In this podcast episode, we talk about making your listing process ten times faster. We explore using a special scan-to-list technology. Our featured guest on the show is Bert Leffel is the CEO of Listernaut Software at listernaut.com.
Topics discussed in this episode:
- How to speed up product listing on Amazon, eBay, Walmart.
- What challenges arise selling on various platforms and merchant guidance.
- What "pods" in software offer customizable quality control, performance tracking.
05:21 Efficient scanning and pushing to major channels.
06:45 Software assists retailers in multichannel product distribution.
12:39 Assisting "want"-repreneurs in starting their online business.
13:41 Easy-to-use software designed for any user.
17:46 Different pricing options based on launch volume.
Links & Resources
About Our Podcast Guest: Bert Leffel
Bert Leffel is the CEO of Listernaut Software and Auctionfuel LLC. Listernaut is the fastest e-commerce listing tool available via a Shopify connection. Listernaut was purpose-built to allow Auctionfuel LLC to list through Liquidated merchandise quickly and efficiently to Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and HiBid online auctions. Listernaut users experience up to a ten times faster listing process by using proprietary scan-to-list technology by simply scanning a UPC to create a robust listing detail with Title, Description, UPC, Price, and photos. Any product can be added into listernaut regardless of having a UPC or not.
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Claus Lauter [00:00:00]:
This is episode two eight three of the ecommerce Coffee Break podcast. On this episode, Bert Leffel, CEO of Listernaut Software, joins me and we talk about how you can make your listing process ten times faster. So let's dive right into it.
Voice over [00:00:14]:
This is the ecommerce Coffee Break.
Voice over [00:00:19]:
Top rated Shopify growth podcast dedicated to shopify merchants and business owners looking to grow their online stores. Learn how to survive in the fast changing e commerce world with your host, Klaus Lauter, and get marketing advice you can't find on Google. Welcome.
Claus Lauter [00:00:39]:
Welcome to the show, and welcome to another episode of the e commerce Coffee Break podcast. Today we want to find out how you can list thousands of items in an hour or quicker. Now, a lot of merchants have a lot of Skus and they want to go omni channel. They want to publish their or promote their products on Amazon, on eBay, Walmart, other channels. And that can be a massive time bandit and there's ways around it. And we want to talk and dive a little bit deeper into this topic today. With me on the show today have Bert Lefel. He is the CEO of listernaut.com. and Auctionfuel.com
Claus Lauter [00:01:10]:
So let's welcome him to the show. Hi, Bert. How are you today?
Bert Leffel [00:01:13]:
Hi. Thank you, Claus. I appreciate it. Doing well. A little cold, but doing well.
Claus Lauter [00:01:17]:
But I understand you came up with a solution that you actually had in your own business. Tell me a little bit how you got started, what the issue was and where you started to develop your own thing.
Bert Leffel [00:01:29]:
Absolutely. So the story goes, our company was set up to sell retail returns. So we were buying products from all different liquidators throughout the country by the semi truckload, bringing them in, getting them on ecommerce, and then auctioning them off, ultimately to make sure that we help to reduce the retail footprint of these retailers. The goal was to list as much as possible in as shortest time as possible, sell it as fast as possible. But what we were running into is just how cumbersome it was to create those listings on the different platforms and then go to the next platform and the next platform. So what we came up with was a purpose built software that we've developed for our own business to help us to scan UPCs, to create a listing. And what I mean by that is we can pull in a title, description, price, photos, weight, even more data than that which is pertinent to getting it cataloged and then listed online in a very short amount of time. So our goal was to expedite what we were doing at our very best.
Bert Leffel [00:02:34]:
We had 13 listers. We were doing about 3000 listings a week. What we developed allowed us to do 5000 listings a week with three listers. So take that into consideration. With the overhead number in the sky going, average range in Indianapolis, Indiana at the time was about $40,000 per person. We were able to shift some people around, and now we've saved our company about $400,000 a year just with the software, which is significantly less than one person's salary for the year to allow you to do such heavy lifting. So our goal was to list as much as possible, know what we had, know where it was, how many we had, not oversell, get it all listed in the fastest amount of time possible. So that's what we did.
Bert Leffel [00:03:24]:
We built it for that solution, which we then said, well, we've got something on our hands here that others might be able to use to benefit their business. Help us. We can't tackle a retail return issue worldwide on our own. It's to the tune of $900 billion a year. That's what they'll be. So there's a lot of products going to landfills, going to the oceans, and we wanted to help to re ingest those, if you will, back into the marketplaces, because people will buy good product if it's sorted well and categorized well and described well. So that's what we've aim to do. And now we want to invite the world to try this out so that they can help us tackle this retail return problem and help the environment while they're doing it.
