Kenzo earned his first million dollars while still in high school living with his parents. While impressive, there are thousands of people out there with stories just like his. How are they launching such successful ecommerce brands at such a young age?
Kenzo emphasizes that from a young age, his persistent entrepreneurial spirit drove him to find success. On the ecommerce podcast Serious Sellers, he says:
“I’ve always been like in that entrepreneurial mindset, always trying to do anything to make an extra dollar or two.”
His first ecommerce venture was in reselling sneakers on eBay. This quickly turned into an eBay dropshipping business, but as the business grew so did the required work. It got to the point where he was working 16 to 18 hours every single day fulfilling orders for his eBay business.
That’s when he found out about FBA.
FBA stands for fulfilled by Amazon, meaning that Amazon warehouse employees take care of the physical side of your ecommerce business. Packaging, storage, shipping, etc. is all taken care of. Ecommerce business owners often complain about how fulfillment is the hardest part of growing their stores, and Amazon takes care of all of it for you.
After the switch to FBA instead of eBay dropshipping, the rest is history. He now has 3 warehouses, employees, and sees millions in annual revenue.
Kenzo describes his specific business model as “wholesale FBA”.
He simply finds opportunities where there are price differences in different markets and takes advantage of those price differences.
If he sees a bottle of Clorox bleach selling for $5, he goes through his vendor network to find a supplier selling it wholesale with enough margin to make the product launch work on Amazon.
This is opposed to private label selling on Amazon, where you buy products from a manufacturer and sell them under your own brand. In the wholesale FBA model, you do no such rebranding. It’s more of an analytics and operations play than a brand awareness and marketing play.
A major factor in Kenzo’s ability to scale was letting other parties automate the fulfillment process for him. He doesn’t need to process returns, ship orders himself, or use any of his own space to store anything – all of that is taken care of by Amazon.
There is no entrepreneur who hasn’t come across obstacles in his journey. Kenzo says his biggest obstacle was handling intellectual property complaints. Since he was selling the products of other brands, sometimes there would be issues where that brand did not authorize the sell of that product and they issued a complaint with Amazon. If enough of these complaints built up over time, it could mean the suspension of his Amazon seller account, which was selling millions of dollars of inventory.
Another obstacle he dealt with was intense competition. FBA wholesale is all about analytics – finding product opportunities with a big rift in selling price and cost. Usually you are not the only one to take advantage of these opportunities and sometimes thousands of sellers could all be competing to sell the same product – with all that competition it can be difficult to maintain market share.
But, despite these pitfalls Kenzo persisted with that indomitable entrepreneurial spirit. All businesses will experience gut punches, but you just need to get back up and move forward.
His persistence paid off. In regards to his 2020 figures, he says
“Last year, it’s upwards. It’s upwards of $5 million. It’s like between six and seven. I don’t want to give you wrong numbers.”
Imagine making north of $5 million before you’re old enough to even have a college degree.
Kenzo’s hard work has rewarded him with a lifestyle of abundance.
In his interview on the Serious Sellers podcast, Kenzo describes the luxury supercars he has been able to buy with his Amazon winnings, including a McClaren, Ferrari, and a Porsche GT 3RS and more.
Kenzo’s Ecommerce Growth Hack
The foundation of Kenzo’s meteoric growth was his powerful vendor network. Without his contact list of local vendors, he would not have been able to build his brand to what it is today.
And he has a not very well known hack for finding lucrative vendor relationships that not many others will find.
He uses Google maps.
There, you’ll be able to find wholesale suppliers who don’t have an online presence. The sellers with a large online presence can often be oversaturated with other ecommerce buyers seeking to do the same thing, but with Kenzo’s method of using Google maps to find wholesale suppliers, you can find suppliers who have not yet been hit with a large wave of online buyers, so you can get better vendor relationships and better prices.
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