Tactical Arbitrage with Alex Moss
In Episode 32, we interview Alex Moss creator of Tactical Arbitrage. Tactical Arbitrage is a revolutionary automated sourcing software that will scan retailer listings to automatically find you profitable deals to resell on Amazon.
Tactical Arbitrage now comes with an advanced custom store scan feature that allows you to add any store you want to scan.
Alex has kindly given you a 10-day trial to try out this software. Simply use the code “TACTICAL10” at checkout to trial his software. Please note that the 14-day trial has been reduced to a 10-day trial. Get your Tactical Arbitrage trial here.
David: Hi guys. This is episode 33, bringing it to you after a short little break where I've decided to change the format of the podcast to once a month instead of weekly. Really excited to bring to you this episode with Alex Moss of Tactical Arbitrage, automated sourcing software. It's incredible, and to make matters even better, Alex has even given you guys a free bonus trial period, extension of seven days, bringing it to 14 days for you to trial if you use the code HACKER14. Hope you enjoy.
Announcer: Discover the key components of business success as we hack the minds of successful entrepreneurs. Welcome to the Business Hacker Podcast. Here's your host, David De Souza.
David: Today I'm here with Alex Moss, owner of Tactical Arbitrage. And today we're going to explore the topic of automated product sourcing for your Amazon arbitrage business. Welcome Alex.
Alex Moss: G'day David, how you going, mate?
David: Yeah, good. Thanks mate. It's really good to have an Aussie on the show. So let's kick it off. Why don't you share a little bit about yourself and the success you've had as an entrepreneur and e-commerce seller?
Alex Moss: That's a pretty big question. I wouldn't say that I was always successful as an entrepreneur. I've certainly had my fingers in a lot of pies and I never stopped hustling for one of a better term. And one project led to another. And traditionally I come from a video production background, it's essentially producing content for television stations and corporate entities and that kind of thing. And at some point I started to get heavily into the sales side of life and then combining the production side of things with the online sales kind of things. It sort of just evolved into creating a tool to allow online selling to happen in a more fluid manner. And so my producing background kind of came into play at that point and putting all of the pieces into play and into position to create a chess board, which ultimately became Tactical Arbitrage
David: Yeah. Right. And so now I understand you've created this amazing piece of software. I mean, just before we get there, curious though, this is one of my favorite parts about interviewing entrepreneurs. Do you for example have a coding background or how did that come about creating Tactical Arbitrage?
Alex Moss: No, I've got a production background. So there's a pretty good book about The Seven Secrets of Successful People, and I sort of read that as a young guy, and one of the main points from that was along the lines of surround yourself with people who are smarter than you in certain areas. And so I'm quite adept at putting the right people in the right positions with the big plan in mind. So I tend to sort of know what I hope to achieve and I know exactly where I want the end goal to be and how I want things to function. But if you asked me to write a piece of PHP code to make the software do something that it doesn't currently do, I'd certainly have to draw on some advice from the circle of experts that I've surrounded myself with.
David: I think that's really cool. I mean, I've actually looked at doing similar things myself and even for the people who are looking at this or listening to this podcast just for Amazon advice, it's pretty cool to see that you've gone out and created this empire with Tactical Arbitrage and helped so many people, but I suppose that could be a podcast in itself.
Alex Moss: It's been a journey that's for sure. Every day is just a huge chaotic juggle. We've got a newborn in the house at the moment. And this little adorable one month old girl and she's quite demanding of my attention. So I'm ping ponging around the house, making sure that I spend those quality half hours or hours, just spending time with that little one and then I walk into the next room and it's just this maelstrom of email answering and giving instructions to my developers or working the front of house, which I guess is the Facebook group and having to work with the Facebook group, which is growing quite large now and having to manage content in there.
Alex Moss: And then there's multiple other arms, some that I don't have people in place for that I wear the hats, a bit of a background in marketing. And so I tend to wear a lot of the marketing hats as well. And yeah, it's this big juggling world at the moment. And to top it all off, we decided to get renovations done upstairs at the same time. So it's chaos, but every single day I like to know that I've ended up a couple of steps further along than I was the day before, and one way or another we tend to make progress that way.
David: That's also that I wanted to get your time, because I'm sure you probably also don't have much sleep with a newborn as well.
Alex Moss: No, it's all good. It's not my first rodeo, so I'm okay with it. And this will be our last one too. So a couple of sleepless nights isn't going to hurt. People say that newborns are hard work, but it's really when they get to the toddler phase that it becomes absolutely crazy.
David: Okay. I'll keep that-
Alex Moss: A lot of people out there will relate to that.
David: Yeah. I haven't started my own family, so I'll keep that in mind. Let's kick it off. So I mean, tell us a bit more about what is automated sourcing software and how does it work?