Claus Lauter [00:04:12]:
Not only returns, also, merchants with bigger SKU numbers probably have the same problem to be listed on all of these platforms. Maybe for the listeners who have not listed anything yet on Walmart, on eBay. Talk me through the process, how complicated it can be coming from your Shopify listing and getting the details into a listing on these platforms.
Bert Leffel [00:04:31]:
The difficulty is getting listings on Walmart, getting listings on Amazon or eBay with all the pertinent details it takes, know you have to look it up, copy, paste, create a listing, then launch it. That takes roughly, if you're fast, four to five minutes to create a listing with our product. It's pulling all that data into one location via API, pushing to Shopify. Shopify has other middleware that will allow you to then push to Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etsy. It's called Marketplace Connect. And so that software really allows us to then compose and push to those sites. The matter of the efficiency that their systems work are just in line with ours. So the problem is getting the product in Shopify, it's not getting it out of Shopify once it's there.
Bert Leffel [00:05:21]:
They've done an excellent job with their marketplace connect acquisition to push these products to those major channels. So the scanning of getting the product into shopify cuts out four to five minutes per listing. The pushing then to Amazon, Walmart and eBay. Also with Shopify's marketplace connect cuts another four to five minutes out of the situation. So you're saving lots of time per item. Prior to this meeting, I did listing 117 items in about 13 and a half minutes, which I'll be sharing that video on our website, listernaut.com. But the process of getting it scanned in, documented, cataloged, pushed to the different ecommerce channels, literally takes roughly seven to 10 seconds per item, down from four to five minutes per item. And that doesn't take into consideration then adding it to your inventory management software, giving it a home, the listronaut will do all of these things for you.
Bert Leffel [00:06:19]:
You can add a home, you can add a quantity, then it's a matter of pushing it to those sites via Shopify's Marketplace connect. We're talking seconds, Klaus. It's literally seconds to create a listing and get it live.
Claus Lauter [00:06:32]:
When you get started as a merchant, you might be already on one or the other platform. So how can I find out in the fastest possible way if my products are already listed there or not? Just to get a clean start, to get started with your software.
Bert Leffel [00:06:45]:
So I think the benefit cost for someone, we're working with people that have a high sku count of different products, it doesn't matter what they are. We're working with people that have storefronts and retail operations that don't have a website, they don't have products for sale online, but they would like to dealing with auctioneers who do a high volume of products that constantly change. These are the target clientele for us. And the goal is to get the item listed in the system and then check where it might sell best. So we call that right product, right channel. Being able to say, I can check this product on Amazon, Walmart, eBay, or push it to an auction, is a matter of knowing what you have and where it is. So that information that we pull in, that then is given to the client on their dashboard, allows them to have all that information at their disposal and then make the pertinent decisions to sell it. There is a price war going on on all these channels.
Bert Leffel [00:07:43]:
It's a constant battle to the bottom, unfortunately. So we're always dealing with pricing separately, that's going to be through each platform. Specifically, Shopify allows you to manage that as well. Some other products out there, repricer.com is another one that allows you to do that. But the pricing wars are certainly a thing. Knowing if it's listed on Amazon, it's going to tell you. If it's listed on Amazon after you launch it, it will give you a failure message. Same with Walmart.
Bert Leffel [00:08:11]:
EBay, everything's on eBay. And then auction. You can sell anything through auction as long as you're licensed in your specific area of the world, if it's required, as well as don't sell things that are illegal to sell in auction. So those things all being said, right product, right channel is a matter of sorting it. So not just sorting it by condition, whether it's new, new open package, as is used, blemished, all of these things come into consideration with putting the right product on the right channel. But at the same time, you can't do that if you can't list it fast enough. So you might spend ten minutes trying to find a listing on Amazon and fail, because it's not there with our system. It's a matter of right product, right channel.
Bert Leffel [00:08:56]:
Not on Amazon, not on Walmart, it's on eBay. So we hit on all three channels to make sure that we can get on one at least. And then after that we're going to focus on sales velocity. How long do we sit on it?
Claus Lauter [00:09:10]:
I want to talk a little bit about the dashboard, about managing all these different platforms from one central point, as we are on a podcast here and most of our listeners, obviously listening, are not watching it on YouTube. Talk me through the process. What can I see? What kind of different features do I have to manage all these listings?
Bert Leffel [00:09:27]:
So all the listings are cataloged into what we term a pod. So our software allows you to set up a pod. So a pod is a folder or a holding tank rather. You can set it up by Lister to check on the performance of each lister that you have listing. You can set it up per platform on where you want to send it. You can set it up to be a day's worth of work. You can set it up to be an auction. You can set it up however you want.
