In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA, Ian Kaneshiro, head of sales and customer success at SellerSnap. Ian discusses how to price your products on Amazon. SellerSnap is a leading repricing platform for Amazon sellers. Ian shares his personal journey into eCommerce.
One challenge Amazon sellers face is owning that elusive “buy box” without getting into a price war and without actually losing any revenue. There are automated AI tools available out there that can help sellers with this constant battle. Yoni Mazor of Prime Talk discusses one of these AI repricing tools and how it can help you on your Amazon journey to grow and scale your business.
In today’s episode, Prime Talk has teamed up with Ian Kaneshiro, head of Sales and Customer Success at SellerSnap, one of the leading repricing platforms for Amazon sellers. SellerSnap’s main mission is to help Amazon sellers maximize their profits and scale their businesses and they can accomplish this with this leading game-theory-based algorithmic repricer and strong seller analytics.
Ian Kaneshiro shares his personal journey from college baseball player to his decision to move halfway around the world to Israel for love to his current position at SellerSnap. So if you’re an Amazon seller needing help with the repricing battle, or if you’re at a crossroads in your Amazon story and need some inspiration, then this episode is for you!
Learn more about SellerSnap!
Learn more about GETIDA’s Amazon reimbursement solution software
Find the Full Transcript Below
Yoni Mazor 0:06
Hi, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Prime Talk. Today I have a special guest. Today I’m having Ian Kaneshiro. Ian is the head of sales and customer success of SellerSnap, which is a leading repricing platform for Amazon sellers. So Ian, welcome to the show.
Ian Kaneshiro 0:20
Thank you, Yoni for having me. I’m super happy to be here. Caught a few of your episodes in the past. So I’m excited to have a chance to talk to you.
Yoni Mazor 0:27
Awesome, we’re so glad you can make the time to join us today. Alright, so today’s episode is really going to be the episode of Ian Kaneshiro. You’re gonna share with us, you know, who are you? Where are you from? Where were you born? Where did you grow up, you know, all the way to where you are now. So I guess without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
Ian Kaneshiro 0:45
We’re really gonna go into the depths of it today. Cool. Let’s do it. So, yeah, my name is Ian Kaneshiro, originally from Los Angeles, California. Quick take on that is I’m actually calling you from Tel Aviv, Israel, which I’ve been here for about five years now. And so that will kind of kind of lead into my story a bit. But yeah, you know, I was originally born in Los Angeles, California, big passion, growing up was baseball. And that kind of led me in all the different directions. Because, you know, when you’re growing up playing competitive sports, you know, first of all, teamwork is a huge thing that comes to mind when thinking about that. So that has really helped me in my professional career with that mindset. But also, when you’re a teenager playing ball, you have to take into account time management. And, you know, I was always really aware about, like, you know, about the value of money, and, you know, I wanted to go out and hang out with my friends. But I had to, I always had to kind of kind of work for it, you know?
Yoni Mazor 1:48
So tell me, hold on, in terms of the baseball team, right? So how old were you? What was the, you know, the dynamics there? What was the context? Give us a you have to work you have to take a bus, you got dropped to the, to the practices while you’re playing the local, national statewide?
Ian Kaneshiro 2:04
So yeah, that’s a lot of really good questions. So I started when I was four, you know, lucky enough that my folks would take me after work every day to practice and to every game, and I had a really supportive childhood in that. And you know, growing up, you know, we started to play, you started to play ball with like, the same guys all day, every day, sometimes your teammates, sometimes your competitors, but at the end of the day, you know, what, uh, whatever it was, you know, 13 years old, when things start getting really competitive, you all have the dream of going pro, right? So we’re all kind of competing in that way to make each other better. You know, a little bit of a spoiler there. I didn’t go pro. But that’s a different story.
Yoni Mazor 2:44
So what was your position? Which position you excelled in, in the game? Is it pitching, is a batting, is it catching?