Alex Moss: Okay, so essentially when I started selling on Amazon FBA, it's not the first place that I started to sell online, but it's certainly where I could see the largest potential for profit, and so I was very interested in expanding into this space. And when I started selling in the Amazon space, I realized that there was no good method of finding products that you wanted to sell on Amazon. And the concept behind sourcing in an automated manner is to take that manual process out of it. The original method was really this, you'd have to go to a website, for example, let's use Argos as an example. You'd go to Argos and you would start searching through their current sale items or clearance items and you'd be cutting and pasting those titles. You'd take the titles across to Amazon, you paste that information in there and then you'd have a look at the two products and the two results to see A, if there was any profitability in this and B, if the items matched. And there had to be an exact match.
Alex Moss: You couldn't exactly sell something which was the wrong size. Like you couldn't sell a 200 gram item that was actually a 500 gram item on Amazon or different packaging for instance. So the match had to be perfect and there had to be profit. So all of this appraisal had to be done inside your own head before making the decision to purchase this product and then sell it on Amazon. Now, that's a lot of moving parts. And that is just for one decision. And you could be sitting there. And I was, I was sitting there all day long analyzing one clearance section on one website and I'd contact my friends who had got me into Fulfillment by Amazon and I'd said to them, “Okay, so what tools are out there to speed this process up?” And they'd go, “Well, no you don't. There's not really any sort of … you've got to just kind of know where the good sales are and where the good clearance items are, know where to look.”
Alex Moss: And I said, “Well, it seems like there's a gaping hole in this market that needs to be filled because this is painstaking. This is mind numbing to go through this. There is so many other things I could be doing with my day than sitting here cutting and pasting titles all day long.” So I wanted to automate it. So I began by creating this software for myself and it was purely for myself and for my own profit reasons, for selfish reasons, I guess. And as it evolved and it became more robust and more functional, and it was starting to actually look at entire categories and return me profitable items in seconds instead of hours, I started to realize that it might not just be me who would benefit from this software.
Alex Moss: So I know I digressed a little bit there, but at the end of the day you sort of said, what is automated product sourcing? And the answer to that is, it's a software tool that goes out and examines vast quantities of products, compares them to Amazon in as accurate as a manner as possible and tries to make that match, does all of the calculations for you and spits out a list of the potentially profitable items that you may want to then further analyze and then possibly buy and add to your Fulfillment by Amazon account. So that's kind of how the entire automated software system works in a very basic level because over time it got a lot more advanced.
David: Okay. And so just to clarify now, when you are doing this, because I know down the line when people will listen to this, they'll think that you probably just did this in Australia when Amazon Australia is open. But I mean, I guess for people like international listeners and that sort of thing, were you doing this on the US Amazon, UK Amazon or how did you do this?
Alex Moss: So I sold originally on the United States platform. Amazon Australia is not officially launched yet. They have actually as of now sent me all the registration details because they're looking to disrupt Australia in a pretty big way. So I've been given all of the registration. I now have a Seller Central account in Australia, but the products are not live yet on Amazon. So that's very exciting for Australia. And in the next possible six weeks, hopefully for the Christmas run, we're going to start to see Amazon Australia evolve.
Alex Moss: But my original sojourn into this was a few years ago on Amazon USA and I realized that there was some stumbling blocks doing it from Australia. My credit card company decided that every time I made a purchase in the United States that therefore I must be having my card stolen. So I had to continually chase after those guys and say, “No, no, no, come on guys. I've told you this a hundred times. My card is not stolen, I'm doing Fulfillment by Amazon.” And there were little hurdles like that and we had to use a prepping and shipping house in the States, but there is certainly a path to do that. And actually I'd recommend anybody who's in the United Kingdom who feels like it's impossible to work in that USA space have a think about it because there certainly is a path there using FBA prep and ship houses and just managing a system that you can do it. And from there of course I did branch into the United Kingdom. I set up my VAT with, is it the HMRC or the HRMC? I can never get that right.
David: HMRC, you got it.
Alex Moss: They made me jump through a bunch of hoops and submit a quarterly report. But at the end of the day, it wasn't necessarily that difficult to establish and operate accountant in the UK and certainly there was less saturation than America and definitely profit to be had there too.
Alex Moss: So I've sold in both platforms and I've got colleagues now that sell all over the world and I'm certainly looking to branch into Australia. I actually sell a lot less these days. And one of the reasons I sell a lot less, and I should be honest and say that when Australia comes, I feel like it's my home turf. I can play in my home turf, but as the software kind of got released a lot more heavily, and I'm aware that people feel like I have access to people's accounts and people's data and that kind of thing. And I've got very strict confidentiality rules. I never look in a person's account, for instance, unless it's a bug report or somebody needs me to check why something isn't functioning properly in their account, that kind of reason.
Alex Moss: So I kind of eased off my selling in the United States and the UK, so nobody could ever turn around and say, hey, Alex might be pinching our products or whatever. You know what I mean? So it's like if I've got access to all this data, then it's probably better if I just do my thing and make the software really good. And I've got to say, it's very time consuming too to make this software good. For me to sell in Australia, I'm going to have to employ staff because I certainly don't have the time to sit there managing this as much as I once upon a time did.
