Interview with Mendy Lipszyc

Nick: (00:09)

Aright. Welcome to the Million Dollar Sellers Podcast. I'm your host, Nick Shucet. Today, we have Mendy on the show. Really happy to have you on, man. Excited to chat with you a little bit. Why don't you just start off by letting us know where you're calling in from?

Mendy: (00:24)

Hey, good morning. Good to be on the show. I'm calling in from North Miami Beach, Florida.

Nick: (00:30)

Nice. How long have you been down there?

Mendy: (00:35)

We've been living down here for seven years now.

Nick: (00:38)

Okay. Where were you before that?

Knowing Mendy Lipszyc a Little

Mendy: (00:41)

So, I grew up in a family where moving around has been a way of life for me. So even after I got married, I ended up moving a couple of times. But most recently, it was Cincinnati, Ohio.

Nick: (00:53)

Okay, nice. I spent some early, early years outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So not too far from Cincinnati. We would venture into Ohio occasionally. I'm happy I moved to Virginia when I was like 12 years old. Definitely happy my father, you know, got that job and made that move.

Mendy: (01:19)

I get it.

Nick: (01:20)

What ended up bringing you guys farther south down to Florida?

The Flexibility to Choose Your Environment

Mendy: (01:25)

So, you know, obviously, with an Amazon business, there was the flexibility to live where you want. And as an Orthodox family, we were looking for better schooling options for our children. And when you look at the religious Jewish areas where there's a religious school, there was New York, there was Florida. And there was no way I was moving back to New York.

Nick: (01:48)

Chasing that warmer weather? Some more sunshine?

Mendy: (01:52)


Nick: (01:53)

Yeah, yeah. I'm with you there, man. It definitely, definitely just makes you feel different.

Mendy: (01:59)

Oh yeah.

Nick: (02:00)

Cool, man. So I'm assuming you guys are liking it down there as it's kind of working out the way that you want it to.

Mendy: (02:05)

Absolutely. We absolutely love it.

Nick: (02:08)

Awesome, man. So what's family life like? You got some kids, it sounds like.

The Family

Mendy: (02:14)

Yeah. I'm married happily, with three kids. My oldest is off to high school next year. He's 14. Yeah, I've got a daughter who's 13 and then I've got another daughter who's 11.

Nick: (02:30)

Alright. I'll have to hit you up for some father advice later on. I've got a nine-year-old, a daughter that'll be three, and a son that's one.

Spend as much time as you can with your kids while they want to spend time with you.

But, you know, my nine-year-old, man. He just is so big now and is changing so much. And like, I know I'm losing that time where he's like my little man, you know, and he's gonna grow.

Mendy: (02:59)

That is me, but spend as much time as you can while they wanna spend time with you.

Nick: (03:03)

Yeah, absolutely man. I'm definitely working on making that happen. Definitely on the top of my mind. Sometimes I fall short, man. It's so easy to get wrapped up in work and life and trying to take care of yourself a little bit that, you know, sometimes I can let those things slip through the cracks. But you know, that's a great thing about being an entrepreneur.

At least we're a little more in control of that stuff. You know, it's not our boss's fault if we have to call, you know, we can't make the holiday or can't make the birthday or whatever. Like we're in control of that stuff, so that's nice.

The Power to Create Your Holidays

Mendy: (03:39)

So that's the one thing I always say. I mean, I tend to travel a lot for business. Personally, I love legal holidays. It's the day I get the most work done. But I always say as business owners, if we want a day off, we can take a random Wednesday off. We can travel internationally for a week in the middle of a... just randomly without planning it. The flip side is we work hard to be able to get that.

But so while I work hard and business takes me away from home, I also make sure, you know, we have good family vacations together. Where we travel the world a little and spend time together as a family.

Nick: (04:23)

Awesome, man. That's great. Hopefully, we'll have a little bit of time to talk about how you manage that stuff. You know, I think that's such an important topic these days. And something that a lot of people are concerned about, but don't necessarily know the best way to go about setting it up. But that kind of just reminds me, Mendy. How did you get into Amazon? Was there an entrepreneurial journey before Amazon?

Mendy’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Mendy: (04:52)

So I've always had that aspect of looking for ways to make money. My earliest journey you can say is when I was…

The Muffin Shop After School—the Lesson on Partnership

Mendy: (05:06)

I wanna say around 11, my mom owned a bakery. One of the teachers in school said to me, “Hey, how about you get some muffins to school every day and I'll pay you for it?” And so I said that to my mom. And she said, "Well, why don't I just bring you the... Every day at the end of the day, I'll bring you all the leftovers and you can sell all the day-old stuff in school.

