Episode Summary

In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA, Ryan Cramer, Partnerships Manager at PingPong Payments, a global payment processing platform, shares his personal passion to connect & grow eCommerce businesses and his own journey into eCommerce.


In the world of e-commerce, it can sometimes be difficult to know which opportunities to take and which paths to follow. But often, the way is directly in front of us and we just need to seize that opportunity and not be afraid to learn from it. Yoni Mazor from PrimeTalk talks about opportunities and motivation for e-commerce sellers.


In today’s episode, PrimeTalk has teamed up with Ryan Cramer, Partnerships Manager at PingPing Payments, a global payment processing platform that has helped more than 600,000 e-commerce sellers keep their hard-earned profits in their pockets. PingPong Payments offers assistance to e-commerce sellers in cross-border payments, VAT payments, and supplier payments among many others.


Ryan Cramer discusses his inspiring life’s journey from essentially door-to-door salesperson to WNBA events sales to his current position in PingPong. If you’re considering taking the next steps to get into the Amazon or e-commerce space and aren’t sure what to do next, then this episode is for you!


Visit PingPong Payments for more information.


Learn about GETIDA’s Amazon FBA reimbursement solutions.

Find the Full Transcript Below

Yoni Mazor 0:06

Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of PrimeTalk. Today I have a special guest. Today I’m hosting Ryan Cramer. Ryan is the Partnership Manager at PingPong Payments, which is a global payment processing platform. So Ryan, welcome to the show.


Ryan Cramer 0:19

Thanks for having me. It’s awesome to speak with your audience and talk to you.


Yoni Mazor 0:24

Awesome, our pleasure to have you. Alright, so today’s episode is really going to be all about you, the episode of Ryan Cramer, so you’re going to share with us, you know, who are you? Where were you born? Where did you grow up? Where’d you go to school? How’d you begin your professional career, and then all the way to how you got to the world of e-commerce. So I guess without further ado, let’s jump right into it.


Ryan Cramer 0:45

Yeah, it’s a weird story. I love telling it to people because I think every person’s journey is never the same, obviously. So my road path kind of started with failure. And it came when I started off college. My first job actually was working in the newspaper industry. So I was new business development, I had to go door to door collecting business cards, selling solutions back in gosh, this was 2012. 


Yoni Mazor 1:11

Hold on before we jump right into the business ups and downs. Let’s start with even more. Let’s give him I want to move back even further. Yeah, where were you born? Where’d you grow up? Give us some context of, you know, your progression.


Ryan Cramer 1:23

I was born in Texas, by birth was born in Plano, Texas. Whenever


Yoni Mazor 1:31

That’s uh Frito Lay right?


Ryan Cramer 1:32

Yeah. Frito Lay, Dr. Pepper. Yeah, just I think it’s either. It’s a suburb of Dallas, Texas. So technically Southern if I were to modify that but I grew up in Indiana. So I moved there, to Indiana, when I was around six years old. So the majority of my life I spent in the Midwest. And then from an early age, I actually was very involved. I was the oldest of five. So I’m part of a big Catholic family, was very involved in sports. I played baseball when I was three all the way till I was 18 in high school and won a state championship, my junior year of high school. So the glory days, if you will, but my arm, my arm actually now regrets it every time I try to throw a football or something with my right arm. So that means that it was a lot of fun. I was very competitive, which allowed me to travel, college, and the university went to the University of Evansville. So in southern Indiana and studied communications.


Yoni Mazor 2:33

Was it a big college or private?


Ryan Cramer 2:35

Private and private..roughly…I think right now it’s around 2500 students. It’s a Methodist-affiliated college, but it was mainly folks from liberal arts. So I wanted to do something where I can be a jack of all trades. So I did communications. So I got my Bachelor of Science in Communications, but I have a creative side of me too. So I had a visual communication minor but allowed me to be in things like returnee involvement. I was in charge of giving tours to prospective students. I did homecoming committee, I was like in a dance…


Yoni Mazor 3:08

In other words, you had to kind of sell the university, right?