David: Well. I guess you're right. That's just a whole another business you're really going to have to run and I mean, that takes up time as well. I guess there is a few different alternatives in the market from Tactical Arbitrage such as FBA Wizard and OAXray to name a few. What tends to be the difference between the softwares and why would you recommend someone use Tactical Arbitrage as opposed to one of the other softwares?
Alex Moss: So my knee jerk reaction to whenever anyone asks me that question and I've got to say, I do get asked that question a bit. I kind of try and maintain a respect for the other people in the space. I mean, some of them came after me. OAXray for example, they released when I was about two thirds of the way through the creation of Tactical Arbitrage and I must admit that day I wrote to my developers and I went, “We took too long. This is terrible somebody else has released a similar tool.” And I regrouped and I said, “Well look, theirs is a Chrome extension. Mine is already well and truly a web platform. It kind of is two different things even though there's a similar sort of an output.” But nevertheless, I try and tell people most of these softwares have got a free trial, like a seven day trial and you can usually go in there. And why don't you run the exact same scan in each of these accounts and kind of see what results you get and whether you like or have a nice feel for the platform and whether that platform is for you.
Alex Moss: Ultimately, I'm not starved for customers, and I don't need to do the hard sell, so I want the members to be satisfied that the platform that they're using is best suited to their flow and what works for them. Some people prefer to use a Chrome extension and do that clicking on each page. I personally I'm going to be biased and say that I enjoy using my web platform mostly because I created it with myself in mind and it just so happens that people also enjoy using it. I don't really get into the myriad of other softwares that are out there and their whistles and bells. All I know is that I keep my head down, and my bum up and I just keep on adding features and I keep on listening to my members and what they want me to add to Tactical Arbitrage to make it better. And somewhere along the way people are happy with that.
Alex Moss: So the answer to your question is, I would recommend you go and play with the trials and see what works for you. I certainly have a trial there and I'm more than welcome you to come and expend every hour of the seven day trial. In fact, what I might do, David, is for your podcast listeners, I might organize for you say a 14 day trial, which we can discuss before we wrap this up, and I'll get you a code by the end of this podcast that you can give members a 14 day trial. That way if they're wanting to compare between different softwares, they can have a solid couple of weeks with mine just to see whether or not it's there kind of thing. If it's something that they enjoy using. But I'm here, I'm on Facebook all the time, and if you start using it and you go, well, hang on a minute, I'd really like you to include some more VAT calculations or did you call it VAT or VAT?
David: I call it VAT, but I think the UK people call it VAT to be honest. So call it what you like.
Alex Moss: All right. Okay, cool. I mean, it is on my job list, for example, to include more VAT style calculations in there, a more robust features so that there's actually a column which does all of the calculations and spits out what your actual profit will be after the 20% is taken on both ends. So that is on the cards and let's say you start using it and you think you'd really like me to push that up the ladder a little bit. I'm really accessible. People message me every single day and I try and get to every single person. So there's no big closed door policy here for the most part. If you've got a question or a request, you can always reach out to me. But yeah, I can definitely get your podcast listeners a 14 day trial. In fact, I'll come up with the code right now. Why don't we do HACKER14. We can talk about that at the end, but just remember that code, HACKER14.
Alex Moss: I'll integrate that into my system so that if any of your podcasts listeners sign up and use the code HACKER14 that they'll get a 14 day trial instead of a regular seven day trial.
David: Mate, that's perfect and thank you very much. I'm sure that'll benefit my listeners and I think that's actually a really great piece of advice; test each of the softwares and see what results they get and what works for you. I mean, it's pretty pragmatic and awesome. So I guess we've talked a little bit about Tactical Arbitrage previously but give us a main overview of the features that are, I guess, the high level features that it tends to do, the software.
Alex Moss: Originally, it was an Online Arbitrage tool exclusively. And so what that means is what we already discussed. You would go out and you would have a look at say Argos or Tesco or one of the many stores that are out there. And there's well and truly over 130 stores for the UK on there and 600 stores globally if you wanted to branch into other markets such as United States or Canada or even in the European market. Now, we've got Germany and we're just releasing a bunch of stores for Spain, Italy, France, and there's a new integration coming soon, which is going to work with the European Fulfillment network so that you can basically work out where you want to sell based on the price that you are buying it for within the part that you're in. So that's going to be cool.
Alex Moss: So what we did is we originally started with an Online Arbitrage tool, and then we started building upon that. First we made the Online Arbitrage component more robust so that there's a lot more data you can work with. We integrated with a very well known tool called Keeper. And we speak to the owner of Keeper every few days in relation to particular integrations that they use in their Chrome extension. A Keeper is a tool that works alongside Amazon to let you know a historical perspective of sales, current sales rank, average sales rank over time. We started integrating more and more features, not just with Keeper but with other APIs as well. And they all sort of came together and then there was extra columns for 30 day ranks. Then we added in library search where if you wanted to just exclusively sell books, there's an entire section in Tactical Arbitrage on selling books.
