From Best Buy to Selling on Amazon, Then an Exit | Josh Dittrich
This Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Josh Dittrich Founder & President of BrandedSeller - talks about going from Best Buy to Selling on Amazon, then an Exit, also more information about his life's journey. #JoshDittrich #BrandedSeller
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Yoni Mazor: (00:06)
Hi, everybody. Welcome to another episode of prime talk. Today, I'm excited to have a special guest. Today I'm having Josh Dittrich. Josh Dittrich is the founder and president of www.brandseller.com, which is an agency focused on Amazon listing content, but he also consults with sellers who wish to exit and sell the brand. And he wrote a book about it. He's the author of the book, aggregator navigator. I think it's a great title and he calls it the ultimate guide to maximizing the exit of your Amazon brand. And the reason he was able to write such a book is that in March 2021, he sold his Amazon business for eight figures. So Josh, welcome to the show.
Josh Dittrich: (00:42)
Yoni, how are you? Good to be here.
Yoni Mazor: (00:44)
All right, great to have you. So today’s episode is gonna be all about the story of Josh Dittrich. You're gonna share with us everything. Who are you? where are you from? Where'd you grow up? Where'd you go to school? How'd you begin your professional career station to station until you reached where you are today with the world of e-commerce. So that further ado, then let's jump right into it.
Josh Dittrich: (01:03)
Awesome. I love to share my story. It started back in the great land of Iowa and some people think the acronym for Iowa stands for idiots out wandering around and I've had to kind of you know, debunk that a little bit, but no, my father-in-law, unfortunately, he said the best thing that came out of Iowa was Josh. So I'll take that one. Right. I pursued video broadcasting at the age of 18, moved to Minnesota and I thought that was my calling, but you know what? I followed my heart with all of my passions. It was something that I had experienced, you know, creating video. We had a post-secondary program in school, so naturally, I just followed what I thought was my purpose. Just based on some of my skills while there in school did a 12 month, two-year degree program I started working at best buy and fell in love with selling in relationships. And this is kind of culture at the time of best buy was really about developing relationships. Building a relationship through conversation and rapport and providing a full solution, you know, in-home theatre. So that led to going to corporate and, and taking my sales skills to another level.
Yoni Mazor: (02:24)
Hold on. I wanna backtrack a little bit. So hold on. So you grew up in Iowa, you bounced into Minnesota. You were how old?
Josh Dittrich: (02:31)
Yoni Mazor: (02:32)
18. Got it. And that's when you went to school to college.
Josh Dittrich: (02:36)
Yoni Mazor: (02:37)
That's right. Yeah. What year was that? When did you start college?
Josh Dittrich: (02:40)
Yoni Mazor: (02:42)
And you graduated which year?
Josh Dittrich: (02:45)
2002, high school. So then college was just a one-year program. So 2003, I finished my two-year program, but I completely stayed out of video broadcasting, never went into it because I fell in love with best buy. And so that journey took me from, you know, being able to the idea of not making a living, you know, having an opportunity to build a family, you know, like while traveling and doing video stuff. Best buy called my name and went full-time shortly after that. And
Yoni Mazor: (03:18)
You're right when you started school in 2002, I mean already jumped me to the twenties. So in 2002, you started working at best buy right away.
Josh Dittrich: (03:29)
Yeah. Pretty much within three weeks of moving there. Yeah.
Yoni Mazor: (03:33)
Was it 2003? You finished school, but you're still with the best buy and your next station is corporate, and what year?
Same year or what's the next station?
Josh Dittrich: (03:41)
Nope. I spent about two and a half
years in the store. And then about five or so at corporate. So I was doing B2B
sales at corporate. And so it was kind of the first
Yoni Mazor: (03:50)
Corporate, you mean best buy corporate?
Josh Dittrich: (03:51)
Yeah. Best buy corporate. Yep.
Yoni Mazor: (03:53)
Got it. Tell me about best buy. Where is
it based? also Minnesota?
Josh Dittrich: (03:56)
Yeah, right here. Minneapolis
Richfield, Minnesota right down the street from the corporate office. Yep.
Yoni Mazor: (04:03)
Ahn so is that just by Providence
divine or this was,
Josh Dittrich: (04:07)
Following your heart, following your
passions, man. So a guy walked into the department. I was working in it, best
buy and he happened to be a guy at from best buy for business. Right. And so
this guy told me about an opportunity to make six figures selling at best buy.