Ryan Cramer 3:10

Yeah, I had to sell the university. But I was super involved. So I loved talking with people. I loved being able to, you know, try different things. I think that’s what allows me to kind of like, pave my path later on in life. So I was just very, I’m a talkative person. I love getting to know people and hearing other people’s points of view. So throughout that time, you know, I dabbled in a couple of different things. I started in sales selling Cutco cutlery. So I actually…


Yoni Mazor 3:39

What’d you sell? Sorry, what was that?


Ryan Cramer 3:41

So Cutco cutlery. It’s like knives. Basically, they’re in New York.


Yoni Mazor 3:45

Cut? Well, what’s the word you’re saying?


Ryan Cramer 3:47

Cutco: C U T C O. Yeah, I think they’re only in New York, but they’re really high quality like…


Yoni Mazor 3:54

Oh, Cutco is another brand? Almost sounds like Costco. Yeah, okay. 


Ryan Cramer 3:58

Almost like Costco. But the…so when I was a senior in high school, I was selling these to people that I had just met so I went through a sales program and got to sell almost door to door essentially with kitchen knives. Essentially…


Yoni Mazor 4:13

And Ryan, you did this same time you’re still in school? Or this is right after school?


Ryan Cramer 4:17

Yeah. After high school into college. So I did this for about two summers and it actually allowed me to pay for my study abroad trip my sophomore year of college. So yeah, good question it. They have a sister school at a university called Harlaxton College, which is in Grantham, England. Grantham. So Grantham is about, I think it’s where Margaret Thatcher actually grew up, about an hour train ride north of London. So I traveled to 10 different countries while I was over there, got to… that really opened up my you know, my eyes to the world basically getting to go to like Europe or like England, France, Germany. Spain, Netherlands I went to Greece, Italy, I was traveling as much and as often as I could.


Yoni Mazor 5:08

How long were you overseas? Like a whole year or?


Ryan Cramer 5:11

Only about three and a half months. So every weekend, all these countries? Yeah, look crazy. Or at least when I was in college, I was crazy to do all that traveling, but it was like weekend trips, hop on a flight, do a quick getaway holiday, if you will, and then come back on Sunday and hit the books hard. And then on Thursday night leave for a new country after that.


Yoni Mazor 5:34

Give us some perspective. What year was that when you’re in the UK?


Ryan Cramer 5:37

That was in 2009? So I was…


Yoni Mazor 5:39

Yeah, 12 years ago?


Ryan Cramer 5:41

Yeah, about 12 years ago. So I was supposed to travel abroad again in 2020. But we all know how that turned out. So that’s been put on hold until, you know, whenever we can go abroad again. But yeah, that really opened up my eyes to different cultures, different…. Again, I’ll talk probably a lot about perspective. And it allowed me to kind of get other people’s ideas on, like, perspective on like, Americans, but also just like how people live their lives. And so it allowed me to kind of just broaden my horizons and allowed me to, you know, just grow as a human. So..


Yoni Mazor 6:16

Yeah, accept differently, understand different cultures, different mindsets, different opinions, the different ways of life, some things just can’t bend or change, even though you believe some way of life is a bit maybe better and more convenient. Still, they, you know, other people stick to their customs, traditions, traditions, just because, you know, they have, you know, they have a commitment to it. So I think that really opens up your eyes. And especially when you go over to Europe, there are only two types of no cultures going on with a lot of tradition, and the arts and the crafts and the, you know, the dining. 


Ryan Cramer 6:47

I mean, that’s where I think I get my food palate, and now it’s just the food’s amazing, especially when, you know, you have a first hand instead of Oh, like it’s a restaurant or something, trying to recreate it. It’s just the atmosphere in general, I think a lot of people don’t appreciate it, which is why I think so many Amazon sellers or people in this industry really like traveling because you get all these different kind of components, if you will, to like broaden your horizons and really just get the better experience I think. Like you’re not diversifying your own palette, you’re not diversifying your own perspective. And that’s why I think it’s really important to travel and I’m a big advocate for everyone who can.


Yoni Mazor 7:25

Fantastic. All right, so 2009 you travel you then you come back to the stage. Did you finish your degree?


Ryan Cramer 7:30

Yep, finished my degree. Yeah. Yeah, I graduated in 2012. So yeah, almost 10 years ago now. So nine years ago, which seems like forever ago. But out of college, I, you know, started my first job in the newspaper industry, as I alluded to earlier, selling newsprint ads, digital display ads, SEM options…


Yoni Mazor 7:56

Which newspapers? All kinds or was there a specific one?