Bert Leffel [00:09:52]:
So let your organizational brain run wild with that. How we do that is we're going to create an ecommerce pod and an auction pod for our own purposes. Everything that's brand new goes through to ecommerce. So that pod, then you can open it up, click on individual items, change titles, change descriptions, update pricing, update photos, add photos, really do a quality control item by item. So the most successful companies using our software have a scanner. They're just scanning it through, and then they have a QC person that's checking and overseeing what those listings look like before they launch them. And so it really takes a team, again from 13 down to three in our case, and allows us to do more than we were before for significantly less overhead, as well as giving us a nice independent organizational tool to go back in and check these products and verify that they are what we want. Stamp and approve, and then list.
Claus Lauter [00:10:52]:
Hey Klaus, here, just a quick one. If you like the content of this episode, subscribe to the weekly newsletter at newsletter ecommercecoffeebreak.com I score and create 50 news sources so you don't have to, saving your hours of research. Grow your revenue with ecommerce news, marketing strategies, tools, podcast interviews and more, all in a quick three minute read. So head over to newsletter ecommercecoffeebreak.com to subscribe as said, 100% free. Also, you will find the link in the show notes. And now back to the show. Now, we might give some merchants out there some ideas on how they can expand their business through these different marketplaces. What's kind of the setup and approval process? So basically taking a step back and saying, okay, I want to use that.
Claus Lauter [00:11:32]:
I want to get on eBay, on Walmart before I can get started. What kind of steps or what kind of process do I have to go through?
Bert Leffel [00:11:39]:
Sure. So plus, if you are starting out from scratch, there's a number of solutions that we offer. We offer anywhere from a free trial all the way up to $1,000 a month franchise type product where we walk you through everything that's involved and really handhold you to get you up and running without a $200,000 initial investment to start a franchise. It's a monthly fee. It's less than most other softwares in our space, and it allows you to really have an expert on the inside showing you what's going on. The heavy lifting comes from setting up your Amazon account, setting up your Walmart account, setting up your eBay account, getting approved, jumping through all the hoops prior to that, getting your LLC or your business license, getting your tax account set up your accountancy set up. All of these things are business 101 that we're trying to come after that. But we do have a solution for folks that just want to try it.
Bert Leffel [00:12:39]:
We call it a wantrepreneur they want to do it, they just don't know what to do. So we'll help and handhold in the solution. In the situation where those folks want to come through and start a business, they just don't know how to do it. The process of creating a Walmart account, it can take a day, a week, a month. It can take longer. It's just a matter of, do you have all the pertinent details that they require? Do you have an llc? Do you have business insurance? Do you have a shipping location? Do you have these policies that they want to see in place, shipping, returns, handling, things of that nature? So the heavy lift for someone that wants to do it on their own, that doesn't want to pay $1,000 a month, they want to pay $100 a month, they would have to do the due diligence on their side to establish their business, set up their accounts. Once those accounts are set up, there's the Shopify conduit. Do you want to list to a website? Do you want to have an ability to push to multiple platforms at once? Shopify is a requirement.
Bert Leffel [00:13:41]:
In that case, do you want to just download a CSV and image file and upload it? Well, you don't need Shopify for that. We can help with that right away. So it really comes down to the user, their level or acumen involved in business to start. And then from that point, they're technical savvy. Can they set these accounts up in a timely fashion? And then from that point, our software, I really developed the software with the intention of my 80 year old mother in law, who was working with us at the time. Can she learn how to use it, and can she use it in a timely fashion? And to answer that, we trained her how to use it in about 15 minutes. Not technical, not a technology lady, but we built it so that it's so easy to understand and so simple and straightforward that anyone should be able to use. List or not.
Bert Leffel [00:14:35]:
List or not is just a listing tool. It just creates the listing. The heavy lifting is everything else, right? It's not list or not. List or not is easy. It's how do you deal with all these other platforms and set up your accounts? And if you are already there, the heavy lifting is done.
Claus Lauter [00:14:51]:
That's quite an achievement. I'm not sure if my mother would be able to do that. She's also in her 80s. But if you achieve that with your mother, I think that's a good goal that you have achieved there. Let's talk a little bit about the onboarding process, and that is head up. What kind of training is involved? How much homework does the merchant have to do before they approach you?
Bert Leffel [00:15:10]:
There's next to none to answer that straightforward. If someone wants to talk to us, we're available to talk about the product, the setup and the onboarding is a matter of you sign up, you get a welcome email if there's integration required to your shopify account. If you don't sign up through Shopify, if you sign up through us, there's going to be an integration call. We're going to get your API key to connect your shopify account, set it up, and then show you a quick tutorial on how to use it. The demo that I give can take about five minutes. I try to give it in 30 minutes to walk through all the steps and how it all works. But once you do it, it's like riding a bike. You do it once, you're going to start to feel it.
