If you’ve ever sold products on Amazon there’s a good chance you’re owed money.
Because every day Amazon accidentally loses or damages products in the midst of its gigantic fulfilment operation, but doesn’t always reimburse you for them.
That’s why we asked reimbursement specialist Lee Loree from Carbon6 to come on the Brand Builder Show this week.
He talks us through the main reasons you might be owed money…
But more importantly how you can claim it back so it goes on your P&L – not Jeff’s!
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- 00:00 – Introduction to Guest: Lee Loree
- 00:46 – Lee’s Background
- 01:47 – Acquisition of Seller Investigators by Carbon6
- 02:53 – Exploring the Causes of Losses for Amazon Sellers
- 08:37 – Understanding Statutes of Limitations for Reimbursements
- 10:27 – Seller Investigators’ Approach: Synergy of Automated and Manual Processes
- 16:50 – Collaboration between Amazon and Seller Investigators
- 18:16 – Scope of Reimbursement Amounts and Timelines
- 21:43 – Preventive Measures for Sellers to Avoid Losses
- 24:06 – Advantages of Engaging Services from Seller Investigators
- 26:47 – Building a Strong and Effective Team
- 30:35 – Factors Driving Business Growth
- 33:45 – Connecting with Lee and Finding Seller Investigators
Hey folks, welcome back to another episode of The Brand Builder Show. And today’s episode is all about finding money that you didn’t realize you had. That’s right, we’re going to talk about Amazon reimbursements, and just how much money you can claim back because of lost products, Amazon errors, and so on, really fascinating topic. And to talk about that we brought the expert in that realm to the show. Lee, welcome to the show today.
Lee Loree 00:23
Hey, great to be here. I appreciate that.
Ben Donovan 00:26
I’m looking forward to talking about this stuff, because it could save Amazon sellers, so much money, which we’re going to dive all into how that can happen and how much maybe they could claim, all that exciting stuff. But to give us a little bit of background about yourself, talk to us about who you are, what you do. And what’s got you to the point of being on the show today.
Lee Loree 00:46
Yeah, so thanks very much for having me. Once again, my name is Lee Loree. I’m one of the founders at Seller Investigators. We are a refund recovery tool on 3P sides specifically FBA. And I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for pretty much my entire business career. And my two partners and I, we have a gentleman who’s our CTO who lives overseas. And my partner lives outside of New York City and I live in Atlanta, Georgia, three of us started this business about seven years ago. And we’re acquired by carbon six back in the fall of last year. So we got kind of picked up and thrown on the front end of a freight train. On the marketing side, it has been quite a run for the last 11 months.
Ben Donovan 01:29
Yeah, yeah, we’ve had a couple of the guys from Carbon6. Clayton has been on the show. And it sounds like there’s lots of exciting things happening at carbon six. What was the acquisition sort of process like? Was it an exciting time for you? Was it something that you were nervous about? What was that whole kind of period like for you?
Lee Loree 01:47
Yeah, it’s actually an interesting story, the carbon six have been great. First of all, we just couldn’t be happier to be a part of the team. The whole executive team, I mean, it’s really great starts from the top down with, with our CEO, Justin Cobb, who is just a super interesting, dynamic guy who just has this relentless drive to be successful, and to do the right thing, and we just all got a really good vibe from him right out of the gate. And then, you know, as we met more people, we felt the same way. And then there are 15 or so tools within the toolkit that are enterprise level, interesting businesses that really are best of breed for mostly enterprise sellers, but certainly sellers that you know, can be smaller in our businesses scalable from, you know, small sellers all the way up to the biggest of the big. So, you know, we don’t turn anybody away and nor does Carbon6, but they’re building really sophisticated tools in general for sellers to compete in, you know, the new modern Amazon world where it’s just ever more complex.
Ben Donovan 02:53
Yeah, ever more complex and ever more increasing costs involved in selling on Amazon. And margins are getting squeezed. And people are trying to find extra cash from extra places to fund inventory, fund growth. And this is where you come in, right? You bring this incredible world of Amazon refunds to light. My question to you is, you know, initially, how are you claiming back so much money? Because I’ve seen some of the advertising collateral of Seller Investigators, and some of the case studies and what you guys have done, and it’s crazy how much money you’re able to claim. But how is this happening? Why are Amazon sellers losing so much money in the first place?
