll dig into this now in the, in the, in our talk. So, you know, like, I guess people are always curious, the structure, like you said, you know, we would be kind of talking about staff or people, like you said, like, of course there was 50 overhead there and you, you know, in like, yeah, Matt’s event, SEO, a lot is SEO, especially in Chiang Mai.

They’re like almost, you know, I don’t want to offend them, but it’s like their job because they do it, but they do it all [00:11:00] themselves. But at the same time, it’s almost like it’s almost like if you stop the business stops and I think so you must have. I mean, I can’t imagine doing this with yourself. So you must have a team.

And I guess I’m curious just a little bit of yours. How you set that up locally or online or yeah. So we have about a team of 20 plus. And, and, and, and that’s a valid point you make. That’s, uh, a lot of people build themselves a job. Yeah. You, you, you’ve gotta, you know, and I, I, I suppose at the start, you know, we, we started with one website [00:11:30] that, uh, and, and started with me packing, packing stuff on the dining room table.

Uh, uh, and we used to have a catch cry. I, I, and, and my used, my wife used to repeat it back to me. So I, I don’t know. You, you know, the sound, the tape, the packing tape makes Yeah. . Whenever that would would happen, I would be yelling out. Darling, that’s the sound of money. It is. It is. It makes me think of China, to be honest, the markets, because you’ll hear that all around you, you’re walking around and do you hear it?

And it, yeah, it means like, it’s like the bell. It’s like a bell. It’s like [00:12:00] business. It’s like somebody just made a, somebody just ordered, must’ve ordered something. Cause there’s products being bundled and boxed and moved. So yeah. So we, we all start there, but it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s progressing from there. We, you know, I, I didn’t wanna build myself a job.

I wanted my to, to build a business. We we’re business people at the end of the day. So, yeah, it’s, so the structure at the moment, 20 plus, we, we have a warehouse here in Thailand. There’s a, these are rough numbers that, uh, 10, 14 people in the, the, the warehouse. Wow. We have a three or four people in the office that, [00:12:30] that’s, we have an office.

I call it the corporate office. That’s, that’s here. You’d see that in the video. Yeah. The video. People curious if you watch that. And then I have VAs. I have Filipino VAs for mostly for customer service. I, I have a great VA in Chiang Mai. She’s Filipino. She married a Thai girl. She lives in Chiang Mai. Cool.

I think I agree with that. Yeah. Filipinos, especially the ones, I mean, I think anybody lives outside their home country has a different view of the [00:13:00] world, you know? But we, you know, we, we, with staff, we’ve been very big on training as well. So I, I, I see a lot of mistakes that shouldn’t say younger guys, but there are a lot of mistakes, newbie business owners that they, they think this VA is going to do everything for, and they’re going to save their business.

It’s going to take the, you’ve got to train these, train the VAs. And then we’d be very big on SOP standard operating procedures. Actually, I, I, I’m very proud that just between you and I, Mike, 600 plus websites that, so I’ve [00:13:30] got. This, this is how, uh, important SOPs are. Most of my staff don’t speak English except for the customer service.

VAs Filipinos. Oh, really? So my Thai staff, the girls you would’ve seen in, yeah, I saw video. They’re making websites. They don’t speak English. They’re making English websites. Huh. So, We’ve got the training down pat, the SOP down pat, that I can have non speaking people That’s really amazing Making English speaking websites, so, sorry, that’s just between you and I, that, uh [00:14:00] Is it, I mean, you can cut it if you want, but No, no, no, no, no, I’m joking There are some times we cut some parts, but I think that’s a great one to keep Awesome.

Between you and I and your, and your listeners, of course. No, that’s really, you know, just a bit about me. I have one assistant or, you know, project manager. I’m starting to call her in Chiang Mai, local Thai, but the rest are online, mostly in the Philippines, about 15 now. So, yeah. The great thing running it.