Alex Moss: Then we added in Amazon flips. If you wanted to buy from Amazon, send it to your house and then wait till Amazon price goes up and then send it back into Amazon and sell it there again, we implemented a tool which would let you know whether or not there would be profitable deals in doing that. We implemented something really cool called reverse search. What that does is you can insert a list of Amazon and the product code for Amazon ASIN so you can insert a list of ASINs or ASINs and it will actually go through and have a look at all of the stores that we have got in our software and tell you whether or not maybe Tesco is got that on sale at the moment and there is profit. So you're basically reversing it.
Alex Moss: You're actually looking at Amazon products and it'll tell you which of the stores currently have that exact same product and whether or not there's any profit. Then we also added in wholesale because we got a big bunch of pressure from the wholesale community going well, the tool is working really well, but I'm the kind of guy who just goes to my wholesaler, asks them for an Excel spreadsheet of all of their products and then I want to do something with that spreadsheet and see whether I can sell their products on Amazon.
Alex Moss: It's a really sensible model and a lot of people are doing it, and some people prefer to just do Online Arbitrage and some people prefer to do a combination of OA and wholesale and book selling. And with Tactical Arbitrage, I wanted to make it so that you could do all these things and do them in a way that was profitable. So we also implemented that you can run all of these scans simultaneously. You can actually run a product search scan, a reverse search scan, a wholesale search scan, Amazon flip and a library scan all simultaneously. That way if you've got TA running at full force, you're developing potentially five income streams at once. Now, some people even go as far again as getting virtual assistants to run certain components of TA so that the big machine is always grinding away and the juggernaut is always finding you deals and they expand their software in that way, thus expand their business in that manner.
Alex Moss: So there's a lot of ways you can use TA. It started as a little baby Online Arbitrage tool with the main stores like a Walmart and the Target and a few others, and it's now this 600 site. I guess I use the term juggernaut because sometimes it feels like that to me. I wake up and I feed the juggernaut with another feature and then the day gets away from me and I do it all again tomorrow kind of thing.
Alex Moss: It's so much more robust now and we're adding new stuff all the time. We're implementing some really cool stuff soon. There's an algorithm coming which solves the problem that every sourcing software has, and that is title searching. So title searching is never going to be as good as universal product code searching. In the UK, I don't think it's called a UPC. I think it's called an EAN. Now what that is, it's essentially the barcode on the product. Now, some of our stores, some of the domains in our system, will use the UPC or the EAN to cross check the product against Amazon. Now, you compare a 13 digit number against a 13 digit number and if those two numbers match, then you know you've got a matching product.
Alex Moss: So it's really cool when we get a store which has got the EAN. We can use that to make sure we get very accurate matches over at Amazon. Now, the remainder of the stores use what's called title matching. Now, sometimes a title at a store is really solid. It's a long title phrase like it might be Nike, Air Jordan, such and such style, this size, red, et cetera. There'll be so much information in the title that it's still a perfect match when it compares to Amazon.
Alex Moss: Now, other times though, you'll get really terrible titles at the source site, which might be like dog bowl. Now, when it goes to look at dog bowl on Amazon it's not going to find the correct item. So we've developed many different systems over time to minimize and mitigate those mismatch items for those titles because they drive me personally crazy. First of all, we did a UPC only setting where you could basically just only show items with an EAN. That doesn't really solve the problem though. That just means you're going to get good results and only see good results when you scan sites that have EAN. So with the title searches, we then implemented a system where users could submit when something was a mismatch and or fix that mismatch. So that would go through and diligently put the correct item into the system and that would change the item to be an accurate item throughout the entire network.
Alex Moss: So this is really cool, right? So we're suddenly started to get lots and lots and lots of accurate items that were once inaccurate all through the system, and that's been really effective. But since then I've come up with a new algorithm and we've spent 11 months on this so far. We came up with this mid last year and I've been working on it with a team of developers since late last year and the algorithm is going to be a complete rewrite of the title matching. And when it's released, I'll tell you what the special secret sauce is, but there's a special secret sauce that goes into this as well that is going to be indisputably changing the accuracy of title matches as they currently exist in the space.
Alex Moss: So I'm excited about that because we're at the 90 something percent. My guys are totally confident that it's ready. I've seen all the tests, I'm blown away. What would once be a bad match, that dog bowl, for instance, that I talked about earlier, that dog bowl will probably now match. So I can't really say much more about it, but that's one of the key features that's coming that I'm super excited about.