Lee Loree 03:32
Yeah, so I mean, it’s kind of an interesting space that we reside in pretty much affects everybody who’s on FBA. And if you’re in retail, in general, it affects you just because of the way retail works. If you were in a traditional retailer, say a Target or if you were talking about an overseas grocery store, or you know, anywhere you are in the world. Typically there’s a 2% allotment for shrinkage. And shrinkage is just lost inventory. It’s damaged, it’s destroyed. It’s unsellable. For whatever reason, there’s a problem with the inventory. And so upfront, when you get paid on an invoice, that number is that they adjust for it. So they take 2% of whatever the total invoice is knowing it’s going to be trashed. Amazon does not have that allotment. But what happens is when like your truckload, or your partial truckload, or your box arrives in an Amazon warehouse, it doesn’t get physically counted, because if it did, the individual who’s counting it could create a human error in doing that, that count and doing a miscount. So the most efficient way to do that, and the cleanest way to do that is to weigh and measure the box against the weight and the measurements they have of your individual units. So if they knew that you sell an iPhone case, and that case weighs and let’s, it obviously a case wouldn’t weigh a pound, but let’s say that it weighs a pound. They know that a bar that weighs 50 pounds has 50 units in it, right? It I mean, obviously the iPhone case on the way pound, you see my point. So what ends up happening is they have miscounts from just that approximation, it’s just the way that it is. If you have multiple people in an ASIN, or a SKU depending on how you know how much you understand about Amazon asin is the same thing as skew on Amazon. If you have multiple people and somebody’s got an incorrect weight, than yours will be automatically incorrect as well. And then they’ll miss count it. And if you don’t go in and argue that they miscounted it, they will short your inventory, and you will just lose that money. So that’s kind of the first place that we start to see problems. And then it spreads through like 14 categories. It’s missing, it’s damaged, it’s lost between warehouses. We’ve just added a feature where returns, let’s say you as a customer, because Amazon is so forward facing to the customer that let’s say somebody buys we use an iPhone case again, and the iPhone case they claim is broken when they got it. So Amazon ships them a new one. Now, technically, that customer is supposed to return the broken one, they have 30 days to do that. But let’s say that they don’t ever do that. Amazon, if you don’t have it in your terms with them to destroy the inventory. Amazon technically should pay you for that second unit because they shipped another one it didn’t get the replacement back or get the broken one back. And so we’re now going after those kinds of issues for customers as well, the weights and dimensions tool I mentioned where you know, we correct if someone in your acing count or category has an incorrect weight or dimension and you know, we’ll go in and correct that for you. We basically just nibble at the corners of where Amazon just can’t be perfectly, you know, they just can’t be perfect. It’s just not really realistic. Do they do it consciously do they do it just because it’s as good as they can do? I tend to believe it tends to be as good as they could do. But it ends up being between 75 basis points and about a point and a quarter point and a half of total sales that goes through your FBA account are incorrectly accounted for. So while it’s better than a traditional retailer shrinkage, it’s still you’re missing out. I mean, if you’re running a 20% margin business, and we find you have an entire point of EBITDA. You know, what point of total revenue, it’s the equivalent of five points EBITDA that we just found for you. And you know, you mentioned earlier, you know, money is getting harder and harder to come by the platform’s more expensive. I’m not helping you with those things, but I am getting you back money that can be redeployed into marketing or to make up for some of the expenses you had. Five points EBITDA, there are very few places in an Amazon business, if any, that you could make up that kind of, you know, that kind of money with signing up for something and kind of passively getting out of the way.
Ben Donovan 08:07
Yeah, and Amazon don’t really make this obvious, because I think there probably be a lot of sellers listening to this thinking, How do I get this money? What Why do I not know about this? Because that’s, you know, even just 1% Like you said, $100,000 business $100,000 a month or a year, whatever it is, yes, $1,000 Extra, that may just go into the trash, because they don’t know about how to do it. And so it’s just yeah, it’s incredible to me that there’s this money out there that a lot of sellers don’t even know about. It’s bonkers.