And that was my first business. I would say there was zero cost of goods, but the deal with my mom was that we split whatever came in.

Nick: (05:44)

Nice. So you got some... a lesson in partnership at an early age as well, huh? So nice, man. So how did it go from there? Like, did you kind of always reject the idea of school, a job, retirement and that's about it? Or did you go down that path a little bit and experience some conflict there?

The Fear of Going Out on Your Own

Mendy: (06:08)

Well, I did go down that path. You know, I think everyone has that fear of going out on their own. I started off, you know, there were different businesses I was in, but once I was an adult, you know, I knew I had to bring in a steady income. And I worked multiple different jobs, mostly in the food service industry.

Overcoming the Fear

Mendy: (06:29)

And then it was until I was back in 2013. So it was eight years ago that I finally, you know, was able to set out in business on my own as a full-time thing. At that point, I was working for a large supermarket chain, Kroger, in Cincinnati. And you've got kids in private school, you're always looking for how to make some more money. So it's actually interesting how we got into Amazon.

My first thought was, I'm like, “OK, I heard of this thing, Amazon, where you can sell stuff and make money.” I knew my brother was working for an online seller. So I called my brother up and I asked him “You know how to get into it? And he was telling me, “Hey, you know, we sell cell phones. Everybody. Every Amazon seller out there gets their cell phones from the same company that refurbishes them.

Even though they're sold as new on Amazon—back then they were. And he's like, “Here, I'll give you the contact. You can call them and try getting in on it.” So I called them and they were willing to give me an account. Except I'm looking at this, and essentially you're making 8 cents per dollar you invest. The margins weren't the greatest and it just didn't sound very appealing.

The Light Bulb Moment

Mendy: (07:53)

However, my light bulb moment came when I was browsing Target. I overheard two associates talking about how Target had a buy two get one free on the video games, and that it worked on the clearance video games as well. So that was my light bulb moment. They had about 20 discontinued games on the clearance shelf. I said, “You know what? I'm gonna buy all 20 games”.

I'll try listing them. What's the worst that can happen? There's a 30-day return policy. And I listed them on Amazon as fulfillment and they pretty much all sold within two days. So that started my journey.

Nick: (08:39)

Nice. A lot of people get started through arbitrage, man. I mean, that's how I got started. Definitely no stranger to the video game hustle. I got burned a couple of times on video games, man. It's like, it seems like the guys that get the best prices are in video games. It's like what you just described, where you find these like really good coupons or these really good temporary deals.

And they seem to be able to beat even getting them at a wholesale price or something like that. It's one of those niches where I was kind of surprised where like the arbitrage people just, they can kind of beat you, man.

Dropping Prices for Faster Turnover

Mendy: (09:23)

Well, man, it was a common thing, you know. I remember. And I'm sure it still goes on where people are always commenting in, you know, some of the newer groups. “I don't understand why the guy’s selling so cheap, how can he make money?”. You know, he can raise his price and we can all make more money. And it's like, you don’t know what that guy’s got.

He could have bought that thing you're trying to sell for $100 because you paid $70 or $60.

I once bought 700 vacuums from a retailer. When they were selling at about $200, I'd sell two or three a week. I dropped the price to about a hundred and sold out within two months. 

He may have gotten it for $20 and he may have a hundred of them that he just wants to sell in three days instead of sitting on them for six months. And he's selling at $60. And I had that ad out when I once bought out 700 vacuums from a retailer when they were selling for about $200 I'd sell two or three a week. I dropped the price to about a hundred and sold out within a month and a half, two months.

All my supplies. That's a great product.

Nick: (10:23)

Yeah. Cash flow is king on Amazon, man. It took me a while to learn that. I was a little start-up. You know, it was like one of my first businesses ‘kind of’ that had... I had a couple of businesses before that. But the one that I actually saw going somewhere and I got a little greedy at first. I was like, man, I wanna hold on to every penny and every dollar I can hold onto.

But man, I realized the beauty of Amazon is the volume, how many people you can reach. If you drop the price a little bit and increase sales, you end up making more money. And then where the benefit really comes in is when you start to think about cash flow in your business. Putting that money out there, getting it back as quickly as possible. Reinvesting it again.