Uh, business [00:14:30] internationally and, and using Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia labor, my business in, and I’m, I’m sorry, we’re going a bit off tangent here, but please cut whatever. No, I think this is good. You know, we’re, we’re a business podcast. It’s important to learn, you know, HR and people management is, is a, is a good part.

So my business in Australia that I would be important in business is to have KPIs, key point indicators. One of the KPIs for us in business obviously is wages versus revenue. And I can tell you my, my Sydney business would run at a 42% [00:15:00] wages versus revenue. We’re a very kind of service based business.

Wages to, to, to revenue for me in Thailand and obviously using VA’s in the field under 5%. I sometimes three and a half percent, four percent. So for me, that, that, that, that is a business advantage that I have over other businesses operating in other marketplaces or operating out of marketplaces. So it’s that wages to versus revenue.

No, that’s a good, that’s a good point. Yeah. I mean, [00:15:30] KPIs, numbers, dashboards, that’s great. I’m sure others are thinking the same thing I’m thinking and the products are made and I’m mostly I’m thinking China, but no, are they made here in Thailand or are they in China? So 95% of our products come from China.

And we, we are always looking for, for time manufacturers that, so we have about 300 SKUs in the, in the warehouse that, that, that we’re selling directly out of the warehouse. We’re always testing new SKUs, we’re always testing new websites, testing different products, and [00:16:00] maybe it’s interesting for your audience that our process, and I know we’re jumping all over the place, I apologize, but our process of testing is that we won’t buy any product until we’ve tested the product in a marketplace.

So… If I find something that I might want to sell, we’ll test that product in a non competitive marketplace. So Ireland, New Zealand, and things like that. And I want to build up a, I want to build up a sales history. So, and we’ll service those [00:16:30] sales, but we might service those sales by sending it direct from Amazon as a gift.

That, so Ireland will send it from. The UK, the Amazon from New Zealand will send it from Australia, New Zealand. If for some reason we can’t send it, we’ll refund the money to the, to the customer. So sorry, out of stock and what have you. But what I want to try to do is actually build up. I want to build up sales before I start to look from China and then bring it in because that whole model of bringing the product in and then trying to sell it.

Some stuff doesn’t [00:17:00] sell. I agree. I agree because that’s my 1st, my 1st e comm business. You know, when I was still in New York, I, some listeners may remember, but I, I sold stuff. I couldn’t even drop ship because they weren’t drop shipping them. And I had to ship. I said, but can I have a wholesale account with you and just buy 1 piece?

They said yes. So what I did is I ordered it. From the wholesaler to my address and I sent on eBay, I told the customers 5 to 7 days and then I was [00:17:30] losing money. Like, probably you don’t make money on those sales, but I was. I was learning what products were selling, right? Like you just said, like, find a way to test the market without buying a lot of inventory is definitely, uh, is a good question.

You’re finding out what’s selling and also at what cost to, to acquire that customer, because obviously marketing costs are a big expenditure in our econ business. So, so not that I want to know what’s what, what I’m selling, but how much does it cost me to, to, to get that sale? That’s nice. And [00:18:00] I, I don’t know.

You didn’t say on an interview yet, but it’s shop mostly like shopping directly to see off your website, like the Shopify sites or, you know. Yeah. So we, we don’t actually use Shopify. I have built a Shopify site before. Now, now when I say I I’ve built it, the

website and now it’s the team, but we’re non coders as well. So don’t, don’t think that we’re website experts and we’re coding guys. We’re marketing people, but we know how to build websites. So we use [00:18:30] WordPress. I’ve built Shopify before. Wasn’t that impressed? And if I’m running 600 Shopify, I was thinking that would be a lot of money users.

Yeah, kill you commerce commerce and I, and I’m, you know, WordPress, WooCommerce, and I like DV theme. So we build everything on is a thing that sits on top of WordPress called DV. So, and it’s very kind of modular and fantastic to work with. I’m assuming B2C, right? No B, probably B2C, [00:19:00] right? Any holes? Mostly, mostly B2C, but it’s funny because we do get a lot of corporate orders.