Lee Loree 08:37
Well, there are statutes of limitations. So on missing inbound shipments, miscounts, you have 18 months and a lost in damage. You have, sorry, you have nine months and then a loss and damage, you have 18 months. So there are statutes of limitations around how far back you can go back and argue these these issues. I mean, if you think about it, somewhat nefariously. And I don’t believe this is the case. I mean, I think Amazon needs to put limitations on it or people would be arguing for forever and all the way back through time. But if every day, you’ve got an Amazon sells approximately $650 billion a year through FBA globally, in all the markets that they service, if you figure 1%, that six and a half billion dollars in profit. If it holds up at 1%, six and a half billion in profit that Amazon is kind of allegedly keeping or you know, incorrectly keeping, they’re not really super motivated to give that back to you. You know, get it they get to keep it. Now, I’m not saying that that makes them bad. I’m just saying that. I think they’re doing the best job that they can, but there’s not a lot of incentive for them to help you get more money back. You need to be proactive in a business. I mean, it’s just the nature of the world. We live in a capitalistic society. If you want your money money back, you need to stand up and say, you know, I want my money back. And we help you raise your hand.
Ben Donovan 10:08
And talk to us a bit about your process because I get my system to once a month run like reimbursement report inside Helium 10. And then submit that to Amazon to kind of get some reimbursements. They’re telling me that’s like rubbish, and we’re missing out on loads of refunds. Is there a better process that you guys do?
Lee Loree 10:27
Yeah, I mean, don’t get me wrong. I mean, that’s better than nothing. There’s no question that’s better than nothing. But Helium 10 is actually not running that. That’s actually being run by one of our competitors in a partnership, which is fine. But we know for a fact that we get from that same competitor, between 10 to 15%, more money back than they do based on either how we run the business, how our staff runs the business. You know how our algorithms work, we just we see it consistently, we, you know, we’re always and I’m sure they take some from us too. But we’re scraping customers off multiple, you know, off different platforms, some of our version kind of Greenfield nobody’s ever been in it. Sometimes it’s somebody like yourself, that’s been sort of doing some on your own. And sometimes it’s with a competitor, we find the full one, you know, call it 1%, on a greenfield business, typically, where you do it yourself through it, and you know, a VA or administrative assistant is running a report and doing it, we find that you’re typically between 50 and 60%. successful in getting back money, it’s not hard to identify the money, the hardest part is getting it back. Because Amazon pushes back they require some documentation, you have to use certain phrases, you can’t use chatbots, you there are rules that you can only submit 10 a day, there are just things that you have to do in order to be compliant within Amazon’s tos. And if you if you veer out of that you can get into some trouble and some of our competitors got into trouble and it kind of subsequently just sort of gone away. Like you know, sand is like the Sands of Time. And, you know, we don’t have those problems, you know, we’ve gotten, we’ve always been good at it. But you know, we’re super careful within your Amazon store to not get into trouble. But 1%, you’re getting about 50 cents in the dollar back. Our competitors are getting about 80 cents, and we tend to run about 90. So, you know, I would also encourage people that if you have a store, I mean, not that I’m not putting you on the hot seat here. But you know, we could run your store behind your assistant or your VA, show you that we find money and I’d be happy to come back and show you it’s not going to be 1%. But if you’re running to your point a million dollar store, we’re typically going to find about 10 grand, if you’re only getting back five, because you’re only getting 50 cents on the dollar back and I can get 90, even if I charge you 20% to go after that money 20, 25%, you’ve left that money, you net out making another 18 to 1800 to $2,000. And we remove your VA cost or anything else that you have associated with doing that. And we take care of all the work for you. So it’s priced in such a way that it’s free to be on our platform, absent of one we’re successful getting dollars back for you. So once dollars flow back into your FBA account, we keep a credit card on file for you, you get back 100% of every dollar Amazon owes you. And then we see it in the sales reports we draw off of your account. And then we will run your card every two weeks for dollars that are owed us as our percentage of what we’re successful getting back.
Ben Donovan 13:40
And you mentioned about the the team that you have in place because I you know somewhat naively, when I first started hearing about it, I just assumed it was a software integration. You hook it up, it doesn’t work for you. But you’ve got a lot of manual processes and error.