I just, early on, I just didn't see that, you know. I hadn't had that light bulb moment yet. But it was a game-changer once I did. So are you... you were an arbitrage guy. Is that like all you were... all you did for Amazon?

The Amazon Journey

Mendy: (11:27)

So our Amazon journey took us in many different directions. We started with arbitrage. We quickly added to that, you know, stores going out of business.

Working With Liquidators

Mendy: (11:44)

We used to work with a lot of liquidators, be the ones where, you know, essentially a day, two, three days before the store shut down. We came in and took everything we wanted at a huge discount. We did the same thing when Sports Authority went out of business. We literally bought every baseball bat in the state of Florida.


Mendy: (12:12)

You know, that came down to networking because I knew a buddy from an Amazon conference who worked for a company that all they did was baseball bats. And so when this opportunity came up when Sports Authority was going out of business and everybody was looking at shoes and different stuff, I realized that bats seemed to be the area of real money.

And I picked his brains and got the information I needed. And at 20 cents on the dollar, it was a great deal. And we bought every single bat. It literally... it was fun times.

Nick: (12:47)

Yeah, that's exciting, man. And, it's still a business that so many people like they don't even know it really exists, honestly. But in the Amazon world, we get exposed to stuff like that. And I think it'll never go away. I mean, you know, Amazon can get tighter. These brands can get tighter on who they let sell their products and stuff, but you know, there's always like Facebook Marketplace or, you know.

There are all these different ways you could sell products. Yeah. I don't think arbitrage will ever go away. It's such a good entry point for so many people you know, who don't have a lot of cash or are new to the business. I'm really grateful for it. You know, it really got my foot into the Amazon world.

Mendy: (13:36)

It's a way for people to learn that there are ways to start your own business. And you don't need to be dependent on a paycheck.

Nick: (13:43)

Yeah. You know, what else It really taught me, Mendy, was like the operational stuff that goes along with a business, right? Like, you know, in Amazon, a lot of people think about sourcing products. “I gotta find more products. I gotta find more products.” But once you start selling, and you've gotten... you've mastered finding products, now you gotta look at all this other stuff like accounting and bookkeeping.

And, you know, management and, and all this other stuff. And that's, that's where I was really grateful for Amazon too. It was like a... it was like my crash course in business, you know.  Like I got to figure all that stuff out the hard way, of course. By making just so many mistakes and then trying to figure it all out. What was that like for you? Like all those other aspects of running the business?

Learning Bookkeeping in Amazon

Mendy: (14:35)

No, it's funny you say that because, I mean, I did have management experience going into it. But Amazon is probably one of the most... Amazon's business is one of the most difficult when it comes to bookkeeping, okay? You know, it's not like you are a restaurant that has a hundred items on the menu, or you're a, you know, an accountant who pretty much has a couple of different billing items that he has in his books.

It is very complex and try figuring out, you know, comparing the inventory when you close your books to do what Amazon fulfillment tells you. You know, a pre-order that hasn’t been billed yet. It is a complex business to manage. And I will say anybody who runs an Amazon business, will set you up to run any kind of business. My bookkeeping is a breeze with Amazon.

Nick: (15:31)

That's good, man. That's good that you had that management experience. And you know, you took the time to really figure out the bookkeeping. That was the hardest one for me. I've always kinda shied away from numbers. But you know, Amazon forced me to learn that stuff  And it's just... it's such a good feeling when you've struggled with something for so long and you finally overcome it.

And you feel like you know what you're doing. That was definitely my journey with numbers. I mean, I suffered through school, you know, with math class and geometry and algebra. Like I just, I was slow in that side of things.And, Amazon really forced me to stop making that excuse, right? Like the honest things, I just never took the time to really learn it.

Once I said, “Hey, I gotta figure this out.” I took the time now I've got it dialed in. And it's just such a good feeling.

Knowing the Numbers in Business

Mendy: (16:28)

And that is one of the most important things in any business—knowing the numbers. Are you really profitable? Are you doing, are you doing a million in sales, but only walking home, you know, with $10,000? Or are you losing money or are you making nice progress? But it's so important to understand where you're making money, and where you're losing money.

One of the most important things in any business is knowing the numbers. Are you really profitable? Are you doing a million in sales, but only walking home with $10,000?