So in a lot of different products, so we see companies aren’t buying us or offer us all the time. So we will get orders. We had an order the other day. We’ll just say it’s an air quality monitor. They bought a hundred of them, 7, 000 to Canada. So we’ll, we’ll, we’ll get orders for thousands of dollars and you can see the companies, but we have initially targeting B2C.

Yeah. Okay. Clear. [00:19:30] So then I assume you’re using DHL and you’re shipping from, so they must be willing to wait. For those to come from Thailand to Canada, well, this is a great, this is the great thing about the, the, this thing that DHL comes to our warehouse six days a week, about 12 o’clock, 1230, and they go straight to the airport to Bangkok airport, and then they.

Fly out from there. So that shipment to Canada, three to five days, I can get anything to anywhere in the world, three to five days, seven days, [00:20:00] definitely reasonable. So it’s really good. Yeah. That’s so the, the, the, the time period is a non non issue for us and the customer. Okay, got it. And so you, we mentioned it, but I think everybody’s always curious how you’re getting your traffic.

It seems like you mentioned paid. Yep. That’s so we don’t do any Facebook advertising. We’re not, we’re hopeless at Facebook.

Yeah. And listening to I, [00:20:30] I’m always listening to podcasts. I’m always trying to educate myself. This is it. Fast changing, fast paced world. We live in us as business owners these days. So listening to the, the Facebook guys at the row S they’re getting, they’re talking about it’s a two to one row S we talk, we talk ad spent revenue.

So it’s the same thing. So two to one row S is a 50% ad spent in our. Yeah, they took a three to one row asset. 33% ad spend. Man, I, [00:21:00] we’re not operating on 33% ad spend. That’s, so if I’ve got a new product that I’m, I’m launching, I’ll go up to 30% ad spend. But a lot of my sites that are, are kind of. Four to five years old now, SEO has kicked in, some of those sites are 8% ad spend, that’s the thing.

So, but most of our channels are, or not most of our channels. So we’re very big on, on SEO, of course, PPC and shopping, shopping when I can get on. So shopping on, [00:21:30] it’s a bit difficult these days. We, you know, Google kind of kicks you off shopping a little bit more. So, yeah. So when that happens, we have to rely on PPC and SEO of course.

We have just started YouTube channels, and I think we’ve got about 300 plus videos up now. So we’re using YouTube as a, as a, as an SEO tool to, to, to drive traffic. But I, I, I, I, every so often I do try, try Facebook again, because I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t know, and your [00:22:00] listeners don’t know, but there’s two types of.

Things in this e commerce world, there’s the demand generation and demand capture. So we mostly work in demand capture. Uh, demand generation is the Facebook, the social media guys. They’re saying, Hey, here’s something that, that might interfere with things. Demand capture, totally different. That’s a, all it’s somebody’s looking for the product.

And all I’m saying is jumping in front of them and say, Hey, I’ve got what you’re looking for. And the way with that thing in mind, the way we design our websites is [00:22:30] totally different. So the, the demand generation guys website is totally different to the demand capture guide me because my websites designed is, is, is not to say this is why you need the product.

This is what all I’m selling on that page is. I know that you’ve decided you wanted that product. I know you want the product. All my job is on my page is to say I’m the right. Person to buy it from as opposed to my competitors. So me doing Facebook, I’ll go back and try Facebook advertising again, but I’ll [00:23:00] have to do it on a separate websites or separate series of websites and have that demand capture thinking in mind or design in mind.

If that makes sense. I, I like how you said, I, I I’m, I’m similar. I like, I call, I think of it as inbound marketing versus. Kind of like out, I guess it’s not really outbound, but in a way, it’s more like outbound. You got to kind of like, get, like you said, create a demand. So they don’t maybe know that they want this.

