In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA – Samer Brax The FBA Challenge Samer is an Amazon seller, a successful YouTuber, and a PPC manager at Incrementum Digital – A leading marketing agency for eCommerce sellers, shares his personal journey into eCommerce.
Samer was born in Lebanon but grew up in Saudi Arabia. After many years of efforts by his parents, Samer got the opportunity to migrate to Montreal in Canada. Initially in Canada, Samer found it challenging to find a steady job and settle. He then began to start selling products on Amazon as a side hustle.
About two months into working for Loreal Samer quit his job, as realized that he can make more money and have a great passion for documenting his eCommerce journey on YouTube along with selling his own private label products on Amazon.
Today Samer is active on 4 main business tracks:
- Successful YouTuber
- 3PPC advertising manager at an eCommerce ad agency working with great talent
- Developing and selling his own brand online
- Developing and launching a coffee alternative brand – CogNuro and documenting this journey under the YouTube Reality Show Called – The FBA Challenge
Find out more about Samer Brax YouTube Channel
Find out more about The FBA Challenge
Find out more about GETIDA Amazon FBA reimbursement solutions
Find the Full Transcript Below
Yoni Mazor 0:06
Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of prime talk today. I’m really excited to have an extremely special guest. I’m having Samer Brax Samer is an Amazon seller, but he’s also a successful YouTuber. In addition to all that he’s also a PPC manager at increment incremental digital, which is a leading marketing agency for e-commerce sellers. So Samara Welcome to the show.
Samer Brax 0:28
Thanks for having me. Excited to be here.
Yoni Mazor 0:30
My pleasure, really. So today’s episode is going to be all about you the story of Samer Brax, you’re going to share with us, who are you Where you from? Where’d you grow up? Where’d you go to school? How did you begin your professional career and all the way to where you are now. So without further ado, let’s jump right into it. Sounds good.
Samer Brax 0:46
So yeah, just like I said, my name is Samer. And I actually grew up in Saudi Arabia, but I’m from Lebanon originally. And I moved to Canada not too long ago. So wherever you want..
Yoni Mazor 0:59
That was a full speed ahead. Okay. So once again, just for context, reason, because I want to really the audience to get to know the story of you in the context of things. So, you know, you mentioned to me this before, but you’re in Lebanon, kind of East Lebanon area called the Bekaa, right on the border with Syria. That is really where your family’s from, but because it was, I guess, a job or economic opportunity. In Saudi Arabia, you guys moved to Saudi Arabia. But how old were you when you guys moved?
Samer Brax 1:26
I was probably like, a couple of months old, I think. Yeah. All right.
Yoni Mazor 1:29
Rreally young guys. Essentially, a baby. All right. And then you mentioned that used to come to visit Lebanon, like once or twice a year. So I assume his family is still around there. Maybe uncle’s antiquarian pet grandparents?
Samer Brax 1:42
Yeah, yeah. Most, a couple of uncles are in Saudi, or maybe one, and then most everyone else is in Lebanon.
Yoni Mazor 1:48
Got it. And so in Saudi Arabia, you want to what elementary school or high school or what was the dynamic of education?
Samer Brax 1:54
Yeah, I went to a safe house, a French school for like 15 years. And then I went to an American High School. And right after that, I went to the American University of Beirut, in Lebanon.
Yoni Mazor 2:06
Got it. So but in Saudi Arabia, which party did you live in Riyadh, in Medina, in Copper Harbor.
Yoni Mazor 2:12
Samer Brax 2:12
It’s in the…
Yoni Mazor 2:14
Nice, big town business town or just a..
Samer Brax 2:18
It’s one of like one of the top three hobo Riyadh and Jeddah pretty much, and it’s right next to Bahrain. I don’t know if you know, Bahrain, but it’s like a bridge away.
Yoni Mazor 2:27
Sure I was. On the other hand, I believe it’s on the Gulf, right. Yes. The Persian Gulf. Alright. And your parents just once again, just to understand better what kind of industry was involved in and Saudi Arabia.
Samer Brax 2:38
So my dad is a civil engineer, but he worked. I think in business pretty much you can say. And my mom is is a housewife.
Yoni Mazor 2:47
Got it. I so you graduate high school in Saudi Arabia and you move to Lebanon to Beirut, right? The American university? Yes, at the same university that I believe Steve Kerr’s father used to be a professor he got killed during the 80s or something. There was a war there’s a whole turmoil around the same rights. I think there’s a whole area of the section there for him or attributor?
Samer Brax 3:11
Yeah, there’s a dorm called Kurt. Kurt dorm. Yeah. I stayed in the one next to it.