Alex Moss: And at the end of the day. I know that I've talked about that feature a little bit much, but it's all about accuracy and speed. So speed, we've well and truly sourced out. We've got speed going really nicely. We've got a nice integrated caching feature where we actually run on the backs of people's scans before you, and we can cache and we can get data really quickly if somebody else has scanned that recently. And it only reverts to a slightly slower scan when nobody has searched that before you. So speed is cracking along right now. But accuracy, I've always wanted to improve that and so I'm really stoked that the very next thing that's coming is an accuracy improvement because I feel like that when those two worlds collide, the speed and the accuracy, it's going to be a really exciting playing field.
Alex Moss: I didn't have a good estimated sales algorithm in there prior to now, and I didn't want to release something which was just a basic mathematics equation that didn't rarely hit the accurate numbers. So we've been also creating in a side project, a very, very robust estimated sales feature for both the United States and the United Kingdom so that about the same time as the new accuracy algorithm comes into play, the estimated sales column will enter the software as well. So you'll be able to see whether or not that item you're considering selling one time a month or sells 100 times a month and that's going to make a huge difference as to whether or not you're purchasing is whether you buy wide or whether you buy deep is the expression. So a lot of newbies by wide as a blanket rule anyway so that they don't get caught with excess stock. And then when the capital increases, people like to buy a little deeper and get multiples of each product.
Alex Moss: So yeah, lots of exciting stuff happening within Tactical Arbitrage. I know I digress a lot, but they're the things that I'm excited about right now. I'm just so happy with some of the current features that are coming and more and as we add new stuff, we're getting some very cool feedback. We just also integrated every category of every site into Tactical Arbitrage too, so you don't have to go to a URL, you don't have to go to argos.co.uk and then find the toys URL and then find the action figures URL, et cetera. You can now just select Argos, select toys, action figures, and hit add. Now what that'll do, is it will add that to a bulk list and you can add up to 500 rows to this list before you initiate the scan.
Alex Moss: So it's kind of like you collect all of the categories that you want using a very intuitive method of scanning, which is essentially I want to scan a toy. It's that easy. I want to scan a toy. So you select that, you add that to the list and you set your filters, hit scan, and then you might as well go upstairs and spend some time with your family because it'll scan … depending on how many rows you've put in there, Tactical Arbitrage will scan continually for up to 60 hours if you set enough rows and just find products. So I get excited about TA because it just started as an infant and I think at the point now that it's more like a teenager. It's gone through some really difficult teething years and I fought with a lot and I had to get a lot of security guys in to make sure that we couldn't get DDoS attacked by hackers and we had to make sure there was no flaws in there and that we had to make sure the servers were up to scratch and could handle a large load.
Alex Moss: And there was a lot of sleepless nights and it's been a difficult road and I feel like it's maturing now and I'm really excited about the space that we're entering into where we can start to just play with things now and we can just add a feature with no real pressure and just make it cool and not be worrying about the miniature stuff like, is that server going to explode? Because that's all sort of now, that's all locked in that's all very, very strong. And the security and all that sort of stuff, it's all very, very strong. So we can now just focus on making Tactical Arbitrage the best that it can be. And so that's kind of where I'm at with it right now. And it's an exciting time for us.
David: Yeah, it certainly sounds and honestly what I love is you can hear the passion in your voice that you're going to continue listening to customers and making it an even better and robust software, which I think ends in more profitability for the end user as well.
Alex Moss: Absolutely. And we try and educate people as well that there's certain ways you can use Tactical Arbitrage that are smarter and give you a greater edge than somebody who just comes along and they haven't bothered to watch any of the training videos and whatnot. So I want people to make money with Tactical Arbitrage. One of the reasons that I can sleep at night, and one of the reasons that I enjoy this job so much is because the monthly subscription to Tactical Arbitrage should be far exceeded by the profit that you make from using Tactical Arbitrage. So it's a net positive. And that's the plan. That's my goal. My goal is for it to be a net positive for every single user after the expense of the software that it's been a net benefit by actually using the software. So we're always saying things like don't just scan the main department store toy clearance section because logically that's going to be a common place.
Alex Moss: There is 600 stores. I mean, obviously if you're in a UK platform and so there's not 600 UK stores, but we are adding them all the time. We've added 15 UK stores this week actually, so we're adding stores all the time. So we say, all right, explore the landscape, get out there and have a look at what other sites currently have a store discount. Now, combine that store discount with say one of the many cashback sites like TopCashbacks. Now, have a look and see if you can find any discount gift cards. They're a little bit more prevalent in the United States than they are in the UK, but you certainly can find them. Combine all the pieces of the puzzle and then operate your settings correctly and you will definitely start to see results.
Alex Moss: In our Facebook group at the moment, I've pinned a webinar that we did two weeks ago, now it's two hours long and most people are going to see that and go, Oh my God, I don't have two hours. But realistically two hours is a small price to pay to start earning you a significant amount of money. And I say this to people all the time, you're trying to tell me that you're not happy with the university degree that you did, how many years did you sit there studying that? There's no harm in watching a few hours of videos here and there to just get you up to speed with the operations of the software and learn a few tricks and tips to give you a unique advantage over some of the people who just come in and just expected to all be paint by numbers and just turnkey solution.