Ian Kaneshiro 2:49
So I, I played, I played a little bit of everywhere, you know, play a little bit of everywhere growing up. But I loved the outfield. I love the running aspect of just trying to chase something down, chase down that ball that’s, you know, moving pretty fast. And but yeah, and everybody likes a swing. Everybody likes to hit and so that’s probably that’s probably the real, the real passion of the game. Right?
Yoni Mazor 3:10
For sure. For sure. All right, great. So you go up, and then you took this into, you know, high school, or beyond? Or what was the trajectory?
Ian Kaneshiro 3:18
Yeah, so I took it into high school, I played High School ball, actually, you know, got cut from the team, my first year, I didn’t make it. And then, which made me kind of want it a bit more, worked hard, was able to make it my second year as a sophomore and then, you know, played throughout the rest of my career. And, you know, that was something that I was really proud of, you know, it’s, it’s one of those things, it’s really a humbling experience to learn at such a young age to, you know, not be the best anymore, because you always have someone you know that you’re always hear, there’s always gonna be someone better than you. And I felt for me at a really early age, I was something really interesting. And, you know, I bet we can make some connections, like throughout this conversation about always having someone better than you. And is that a reason not to do what you want to do? Not to do what you love to do, right? Oh, yeah. And, and so one of the things that I always kind of prided myself on was, even though I wasn’t necessarily the best, I wanted to be one of the…I wanted to be the hardest worker on the field. So you know, even if it’s like, the talents, not there, you know, this dude grinds, and that was something that was really important for me.
Yoni Mazor 4:29
So your commitment, your passion, your dedication, will offset anything. So it just…it will make you a valuable player, even if other components are kind of missing. So that was kind of your understanding at a young age into the game?
Ian Kaneshiro 4:41
Absolutely. And, and especially when you’re working on a team, like on a baseball team, you have what nine other dudes on the field with you at any one time. You know, it’s not just about you. And so it’s, it’s about the common goal. And so, there is really a position for everyone out there, you know? If you got your star players you got the people that like bring everything home and you have you have supporting roles and so…
Yoni Mazor 5:07
You guys win any titles at all or any achievements and accomplishments on the league or anything?
Ian Kaneshiro 5:11
So my program did as I was going through it, but I was not on a championship team and still a sore moment, whatever it is 10 years later, man. I can remember where I was when we got back from the playoffs during my senior year.
Yoni Mazor 5:29
Gotcha. So listen, it took us a while after high school what was the next station for you?
Ian Kaneshiro 5:33
So the next station was college. I played, I got recruited to Cal State Monterey Bay, a D2 school in California.
Yoni Mazor 5:41
What’s it called? What’s it called the school?
Ian Kaneshiro 5:43
California State University, Monterey Bay.
Yoni Mazor 5:46
Monterey Bay that’s the location area?
Ian Kaneshiro 5:50
Monterey Bay. Yep, on the central coast of California. Yeah, and, you know, that was also another situation, you know, I leveled up, I was in a situation, you know…
Yoni Mazor 6:00
DId you get a scholarship to play at all? Or you just wanted to get your degree in a certain field then also kind of keep the passion going with baseball?
Ian Kaneshiro 6:07
I went actually for baseball first, knowing that, you know, time was probably ticking on that baseball career, but also, you know, the, the secondary goal of getting an education and, you know, kind of leveraging that.
Yoni Mazor 6:22
What’d you study? What was your major?
Yoni Mazor 6:26
Nice. On a side note, what was your like baseball team? Which team are you a fan of?
Ian Kaneshiro 6:31
Dodgers! Big year, big years for us! You know, I went my whole life without a World Series. So you know, we could have a whole nother podcast about how stoked I am on that.
Yoni Mazor 6:41
Nice. Congratulations, glad for you. It’s always nice when your team is finally shining. Okay, so you’re in school, studying business while playing well, three, four years?