And I'm like best buy corporate. I'm like, well, where have you been my whole
life? Right. Cause at the time I was working best buy retail, you know, making
14 bucks an hour and I didn't get paid commission and I would sell a lot of
stuff. Right. The whole gamut. And I just loved it. And like, what you're
telling me is a way to be rewarded for the activity.
Yoni Mazor: (04:45)
Well, let me get this straight. So you
went to school, that location, and you got a job and best buy, but happens to be
that where the corporate office is, you went to the school, you didn't go there
or start working there because best Buy's corporate was there. Correct?
Josh Dittrich: (04:58)
Yoni Mazor: (04:59)
Okay. So this is an interesting coincidence,
basically have here a little lesson that I can learn. If you think about gonna
school somewhere, check out if there's a big corporate office next to it. and
you can get a comment. Yeah. Like if you wanna go work for if I know,
Philadelphia Walgreens is in Chicago. So go to school in Chicago and work for a
go Walgreens as close as you can get to the Walgreens headquarters.
Josh Dittrich: (05:20)
Right. See, there you go. Perfect strategy. You know, it worked that way. You know, if you follow some of these things that you're led by and these natural occurrences happen more often than we realize. And if we take time and just look back and reflect, we will see, you know, that progress over time. And so it continues with this same weird story. Like I built a relationship with the number of different businesses that I was selling to. And one of them happened to be a customer of a small e-commerce business. They were growing fast in 500, 5,000 companies. You know, they had this handful of employees, but they were growing year over year by a hundred percent. And so he's like, hey man, you got to come work for me. And I was like, Nah, I'm good. You know, I'm doing okay. And he's like, no, seriously. So he continued to stay in touch and eventually he's like, just come and visit. And so this guy that was my customer, I was selling water filters to him.
Yoni Mazor: (06:15)
You were selling water filters to him from a water filter company or because or you from best buy?
Josh Dittrich: (06:20)
Best buy. Yep. So best buy has access to those water filters. I was selling him to him who was reselling him online. Right.
Yoni Mazor: (06:28)
Got it. And I wanna backtrack one more
time to the beginning, best buy corporate. So you are what a year or two, maybe
three at the retail store. Somebody come from corporate comes to the store and
spots you. Scouts you and finds you as a talent and pulls you into corporate.
That's what happened?
Josh Dittrich: (06:43)
He just told me about an idea. And so I took it upon myself to explore the opportunity. What the heck is that turns out my current manager, I didn't even know this was planning to leave and go to that same department and be the customer service lead supervisor. And so he is like, hey man, this is perfect. I'm going there. Why don't you come with me and start, you know, in the customer service department of the business-to-business division? And I'm like, yeah. He's like, you'll even get a race. And, and you'll work Monday through Friday, eight to four. And I'm like, well, duh, why would I not do that?
Yoni Mazor: (07:22)
So your manager, the retail store manager, who was moving into corporate pulled you in and that was dynamic. Correct? Wow. Yeah.
Josh Dittrich: (07:28)
But the idea came from this guy who showed up to me at corporate. Right. And it just happened to be, wow, that seems interesting. And then it just was a coincidence that my current manager was already planning to go there. So I followed that process, knowing that someday my goal was to be a B2B sales guy, right. To, to build a book of business, you know, make some money, that type of thing and expand my professional career.
Yoni Mazor: (07:52)
So what year did you start? Best buy corporate?
Josh Dittrich: (07:56)
What would have that been? 2004 or 2005. And I stayed until 2010.
Yoni Mazor: (08:02)
Got it. So you survived the 2008 financial global financial crisis.
Josh Dittrich: (08:07)
It was an aha moment though. I'll tell you what, when you're selling electronics to companies that give things away, right. When you're selling large package deals to bars and hotels who no longer have the budget to invest in hundred thousand dollars of equipment, you know, I started to see my commission checks dwindling, but I also knew my heart wasn't in it anymore. Like I wanted to be a part of something small. Like I had a number of these clients, like the one I just mentioned that were, you know, vice president of this or president of that, or director of that. And they were moving and shaken and I felt like I was one of, you know, 50 or 150,000 people make not making a difference. Right. And that bothered me. So I was driven by the entrepreneurial itch. I wanted to make a difference in the world for the company that I work for. And so timing and the recession was like, Hey, maybe I should finally take advantage of this guy. Who's been talking to me. Right. So this guy took a leap of faith and, and I left, he gave me a very competitive salary.