Alex Moss: It is a kind of a turnkey solution in respect, but at the same time we're putting the fishing rod in the people's hands. We're not actually delivering all the fish. So watch a few of those videos, particularly that pinned post on our Tactical Arbitrage group. I know that this particular podcast in a few months time, it might not be pinned to the top of the group anymore, but we tend to release these newbie style webinars every few months. So one will replace another, but this one is fairly fresh at the time of this podcast. And I do recommend that people watch it because we go over the best methods to utilize Tactical Arbitrage on the most basic of searches to start bringing in … I think in the first few minutes of that webinar, I find enough profit to pay for Tactical Arbitrage a couple of times over within the first few minutes of that webinar, just a standard example on how to use TA.
Alex Moss: So yeah, I do get excited about it. And I do get a bit passionate about it because it's been a long road and we've managed to actually overcome the hurdles that we experienced along the way. And raise a baby and also raise a family and just have a bit of fun. It's not all hard work. You've got to have a bit of a laugh too, don't you?
David: 100%. That's really cool. And I mean, I guess at the end of the day you're sinking your time, your money into this. If you're delivering a bad product, people wouldn't use it and so people should really just give it a go and find out for themselves. Otherwise for all the skeptical people out there, yeah, the results obviously speak for themselves and we'll go into it a bit later, but I guess addressing some of the concerns that people may have, is there any kind of limit or cap to the amount of subscribed users?
Alex Moss: So this kind of actually I agonized with a lot, and I still do agonize with it a lot because Tactical Arbitrage is becoming more popular. Now, there's no doubt at this point that people that use tools have got an edge. I mean, ever since sourcing tools became a thing, the guys who are cutting and pasting from one site into Amazon, they started to be at a disadvantage. A lot of those guys also go to these groups, they might buy a list which is shared with 100 people for 10 products. And that kind of reality is starting to get a little bit dated. They're called BOLO groups or be on the lookout groups. And those kinds of groups are starting to get a little bit less relevant than using these more advanced tools that are just getting more and more advanced.
Alex Moss: So the issue of saturation came up to me a few times. And so I started by doing this thing where I would close the doors to Tactical Arbitrage and I would leave it shut for a couple of months, and during that time I would make sure I would add another 50 or 100 sourcing sites to Tactical Arbitrage so that there was more options for people to source from and therefore limit people all jumping into the one store to try and find the one product and then tripping over each other. So that worked for a while and that works extremely well. And to be honest, I should preface this by saying the last time I've had a person mentioned the word saturation to me was like half a year ago, a long time ago. Nobody as mentioned it in such a long time.
Alex Moss: The closing the doors has worked. But also another thing that we did is I implemented a feature that would allow any user to add any site. So let's say you've got a favorite website in the UK that you absolutely love to source from, but it's not in Tactical Arbitrage. Well, now there's a button in Tactical Arbitrage whereas long as you have either got some experience with coding or you know how to use a website like Upwork or Freelancer and can just put out an application for somebody to please add the XPath code for the website that you want to source from, you can now add your own.
Alex Moss: So when I talk about there being 600 stores that you can source from in Tactical Arbitrage, the actual realities is there's an infinite number of stores because you can sit there all day long with the developer and just say, please add this store and this store and this store and this store and all these sites you'll start to add and you'll be sourcing from those stores and you'll find that because you've taken that extra step to actually add a unique store that yourself like to source from, you're not competing with anybody. This is one that you've stuck in there yourself.
Alex Moss: I mean, there's a small chance that you've picked a really popular one that two or three other people have done the same thing, but in my experience from what I'm seeing is that these advanced user add your own sites an untapped market. We definitely have users adding sites. The more experienced users are adding sites all the time, and I'd definitely recommend if you want to 100% overcome any fear of saturation that you do that.
Alex Moss: That being said, we recently hit an absolute cap on the most amount of scans ever run on one day and it was 500 scans being run at once. Now, have a think about this. You've got product search, you've got reverse search, you've got Amazon flips, you've got wholesale, you've got library search, you've got variation scanning, you've got tactical edge, there's all these things built into Tactical Arbitrage. They all count as one scan, so this entire suite of options plus the fact that in one of the main options is actually 600 stores to choose from and in those stores, some of them have got as many as 5,000 categories like Walmart's got thousands of categories. I couldn't tell you the exact amount, but across all of those stores you've got millions of categories.