So usually it’s almost on the product because if there’s like weight loss or, [00:23:30] you know, like coach course, coaching is a popular one or courses. So they have the Lambert, you know, the Lamborghini guy or the, and they show you they’re so rich and successful or they’re so slim. They lost weight. Right? Like, that’s like, so you get the person on Facebook scrolling, seeing this ad and saying, Oh, maybe I need this course or I need this weight loss pill.

Right. And then they have high margin. Okay. They also have a huge margin. Whereas if we’re trying to sell like a more, like you said, inbound marketing [00:24:00] product, we can’t really compete because they’re, they have like no costs. It’s, and they’re just pumping at pumping ads for other courses or their weight loss pills.

And they can go like, you’re talking about rise. Like they can go crazy. Cause it’s just pure profit, almost pure profit. It’s just ads. So for us selling like normal products, we can’t go into that high of a. Of a budget, but they need to do that to create the demand. Like you said, but we have the demand.

People are looking for this. So I actually, I’m kind of just saying that as I hear you, we [00:24:30] interpret what you’re saying, but that’s, I think, another reason Facebook ads, because it’s so expensive now. I mean, every, all the platforms, the ads are just going even Amazon. We’re all complaining. They’re all going more and more.

Oh, definitely. Definitely. That’s so I used to sell courses. So as a speaker, we would sell training courses and things like that. So that, that series of that journey that is totally different to it. An e commerce capture a series. So exactly what you said that we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re putting it in front of them.

[00:25:00] But when, when you talk about a lot of these guys are doing demand generation with products that are on Facebook, selling products on Facebook. Away from the, you know, the, the digital products. Correct me if I’m wrong, I, I’m feeling that most of the products they sell is almost like a, it’s a, they’re like, it’s a, correct me, like a impulse buy.

That’s the word I’m looking for. That’s it, yeah. And it’s, and it’s set at a certain price as well. I’ve talked to a few people and they said, you know, 40, 50 impulse buy stuff if you’re advertising on Facebook. And a lot of the [00:25:30] products we sell are not impulse buy by product. So kind of, you’ve got to fit the right product, I think, to the right marketing channel, you know, demand generation, demand capture situation.

No, yeah, it doesn’t make sense. And it’s also about scale. Cause you, cause if, if your team, you know, or your product, so you just, your, your company’s more focused on the inbound or the people already looking for it versus. You know, they’re really skilled at ads, right? Like, I’ve, I’ve worked with some, uh, I [00:26:00] did, I’ve done courses in certain times and yeah, like, they’re really good at getting email and then the email follow up.

Right? Like, you’re just trying to get or to pixel pixel them and follow them all around the Internet every week. Keep retargeting, retargeting, retargeting 100%. But that’s a lot of work to set that off. And we do do that. We, you know, we do the retargeting thing that we do email marketing as well. So we, you know, we’ve got a database of customers, 40, 000 plus now.

So, you know, [00:26:30] every they’re in a series that cause we have a lot of different brands. Now we’ve got about 33 brands. So I’m trying to cross that cross selling new brands and things like that. Nice. We have a website online flash sale. That’s so we’ll have something that. That’s a nice idea. 36, 36 hours. Take advantage of that.

We might do a, an email blast twice. A twice a month, so great. But yeah, I think a lot of people get. I, I, I, I, I hear chatter around, obviously the cost of acquisition for a customer is important [00:27:00] and I, you know, I, I, I see a lot of, you know, big companies burn through cash in terms of their marketing. They, they, they, they feel that the cost of acquiring a customer for the first time is a break even.

I, I, I even hear that sometimes. None of that, that’s for, I’m a small business. I, we need to make money. So cost of acquisition for us, like I said, we’re, we’re running at 20% ad spend. So that’s a five to one row S. And on some websites, I said, it’s down to 8%, which is what, 12, a 12 times ROAS, [00:27:30] because that’s SEOs kicked in.