Bert Leffel [00:15:53]:
You do it three or four times. You don't ever want to talk to me again because I'll talk too much, right? And so the beauty of it is it's really the onboarding and the integration call come 1st. 2nd is going to be a live training via a Zoom call like this. I'm going to give a quick tutorial training and then I'm going to send over a pamphlet of a tutorial, if you will, that shows you how to use the software. It's seven steps. You shouldn't mess it up. But if you do, we're available to answer any questions via online chat. For the smaller versions of the software, the larger versions have full access.
Bert Leffel [00:16:30]:
You can call me at home, but for the short period of time. So we have a team that's here willing to help answer any questions that may come up as you're getting on board it. The simplified versions of the software. As I said, it's seven steps. It's so easy, an 80 year old can use it and be trained in 15 minutes. So the heavy lifting and the confusion of our software comes around. Well, what about pricing on Amazon? And what about shipping and ship station? Not us. Not us.
Bert Leffel [00:17:02]:
If you know those things and you're a professional at it, it's a seamless integration. It's easy if you don't know those things. We want to help. We want to show folks how to do that and give them our experience. From setting up a warehouse, from setting up an llc, from establishing everything from square one. We offer that as well. But our main goal is you go to shopify, you see it in the App Store, you sign up and you're live and you get a quick video tutorial and you're operating that day. It really is a one day onboarding where if you do have an API plugged into your shopify store, you're listing and creating listings that afternet you touched.
Claus Lauter [00:17:42]:
A little bit earlier on the pricing. Just remind me, how does the pricing structure work?
Bert Leffel [00:17:46]:
So pricing structure is based on roughly amount of launches per month. So how many items you launch to a platform? So we have a free trial, a 30 day free trial which will allow you to launch and list ten items. If you like it and it makes sense, then our $29 version is going to allow you to list 250 items per month in unlimited quantities. That's 250 individual items. Our $49 version allows you to list 750 items per month. And then our $99 version allows you to list 1500 items per month. We have an unlimited version at 299 per month. And then we have what we call our franchise version at 999 a month, which is for the entrepreneur who wants to start listing, wants to start an ecommerce business, but doesn't want to pay a fortune to learn how to do it.
Bert Leffel [00:18:32]:
That's just a setup fee. And we're going to train you on every step of the way of what we've done and how we do it. So you could literally say, I hate my job, I want to start a business, what do I do? And we'll help walk folks through that as well.
Claus Lauter [00:18:46]:
It's probably the cheapest master class I have ever heard to set up a business, but it's good to have a partner helping you with a radio if you really want to start from scratch. Before we come to the end of the coffee break, is there anything that you want to share with our listeners that we haven't covered yet?
Bert Leffel [00:19:02]:
The benefit of what we've built is really to reduce the footprint of the world's largest retailers and they're taking on all these products. Returns have become a part of what we all expect when we buy products. So when you take a product back to the store and return it, where does it go? It does not go back to the shelf. It goes to liquidation. And so those products are then auctioned off and sold off throughout the world. They may go to stores, they may get sold, they may not get sold. And if they don't get sold, where do they go? Well, they go to landfills. And so our main goal here is really to do what we can to help reduce that footprint and help get these products back into society at a discount.
Bert Leffel [00:19:43]:
So if you want to buy a product you don't want to pay full retail, you can check on list or not user near you to be able to buy those products at a lesser cost. So that's the main goal for us is really reducing the footprint of the nation's largest retailers or the world's largest retailers rather.
Claus Lauter [00:20:00]:
Yeah, I really like the mission that you have there. It makes totally sense for me. Where can people find out more about you guys?
Bert Leffel [00:20:07]:
They could go to listernaut.com. That's L-I-S-T-E-R-N-A-U-T. It's like an astronaut, but it's listernot and so there's information there. To schedule a demo, reach out. Contact us for more information. We're happy to schedule a demo. You can actually click to schedule it at a time that's convenient for you and we will meet you online and show you how it all works.
Claus Lauter [00:20:29]:
Excellent. Thanks so much for your time today. I will put the links in the show notes as always, then you're just one click away. I checked you out on your YouTube channel, which is also very helpful and gives a very good overview on how to get started with your solution. Thanks so much.
Bert Leffel [00:20:42]:
Thank you. Appreciate it.
Claus Lauter [00:20:44]:
Hey Klaus here. Thanks for joining me on another episode of the e commerce Coffee Break podcast. Before you go, I'd like to ask two things from you. First, please help me with the algorithm so I can bring more impactful guests on the show. It will make it also easier for others to discover the podcast, simply like comment and subscribe in the app you're using to listen to the podcast and even better if you could leave a rating. Thanks again and I'll catch you in the next episode. Have a good one.
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