Nick: (16:51)

So, yeah, I love talking about reselling with guys, cuz I just love the hustle. Like, you know, I remember like renting U-Hauls and like traveling up and down the city. Like up and down the coast, hitting different stores, just like, you know, walking into a retail store and just being like, “Hey, how many of those do you guys have back there?”. Oh, 150. Okay.

I'll buy all of them, you know. And just like their face, like they just light up like what, who is this guy? This guy's crazy, man. And you know, you're walking out with dollies and you know, just pallets of inventory. Was that what it was like for you guys?

The Fun of the Find

Mendy: (17:35)

Literally, this weekend, somebody asked me if I missed the Amazon business. And my wife was my partner in the business. And we said, what we missed was the fun of the find, okay?

Divide and Conquer

Mendy: (17:48)

I mean, we built relationships, you know, when Black Friday came around, we literally... two weeks before I would provide every store manager in my area with my list of what I wanted and they would hold it back for me. On Black Friday, I would pull up to the loading dock with my truck. We would walk to the front, swipe my credit card, and load the truck.

My wife would do Walmart. The store manager literally closed down a lane, so she could put all of her carts in the store until she was ready to check out. We would go to Marshalls and I would go to the stockroom before they come out, you know. It was building those relationships and the hustle and you know, finding those deals. It was a treasure hunt.

Incorporating Family Time

Mendy: (18:49)

Back then, I had a great road trip one time with my wife and kids. We drove to New York and then we were gonna drive back, but there was a $ 30 ticket back.

Building relationships, the hustle, and finding those deals made everything seem like a treasure hunt.

So my wife and kids flew home and I spent a week driving home to stop in on stores on the way and just loaded up on products. So it was, it was a lot of fun. It was what you were gonna discover.

Nick: (19:15)

Yeah. It's exciting, man. And like when you get into the building relationships part. Which really takes that business to the next level like if you're kind of a social person. it's fun, man. Like you're driving up and down the course. you're talking to these people, you're building these relationships. You're spending that money knowing you're gonna make it.

It is an exciting journey and I like being able to throw travel in the mix with that, you know when you're that type of person it just fits man. It's a really good time.

Moving to Wholesale

Mendy: (19:52)

I was just going to say we did that. That's definitely how we got our game going on. We did move on from there, you know, where we moved to wholesale, which was a whole different ball game.

Nick: (20:02)

Yeah. I didn't like... man wholesale is... it's tough, man. It's tough to get your foot in the door. Margins can be slim. Negotiation is mandatory. It's a tough business. How, how did that turn out for you guys?

Mendy: (20:22)

So it was very valuable in the beginning. You know, sometimes it, you know, some things are not going to thrive.

​​Starting With Bionik Shoes

Mendy: (20:32)

We started off with shoes. I went to a shoe convention in New York City. And the funny thing was I landed an account with what I didn't know was one of the largest shoe companies out here, a company called Bionik. I had never heard of them, but they had these flip flops that were selling for, you know, 65 to 120 bucks on Amazon. And they agreed to give me an account at the time.

And it ended up being that after I started, I realized who they were and researched for. When I would go try to get on the shoe vendors, the first question anybody asks me is, “Well, who would you be doing business with?”. I've casually mentioned, “Oh yeah, this company, Bionik.” “Oh, Bionik's selling to you, we'll sell to you. You know, and we actually move from there.

Selling Lingerie

Mendy: (21:29)

We added lingerie because my wife would shop for lingerie for herself and buy brands from Europe that provided proper fitting. And she realized that you know, she had to drive two hours each way to the closest store that sold the product. But she also realized that if they're selling this bra for $150 and you're paying, you know, based on the way wholesale works in the clothing industry, you're making up to...

You're making a 55% margin. There's money to be made. And the same thing, we ended up landing, not realizing that it was one of the top brands out there. That's the first man we approached. My wife was buying stuff. We got an account, and from there, it was the same thing. You know, you just mentioned that company name and you were golden with everybody else. 

Nick: (22:17)

Nice. Yeah, that's exciting, man. Did you guys keep the arbitrage stuff going, or did you focus more on the wholesale or did you keep doing both?

The Rumors

Mendy: (22:29)

So initially we were doing both. At a certain point, there was a lot of talk going on about arbitrage being dangerous for risking your account. And there were people losing their accounts. And what we were hearing from contacts inside Amazon was that Amazon was planning to pull the plug completely on it. Which didn't end up being true, at least at that time. I think it's still a viable thing.

But at a certain point, we just said, you know, we have to focus on the wholesale and let arbitrage go.