Yoni Mazor: (09:09)
Tell me, tell me about this switch. He was nagging you. He said, come visit. He said, I'll go visit, but where was he? Is Minnesota a different state? Where was he located?
Josh Dittrich: (09:16)
This is the best part. He, so he was about a hundred miles away from where I was living, which is still in Minnesota, but it's just a suburb, quite ways away. Right. And so I would be committing to making that commute. But the thing is, I didn't just show up there and start like I went there and met him because he invited me to bring me a drum set. I'm a drummer. I play drums in our church band. I brought my drum set because he was going to have some friends over there and up in their warehouse mezzanine, we had a jam session. And we hit it off. And from there we went and got subway and we started talking. We started talking business which led to aside hustle. So my first side hustle opportunity was working for this guy on the side, selling water filters that I could not access at best buy, but I could get from him to sell to the other guys I was selling to. Right. So it became this really interesting relationship that allowed me to pretty quickly scale up, you know, 2, 3, 4, 5 grand a month in side hustle income. And it got to a point where I was like, this is a no-brainer for me to go all in. If we go all in what will happen. And to be honest, that first year we went from three and a half million to 5.4. That was when I was contracting. So I drew,
Yoni Mazor: (10:34)
You said this was a side hustle, meaning what was your regular daytime occupation at that point?
Josh Dittrich: (10:39)
That's by corporate ha
Yoni Mazor: (10:40)
That’s corporate. So he's nagging you to go visit, you hit it off with the drumming and the drum session and having some subway. So you start started this, a secondary lane, right? The secondary track on the side, you're selling for water filters. You're selling it online or in wholesale or retail?
Josh Dittrich: (10:57)
The line was B2B. So I was his B2B guy selling to his competitors.
Yoni Mazor: (11:02)
Oh, nice. Okay. So on the side hustle and it's bringing up tracking up income 3, 4, or 5,000 a month. And so they say, you know, let me detach from best buy corporate and go all-in on this and track and see where it leads me. And he said the first, what year, where you generated three to 5 million in sales?
Josh Dittrich: (11:17)
Yeah. So while I was side hustling, I generated about a million and a half bucks. So I helped him grow from three and a half million to about 5.4. You know, some of that was some of the organic growth, but we hit that first big milestone of million-dollar growth. Right. My first full-time year started in May of 2010. The run rate, the previous year was 5.4 million. In that year we did 10.3 million my first year. So 5.4 to 10.3 I double it, right. I saw a salary. I saw nice bonuses. You know, I was learning things. I was making a difference. I was managing people, but I was hired for sales, but little did I realize I was fascinated by e-commerce. And so month one was May, month two was June and the IRC conference was coming up and he said, Hey, let's go, let's a road trip to Chicago. Let's go.
Yoni Mazor: (12:11)
Let me with this IRC is the Internet Retail Convention Exhibition, usually in Chicago, right in McCormick. Correct.
Josh Dittrich: (12:17)
Okay. Yep. You know, fascinating blown away by how the largest industry was right. This is the back comparison, shopping engines and TPC was new and Amazon buy-box. How to win the buy box? You know, these are concepts where private labels did not exist. so I immersed myself, like let's build a marketplace business, we need to get data feeds, pushing to eBay and Amazon. And we need to look at, you know, ways to start creating data layers to process pricing. And how are we gonna manage bids and advertising? And you know, all these things that the company hadn't done as an e-commerce company. Cause I was the B2B guy. So I came in, I'm like, I'll do it, I'll do it. Let's roll. Let's go. And I loved it, man. Cause I could move the needle. Right. it became from a passion, unfortunately, to an obsession.
Josh Dittrich: (13:07)
So far in the sense of chasing success and money, you know, while I was married and I had my first two kids, like I wasn't around, right. So it went from like everything I needed to know, I got my MBA, you know, real, I didn't get my MBA. I never went further than the two years of school I mentioned earlier, but you know, essentially my MBA was all things, finance, technology, operations management, and customer service marketing. Right. And I walked away from that experience going, holy cow like I can do anything now. So I started getting that itch and that itch was two things. I need my time back for my family. Right. But I also need to escape the control that I have as an employee that I didn't have. Right.