Ryan Cramer 7:59

Yeah, it’s a regional newspaper down in southern Indiana and Southern Illinois, Northern Kentucky called Evansville Courier and Press. They were owned by….Yeah, Evansville Courier and Press. So


Yoni Mazor 8:10

Evansville Courier and Press. Okay, got it.


Ryan Cramer 8:12

Courier and Press. Yeah. So they are owned by the same company that does the spelling bee, EW Scripps. So if you see, like the little kids who are doing the spelling bee every year, it’s the same company that does that. So long story short, I was doing that for about two years, going door to door trying to listen to different businesses and solutions, how to get them to stand out to this audience that we were speaking to as a solution. And then, like every aspiring person right out of college, I was laid off in December of 2013. So yes,…


Yoni Mazor 8:49

So you were there for a year, year and a half, you’re there?


Ryan Cramer 8:51

Yeah, a year and a half or so. And then. Yeah, I think it was 2013-2014. And I got laid off, so 0 for 1 right out of college, and I did a lot of souls searching. I’m young. I obviously was, had a fiance at the time who was finishing up her degree. She was finishing up her degree in Connecticut, so we’re not close. We were getting married in four months. So I did a lot


Yoni Mazor 9:13

Four months until you were gonna get laid off?


Ryan Cramer 9:14

Four months until we were gonna get married. 


Yoni Mazor 9:18

So you got laid off. You’re about to, you know, you were planning to get married four months afterward.


Ryan Cramer 9:22

Yep. Yep. We were. We were planning to get married in Ohio. And… 


Yoni Mazor 9:27

What’s in Ohio? Your family? Her family? 


Ryan Cramer 9:29

Yeah. Her family and my family still lives in Lafayette, Indiana, which is where they’re from, but yeah, it was kind of like one of the soul searching things


Yoni Mazor 9:39

Can we touch a little bit on what was the context of why you got laid off? Was this an industry thing because you know, the print was shrinking or because, you know?


Ryan Cramer 9:46

Yeah, so I was…there was a couple of us in our division, but it was across the board like writers are laid off, marketing and sales staff are laid off. And it was just like a random Wednesday. I had my schedule all laid out, I was going to start really selling solutions. I wasn’t doing bad like I was hitting goals. And it wasn’t a performance thing. It was just an industry thing you saw when you saw the reports on things like profitability as an all-company meeting when it’s all red. That’s never a good sign, I would think so. Long story short, yeah. It’s kind of a difficult thing. I would…


Yoni Mazor 10:20

Are they still in business, by the way, they’re still in business?


Ryan Cramer 10:22

Yeah, they are. I think a lot of it shifted to digital, but they’re on a more lean structure, I would say. Yeah, I mean, I almost like, never looked back. I kinda say, Hey, I grew from that. I never want to be a part of that again, because, honestly, it sucked. But it was, I mean, it’s a lot of hard work. You, you know, you’re trying to sell a solution that isn’t as viable anymore as it once was. So that was kind of a thing that I didn’t buy into anymore. So yeah, what do soul searching but luckily, about a month went by, my wife got a job. She’s a music therapist, so she can get a job almost anywhere. She got a job in a jail in Virginia, on the East Coast of the United States. So with me not having a job and she had a position. We both decided to get up and just move to a different state with no connections nearby, no family to support us. We just kind of jump into this entrepreneurial journey for ourselves. Yeah, start fresh almost, if you will. So she got a job. And then shortly a couple of months or two later, I found a position that got me into e-commerce with a company called Evergreen Enterprises. So they are a manufacturer and distributor of roughly 10,000 skews on a yearly basis, manufacturing in Ningbo, China, and then they distribute out of their headquarters in Richmond.


Yoni Mazor 11:44

Ningbo was very big into hot pots and pans, was this was kitchenware or everything?


Ryan Cramer 11:48

So this was home gift garden decor is like garden flags, garden stands, a lot of like more decorative items. And they were doing about 10,000 skews on a rotating catalog, if you will, on seasonal decor, so selling to retail stores, but then they’re also growing their e-commerce division. I’m selling directly to Fanatics, Wayfair, Zulily. We were selling on Amazon FBA and FBM because we had our own warehouse system and this was in 2014.