Alex Moss: As long as you're aware of that and you don't just hang around in Walmart toys clearance, you're going to not trip over people anywhere near as much as you think you are. And you know how you can see that, this is the best way for you to see that. Don't take my word for it. Run a scan and there's a column on the scan which tells you the number of other sellers currently selling this product. Quite often you'll find a really profitable item. You'll see there's three people selling that item. Those guys might be nothing to do with Tactical Arbitrage. These could be Amazon sellers who have used either another platform or they might be doing it the old manual way or they might just be wholesalers and this product is in their arsenal.
Alex Moss: So I really don't think saturation is a problem and it's really easy to see whether it's a problem or not by just going out there with, and I use the euphemism, your fishing rod because you're essentially going out there and casting your rod in the water. There's certainly ways that you can get more efficient at casting that rod by learning more about the software, but even at a basic level, just beginning to run some scans and getting to know the software. There's definitely deals to be had. And we wouldn't have retained the customers that we've retained so far. If people felt like they weren't finding any profitable items. We've got a really high retention rate.
David: Yeah, that's actually phenomenal. I had no idea that you could do the advanced user search. I mean, that's my line is really cool. So tell us a little bit more about what Amazon platforms Tactical Arbitrage works on and I believe you said, I mean, clarify if this is wrong, you're also basically adding stores in every week. Is that also right?
Alex Moss: Yeah, so we add stores as often as we can. We also add features as often as we can and sometimes I allocate the development resources towards a feature and sometimes I allocate some development resources towards adding sites. I just added in about 15 UK stores in the last couple of days because I noticed that there was some valuable stores there that were absent from TA and I wanted to make sure that they are included for the user base. We're also unlocking Spain, Italy, and France at the moment. So I've got my guys working on a bunch of Spanish stores and we've had some really good input from the Spanish community letting us know which stores they would most like to see in TA. And as soon as I feel like we broken the back on at least a dozen or two dozen of those stores, we'll move on to a similar amount of French and Italian stores.
Alex Moss: And at that point I'll tend to circle back to our two main players, which is USA and UK, which by far and above hold the highest number of stores. So currently Amazon platforms works on, as I was saying, USA, UK, Germany has been there for some time. We've got quite a lot of stores there. And Japan actually, we've added quite a few Japanese stores. And the funny reason for the Japanese tangent is that when I very first got into Fulfillment by Amazon, the friend of mine who got me into it was selling in Japan and he lives in Japan. So when TA got really quite big and quite functional and I had a spare moment, I contacted him and I said, I'm sorry for no Japan love, let me know what stores you want me to put in there. And so he gave me a huge list and we made sure that Japan was working well.
Alex Moss: And so I'm not sure how many or if it's just him using Japan, but he's got an open ocean there to play in. Because I think even though there is Japan prep and ship houses and there's no real reason that I can see why anybody can't sell in Japan and utilize that space as well, I don't feel like many are utilizing that. And he's probably enjoying the rewards of the 20 or 30 sites that I've put there for him at the moment. But we're expanding all the time. Definitely the end goal is to have every Amazon platform, not just Amazon, but we're also have begun the functionality on eBay. There is a bunch of logic that I'm putting into the eBay to make sure that it works the way people would anticipate eBay to work. And we're also putting in there, probably more so for the US contingent, the ability to sell on Walmart and Jet and a few others as well.
Alex Moss: But first of all, I want to get Amazon a comprehensive as I can and then we're going to sort of start diversifying into those other off Amazon stores. But definitely research has been done in those areas and some inroads on paper at this point.
David: Nice. I know we're moving towards the tail end of this podcast, but just I guess to sum it all up, what sort of success have users had with your product?
Alex Moss: Well, that's a good question because I don't really get into much more than anecdotal evidence at this point. I certainly can't see their accounts, but I do attend some of these conferences from time to time. I definitely hope to get over that way. I've got a lot of family in England. My mother is English. I would like to come to an FBA conference over there, a couple of guys in the space over there I've got a lot of respect for such as Matt Holly and a few of the other guys over there.
Alex Moss: And the invitation is there, but I have been attending some USA conferences such as in Las Vegas and Denver, Colorado. And I get a lot of people approaching me and telling them that they're making a lot of money. Some of these guys are making hundred thousand-ish plus. I can't even really give you sort of a set amount because it sounds to me like I thought I was doing okay making a piece of software. Some of these guys that are using my software are leaving me in the dust just by using the tool that I've created.
Alex Moss: And I know others are just starting small and they might … and I always say to people, in the first month you might just have some small successes and you might just be finding your way through the Fulfillment by Amazon platform and learning about the space and maybe just inching towards getting your system down pat. And then the second, third, fourth month, you'll start to really start seeing some decent dollars, but at the end of the day, if you can end up bringing in an extra £500 a month for starters, and then it turns into £1,000 and maybe £5,000, then it's starting to get really nice.
Alex Moss: And I believe that that is all completely possible by managing a good hustle and keeping abreast of seasonal trends. Just being aware of the functionality of the tools that you're using, not just Tactical Arbitrage, but there's a myriad of tools out there that you should learn such as the free Chrome extension Keeper. Definitely worth taking the time to learn how that functions, how to analyze the historical trends. It's just an exciting space to enter. And if you've got an analytical mind at all, if you like to sort of let your mind run and jump around and prepare prices and compare items and you definitely get faster at it.