Josh Dittrich: (13:54)
I was, I had to be aligned with the vision and the mission. And as you know, for anyone who's involved in a large organization, there's a point in time where there's just something that doesn't line up with your heart and your goals and your passion. So I said, Hey, you know, private label is the thing now. Like if we can do this in water filters because we were one of the first groups to launch a private label brand in that category. I said, if I can do it in this category, I can do it in any product category. And so that's how the brand essential values were born essential values, the ideas that, you know high quality, low price, best content product, and, you know, cheaper than the national brand.
Yoni Mazor: (14:41)
Let me see something here, let’s see from the dynamics. So 2010, you started working full time with this filtering company, and the same year already heading to e-commerce doing B2C. Because you mentioned you were doing B2B business to business. Now you're B2C your consumer basically retail. And in that year you got started selling it as your brand or you reselling what was the on the marketplace level? What was happening?
Josh Dittrich: (15:00)
When I began, we were only selling other people's brands. We had 5,000 skews. We stocked all that in our warehouse,
Yoni Mazor: (15:07)
Josh Dittrich: (15:09)
We did not have a private label. Well, we were barely on Amazon. Like most of the revenue came from that 10 million, 5 million was B2B 5 million was mostly our website in a few marketplaces, like organic SEO with sick margins. Right. it was a very
Yoni Mazor: (15:28)
What was the year you ventured into Amazon on a private label side?
Josh Dittrich: (15:34)
Probably two or three years later. So, you know 2010 moves around 2013, 14 where we started developing the strategy.
Yoni Mazor: (15:42)
Do you do it by yourself independently or with the same company?
Josh Dittrich: (15:45)
Same company. So I spent a full, almost eight years there. And so that's where developed these skills and we moved into private label. And so the cool part was we eventually when I left, we were doing more than 20 million on our websites. Right. And we figured out ways to, you know, create product detail pages that would compare the original brand that someone came in on a paid ad to our product. Right? So we customized these pages. We gave a great experience. We said, Hey, why are you paying $50? You can pay 29.99. Oh, by the way, if you bought two of them, you can pay 24 99 and doing that most of the time we could, we could improve our margins, buy a lot. Right. And doing that allowed us to test out new products, very easily in parallel, we would have them on Amazon, but there was no launch strategy back then it was like making a good listing. And even that was pre advertising. Like I was around the day, Amazon turned on advertising and we were paying 1 cent per click.
Yoni Mazor: (16:49)
Remember that Moment. So when was that? 2015, 16?
Josh Dittrich: (16:53)
Yeah. I'd have to jog, but it's in that range. I remember turning the ads on Yoni and I went back the next week and I went to the campaign manager and in seller central and I pulled it up and I was like $10 for 2000 in sales is something stupid. Right. And I'm like, this can't be right. Like this got to be a glitch in reporting. This
Yoni Mazor: (17:22)
Is the Amazon explosion on so many levels that like when you initially get scratch those numbers, like something's off you, but then you keep feeding it and feeding it? It just blows up and blows up. I assume that's what happened. But
Josh Dittrich: (17:33)
That was like one product that was like one product. So like that's all I needed to see. So I turned on all the products. Yeah.
Yoni Mazor: (17:40)
You know all the processes to spend the process. Yeah.
Josh Dittrich: (17:43)
You know and there is just so much I learned in that space, you know, pricing elasticity, testing that, you know, looking at the comparison between paid search, organic search, and doing all this stuff before the technology was even available. And we had a large vendor central business as well. And so we took all of those brands. We didn't own it. So private label was our third-party seller central and all the brands we didn't own were vendor central first-party models. Right. And so vendors central, we let Amazon fight the buy box. All we needed to do was to provide the product to Amazon on time and continue to manage the goods. But then we went out to the vendors and built relationships with those vendors and we got exclusive access. So we're like early on, we're like, wow. You know, those were probably 30, 40%, 50% margins selling to best buy who then sold on Amazon. Right. Wild, just unbelievable. So, you know,
Yoni Mazor: (18:36)
Let me get this here. You're an employee this whole time. So you created all this business development, but you're an employee this whole time until what, 2018.