Yoni Mazor 12:19

And they’re based out of Virginia?


Ryan Cramer 12:21

Yeah, they’re based out of Virginia. Still in business. Richmond, so um, because in the center, it’s a capital yeah Richmond. So I think they’re in one of the suburbs like Midlothian, or something. And they were growing. They’re good directly to as a wholesaler, but they were trying to grow their direct-to-consumer portfolio. So there was a team of people selling to Amazon basically directly putting goods in FBA and fulfilling sales from FBM in our own warehouse there in Richmond.


Yoni Mazor 12:52

So let me just understand, so on the Amazon level, you had 1P, 3P? Or just 3P, third-party selling?


Ryan Cramer 12:58

It would be what we have our own brands. So technically, we are 1P…


Yoni Mazor 13:03

So you were wholesaling to Amazon? That’s on the warehouse level?


Ryan Cramer 13:06

Yeah. And we are also dabbling into some 3P as well. So as a wholesaler, it was kind of a weird mix. Because you could wholesale, you… as a wholesaler, you were selling to retail stores. And we had these stipulations in a place where, hey, you couldn’t sell below a certain threshold obviously…


Yoni Mazor 13:24

MAP pricing. Manufacturer-approved pricing.  Something like that, or authorized?


Ryan Cramer 13:27

Exactly. So um, we had to always like, make sure that those are being like if we were selling directly to people, and they’re under undercutting our own, you know, systems in sales, then we had to like shut them down as…so we have this really weird dynamic of we had salespeople selling to these people directly, but also we were trying to sell on the same platform they were. Again, a marketplace in general. So it’s a weird dichotomy, if you will because we’re


Yoni Mazor 13:53

You guys were like a super hybrid because you got brick and mortar also 1P wholesale to Amazon and wavefront. All the other retailers plus, third party selling, so doing DTC, direct to consumer. Wow, that’s pretty interesting.


Ryan Cramer 14:05

Yeah, and so, we also had our own branded website, which I was in charge of, like running sales through so it was literally two websites that we aren’t in existence anymore. But we built out. It was a zero revenue channel. We built it on Magento, I think, is the platform. So I was in charge of basically building landing pages, trying to go to third-party websites, almost like an influencer marketing, and say, Hey, we’d love to showcase our products. They’re the lowest out there. We love to offer deals and incentives and coupons for your audience. You know, how do we get our name out to your members basically. So it was up to me to kind of like work with Ebates, like the cashback. They were still known as Ebates. That’s how long ago it was. Now it’s Rakuten, like bradsdeals.com, deal news, which is really popular with a lot of Amazon sellers now so is…


Yoni Mazor 14:54

So hold on.  Let me get this straight. So 2014 you started with Evergreen and the first position they gave you was, you know, take care of…



Sales and Marketing Manager. Yeah, exactly. 


Yoni Mazor 15:02

Sales and marketing manager on the website level, under dot com? Not any, any marketplace platforms, right?


Ryan Cramer 15:08

Yep. Exactly. Yeah. Thanks for clarifying. It was definitely weird because it was a zero revenue channel. And I had to figure out how was I going to get a brand that didn’t exist in front of an audience that was massive enough to drive quick traffic? And how do I make enough, enough dent for them to continue to want to work with me? So is offering commissions like the affiliate channel does, working with these big websites and saying, Hey, this is our story. We can offer best on website or best on the internet pricing. But then also offer things like free shipping and really kind of dive into the consumer mindset of what they’re looking for and seasonality. So it was me trying to test a bunch of different products with 10,000 skews on my disposal or ASINs at my disposal for Amazon sellers, which ones are going to yield the best results and be noticeable enough for people who want to buy a lot. So it was a lot of testing, a lot of like seasonal…


Yoni Mazor 16:07

So hold on, from the entire catalog, you had to kind of identity which ones will be the ones who are going to move the needle in terms of bringing traffic and revenue into your dot com website.