Nick: (23:02)

Yeah. That makes sense, man. I remember it seems like that messaging kind of always comes and goes these days with arbitrage. And it does kind of seem scary because, you know, inside... at least how I felt. I always kind of felt like it wasn't my business, like the small piece of me, you know what I mean? Like you're just depending so much on these other stores and these other brands and these promotions and coupons.

And like they could just be taken away like that. And there was really nothing I could do about it. That kinda always made that news even scarier because I already kind of felt like I was on thin ice anyway.

Mendy: (23:47)

Well, and I hate to be the naysayer right here, but I think every Amazon seller lives with that fear that Amazon can just put you outta business overnight, right?

Nick: (23:58)

Yeah. It is tough, man. I know. Did you guys end up selling your business or did you guys just get out of the business?

A Time to Say Goodbye

Mendy: (24:05)

We had to get out of the business. So we built up a nice size business. We focus, like I said, on shoes and lingerie. And overnight Amazon made some changes where we went from doing... their algorithm and how they wanted the buy box. And literally overnight we went from doing $150,000 a month in sales to doing $50,000 a month in sales.

And that can be when you're carrying the stock in that type of inventory you need in our industry, that can be a little bit of a debt level. So I mean, look. And of course, you know, there's always that. So it's interesting because the lessons I learned... with an Amazon business there are lessons that you just take into any business you're with.

But you always have a certain sense of, well tomorrow it'll go back, right? And you know, that was probably part of our issues. We didn't pivot quickly enough. Recognize that it wasn't coming back and we didn’t make changes quicker than we did. But at a certain point, it was just like, here we are with all this inventory, that's really not moving fast.

And the Amazon loan and you know, the credit cards. At a certain point, that was time to say goodbye to Amazon.

Nick: (25:33)

Yeah. And how long ago was that?

Mendy: (25:38)

So about three years ago.

Nick: (25:41)

Yeah. So how come like... did you guys ever consider a private label, having your own brand?

Mendy: (25:48)

So in hindsight, we should have done a private label. There was a bit of a fear of that unknown over there. In that as much as we kept digging, it's like, well we have over here a known thing that's making us money. Like, why are we going into something else? That being said, you know, it seems to me from what I see out is that private labels, probably the only way to really be doing it long term.

Nick: (26:17)

Yeah. That is what it seems like. So you know, what did you guys end up pivoting toward? Like what are you doing now?

The Pivot to Panther Public Adjusting

Mendy: (26:27)

So I don't know if you're familiar with public adjusters. Also known as public insurance adjusters. So essentially what I do is help property owners and homeowners when they have any kind of damage, I help them get paid properly by their insurance company, which can be a significant difference, you know.

Just to give you a quick idea, you know, we helped a customer who was paid $518 after a hurricane hit her home by an insurance company. Once we got involved, we got her $175,000.

Nick: (27:02)

Wow. What was the first number? Can you say that again? I didn't hear the first number. That sounded like a big difference.

Mendy: (27:10)

$518 to $175,000.

Nick: (27:14)

Yeah. So it is a big difference.

Mendy: (27:16)

Yes. So I mean, it's... we come out and we handle the entire client, from agency documents to get right and proper estimates. And you know, part of the reason for that big gap is, well, first of all, the insurance company simply, you know, adjustment means a lot. But the thing is, you know, there's a difference between repair and replacement, okay?

So, let's say you have a brick house and a tree falls and breaks, two bricks on the house. Realistically you can go to Home Depot, and buy two bricks, and some mortar for under a hundred bucks, you fixed your house, right? But those bricks, if they were not fired in the same batch, will always look different. A hundred years later, somebody can drive by and say those two bricks over there are the ones that were replaced, okay?

Therefore what insurance really owes is to replace every brick on the house, as crazy as that sounds. So instead of $100 of damage, it's $40,000 of damage. So, and that goes throughout the house. Whatever there is, you know, you can have one piece of damaged flooring now it's throughout the house.

Nick: (28:28)

Nice. So do you find yourself working with businesses often in that, like B2B, or is it mostly like directly with homeowners?

Mendy: (28:38)

So, most of my clients are homeowners. We do a little bit of commercial. Definitely something I hope to grow… that commercial side of things, but it's really anybody who owns any kind OF property we can help.

Nick: (28:52)

Okay. Nice. And so has that been, you've been doing that for like three years now, two years, or?

Mendy: (28:59)

Yeah, almost three years.