Lee Loree 13:56
Yeah, so we think of our business as sort of the intersection between human capital and computers. In that we certainly run algorithms, we certainly tie into the API of Amazon we ingest, you know, massage and output data, that is all machine learning AI, whatever you want to kind of call it, you know. There is a lot of technical behind that. And then from that point, it generate, once that report is generated, everything from that point forward is manual. And that’s the case with anyone who’s doing this properly. Whether that be a competitor, or if you’re doing an in house, you need to submit tickets correctly. And one of the main ones is you can’t use bots. So it becomes a manual process. Now, I mentioned earlier about Amazon kind of tos and what they’re doing, arguably, in the world that we live, I mean, you know, to us only because my wife was talking about this last night Taylor Swift, right. They have they’re doing ticket sales through Ticketmaster and the Ticketmaster system crash, it crashes over and over and over again, because so many people are using bots to sign up and try and get tickets that they can then resell, because it’s such a hot ticket. Now, that’s obviously not applicable to Amazon, except to say that if you could use bots, people would submit tickets nefariously over and over and over again and overwhelm Amazon’s systems or people that are on the receiving end of this, who were trying to determine what’s a real case and what’s not. And so, you know, you can’t do that. My wife was so happy I worked in a Taylor Swift reference. Yeah, right. But the principle is the same, though, that they are, they have to put limits on it, or else, the world we live in would clog up the the plumbing, and it wouldn’t work for anyone. And so, yeah, I mean, you just got to stay within the rules of the road. And you know, we are super, super, super careful, because A – anybody who gets in trouble is a reflection of us. But the last one we would ever want to do is poke the bear so hard, that, you know, it affects your business in an adverse way. We’re working really hard right up to the line trying to do the best thing we can for your business, but not further. You know, Amazon from time to time, you know, gives us back 100% of what we asked for, sometimes they give you 87 cents on the dollar, sometimes it’s 35 cents on the dollar, and then we just have to weigh whether or not that’s enough, or do we continue to go back. And that’s the sort of the nuance in the in the special sauce, if you will, and the business is trying to really gauge that. And that’s what’s really hard at the level of your person, they just don’t have the practical experience to be able to understand where there can be more pushback or not.
Ben Donovan 16:50
You guys are known by Amazon and they know what you’re doing. And is there interaction between you and Amazon?
Lee Loree 16:55
Oh for sure. We’re actually a preferred vendor, and we have an app, that’s okay, on the App Store. And we get audited twice a year, to make sure that we’re doing everything we’re supposed to be doing. And that it lines up with their, you know, again, their TOS. And by that I mean Terms of Service, if people aren’t sure what TOS means. And, you know, they’re well aware of us. And, you know, I think they look at it, and you know, I’m going to use another reference this one, you know, not pop culture read, but they look at it as you know, in the animal world, there are some animals that clean up around other animals that allow them to kind of work symbiotically. And I would say that Amazon sees us as somewhat adversarial because we are scraping money out of their pockets. But in my, in my heart, I believe that Amazon is trying to do the right thing when it you know, if they could if there was something that they could practically do. And so, you know, we work with them, we have open lines of communication that, you know, understands that what we’re doing is helping sellers get back the money they’re owed. So, you know, it’s not particularly adversarial. But yeah, we talked to them. I mean, obviously, we talked to them, we submit about 10 or 15,000 cases a week. So you know, we speak to them all the time.
Ben Donovan 18:16
Crazy. When someone first comes onto your platform, you said there was time limits of how far back you could go? Do most sellers find that there’s a big lump sum that they can claim? And then you kind of do it monthly from there? Or how does that work?
Lee Loree 18:30
That’s exactly right. And, you know, I mentioned earlier, you’ve got the case where a client is gonna get back the full 1%. Because no one’s ever been in the account when we find them. In fact, we had a $14 million seller sign up for the platform overnight, and we saw a $280,000 refund, that you know, is owed to them. So, you know, we’ll start assuming they sign up, we’ll start filing those cases here, you know, in the next couple of days, they will start to see them
Ben Donovan 18:55
Assuming they sign up, why wouldn’t they?