Ryan Cramer 16:18

Yep. And look at inventory levels, look at what we could sell it at. So I wasn’t undercutting our own business, just for the sake of a deal. If there are inventory levels that we just had, that was just so bad that we had to get rid of. It was offering special deals and incentives. So it’s almost like we had our own inner workings ecosystem of what Amazon sellers go through on a day-to-day basis. I just didn’t know that. You as a third-party seller could do this. I was just doing on a level where a multi-million dollar company can allow me to kind of tinker with stuff. So it was really cool to test it out on that level.


Yoni Mazor 16:54

How’d it go?


Ryan Cramer 16:55

Yeah. So the first year, I drove a zero-sum revenue channel to six figures. I think it was around $650,000 in revenue my first year doing it ago, I knew nothing about the industry, it was just kind of a lot of testing and diving in. And the next year I did it. And we were around a million-dollar, over seven figures in revenue. So once I showed the value of like, Hey, this is a viable channel, you can start getting the voice like the respect of these, all these other websites.


Yoni Mazor 17:25

So 6 figures in one year, then a second-year as it was already you know the seven-figure correct?


Ryan Cramer 17:29

Yeah. So I like to tout that, hey, I took a business and a brand that wasn’t my own. But I took it to six and seven-figure revenue channels. So all before it was cool, back in 2014. The old school days of…


Yoni Mazor 17:42

So 2014 it was at six-figure and in 2015 it was ready the seven figures?


Ryan Cramer 17:45

Yep, yeah. So yeah, those are the years that I grew those channels. And it was like obviously watching the rest of my team kind of do the Amazon game of working with our manufacturers over in China when we have to plan out how much inventory to send it to different FBA facilities, how far in advance I had to do and they were making their own special orders for certain selling products. And working with the team on how we’re going to brand this website and this kind of entity to make sure that we didn’t piss off or really Matlock, it. Yeah, basically our wholesaler business, but then also our e-commerce business. And where I fit in the middle, though, we did a lot of teamwork together of driving traffic in different ways, like their email marketing campaigns. They’re just sponsored deals like paying ads, and whatnot. I broke our website three different times because I sent so much traffic at once. So I got to learn about…


Yoni Mazor 18:43

Give us a story of one of those instances. What happened? Give us a little…


Ryan Cramer 18:45

So my biggest fan, and I like to tell this to Amazon sellers because there’s so much value in these deal websites. I think at the back end of what I learned through this process was I get to understand the psychology of what people look for in a deal. When I’m a shopper, everyone wants to get the best price out there. Right? That’s why a lot of people go to Amazon. When you think about e-commerce websites, what do people get triggered by? Free shipping, some sort of coupon or discount, some sort of perk that says like, hey, all these add ons, and then you also get this and this and this, we’re really greedy people is what I learned, but really trying to emphasize those highlights, and then also at a good price point. And so I got to find out that really sweet spot of price points. I worked with a


Yoni Mazor 19:33

The combination of a good price point, but also kind of bundling or packaging it up in a way where it’s unique, ’s differentiated.


Ryan Cramer 19:38

Yeah, for sure. And then making sure we had a good inventory level so that we can support enough sales and it wasn’t just like a flash in the pan 20 sale and then it’s out. Just like launching a new product. Um, so one of the websites I have a lot of success with is, they’re still in business, bradsdeals.com. I think they operate out of Chicago and they tout “best of the web”, they have a bunch of different publishers and work on different e-commerce websites, but also with Amazon sellers. So you can feature different products that are applicable to your audience. They have a lot of their audience is really unique because they have email blasts ago, I think twice a day, or at least it was that if you’re featured on this, you have this huge wave of traffic to your website, and I’m talking like 10,000 people all of a sudden, instantly on a listing. And now that load, it goes zero. Yeah, it’s the tsunami basically, of traffic. So they had this program called “60 days of deals”, where’s the 60 days around Christmas? It would be, I think, November 1 through December 31, obviously, of just deals that are featured for the day, and they’re like “best on web” stuff that’s applicable to the audience that people would buy a lot of, and you have to have a great inventory levels, best on web pricing, and free shipping. So it’s all these different levels.


Yoni Mazor 20:55

Great inventory levels, what? It’s a few 100 units, a few 1000 units, a few 10,000?


Ryan Cramer 20:59

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