Yoni Mazor 3:17
Yeah, yes. anybody listening to this Steve Kerr plays for the bulls also, he’s the head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Kind of a legend in the NBA. He does have you know, a connection to the Lebanese story and their turmoil. So so that’s also for context. Reason. This is where he went to school. And what did you study?
Samer Brax 3:35
studied mechanical engineering for five years.
Yoni Mazor 3:37
Sounds like a copy picture of your father. Good, okay. So you graduate, which here let’s let’s start sticking the years into the story.
Samer Brax 3:46
So 2011, I got in and then I graduated in 2000 1605 years.
Yoni Mazor 3:51
Got it. Okay, say let’s, let’s ask a few questions here. So why did you choose that? And it was, because your father, he really had the passion for it, or
Samer Brax 4:02
I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just knew that I was good at math and good at physics and good at these kinds of things that fit into engineering. And then I didn’t know which engineering I didn’t care much about buildings. And then I was like, I like planes. And the closest thing to planes was mechanical engineering. But later in life, turns out that I just like flying on planes in first class.
Samer Brax 4:24
Yoni Mazor 4:25
Got it was five minutes is pretty extensive. It’s pretty strong. So Alright, so you graduate 2000, you said 15 1616. And what’s your next move? What’s your next step?
Samer Brax 4:35
So the next step was to either go back to the Gulf, go back to Saudi Dubai, or one of these countries to have a career, just as all my friends did..
Yoni Mazor 4:43
Not have a career, for example, in Lebanon?
Samer Brax 4:46
That’s not really possible, because it’s like, there’s not a lot of job opportunities. And if there are, they’re not well paid. And if you’re smart back in 2016, you would know that Lebanon was not heading to a good place, which is If you look today, it’s not in a good place at all.
Yoni Mazor 5:02
How’s that? tickets for a nutshell? I just for the audience to understand why isn’t heading for a good place?
Samer Brax 5:08
Yoni Mazor 5:08
Are you sure you understand? Yeah.
Samer Brax 5:10
Yeah. Currently, it’s really not in a good place. I think unemployment is like 40%. The Lebanese lira used to be 1500 for $1. Now it’s 10,000 for $1.
Yoni Mazor 5:23
On fleshing out like crazy. Yeah,
Samer Brax 5:25
Yeah. And, and the ruling class is like, the same people that have been there since the war. It’s actually the warlords who are ruling and they’re not doing anything about it. Not to get too political is just trashed right now.
Yoni Mazor 5:37
Yeah, yeah, so it’s the West construction is problematic. It’s frail. So it’s not really built to have an opportunity for maybe somebody starting from the lower tiers. But what compelled you to study there? Nevertheless, you know, maybe economically not just find a job there. But what was the drive to study there?
Samer Brax 5:54
2010 216, even maybe 218 it wasn’t horrible. And then it’s a beautiful place. Like it’s very frustrating because it’s one of those. It’s the most beautiful place.
Yoni Mazor 6:05
They call the Paris of the Middle East or something, right.
Samer Brax 6:07
I call it everything. They call it Switzerland, Paris,
Yoni Mazor 6:09
right. That’s true. I heard
Samer Brax 6:10
Now. It’s trashed. Like, if you want to say the truth, but, but it’s beautiful. And it’s an amazing place to stay that the other people are amazing. To some, I mean, yeah.
Yoni Mazor 6:21
Yeah, they’re passionate, they’re warm, they’re very, very socially, they like to like to have a good time. There are some beautiful beaches that I do know and nice clubs around. Okay, so But still, I said that the place itself is an awesome place to be. But academically it was the university American University and outstanding, you know, a platform to learn was is there the credentials you get out of there when you get out? And you can get jobs around the world with how to kind of caliber?
Samer Brax 6:48
Yeah, pretty much. It’s accredited in New York. And it’s one of the best in the Middle East. And Lebanon is one of the best places to be in the middle east if it’s standing if it’s in good shape. Yeah. And I got accepted to a few universities in the US and in Canada, but my parents were like, you know, go to Lebanon. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s easier. It’s closer, you know.
Yoni Mazor 7:14
That’s your right or your English is amazing. So is that from back in Saudi Arabia? Is that more from the university years? Back to mommy, then
Samer Brax 7:20
It’s a combination of everything from the American High School in Saudi Arabia. My first year I actually didn’t talk much I was just shy because my English was just starting pretty much just getting started. Yeah, yeah. And then I got better and better. And then in Lebanon, I think I talked less English than I did at the high school because like the American High School in Saudi was really American American professors American everything was on the American consulate ground.
Yoni Mazor 7:46
And your classmates were white Americans abroad or was it was just international from all over the world.
Samer Brax 7:52
Yeah, pretty much think of an American High School but a bit more international.