But like I said, if it’s a brand new site, it’s a brand new product, and I’m really excited about, I want to push it a little bit. I’ll go up to 30% in terms of ad spend, 3 to 1 ROAS or 3. 3 to 1 ROAS. I’ve done. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah, we, we quite talk a lot about Amazon here and we’ve had some experts sharing and in the Amazon space, what they, they tend, I don’t like to agree.

And I have a few brands we do on Amazon and don’t agree, but the, basically the story is you just don’t make money for like [00:28:00] a year or you just break even. And then, you know, and then, then you have a brand and then you have, you have mo and then you have, you know, you know, and then you can make money. And, and, and that’s one of the reasons I, I, I like buying off Amazon.

It’s, it’s that, that whole infrastructure is, it’s a race to the bottom for you guys or for the, for, for people who are shopping. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s price orientated race to the bottom. We call it. And it’s great because I’ll, I’ll use it as a testing ground to. So, so if we [00:28:30] buy something off of Amazon to send to a customer, we’ll send it as a gift.

So it hides the price to the customer. Yeah. I understand. That’s good.

Yeah. So I guess it’s a good point. How do you choose which product to, to, and do you like make sure it’s, you look at Amazon as part of your research for your, for your websites? Is that a factor? That’s a great question. That’s so we can do a number of things. And, um, so [00:29:00] obviously we’ll look at Google trends that, um, we’ll do some key word research, look for some volume, Google trends to see, you know, what countries, this particular products, things we’ll look on Amazon to see if there’s a lot of reviews and seeing if it is selling a lot and what kind of reviews because it’s the product is the same as publishers.

You know, most things we might make changes to the product if we eventually buy it from China and make a, you know, a small difference to the product to help our USP in excelling the proposition. But yeah, so we do a lot of [00:29:30] research, but sometimes, you know what, that’s something that I think is going to, Oh, this is, this is going to be a great product.

This is going to be a great product. This doesn’t sell that doesn’t sell well. So, and then something that’s left field that you think, Oh, it goes well. So the real test, you can do as much research as you want, but the real test is actually putting it out there and trying to sell it. I agree. It’s a little bit of a niche question.

I don’t know if, you know, so what I’m, you got me thinking with your, all of your sites, are you able to leverage the same [00:30:00] email database? Cause I know they opt in when they sent a newsletter, but could you cross email between the sites or. Yeah, I definitely, yeah. So nobody opts in that’s because, well, you, you kind of opt in once you buy.

So it’s not, we’re not collecting email addresses. The only email addresses we have. Uh, 40, 000 plus from buy is, uh, so we use active campaign and an active campaign kind of hooks into our website. So, you know, if they become a customer, they’re into active campaign and then they go into a, [00:30:30] an 18 month flow.

I call it 18 month flow, but we’re always adding to it. It might be up to 24, 26. Cause I just want to touch that base. I touch that customer once a month, minimum. So on the third day of every month, they get another offer. And, and we kind of, so even, even our branding that they know it’s, you know, cause the first line always in, in every email that they get, thank you for buying this product.

Here is another offer that we think you might be [00:31:00] interested in. So that’s really good tip. So, yeah, I mean, kind of like. Because of course, 300 websites and growing is 600, Mike. Six. Sorry. It’s 600, you know, a thousand. So I’m thinking, I’m wondering, you know, I know, you know, I’m wondering, are they single product sites or neat category sites?

Like everything sites, are you selling the same products on multiple sites or is it, are you competing with yourself? Great question. Great [00:31:30] question, Mike. I’m going to let you in some trade secrets here that’s I feel like I’m digging, but I don’t know, whatever I’m willing to get out of you, I’d love to.

Yeah, that’s fine. So we do have a lot of single product sites, but you know, single products, maybe two or three products. So really specialist sites. And then we have some, some, some, some general sites like lawn. Lawn sites, lawn care sites. We have a clearance warehouse site that has, say, 100, 100 products.