Lee Loree 18:56
Yeah, right. I mean, for sure. I mean, you know, we’ve had, we have a couple of clients that are north of a billion that, you know, we found 15 to $25 million for so you know, there are significant amounts of money that are out there on these large accounts. And you think about this big accounts are gonna be pretty sophisticated. So you know, the fact that there’s still money either coming that a competitors missed out on, which happens, in fact, one of them came from a competitor. And then we found about $12 million that had been missed, which is pretty remarkable when you consider some people think of this as a commodity, and it’s just not, it’s just, it’s just not even close. And we recommend that you’re not sure how to do a comparison. If you work with another competitor, sign up for our services free. If you don’t give us a credit card. We’ll never file cases, all we will do is identify where there’s gaps, and if we find enough money for you to care, and then we can have further conversation. We do that a lot. I mean, we do that 15 times a week for people um So, back to your original question you mentioned, you know how much money is, you know, do you typically see. Typically, the workflow is that we see most of you, I mentioned earlier, you can look back nine and 18 months depending on the issue. So that missing in balance, it’s nine months of loss and damages 18 months. Once we get into an account, we identify issues the case here today, a little north of $200,000, there’ll be 1000 cases or more that are, you know, those problems, we will start to submit tickets. And as fast as those come back, it will start to generate money, that clients should see 75% or more of that money back in the first 60 days, pretty typically. And then it goes into maintenance, we tell people, we’re in your account at least once a week. So just stay on the platform, you don’t have to do anything, it just happens in the background. And whenever we find an issue, you’ll get paid. And it’s Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s it works out to be about 1% of sales, and it doesn’t really matter if you clean up the store and are on our platform, all it does is nibble at the edges of the 1%, the problem is never going to go completely away. It’s important if you’re not with us, I recommend working with another service. And you know, I would much prefer to be us because I just know that we’re better at it and sell the business. But you know, we just are better at it than the competitors that are out there. And we know it and it’s obvious and we encourage people if you don’t believe me to run an audit, compare do an audit it is it is the it is the most surefire way to know who’s actually doing a better job. And we are ready to have that conversation with anybody who wants to have it.
Ben Donovan 21:43
Yeah, obviously, cash flow is a big issue. So it’s great, you can get all this money back. But are there ways that sellers can prevent some of these things happening, or all of the damages all of the issues completely out of their control?
Lee Loree 21:57
I mean, most of it is out of your control, because it’s how they handle things within the warehouse. I mean, if they drop a product and it gets run over by a forklift, there’s nothing you can really do to change that. The big one that we would tell people that you can have impact on is the missing inbound shipments. And that has to do with the weights and dimensions tool we have. So if you’re a client of ours, it’s a free service. To sign up for basically, you can send a carrier pigeon with your weights and dimensions of what you think your ASINs are. We prefer you uploaded in a CSV file, but we’ll take it however you’ll give it to us, we will then import it into our database on our dashboard is all of your ASINs and what your dimensions are and then what Amazon’s dimensions are, because we can ingest that from one of the sales reports. And then anywhere there is enough discrepancy that it affects the shipping cost, it throws up a flag. And we will file that case for you to make an adjustment to correct your ASIN value so that you don’t get miscounts. And so you don’t get overcharges within the warehouse for warehouse fees or pick and pack fees i.e, you know the cost of shipping. You know, a box that weighs 1.1 pounds goes as two pounds, versus a box that weighs 15 ounces goes as one pound. So that small little difference can make a tremendous difference in your cost of shipping. And we try to help people work through those types of problems as well as a service within our platform. Our goal is to make your business more efficient or as efficient as it can be. But to your point, there are some parts of this that are just a black box, you can’t control.
Ben Donovan 23:45
Yeah. Is there anything else? Because I’d love to ask you about your slightly off topic, but just about your team, because you mentioned it’s an offshore team. And I know there’ll be a lots of people that have been interested how you sort of manage that process for a few minutes. Is there anything before we do that, that I haven’t asked or you think would be pertinent to mention about the process and any tips that we haven’t talked about?