Yoni Mazor 7:57
American High School, like in New York City was very cosmic popular. You know, it’s a very, yeah, a lot of immigration. Everybody from everywhere or more like Midwest where everybody’s already the third generation.
Samer Brax 8:07
No, not not like that. So yeah.
Yoni Mazor 8:09
Well, a lot of Erica city vibe area. Yeah.
Samer Brax 8:11
I yeah, this
Yoni Mazor 8:14
guy. Okay, so he graduated, he said, All right, have options to go to Bahrain or back to Saudi Arabia to work. What were the other options? Or? What What, what? What happened?
Samer Brax 8:24
Yes. So a year before graduating in 2015. We got permanent residency in Canada, which is pretty much like a green card.
Yoni Mazor 8:34
Do you say? Well, we mean yourself and your family or just yourself?
Samer Brax 8:36
Yeah, the family. So back in 2006, when we were in Lebanon, and in the summer, there was a war that started when we were there. And I think 2006 with Israel.
Yoni Mazor 8:49
Oh, yeah, I was a soldier back then. I was on the other side of the uniform. Yeah, I was a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces in 2006. I was on the other side. Unfortunately. There was war. Yeah, actually. I don’t know if you remember this. anybody listening to this podcast? I think from abroad, they shot a rocket ship. And two of their soldiers got killed and my buddies, they were my friends. I was in the Navy. So I mean, World War is a bloody business. Yeah. So it’s funny how you’re one side on the other side. But yeah, it’s okay to then say there was a war. So you guys were there, actually. Because summertime is supposed to be a vacation. I guess you guys got trapped over there.
Samer Brax 9:24
Exactly. Yeah. My dad wasn’t there yet. He was following us after but he couldn’t make it. So we were there without my dad. And then we escaped through Syria, and then drove to to Jordan. And then we went to Saudi, and then I throw everything on the road.
Samer Brax 9:39
No, we flew. We flew from Jordan. And then I think that’s when my parents were like, we’re applying to Canada, like Lebanon is not safe, and it’s not stable. But from 2006 or seven is when the application started and then we got in 2015.
Yoni Mazor 9:55
Wow. So seven to 15 years waited. Yeah. Resilience is interesting.
Samer Brax 10:02
Yes. So 2015 is when we got it. And that summer, we’re supposed to do an internship as part of the university program. So I went to Canada to get my papers and get things started and then do the internship there, went back to Lebanon to finish the year and graduate, and then I had the option to go back to Canada and live three years and get citizenship. So I did that to the land to 16.
Yoni Mazor 10:25
And what did you have to do? You got to study for three years.
Samer Brax 10:29
You have to be there for three years, three out of five years in total, pretty much.
Yoni Mazor 10:34
You’re physically there and you got it, but you just yourself or you can with the family,
Samer Brax 10:40
Just myself. No one else was able to move yet my sister just moved a few months ago, this year again.
Yoni Mazor 10:43
And your parents plan to come as well, or that’s not out of the question at this point?
Samer Brax 10:51
It’s not completely out of the question. They’re trying at some point to make it happen.
Yoni Mazor 10:57
Yeah, what’s happening? The career or the community?
Samer Brax 11:00
Yeah, here we are. Pretty much. Yeah, it’s hard to start over in Canada.
Yoni Mazor 11:04
So it’s, it’s I mean, it’s fair to say you can immigrate it all on your own and into Canada. Right? And you said Vancouver? That’s where you settled?
Samer Brax 11:12
Yoni Mazor 11:13
Oh, it’s French-speaking it helped a little bit, or has it been three languages speak? maybe speak more you can share with me, but it’s Arabic, French, and English? Which one is your core? Which one do you think and I usually ask for really want to know the fundamentals of language?
Samer Brax 11:29
You know, in math, sometimes I count or most times I count in French for some reason. A lot of times, I think in English, but also in Arabic. And depends on talking to but I, I yeah, mostly Arabic in English. French used to be the second one. But now it’s like the third. And I learned a bit of Spanish for like four or five years.
Yoni Mazor 11:49
Wow, amazing international Person person in the world. Yeah. Got it. So 2016, you come to immigrate to Vancouver? Sorry, I’m not sure all on your own? What do you do in three years? How’d you support yourself to survive? I mean, just to get started, at least professionally, what were we doing?