We, the websites [00:32:00] that really go well, if we’ve got a product, and we, you know, we’ve got a couple of products that are really, you know, top sellers, we will compete against ourselves under a different brand. That so whether you, you know, whether your audience says, Dave, that’s, you know, that’s good or bad, I’m going to leave it up to your audience to decide, but just let me suggest to you that big businesses have been doing it forever.

So, I don’t know much about America, but I can tell you in Australia that if you fly with Qantas to Bangkok and you and pay a certain price, and if [00:32:30] you fly with Jetstar to Bangkok and pay a certain price, you’re flying with the same company. That if I, uh, insurance companies, if you buy from this insurance company in Australia and you buy from it, it’s really the same company that, so if I buy from a hardware shop and, oh, some supermarkets, some supermarket brands, it’s all under the same company, the chocolate brands, you buy different types of chocolates, it’s all the same.

Yeah. I mean, it makes sense. Yeah. I mean, [00:33:00] I bring up like, even when I was learning about drop drop shipping in the U S like those. I think somebody told me, but, you know, even Verizon, which is a big carrier, you buy the router from them, but it’s not even they maybe stick a logo on it, but it’s just another router sent directly from another supplier.

It’s nothing to do with that company. They’re just, they’re just telling this company, put my logo on it and ship it to my customer. And it might be, like you said, it’s more money because you [00:33:30] bought it from their website or you were forced to buy it. Part of your like. Yeah. Contract or whatever from their, their business.

So this has been really fascinating. David, thanks. So we’re competing against, we will compete against ourselves quite often. And we’ll dominate you search for a particular keyword. And there’s, you know, I have 3, 4, so it’s not good enough to, to, to appear on. Page 1 of Google with one spot, because you’re competing against shopping, images, videos, sometimes ads, [00:34:00] and then SEO.

There’s about 20 or 30, 20 or 20 different things, a place that a person can click. So I want to make sure that if you search for that keyword, I’m not got one spot out of 20, which is a 5% chance of getting the click. Nothing happens unless I get the click, unless I get the visitor to my site. I’m going to have four or five spots on that page that maybe different brands and maybe even test different price structures as well, because this might be a.

More of a budget brand, it’s the same product between when I, [00:34:30] this one might, might be things because Jetstar versus Qantas, it’s the same product. It’s getting you from A to B. It’s just giving you a different level of service. Doesn’t matter either, but yeah, you know what I’m trying to say. Sorry. I get it.

I get it. You know, I guess maybe a little bit more, maybe it’s a trade secret, but are you setting up multiple companies, multiple merchant accounts, or is it all through like one Stripe, one PayPal? Great question. That’s so just one company structure that so one company structure having different brands, you, you don’t have to set up [00:35:00] multiple companies to run different brands just this year.

We’ve actually moved our company to Thailand because yeah, only because Stripe has kicked in, in Thailand, in the past, a year ago, you’d have to have a Western company to, to take Stripe payments. So in the past, I would run 50%. In Australia, because that’s my Stripe payments went through Australia, 50% in PayPal, 50% in Thailand, because PayPal, but now that Stripe has opened [00:35:30] up in Thailand, we can send money directly to our Thai bank accounts.

Since January, we’ve been running 1 company structure, multiple brands in Thailand, and you can do this in America. You can do this in Australia, UK, wherever you’re listening to these things. You don’t have to open up multiple companies to run different brands. Okay. Yeah. Thanks for clarifying. And I mean, I, I’m lucky.

I have a stripe in Hong Kong, so I, I’ve been using stripe Hong Kong mostly, but, but yeah, I, it is true. It’s also about, I think people have to decide where they can [00:36:00] get their financial solutions like banking and, and merchant accounts, but that’s great. Could clarify. So I think, you know, we’re getting towards the wrap up, you know, I think listeners got a lot, I mean, some highlights that I can from, you know, tips.