Lee Loree 24:06
Um, yeah, I mean, I would go out I would tell people to go out, I mean, not a tip, but like if you go out and look, we’re we do Trustpilot, which you may or may not be familiar with Trustpilot, which is an independent review company that shows we can’t control that there’s an email sent out by them, it gets posted good and bad. We have a very high rating there and we have a very high customer service satisfaction rate. We essentially have almost no churn and I think a lot of it gets back to my partners my emphasis on customer service. I mean a we want to win your business but really more importantly we want to keep your business and we think it’s super important and you know little knick knack things come up from time to time. We’re always going to do the right thing with you as a customer. Another thing that we do, and this actually is relevant, our competitors. Let’s say that you have $1,000 in, in missing inbound, ie Amazon’s screwed it up, they shorted you $1,000 in inventory. We make a case, they give you back the $1,000, we take, let’s just say that we’re working in a 25% scenario where we take 25%, we would take $250 of that thousand. You’d get the thousand, but the net to you would be 750. And we keep 250. And now let’s go 60 days, and let’s say Amazon finds your inventory. We’re the only company that will give you that money back. Because we didn’t mean it that found. We don’t think that’s right, we think that, that’s your inventory. Now, if they never find the inventory, and we got you compensated, that’s where we get paid. But if the inventory gets found, we automatically give it back to you. And if you know, God forbid, we forget to give it to you, our system doesn’t catch it, you bring it to our attention. But we catch it and we proactively give it back to you. And people can’t believe that we proactively give money back because all of our competitors, keep it by policy and will not give it back to you. And we just think that’s just an example of trying to be a partner, rather than a vendor. We are trying really hard at every turn to do the right thing in your store and with you and not getting paid on things that we didn’t necessarily do. We think it’s just the right thing. It’s just as simple as that.
Ben Donovan 26:28
Yeah, no, that’s really good. You’ve talked about your team there and throughout the episodes about having a team, specialists doing this for you. You mentioned that to me before we started that a big part of that team is overseas. Did you start with an overseas team? Was that always the plan? How did that begin?
Lee Loree 26:47
Always from day one, my business partner who lives outside New York City, his wife is first generation American from the Philippines. And because of that they have mixed race children, and they speak some of the Filipino language in the home. And you know, obviously the the grandparents and the nieces and nephews and whatnot that all live in the Philippines, obviously all speak the language as well. What’s great about the Philippines is that culturally English is basically it’s a bilingual country, everybody is taught English and the Filipino language, depending on where you are there a couple different languages and dialects that are spoken. But English is taught to everyone in the Philippines, which is why so many businesses are outsourced there. But in our case, because my partner’s wife is from the region, we were able to build our team day one with people who are either familiarly connected directly, ie through blood, or this is also very common in the culture that once somebody gets a job that you know, isn’t a crappy job, or someone’s a jerk and a big multinational, they kind of start grabbing their friends and bringing them in and trying to get jobs for people because we pay a living wage, like we think it’s really important that we now have over 150 people working for us. But before Carbon6, it was more like 25. And we really thought it was important. I mean, we went through COVID. You know, we were sadly, we were paying for funerals for people, which is pretty crappy. We give scholarships to young people with the local university that are going through computer sciences, and then give internships and then if they work out, we give offers. We’ve had a number of people come through that program, we’ve had, sadly, you know, people, we had a young woman who’s on our executive team over in the Philippines, her apartment, there were some kids setting off fireworks. And they live in a neighborhood that has, you know, it’s like apartment buildings that are stacked against each other. And this fire spread and consumed her apartment. She’s a single mom lives with her mother and a baby. And you know, all the things that, you know, are make life hard. And she’s working super hard for us and has been with us. And you know, we took care of her, we put her up in an apartment and a hotel, until they could sort out things. We got her family, all the things they needed to kind of stay going with their young child, and then subsequently fix the apartment and kind of you know, made her whole. And, you know, we just think it’s the right thing to do. You know, we want to work with quality people. I mean, we’ve had to fire a few clients that were that were rude to our customers, our support staff. You know, we just try to do the right thing when nobody’s looking so that everybody’s happy. But our staff is fantastic. We take a lot of pride in you know, creating jobs that are really good paying Filipino jobs. And as a result, we have almost no churn within our staff and my partner’s there right now on a kind of a two to three week Odyssey that he buys these, these, these open ended tickets and he and his wife, they’re there. They keep sending pictures. They’re off doing fun things with the teams it looks like they’re on vacation. You know, they’re working super hard. But, you know, they’re all building rapport and doing things. And as a result, it just makes our business run so much better. I mean, we have case managers that get recognized weekly, that are just so happy we do these meetings, I have one at 12 o’clock today where we get to sit and just hear everybody talk about how happy they are, and how great it is to work for us. And it just, it warms my heart to know that we’re creating so many opportunities for people that want to work, and getting money back for people who need to get it. I mean, it’s just everything about this business makes us feel good as to what we’re doing.