Josh Dittrich: (18:44)
Well, for several years though, I was brought on board as part of the leadership team. I had stock options. You know, I had 240,000 options that, you know, were worth 240 grand and the goal was to 10 X the value, right? So I'm like, okay, this is my first run. This is gonna be my first opportunity. I'm gonna grind here. And then I'm gonna be an entrepreneur. Right. I'm gonna go do it myself. Well, tides turn, pressures came on. And those prices that were 34.99 for private label, they went down to 8.99, 9.99. So we had to double or triple our unit volume to make the same revenue.
Yoni Mazor: (19:21)
What was this coming from? for as you understand, what was the price world? I mean, what happened?
Josh Dittrich: (19:26)
Private label explosion.
Yoni Mazor: (19:30)
So a layer after layer, they all coming in, I’ll beat the price, I’ll beat the price, I’ll beat the price. It was a race at the bottom
Josh Dittrich: (19:36)
A hundred percent.
Yoni Mazor: (19:37)
Got it. Okay. So you had to explore more in volume. Were you able to accomplish that?
Josh Dittrich: (19:42)
Oh yeah. I mean, it came to product expansion and so that's where became, Hey, this strategy doesn't scale. We need to break other categories. We need to identify the 5,000 skews, two things. What are the best opportunities right now that we have to do a private label, that of something we don't even carry? And then the other side of the coin is which products do we already carry of a national brand that we need to create a private-label version of. Right. So that analysis was our focus for some years. And that's exactly what I did. When I created my brand is what are the opportunities that have large market opportunities with competitors that are doing a poor job. Right? And I love going against national brands, why? because at that time national brands had not embraced Amazon.
Josh Dittrich: (20:37)
They, they left all the power to third-party sellers who were just trying to create listings as fast as possible. So it wasn't hard. It wasn't hard to beat them, you know, put a little advertising behind it, you know, launch a product. And even at that point, I could give away products and exchange them for reviews. So it was like, let's go, let's go. So we launched over 200 products. So I’ll go back backtrack. Cause I know you're gonna want to know this, right. So the transition was like, Hey, this side hustle has exploded. Like it's replaced my income by two or three times, there's a bunch of money in the bank. Like I got to go do this full time. And so that was my itch.
Josh Dittrich: (21:24)
In the meantime, a guy worked with at this water filter company, I became close with. He was the CEO CTO. We began playing racketball together and through conversations and hanging out, we had a similar goal. We were ying and yang. I was the visionary. He was the operations guy. Like I knew if I could go build something, this is the best man in the world that could ensure that work right behind the scenes. And so I left on my knowing that there was income in the bank. But before that, we bought a business that I was not involved in. I was more of an investor with him. We bought a promotional products business because this is like, Hey, we need to have a plan. Like to start something from scratch is gonna be, you know, a two or three, three or four-year runway to be able to leave.
Josh Dittrich: (22:09)
So let's go buy something and Hey, by the way, my sister, my partner tells me, my sister is looking to make a change. So she was our first employee. We bought this business, we had a couple of key clients, she was running it. We had a warehouse, we had people. And so now it was like, oh, this Amazon opportunity could fit inside this business in this warehouse with these people. So I still wasn't going to that business. It was still the side hustle. So we have this Amazon start-up with this business, we bought kind of running under two separate businesses in the same building with the same people. So when I left it was like, I'm gonna go all-in on all of these things on these two main key businesses, that one, that we started, one that we bought. And, and we went from zero products to 200 products. But after about 25 products, I said,
Yoni Mazor: (23:01)
so when You leave? When you left was it 2018 already?
Josh Dittrich: (23:04)
Five years ago, 2019. And what is that? 2016,
Yoni Mazor: (23:11)
16. You, after having your partner, you on a side hustle that you invested in, you detach the water filter company and you go all-in on this promotional company, which already has an Amazon installment. And you go all in
Josh Dittrich: (23:24)
That business had zero Amazon, anything. So this was B2B. So this was like taking products like a hat and putting a logo on it. Right. And we do that for large corporations. We do that for healthcare and Minnesota effort swag.
Yoni Mazor: (23:39)
Yeah. In the corporate sector. Yeah.