Alex Moss: I mean, you might agonize over items in the early days, but you definitely get faster and faster at it. So success is in varying scales In answer to your question. I know some guys that are crushing it, but they've got teams of virtual assistants and they're running all the searches of TA at once. They're running on multiple countries and they operate warehouses, they do wholesale, they've got multiple suppliers and these guys are making … honestly man, these guys are making millions. But the smaller guns, the mom and dad's at home that just want to get that second stream of income or just something that they can do from home so that they can enjoy time with their kids, that's totally possible. And that's totally the reason I built TA because I was in that space. I just wanted enough to spend time with my kids and I just wanted enough to not have to go and work a J-O-B.
Alex Moss: So I've obviously evolved from that and I've been lucky. I was pretty damn running by the skin of my teeth a couple of years ago. And Tactical Arbitrage has been successful, but I've worked hard at it to get it where it is today. And success I think is, it comes down to what you're willing to put into it to a degree, but only put in what doesn't burn you out. I see a lot of these motivational speakers at the moment, and there's some really big guys out there in the space and they're all like, where were you at 5:00 in the morning when I was up doing this? And I'm thinking probably sleeping dude. Just let a person sleep.
Alex Moss: There's time. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. You don't have to run, run, run and get a heart attack to get there, just as long as you're moving a little bit forward every day. Don't sacrifice time with your family for success. Just work towards success and expand your education and expand your processes and your systems and you'll 100% get there as long as you believe in the process and you believe in it. You don't need to kill yourself by listening to all these motivators who want you to die to achieve your goals. Just have fun with it.
David: Yeah. That quote should be on the … that's going to go straight to the pool room.
Alex Moss: That's a quote from the Castle. That's a great Aussie movie, the Castle.
David: Yeah. Wasn't sure if you'd pick up that.
Alex Moss: Yeah.
David: So just finally, I know we've mentioned this before, but what would be the best way for my listeners to find out more about this product or test it?
Alex Moss: Well, of course they can come to the Facebook group, just going to go into the Facebook search bar and do FBA Tactical Arbitrage. Of course, you can do the trial period to test the software. You might want to time that right. You might want to play around with learning what Fulfillment by Amazon is if you're a complete newbie or if you've got a fairly good handle on it or maybe you're already working with other softwares as well, and you wanted to maybe experiment with Tactical Arbitrage, you can come to tacticalarbitrage.com. Click at the top of the page where it says sign up for a one week trial. Like I said before, I'm going to like stick into my system now after I get off the podcast with you, I'm going to stick in the system, the code HACKER14. So if any of your listeners go to sign up, make sure you look for that little box, or little bit of text there that says, “Enter discount code.”
Alex Moss: Click on that and enter HACKER14 and that's going to change your seven day trials for a 14 day trial. And that way nobody feels like they're rushed or they're struggling to get a decent look at it. And you can find the gaps in your days to make sure you can play around with it and see if it's for you and see if you enjoy it and reach out to me if you feel like there's things that I can add to Tactical Arbitrage. Definitely want to make sure that at the end of the day, everybody is happy.
David: Alex thats awesome mate. And seriously one, I love to hear the passion in your voice, but also the fact that you're so open to improving the software. Unfortunately, it does bring us to the end of today's Business Hacker session. Seriously, thanks so much for coming on the show. It's been a pleasure having you on, and a big thank you to all my listeners. If you found this useful, please, please, please leave me a review on iTunes.
Alex Moss: Thank you very much for having me, David. I enjoyed that immensely. And to all your listeners, have a fantastic rest of your day.
Announcer: The Business Hacker Podcast has come to a close. To access the free training or discounts offered by today's guests head to www.ecommerceguider.com/businesshacker or join our Facebook group community by searching Ecommerce Guider.
Things You'll Learn
➤ Show opening.
➤ Alex shared his background as an Entrepreneur.
➤ Alex provided an overview of what is online arbitrage automated sourcing software is and it works.
➤ Alex shared his motivations for creating Tactical Arbitrage.
➤ Alex shared his opinion on the differences between Tactical Arbitrage, FBA Wizard Pro and Oaxray.
➤ Alex provided an overview of how Tactical Arbitrage works and it’s main features.
➤ Alex advised as to whether Tactical Arbitrage has a limit or cap for the amount of subscribed users.
➤ Alex shared what Amazon platforms Tactical Arbitrage works on and how often new stores are added.
➤ Alex outline some of the success his users have had.
➤ Alex outlined the best way for listeners to find out more about Tactical Arbitrage works and how to test it.
➤ Use our 5 -step guide – how to claim your extended 10-day trial for Tactical Arbitrage (with pictures) here.