Ben Donovan 30:35
Yeah. It does sound very fulfilling, I will admit, you mentioned they’re going from 25 to 150 staff. What’s been the cause of that growth? Is it like, obviously, you’ve mentioned that since Carbon6 came in what what’s caused the growth, though?
Lee Loree 30:50
Yeah, so over those sort of six years, six plus years that we were running this business as just sort of our staff that was, you know, scaling, as we went my partners myself, and then the team around us that, you know, we grew about 100% a year. And that was, that was great, you know, obviously, when you start off growing 100% is easier in a way, because just you have such small numbers of which you have to double it. You know, we had gotten to the stage where doubling the business was getting ever more difficult. I mean, you can do the math as to you know, how much you have to be turning it over. And what we determined was that we really needed a better marketing arm. We were really good at doing the business, the actual processes we were very comfortable with. And a lot of that ties into our CTO who’s a partner in the business and the continuity around he and our programmers, we’ve just never had to move like, you know, normally in a business, you end up doing development in one place and the developer in another place. And then they don’t talk and somebody says this programmer sucked, you know, I need to rewrite all the code, it’s just very common, it doesn’t really matter what industry are in, that’s very common. Because code, although it seems like commodity is very individualistic is to your stream of conscious when you’re writing it. So because we have had so much continuity there, it’s allowed us to focus on making the platform better every day, rather than correcting for errors that like it might have. And so, you know, we have grown, I don’t know, like from 25 to now 150. Maybe it’s more than 160. But that 160 is probably going more to like 500 in the next 12, 18 months. And because Carbon6, our business has, we are up about 700% this year. So you know, it’s just sort of mind blowing how quickly it’s scaling. And then the cross promoting that’s going on, and just everything that’s happening at Carbon6, it’s just there, just no. There’s nothing but green lights in front of us. And you know, we just crank I mean, just crank customers, we had like 35 customers sign up overnight. Yeah, it’s remarkable.
Ben Donovan 33:07
Amazing. Well, you’ve built an incredibly successful business, but I love your heart and the way you’ve described it, and how you talk about your team and how you look after them. I think everybody listening will only have, you know, good thoughts about what you’ve built, and congratulations towards you. It’s an amazing journey so far, but still so much to come, as you said. So you’re really looking forward to seeing how, how it develops. Thanks so much for taking the time out. Well, obviously, there will be people that will be keen to learn more about the company. What’s the best next step? Obviously, we’ll leave links and that kind of thing in the description. But if someone’s listening on the audio, where should they go? Yeah,
Lee Loree 33:45
I mean, a couple different ways. You can always email me. It’s [email protected]. If people you know, I’m always available, we have teams of folks that you know, I may the email may get sorted out, but you’ll get you know, people will certainly respond to you. You can go to our website, it’s cellar investigators.com. It’s free to sign up, there’s no obligation, there’s a lot, you know, there’s a sign up button, it’s pretty self explanatory. There are a couple of steps you have to go through because Amazon wants to make sure people don’t nefariously get access into your Seller Central account. But, you know, it’s a pretty simple process. We have onboarding specialists, if you get stuck, they can kind of help you through it. Typically, the audit takes we didn’t cover this, but normally the audit takes about 24 hours to come back. And you know, once you have the results of the audit, if you want to move forward, you give us a credit card and we start filing cases that day, and you should start to get money back within that week. I mean, it’s just literally that simple. It’s been a remarkable business to see grow the way that it is and you know, to kind of be a shepherd of trying to keep it running. It’s just a lot of fun.
Ben Donovan 34:49
Yeah, perfect. That’s amazing. Thanks, Lee. I really appreciate you taking the time out, very valuable conversation. You’re financially valuable for a lot of people, I’m sure so thanks for coming on the show.
Lee Loree 34:59
Great. Thank you so much, have a great day.
Ben Donovan 35:02
Thank you. Thanks everyone for listening in. And as Lee said, you get a free audit on the website. There’s no harm in checking it out, see how much you can save so check that out. We’ll leave links for that in the show notes and the description. Thanks for listening to the episode today. If you’ve liked it, please share it, like, subscribe, all that good stuff. And I will see you in the next episode same time next week. Take care guys. Bye bye.