Is like know your numbers, like, you know, ROAS, you know, how much cost, Mac position KPIs, how much you’re spending to your burn on your, uh, employee overhead, which is good. So I got those highlights, of course, [00:36:30] you know, some highlights towards the end. We just talked about was like, maybe try multiple brands, different price points.

You know, 1, I might try is, you know, cause I always thought you had to keep the email list separate between the different websites, but I think, yeah, maybe cross. Because of course the database is valuable. So if you’re able to like cross promote, I think Cross poll Cross. Yeah. Yeah. That’s so e even, you know, that’s, I’ve run promotions for friends to, to our database that, and if they buy that, they, they buy off off our, our friends’ [00:37:00] websites.

I think that person then goes into their database. You can’t break the law yet. There is a law there, there’s certain email laws that you, I, I can’t give my database to somebody else. Of course, that’s a, there’s that whole privacy, uh, issue. Yeah. But if they’re buying within your, your sites, so then I guess it’s okay.

I guess, you know, yeah, go ahead. I was going to say, and I can also always unsubscribe that, um, yeah. Yep. Yep. Okay. And so also it’s, it’s exciting news. You’re going to be coming to our [00:37:30] cross border summit in Chiang Mai at November 16th, 17th. I’m excited. To have you there, and it’ll be a, it’ll be a great, great session.

Actually, it’s right after s e o Matt’s event is the week before, and then, yeah, so I’m going to Matt’s event and then Simon, our, our, our yeah. Backer, you know, to, to each other. He sent me an email and said, oh, Dave, I think this is in your wheelhouse because we’re, you know, as, as much as what, what we do and, and, and what we.

Think we know. There’s always stuff that we [00:38:00] dunno. There’s so much. It’s, uh, and, and I love talking to other business people. I, because that’s coming to a conference like yours, I’m gonna get so much value and from the speakers, you know, from, from listening to other, but also just, just at the bar or just, you know, I think that’s bouncing off around, that’s the best, the best of for sure is the, is that between sessions, you know, everyone says the people you meet, the relationships, people all around the world.

So, so it’s gonna be a pleasure and yeah, I, I know we. You know, want to visit south, come down [00:38:30] south to see your operation sometime soon. Well, you’re welcome to bring, bring a film crew. I’m happy to, to walk you guys through that. Yeah, we can do a little video and that’d be fun. Um, I’ll get you this. I’ll get you to slide down the fireman’s pole.

Yeah, I got to get the clip of that. That’s really cool. I want, I want a video of that. All right. David also have people. Connecting with you, you know, websites, links, I’ve really got nothing to sell you. I don’t do any consultation. I’m going to get back as a speaker that we’re going to just a bit [00:39:00] of a mind twist.

That’s one at one. I think one of my, one of my new presentations that I’ll be doing and just working on the moment is that how we sell 44 hours a day. Seven days a week. So what we think there’s only 24 hours in a day, but we sell our company sells 44 hours a day. Is that a bit of a mind twist? Yeah.

Twister. Yeah. And how, how we work 44 hours a day is that, you know, six, six o’clock Thailand time that it’s 1201, 12 PM, New Zealand time. So that’s when the day starts [00:39:30] in New Zealand. And then to. 6 p. m. Thailand time. It goes right through to obviously midnight Thailand and then it’s the full day and a day and a half later Our day ends at Los Angeles time Los Angeles time midnight, which is 2 p.

m Thailand day and a half later. So pretty much that that period is 44 hours and we’re selling for 44 hours during our Yeah. So every, every day that we sell, we, we sell for 44 hours. I like that. I like that. Bit of a mind twister. I’m [00:40:00] interesting to hear that one. Great. So we’ll give a plug because we, when we started this business e-commerce business, that’s, we’ve kind of got two prongs to this business.