Josh Dittrich: (23:41)
But we do it, we do it at a premium like a glove service where we store the inventory. We ship the inventory; we build e-commerce sites for them. We do marketing, right? So it became more of a full service, which is more to come on that it helped us create some income to support a structure. Right. And bright ventures is the family, the holding companies, bright ventures were opportunities that seemed to be good opportunities or bright ideas, right. That I could sink my teeth into, to grow, knowing that we would build a team supported on the back end or work with partners or other people that have skills and talents that I could invest in and mentor that could eventually, maybe lead one of those businesses and then bring it into the family of businesses. Right. That was the model. And, you know, the two main focuses were the promotional products. And then Amazon, and after about 30 products, I said, we need to double down on this. I went to a prosper conference, several years ago, one of the very first ones. So it might have been Las Vegas, this one. And I was at bulls that time.
Yoni Mazor: (24:50)
Las Vegas. Yeah. The first one was in 2016 in Utah. And the second one was in 2017 in Las Vegas. The reason I know, because my partner today and our CEO at GETIDA is the founder of the prosper show.
Josh Dittrich: (25:04)
Yeah, I know that. Eytan’s my buddy. Eytan’s my boy. Yeah. So I met him. I mean, that's where I met him in person for the first time, for sure. Yeah. So 2016 in Las Vegas or 2017, right? first year in Las Vegas. The guy that wrote the E myth, right. Michael Gerber, I think is his name. You know, he wrote this book and the whole takeaway for me was number one, like, you know, work in your business, don't work in your business, work on your business. Right. And that's, you know, attraction concept. And it hit me. And I was there with my brother who came out there to learn about this Amazon thing, but he came out there to be in Las Vegas. Right. And he came with me like this is insane.
Josh Dittrich: (25:49)
Like how do I do this? I'm like, well, I can teach you. And so we left, you know, him having zero experience except for, you know, buying stuff on Amazon. And at that point, you know, he's like 23 or 24 years old at a corporate job, but he's interested in the side also. So I kid you not from that moment changed forever. It, it changed how we build, how we find products. He became the machine. So he started a side hustle with me that first product he launched after three months, basically 50% paid, covered his salary. We said we need you. let's go. Let's double down. So that first year he came on and built like 50 products from scratch, sourcing, identifying. And he went all in and we blew the top off of it. And then other products that I launched were starting to become more mature. And we just repeated that model.
Yoni Mazor: (26:44)
So on now there's, there are two tracks. You have your track with the promotional company, which in Amazon installment, and then another track with your brother who launched 50 products, and you're a partner with him there.
Josh Dittrich: (26:55)
All of it was inside a bright venture.
Yoni Mazor: (26:57)
Yeah. It's all under Bright Venture. Yeah. It's all the same flagship company. And they said there are other checks within.
Josh Dittrich: (27:05)
Yep. Yeah. Two separate businesses. I still have my business partner. I still have my business partner sister. We still have the building, but my brother comes in as an employee, to help us scale what we had started. Yep.
Yoni Mazor: (27:17)
Josh Dittrich: (27:18)
And, you know, I trusted him, you know, he understood what we were trying to do. And it made sense like he was at the point of his life where he wanted to work for a big company. He did that for several years and said, you know what, I wanna make some money and I wanna make a difference too. So that became the model we went all-in on. And so over these next five years, you know, we continued to build that model and scale up into the point of, you know, just this last December where we started positioning the business for sale.
Yoni Mazor: (27:50)
So what, for four years you're running it running and building and building it. And year 2020 December, you sit down, okay, look what we built and maybe you know exit this and you know, look into that opportunity. So take us there, take us to those moments, the dynamics, the mindset, and how it all played out.
Josh Dittrich: (28:10)
I wish I could say it was that strategic. It was strategic, but not that way. We bought another business, an e-com business in January 2019. So now this is our third business. This is an e-com play. Most of the revenue was on Shopify. There was B2B to brick and mortar. So these are hockey training products. And these training products were in 3, 4, 500 small, you know, small hockey stores all across the country. And in Canada, we built that business in 2019, it was losing almost 500 grand and it needed help. Everything was contracted out, nothing was done well. And so we came in, bought it for a sweetheart deal, and scaled it up. So we built that business from negative four or 500,000 to a positive 500,000 in two years. So we decided that was the year we're going to sell that.