Samer Brax 12:06
So I was looking for an engineering job, obviously. And I stayed with my aunt for six months, which was not in Montreal was like 30 minutes away. And then I tried as quickly as possible to move out. And it took me a year to find a job. It wasn’t easy. And I think because like Montreal has at least five or six universities in like this little place. So there’s a lot of students some competing with local students. And at the same time, I didn’t have much experience. And that’s one thing about my university, they tell you to do an internship. But I don’t think that’s enough, especially for engineering. I think for engineering, it should be like half studying half working because otherwise, you have no idea what you’re doing after you graduate. So yeah, I looked for a job for a year. And during that year, I was trying to do anything. So I was trying to think of what can I do or what am I good at? Or what do I know to do? And social media popped into my head because I was always a child of the internet. In Saudi Arabia, sometimes there’s not much to do.
Yoni Mazor 13:14
But beyond that early. What year did you get the internet, by the way? Remember, or you were just born to it? I remember that year we got 1995.
Samer Brax 13:23
Yeah, I mean, that’s possible. I was born in 1993.
Yoni Mazor 13:26
So So yeah. So you were really an internet age. You know, child.
Samer Brax 13:31
Yeah, I remember in the house. I remember the dial-up and like if someone picks up the phone, it’s like, well, I’m on the internet.
Yoni Mazor 13:38
The cranky sign Yeah, the cranky. Yeah, when you log in. Yeah, that’s how I started. I was about fifth or sixth grade. And I remember it. I know it’s a life-changing event. Alright, so you go into the internet, you adopted it, you know, since you know yourself, and that compelled you to do what?
Samer Brax 13:53
Yeah, during University, a friend of mine was starting a food page on Instagram, like a food blog. And she was struggling with it. She had like 100 followers and she’s like, Oh, this sucks. I don’t know how to do this. I’m like, give it to me. Let me try Let me try something. And then I took over. And then I grew it to like, seven maybe 8000 followers. And then from there, we started getting invited to restaurants or to openings or too little, you know, shops…
Yoni Mazor 14:21
But share with us a little what’s the magic she was stuck at 100 How were you able to all of a sudden come in and you know, move the needles around and make it spike into 70,000. Wow. happen.
Samer Brax 14:32
Everything happened organically because I had no idea what I was doing. I was just like, Oh, this is Instagram. So let’s see what works. And I learned by watching people do stuff I don’t learn by listening I learned by hearing what they’re saying and what they’re trying to do.
Yoni Mazor 14:49
So do you see any kind of message or whatever, visual or whatever you’re trying to understand what how they’re trying to communicate, and how and because of that, you obviously if you follow the successful ones able to break down the components that make the needle move in terms of, you know, the followers that’s more like we need something in a restaurant, you think about the components that the chef used to make the dish, right, or you saw the little pepper, a little bit of coriander, whatever it is you’re able to, to taste or understand the components of what you see and what you understand from, from the top leaders?
Samer Brax 15:18
Yeah, it’s like, Don’t listen to what I say, watch what I do kind of thing. So I did a lot of posting as I post from either influencer or from pages. And then as soon as I post that, I’d go follow everyone that liked their post. So then they see my post that’s that they recognize from that other page, and then they might follow me back.
Yoni Mazor 15:42
Once again, once again, let you the drawdown once again, is too fast for a guy like me. Once again, what do you do? What is the trick? What was the technique?
Samer Brax 15:49
So let’s say you go to a restaurant, what’s the restaurant that you know, Burger King, Burger King, and then you eat a eat something from there. And that’s like, old I don’t know if it still works. But I would post a photo from Burger King. And then I’d go to Burger King. And I’d see one of their most recent posts and see who liked it because those are the most active people. And then I would follow them and then like their pages and like their posts, and maybe even comment something they would check out, like, Who’s this person following me? And then they see that I’ve just posted about Burger King. And they’re like, Oh,
Yoni Mazor 16:20
I recognize. So maybe they’re a follow-up burger at Burger King comrade. Yeah, creates more of a sense of community, you know, we’re on the same wavelength. And because I should follow him as well. So you gain fellowship this way? Yeah,
Samer Brax 16:33
I did that multiple times a week. I’d also message a lot of influencers in the niche. So people that posted similar to the posts that I would do, and just become friends with them. As soon as you become friends with them, you become a peer, no matter how big you are, and then you learn from them. But it wasn’t that serious. It was just like for fun. Now that I look back at it, not I understand what I was doing. But yeah, so I saw that. And I was like, how can I use this because I have a lot of free time I’m looking for a job. And that’s when I found the backend, Tai Lopez was blowing up. And he was selling his social media marketing course. He’s like, Tai Lopez, who’s
Yoni Mazor 17:13
that? Tai Lopez the guy with the audience understands that?
Samer Brax 17:17
But yeah, the guy on YouTube with a Lamborghini behind him, I’m sure you saw him back in 2015 or 16. He’s like..
Yoni Mazor 17:22
Oh why, does he have a Lamborghini?
Samer Brax 17:26