Obviously it’s the e-commerce that we’re, that we’re running as a, as a business. And, and now that we’re four to five years in, I’m gonna, I’m starting to focus on the second problem. I have my wife, my wife, uh, is the c e o of e-commerce and, and runs that and, and, and, Very smart lady and runs, you know, runs the business amazingly.

So the problem I’m kind of starting to go [00:40:30] off is we’re going to start selling these e commerce businesses to, um, to newbie companies that we, you know, we’ve reached out to Flippers and different marketplaces. But I’ve, I’ve actually created a website myself and I’ve rented it. I’ve got so many websites.

I have to write down the website. I know I’m similar. I think you’re above me, but I’m also people always say I have too many websites, common comments, but yeah, or you can send it to me. I’ll put it in the notes of our link. Yes. I mean, the website is online [00:41:00] business dot market. So if anybody wants to go online business dot market and I’ll send you the link, Mike, so you put in the show notes, sure.

They can get some websites, some websites that are, you know, a few thousand dollars. Some is summer, you know, years old, 50, 60, 000. So there’s a website for everybody if they’re looking and for different marketplaces as well. So obviously we have websites in Ireland, websites in New Zealand. South Africa, Europe, Canada, U.

  1. [00:41:30] I like that a lot. So online, online business dot market. That’s my plug for today. All right. Welcome. Thank you for that, David. All right. And I look forward to it. I look forward, I look forward to meeting you in person. Hopefully in Petchaburi, if not in Chiang Mai when, when we come to the conference.

Perfect. Thank you so much, David. So, uh, Michael, thank you very much and kop kun krap that, uh, I’ve enjoyed the session. Yes. Yes. So much. And, uh, you, you came in through the fireman’s pole. Let’s maybe you can, uh, send off with that. I’m going to go to [00:42:00] lunch. All right. Have a great later.

That’s cool. I’ll check that. It’s going down to farmers. All right. See y’all later. Keep it fun here. And thank you to our sponsor, our returning sponsor, mercury. com online bank. Well, it’s a real bank, but you can totally online for us. Our blimp program participants are going through this as well. Thank you.

Mercury. Travis is great there. Been on our shows, been in our [00:42:30] events, we’re gonna have another event where we will have them attending as well. And if you wanna get a little bonus for you and us, if you sign up and do some special circumstances, you can go to global I also have a video tutorial that we use even for the BLI people.

Use the same exact video to learn how to use it. Hope you can check it out totally free. Why not see you there? Thank you so much, David for sharing. That was a fun one. He is. Got the fire. whole entrance, so that’s really cool. So Maggie, [00:43:00] what’s your favorite game? Roblox. Why? Because it has all of the games, you don’t even need to spend your money, just on Robux.

But you’re spending money, I have your allowance, and your points, all this ThaiBot and even IOUs and borrowing money. But that’s money right? Yeah. So, so, all of the games are for free, just Robux. The games are, so why do you need Roblox? [00:43:30] Even poppy playtimes. If they’re all free, why do you need to Roblox?

What do you need to Roblox for? For buying, um, like this game stuff, but you can play the game But if you want to be rich, you can buy some. You want to be rich Maggie? And adopt me though. Adopt me. Yeah, it’s like a game in Roblox. Alright, so do you have friends in Roblox? [00:44:00] Blox? Yes, even Lei, my real friend.

Your real life friend too you have friends with in Roblox. Even Nora. Nora too? Great, you got lots of friends in there. Awesome. Okay Maggie, well, I will buy your Roblox after this recording. Thank you everybody for watching, we’re really looking forward to seeing you at the cross border summit here. Maggie will stop by, maybe not the whole time, coming to our event.

Yeah, yeah. And lots of other amazing people. [00:44:30] Thank you so much again for watching. Have a great day. Bye bye. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at www. globalfromasia. com That’s www. globalfromasia. com Also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.

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