I started working for another company and learned the business. When I felt I could do a better job for my clients using my own strategies, I started my own company two years ago.

You know, I started working for another company and learned the business. And at the point that I felt I could do a better job for my clients using my own strategies rather than the way that the company was doing it. I went out with my own company two years ago. Exactly.

Nick: (29:19)

Nice. That's exciting, man. Well, congrats on that. It's always nice to start something new and see it work out like that.

Mendy: (29:28)

Yeah. I mean, it's definitely, you know... the way to do it is by having your own business where you can do things the way you feel it's going to be best. And you know, there's nothing greater than helping people. So something about my business is that it's really life-changing for people. So I get to call these people who literally... I had a homeowner a couple of years ago who was literally living in a house full of mold a year after the hurricanes.

Carpets pulled out full of mold because her insurance company, again, paid her under a thousand. And there was no better feeling than calling her up and saying, “Hey, we got you $68,000 to rebuild. The nightmare is over, ok. I founded my company with the mission statement, 

Don't worry about making money, worry about taking care of customers and money will come.

Nick: (30:22)

I like it. It does work out that way when you focus on just helping and providing value. So, you haven't been on Amazon for a couple of years. And I know what it's like... you know, arbitrage is no small business, man. I mean, I've done seven figures with just arbitrage. I know you've done over seven figures with just arbitrage. So many people are reselling.

So many people think of it as just like a side hustle. But you can really turn it into another business, a full-fledged business. And you know, now you're a part of the MDS community. Can you talk a little bit about how you feel about the community? Like why did you decide to keep being a member after letting go of Amazon?

Mendy: (31:11)

So, I have to say it. It's still my favorite group on Facebook. I've been with MDS almost since the beginning. I remember having to show the screenshots next to, I don't remember, like maybe my hand or my face.

Nick: (31:29)

Yeah. The peace sign. Right?

Mendy: (31:32)

It was. And you had to show that you were doing a million dollars in sales so that you could get in. But you know, and it is funny. I would say, you know, obviously I can't say too much about it, but one of the best things I remember doing in MDS was RebateKey.

Were you on RebateKey, Nick?

Nick: (31:52)

I was not. I missed the boat on that one, man.

Mendy: (32:39)

Okay. By being on there, even though I'm in a different business now, we're all business people. And so a lot of strategies are going to affect them. When, I mean there's a conversation, I believe, going on right now about health insurance for your business. Whether you get your employees health insurance. You don't need to be an Amazon seller for that to be an important thing for you.

It just boils down to something I remember hearing years ago. ‘Build a network with people you surround yourself with’. Say you want to surround yourself with smart people, successful people, and people who are doing well, then you're going to learn from them. And you know, it was amazing to see this. Was it last week or this week when somebody posted that he was leaving MDS because his business was down?

And the entire community came together and said to him, “Hey, we're here to help you, we're a community. You know, it's okay. You know, everyone has their ups and downs.” And that's really... MDS is more than just a Facebook group. It's a community.

Nick: (33:44)

Yeah, absolutely man. We love to hear you say that. We just had a quarterly EOS meeting and like so many... like, really drilling down the value and the mission and the focus. And it's just so focused on community, man. And, having this place where people can share their wins, but also be vulnerable and share their losses, and know that they have people there that aren't gonna judge them.

They're gonna help them. And the community is so amazing because everyone's natural reaction seems to be, “Hey, I want to help you.” You know? And, it's those... those are the types of people you're surrounded by when you're in the MDS community. Their natural reaction is to help, not judge. They wanna be supportive, but they also wanna be there to share the wins and celebrate with you at the same time.

And there's not a lot of places out there like that, man. There's really not. Well, we're stoked that you decided, you know, to remain part of the group and it's great to have you in there. If anybody is listening... like maybe they're interested in your new business venture, where can they contact you if they're looking for a service like that?

Mendy: (35:02)

So I actually have a very easy phone number 833Panther, spelled PANTHER.

Nick: (35:09)

Nice, 833Panther. That is nice and easy. I like it.

Mendy: (35:14)

So I'm always available on Facebook. I'm in the group. I'm always happy. You know, I'm a big believer that this is also what MDS represents. You know, in every industry, you have a lot of people who feel like they have some secret sauce that makes them different from everybody else. And they won't share it with anybody else and they don't even wanna talk to anybody else in the same line of work.