Josh Dittrich: (29:06)
Well, I hired a broker for that business. So my experience with a broker for the first time began, I used a broker because I knew I needed either a strategic, like some major hockey company or a buyer and private equity e-commerce that could take this and run with it that didn't want Amazon or didn't care about Amazon. Right? So aggregators became something that didn't make sense but I spoke to two of them that changed my perspective that maybe I have this other Amazon business essential values that make sense to sell. Let's sell that one. So we ended up, we ended up going through in parallel the idea to sell one hockey, the hockey business, to also selling the Amazon private label business turns out, you know there's a big opportunity, to sell your Amazon business with these aggregators. And I was kind of at the beginning of it. So at that time, this is just, again, nine months.
10 months ago, there were only 30 aggregators. I reached out to almost all of them. I ran my process for the Amazon business. I spoke to 23 of them. I connected with 23 of them. I had 13, highly interested. We ended up getting six offers and I ran that process myself. I ran that process myself because I could find the buyers and I can position my business and this broker that I used for the other business didn't do half the things I was doing, and I was gonna pay him 10% of the deal value, which is a lot of money. And if I take, if I pay 10% or 8%, even to a broker for my Amazon business, that's almost a million bucks. So I said, Hey, this is probably the best way I can make a million-dollar in a few months. Let me position this thing for sale. I had some of the most fun I've ever had working, and it led to the next passion of helping others. Once that money hit the bank realize that there are skills and knowledge and experience that I have that made that comfortable for me. But a lot of that could be invaluable to many other guys who built an Amazon business and never have not done any exists that maybe I can take that knowledge, these tips, and these tricks to minimize my right.
Yoni Mazor: (31:20)
Yeah. I'm I think I'm kind of losing the connection here. Can you hear me? Okay. So yeah, sorry guys. We got a little bit disconnected there. So Josh was saying that you know, you were able to sell the business, and eventually, instead of using a broker, you did it yourself because you figured there's a, about a million-dollar worth of savings for you, so to speak. But you also mentioned that you had fun with it. It was the most fun you had. So what was fun about it for you? What'd you learn what was, what was happening?
Josh Dittrich: (31:54)
Yeah, I mean the art of the deal, right? The process of taking something that someone said is valued at X and finding a way to work with another person that said it was X plus 20%. And going back to the other one and negotiating to see that multiple increases or the structure of that earn-out change, to reduce my downside, but increase my upside. And it was just a blast, the whole process
Yoni Mazor: (32:22)
You are mind sharing with us. What were the initial multiples that were discussed? And then what was the result of the multiple down the road, basically that was your upsell. You doing it alone. And so it, instead of using a banker,
Josh Dittrich: (32:35)
Right, right. Yeah. It went from 3.2 to 3.8, 3.82. So that 0.6 on a good chunk of SDE was probably worth 900 grand right there. And then the other aspects of the earn-out that I loved that one was far more, so this one and applied it to this one, which changed the ultimate pay-out probably by another million and a half. And these were things that I never found on YouTube. These were things that I did not have resources at my disposal to access. And so that's the part that I love like, oh, like this feels natural to me. Maybe this is the way I should do it. And it was the right course.
Yoni Mazor: (33:30)
Got it. Nice. So that experience you know, grinding it out and being able to extract more on the mini multiple on the pay-out, but also the upside there and earn-out to, to make it more efficient over there also. And you get another million and a half dollars you know over time. Okay, so now you're packaging all that knowhow and experience and offering it out to entrepreneurs out there interested in selling or Amazon brands or Amazon born brands looking at to sell out there
Josh Dittrich: (34:00)
Hundred percent. It's twofold. It's one meeting with guys like you, who are, who are connected vastly to Amazon sellers that I know my story will resonate with. And, and there are two paths, right? One is to buy a 70-page book that brings you through my journey and how I did it in playbook tip by the tip on negotiating tactic, some points. And that's gonna be you know, an Amazon Kindle situation that I plan to launch at the very beginning of the year. In the meantime, I'm just getting out there and talking about it.
Yoni Mazor: (34:30)
SO, once again, I wanna, I want to shout out to the book. So go to Amazon. You can finally buy an Amazon aggregator navigator.