Ian Kaneshiro 6:53
So I actually only played ball for one year. And it wasn’t working out for me. And I decided to focus on school. And during that time, I had this really awesome opportunity to study abroad, got some grants, got some scholarships in order to go and do business programs and focus on international business. And well, story short, I ended up going to two different countries in my first year and that year, into Bilbao, Spain, and then Torino, Italy. And it was really, really wild. Again, you know, this was something that happened really quick. And I had a really cool opportunity to meet people from all over the country all over the world.
Yoni Mazor 7:37
So how long were you in Bilbao? And how long were you in Toronto? By the way?
Ian Kaneshiro 7:40
It was. It was five months in Bilbao, and I think five or six in Torino.
Yoni Mazor 7:48
That’s pretty long. So combined together you were out of the country for a year-ish, right?
Ian Kaneshiro 7:52
Yeah, almost. Yeah.
Yoni Mazor 7:53
Did you pick up any Spanish or Italian at all?
Ian Kaneshiro 7:56
I think you know, at the time, I was rocking it. But if you try to tell me to go back, I’m not gonna do very well. But you know, I
Yoni Mazor 8:04
Did you pick up the cuisine, at least? You know, the food was probably tremendous.
Ian Kaneshiro 8:08
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I mean, I’m a big pizza guy myself. And it’s unreal. It’s not fair.
Yoni Mazor 8:16
You’re talking about the Italian side right? And the Spanish side, what kind of food was there, that blew your mind?
Ian Kaneshiro 8:24
So in the region of Spain, they have these…They have their own version of tapas, which are called pinchos. And you get a little pincho, which is sometimes like a sandwich with a nice cold beer. And you know, it was a beach city. So I was living the dream, you know, whatever it was 19-20 years old. Able to drink legally, drinking beers with the buds and…
Yoni Mazor 8:48
The drinking age over there is 18, right? You can start drinking 18 over there?
Ian Kaneshiro 8:51
Yoni Mazor 8:52
Here in the United States is 21 and older. But so take us through the years. Let’s get more chronological. So let’s start, let’s use, you know, your overseas experience as a benchmark. So what year were you in Spain and what year were you in Italy?
Ian Kaneshiro 9:06
Wow, that must have been in the fall of 2011 I was in Spain and the spring of 2012 I was in Italy.
Yoni Mazor 9:16
So you said…so it was one followed the other or you had like you know a stint in between?
Ian Kaneshiro 9:20
Yeah, like back to back. So the gap was January of 2012.
Yoni Mazor 9:25
Got it? Wow. Phenomenal. All right. So you did your world tour in Europe and then came back to the states to finish the degree?
Ian Kaneshiro 9:32
Came back to the states to finish the degree. And that was kind of one start of you know, me entering into the workforce. I ended up working for the International Programs Office at my university.
Yoni Mazor 9:46
Nice and so what you do what you are what you did you graduate and started transitioning into work for the school.
Ian Kaneshiro 9:53
So that I started in 2009. I started working for the school in 2012.
Yoni Mazor 9:57
So 2012, you know, professionally full time, this is your…
Ian Kaneshiro 10:01
No, this was actually this was a, this was in my, during my degree.
Yoni Mazor 10:06
Yeah, I’m saying when you when you graduated, that’s when you start working for them full time or?
Ian Kaneshiro 10:10
No, I didn’t. I didn’t work for them full time. I worked for them for the last two and a half years of my degree.
Yoni Mazor 10:15
Got it. I got it. So after you graduated, what was the next station?
Ian Kaneshiro 10:18
So the next station was being in LA. Moved back in with my folks, trying to find a job, you know, it was what was what 2014.
Yoni Mazor 10:31
So hold on, you graduated in 2014 and then you move back to LA? Or you graduated 2012 and then? What was the time…?
Ian Kaneshiro 10:36
I graduated in 2014, and I moved back to LA. And, you know, I was looking for work, I was looking for something that was meaningful, or something I could sink my teeth into, and really, and really grow into. And I was having a lot of struggle getting my foot in a lot of the doors, as were, you know, it was like, it was a time where a lot of my friends were having similar issues. And so what ended up happening was, I worked a couple of part time jobs, just to save up some money.