And, you know, my belief has always been that by networking with people who are in the same industry…yeah, we're competitors, but we can still help each other out because if I teach you something and you teach me something in return, we're both doing better, you know. And I will say I've always enjoyed helping other people without there being something in it for me.

But at the end of the day, I used to have a... I actually put on the first virtual conference for Amazon sellers years ago called the MDI conference.

People in my industry might be competitors, but we can still help each other out. If I teach you something and you teach me something in return, we're both doing better, you know.

I also used to do a weekly coaching hour. And at the end of the day, while I was doing that to help people, I can't tell you how much money I made from people who I'd helped. They came back and said, “Hey, I just wanna let you know, go out and buy this thing over here. Or, “Hey, do you wanna partner up with me on this, etcetera.”

Yes. But you know, whether it's Amazon selling, whether it's being a public adjuster, I've always believed in sharing my knowledge with other people. To help other people.

Nick: (36:40)

Man. Yeah, that's great. And I just got, like kind of, goosebumps, cuz I remember that feeling of me finding a good deal and being like, oh my God, I gotta share this with so and so. Like I gotta tell them, you’ve got to get in on this cuz like, you know, it's such a good deal. And who knows? I don't know. I probably didn't have enough money to buy everything, right, that's available.

Like there's just so much opportunity out there. When you come in with that mindset and you know, you're in this business, there's just... there's enough to go around man. And, then it comes back to you just like you said. You know, you get a random Facebook message or a text with an ASIN, and you already know the deal. You're like, oh yeah, I just need to go find…

This is what's up, man.

Mendy: (37:25)

Wait, were you doing arbitrage back in the days of Pieface?

Nick: (37:30)

Yes, I was. Yes, Pieface was huge, man. That one was crazy, man. Those board games and that seasonal stuff can get crazy. It still blows my mind. It's still mind-blowing that it's still growing and getting even bigger on Amazon.

Mendy: (37:51)

Yeah. It's insane.

Nick: (37:53)

Well, Mendy, it's been great chatting with you, man. Thank you for coming on. I'm glad we finally got some time to talk. Do you have any advice you can give, like any entrepreneur? Any entrepreneurial advice that you can give? Someone that's on the top of your mind right now?

Mendy: (38:13)

So I was like, there you go, ask me a question, I'm prepared for anything and now you ask… I mean, there's a lot of great advice. Actually, I just had to look up and that's all I needed. I'm gonna share my two favorite expressions. Okay. The first one is I'm a big believer in luck. I find the harder I work, the luckier I get. Let's face it. You get lucky once in a blue moon, but you can be consistently lucky if you put in the work.

My other favorite expression is ‘Don't ever let somebody tell you “No” who does not have the power to say “. Okay?

Nick: (38:53)

Wow. I like that one. That's a good one, man. 

Mendy: (38:56)

I will tell you, I had a win two weeks ago where I increased the amount we got the insurance company to pay. They were on the table offering another $20,000 and I was looking to get another $30,000. And I realized one simple thing, that this person I was dealing with wasn't the one who could make the decision or not. I wrote back a simple one-line email.

I said, “Did you ask you... did you present my offer to your manager?” I got an email back 10 minutes later. We accept.

Nick: (39:33)

That is so great... I've never heard that one. And like that's kind of blowing my mind because that kind of changes the game when you're negotiating. Like if you're not talking to someone who can give you the answer you want to hear anyway, like move on. Like, let... gimme the next person.

Mendy: (39:49)

Yeah. And when I used to go to trade shows, looking for new companies to buy their product, that was one of the first things that was in my mind. When I came to a booth, I would immediately gauge the person. Is this person really a decision-maker? This company may have a policy that they don't sell to Amazon sellers. But is this person a decision-maker?

If that’s not a decision-maker, I'm wasting my time talking to them. But, if they're the decision maker, I can tell them who I am rather than another Amazon seller out there. In fact, there was a company that I went by... the first time I went by their booth, the person was not a decision-maker. By the next trade show when I walked by, the person I gauged was the decision maker.

I talked to the guy and he was the owner of the company. And we ended up doing a tremendous amount, the business.

Nick: (40:43)

So awesome, man. That's great advice. Yeah. I, I, I like it, man. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Mendy: (40:48)

Absolutely, it was a pleasure being here today.

Nick: (40:53)

Yeah, man. Thanks for making time for us. I really appreciate it. And I look forward to chatting more with you in the group.

Mendy: (40:59)

Absolutely. Have a great day

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