Josh Dittrich: (34:36)
Hey, I wish I could say it's ready. It's not yet. I just tent up demand, baby, creating that book
Yoni Mazor: (34:41)
Demand. So yeah, you heard it first. You heard it heard exclusive it's about to come out aggregator navigator, the ultimate guide to maximizing the exit of the Amazon brand. Hopefully, once it's all ready to go, it's gonna be on Kindle and it's gonna be on Amazon. So if you looking to sell a 70-page book Josh breaks down his experience and you know, what he went through and how he's able to negotiate his earn-out and his immediate cash-out exit multiple. Okay, so you got the book, you got the consulting, you're helping other sellers, you know, go through the same path, but also you have your agency, right? You got branded seller, which is focused on the listing content. So take us there for a moment. What's the mission? What's the purpose?
Josh Dittrich: (35:19)
Yeah. Branded sellers started really as a place to create and provide low-cost, high-quality videos for sponsored brands videos. So my number one ace in my Hero skew you know, doing 150,000 a month in sales. I spent $1,500 on that video, but I have a lot of products that didn't produce any of
Yoni Mazor: (35:38)
That. Okay. I wanna package the episode and see if we got all the information correctly, so far. So born and raised in Iowa, 18 years old, moved to Minnesota in 2002 you know, started school there, but also started working there for best buy retail. And you were there until 2002 until 2005 where opportunities struck. And then you know, somebody from corporate came to the store, pitched an idea, your manager happened to jump on that, the idea and pull you in with him to best buy corporate in 2005. And then 2005 until 2010, you know, you grew within the ranks of best buy corporate, but this one client that you had kept on nagging, you NA you to come to visit and check him out. This was a filter business. And once you did, you went to play, you know, we went over there, played drums, had some subway you know, hit it off.
Yoni Mazor: (36:25)
And then you started as a side-track to work for the filter company you saw you can recognize true growth with your efforts and the input in the output. So you detached from best buy corporate. You went all with this job, you were there from 2010 until 2016, you know, created a lot of tremendous growth, also hit e-commerce and then selling on Amazon on the one-piece side, the therapy side, it also launched a private label for that organization, but then 2016 you already, you know, created your structure the ventures, right? What was the name of the ventures? Right Ventures, right? Yeah. And within that, from 2016 until 2021, you're able to launch kind of three businesses there. You know, two of them, I believe sold to another aggregator in 2021 in March you had the whole experience of being able to negotiate your way and increase the multiples and the earn-out. So you took all that experience. You packaged it in a book, so you help sellers with that dimension, but also the experience that you had building your own business and the content production offering it out to other aggregators. So you keep on focusing on this now that we get everything correctly so far.
Josh Dittrich: (37:36)
Yeah. A hundred percent
Yoni Mazor: (37:38)
Got beautiful stuff. I learned a lot, so thank you so much for sharing. And now I wanna finish off the episode with two points. The first one will be if somebody wants to reach out and connect, where can they find you? but the last thing would be is what is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there?
Josh Dittrich: (37:52)
Absolutely. So I love the connection for any reason. It's pretty easy to connect with me, Josh, at www.brandseller.com. There's a tab up top as well that says, sell your business. It's a free pro bono call with me. If you want to connect. I love it. I just love meeting sellers. Like you hear their stories, right? They're pretty fun. I love the relationships that I get to build, but more importantly is really about my purpose and helping other people realize that we're all created for a purpose. And in my mind, you know, sometimes it's like a decision on a very tactical level. Like what should I do today? What should I do today? And finding meaning in all this and at the end of the day, I believe that we follow what God says, love others, and love him.
Josh Dittrich: (38:39)
That is what we're called to do. But inside of that, what are our talents and what are our skills, but what are our passions? And it's always about, you never arrive at the end of the journey until you die. And so my challenge to everyone and my encouragement is to continue to listen to where the opportunities are, based on your skills and talents. And even after selling my business and having more money to not work again, I still believe my time is not done, that I have more than I can give. I have more people that I can help. There are more opportunities to see others improve or grow in their faith or their business. And so that's what I would encourage. Everyone would continue to be open to just pursuing those God-given talents and gifts.
Yoni Mazor: (39:28)
Nice, pursue your God-given gifts and talents and focus to take all that with the mission and purpose on helping others then we gonna find tremendous success. Enjoyed so much beautiful stuff, Josh, thank you so much. Thank you, everybody. I hope everybody enjoyed staying safe and healthy. So next time.