Yoni Mazor 11:14
Take us a little bit, if you can, just take us a little bit to the mind frame of, you know, being an LA, like the industries that are available over there that you’re looking into, and you were getting, you know, it was challenging. Was it more of the entertainment business, was it more the financial business or real estate?
Ian Kaneshiro 11:30
So, you know, I think what everything that I’ve been I was looking for, I was looking into more into, into sales, into a sales job, whether it was whether it was retail, or maybe…or tech is something that I had a bit of experience that working at the university doing recruiting for, for the International Programs, you know, trying to sell students on studying abroad, you know, something, I was ah I got a knack for this, it’s something that I can, that I want to bring to bring to the company. And you know, everyone asks for, you know, an entry level job, but you need eight years of experience, right? It’s just such a complicated world to enter. And you just keep on, you keep on interviewing and grinding and interviewing. And just one of these days, it’s gonna click, but like, also, there’s some opportunity. There’s some times where you’re like, like, Look, I got to get a job. And you know, you gotta pay the bills, you know, or you got to save up money so you can see you can kind of start your life that way. And so throughout that I ended up getting a call from a summer camp. I was working after my college years called Camp Tawonga and California, a bit of a shout out.
Yoni Mazor 12:44
Camp Towanda? How do you spell that?
Ian Kaneshiro 12:46
T A W O N G A. Towanga.
Yoni Mazor 12:50
So now they’re gonna get the shout out. Yeah, no problem.
Ian Kaneshiro 12:53
They’re gonna get the shout out. And so I worked at Camp Tawonga for many summers, but this summer, I decided to go back. And actually, long story short, I met a girl there and decided…who was Israeli, decided to come to Israel.
Yoni Mazor 13:08
Hold on, so which year did that happen? 2014 already summer? Or 2015?
Ian Kaneshiro 13:13
That was, wow, that was 2015 I think.
Yoni Mazor 13:15
Gotcha. So you kind of bouncing around for like a year in LA until you got the opportunity to go back to the camp 2015 summer, you go there and quick. romantics happen. And you meet a girl who lives on kind of on the other side of the world, almost in the Middle East. And there’s a plot twist right?
Ian Kaneshiro 13:33
And there’s a plot twist. And so I ended up, you know, finding a way here again, I came to Israel,…
Yoni Mazor 13:42
Hold on, let’s talk about the psychology behind the move. So you meet a girl, you fall in love, that’s great. But what compels you to uproot yourself and make such a dramatic move? Let’s touch on this a little bit. What was in your mind? What compelled you so much to…? What was, even how the idea started? Okay, you might have a long distance relationship, she might want to come to to live in LA, the American you know, American lifestyle or the American dream, for example, but talk to that a little bit.
Ian Kaneshiro 14:12
I think, look, that is…that’s a great question. What ended up happening was, you know, again, I was working those two part time jobs, saving up some money, and just trying to try to figure out what’s going on and let’s be real, I was not having the best time of my life. You know, this is supposed to be time exiting school, entering the workforce, and being a young professional and that wasn’t happening for me. And so I met this girl, who we actually just got engaged about a month ago. And thank you and so we, after this whole thing, I was like, You know what, what if I…What if I came to Israel, you know, there’s Israelis at the camp, like, oh, there’s programs, come and do it. And I was like, All right, let’s do it. You know, I’ve not I’m not afraid of going and living on the other side of the world. You know, I had a good reason to. And but the problem was I didn’t have two nickels to rub together. And so I found a program, a masa program, that…
Yoni Mazor 15:17
What’s a masa? (Says something in Hebrew)? Journey? Masa?
Ian Kaneshiro 15:21
Yeah, masa is “journey” in Hebrew it is, but they’re a nonprofit organization. Run, like, affiliated with a Jewish agency about bringing young people to Israel building strong connections with Israel as well. And, and, yeah, so I decided to take advantage of the program, you know, they give you a roof over your head, and they pay for your flight. And I said, You know, I said, Let’s go!
Yoni Mazor 15:49
Oh wow. If I can identify this correctly, you know, life for you was just getting started. But, you know, there’s challenges along the way. And he said, this is an opportunity to really start off a fresh new page that, you know, will excite you. And if you’re being challenged might as well you know, be challenged in a new environment that a, you know, historical connection to right and being a Jewish person. But also there’s a component of love. And you were able to really identify opportunities there are more than you were, you know, your own space. So, you took a leap of faith you operated yourself and got on that plane.
Ian Kaneshiro 16:24
Exactly. And that was all within like a three week span. Application, getting…
Yoni Mazor 16:32
Wow. That’s neck breaking speed. I would imagine a few good months, maybe a year, but three weeks? Wow. 21 days.
Ian Kaneshiro 16:36
It was exactly like that. And you know, spent a year in the program. And
Yoni Mazor 16:44
Which area of Israel did you land in when you first arrived?
Ian Kaneshiro 16:46
I landed in Be’er Sheva if you know the area?
Be’er Sheva, yeah, that’s in the southern area, the Negev, right? It’s more of a kind of a desert area. And if I had to compare, it might be like the Las Vegas visual but no casinos? No gambling?
Ian Kaneshiro 16:58
No casinos, no gambling. Yeah, they you..don’t have the big pools…
Yoni Mazor 17:03
The landscape, the geography. I mean more on the geography level not on the Sin City level.
Ian Kaneshiro 17:09
Yeah, you know, ended up there doing…teaching English, working in the schools down there. And you know, how to had a great time, you know, learning a little bit more about, you know, myself as a Jewish person, you know, giving back to a community, even though it wasn’t, you know, my community from LA, it is a Jewish community in the world, which is something that was like, was, was pretty cool to do. And, and yeah, you know, they teach a lot about, you know, about Israel and the history. And so it was a great learning experience, you know, really pushing my comfort zone. Also, again, learning a new language. Not speaking a word of Hebrew.
Yoni Mazor 17:52
How is it now? Fast forward five, six years later, you got it? You dominate it?
Ian Kaneshiro 17:58
I get by. Yeah, I can…I was in the bank. I was at the bank last week. And I was well, not in the bank. But, you know, I was talking to a banker on the phone, and I was like, Oh, I know more Hebrew than I think.
Yoni Mazor 18:08
Ian Kaneshiro 18:10
But yeah. And so I decided, you know, things were working out. I, you know, I really love this country…
Yoni Mazor 18:15
So we’re still 2015, right? Because you’re in the summer. So towards the end of 2015, you moved there, and you spent about a year in Be’er Sheva, settling and in the program. So now we’re about 2016. And what was the next station after that?
Ian Kaneshiro 18:30
The next session was Tel Aviv. Well, I went back to camp for a short period of time.
Yoni Mazor 18:35
What? Back to the States?
Ian Kaneshiro 18:36
Back to the States, wanted to see my folks and and kind of get settled, but knew I was coming back.
Yoni Mazor 18:42
Got it. 2016 once again, you’re at camp summer, then you will go back to Israel and transition into the big TA.
Ian Kaneshiro 18:50
Transition…Yeah. Transition into Tel Aviv. Exactly. Which is for anyone out there who has never visited, I argue that it’s the best city in the world. You know, we got the beach vibes. You got the tech vibe. It’s a great city for young people. You know, it’s a blast here.
Yoni Mazor 19:06
You know, it’s truly I can vouch for that. Yeah, I can vouch for that growing around the, you know, the Tel Aviv area, it really never sleeps. You know, you I remember growing up as a teenager, anytime I went to visit, 12am, 1 am, 3 and 6am. It’s like, yo