Podcast

Learn from Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retailers and eCommerce Experts

EPISODE 109 55 mins

DAZADI: What Scaling from DropShip Ecommerce to a $22m Revenue Private Label Etailer Looks Like

Posted on 16th November 2017 , by Kunle Campbell


About the guests

Jason Boyce

Kunle Campbell

Jason Boyce is a co-founder of Dazadi.com. They sell home recreational products including basketball hoops, game tables, fitness equipment and much more.

Jason has over 13 years of e-commerce experience and started Dazadi.com in 2002 with his 3 brothers. They have over 10,000 products on their site with 100K skus in queue.



Jason Boyce is one of three Co-Founders at Dazadi.com a home recreational product online retailer of basketball hoops, game tables, fitness equipment, and much more. He has over 13 years ecommerce experience and started Dazadi.com in 2002 with his 3 brothers. They have over 10,000 products on their site with 100,000 SKUs and sell on all major marketplaces in the U.S and Canada..

Over my interview with Jason, I discovered that Dazadi’s strength actually lies in marketplace selling. A significant chunk of their $22 million annual revenue can be attributed to marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart.com and Houzz. They have actually mastered the art and science of marketplace selling.

Jason is also huge on outsourcing – his business has an office in the Philippines with close to 30 members of staff. His U.S. team is distributed across the country and they have an office in China for factory liaison and quality control.  Jason is well travelled and deeply understands cultural nuances in the countries that he does business in.

His best decision was to ditch selling other brands and focus on manufacturing their own branded products under the ‘Harvil’ brand.

This is an episode to listen or watch if you want to understand the intricacies involved in scaling to a mature 8-figure ecommerce business entails.

Watch the interview

Military background and business strategy

Jason was a troubled teenager whose life was changed by a dinner invitation. He met his brothers and now co-founders when he was invited to a Friday Night dinner. He bonded with the family and eventually, started a business with the family.

Jason first got his college degree before he joined the military. He left the marine corp in 2002 and started Dazadi.com online. Initially, it was a pure dropship company. The business used to run on PHP and MYSQL that it still runs to date.

Being in the military helped him develop skills in taking calculated risks, strategy planning and others that were crucial to the start and growth of the business.

Revenue and key milestones

Dazadi is expected to reach $22 million in revenue with further growth expectations. Dazadi was initially a drop shipping company but they have pulled revenue from the business turning it into an inventory based business.

There are two main milestones that have been realised in the business.

  1. In 2002, they had a basic Pay Per Click website that was successful. For the next four years, they experienced 2X year-on-year growth.
  2. In 2004, they got a call from Amazon asking them to sell basketball hoops and game tables on their website.

Once they hit the $4 million revenue mark, their growth overtook the team’s expectations. Eventually, they created their own software where the company runs from. They did that since, at the time, there was no good SaaS software that was affordable for businesses unlike now.

Family and leadership

Currently, Jason is the C.E.O, Josh is the Chief Operations officer and Elon is the Chief Revenue Officer.

If one of them does not approve a decision, they will not go through with it until they all are on board.

Marketplaces

They are extremely active in marketplaces. They recently added HOUZZ.com who provide a market for the exclusive product they import from France. They customize the Fuzz ball tables to suit their customers taste.

Philippines

The largest office is in Manila. They have a team that does most of the back office work including product listing, customer support, digital marketing among others. They are paired with the U.S. team who mostly work remotely. Dazadi.com was made to be flexible allowing for easy expansion and contraction.

Managing teams

They use Slack but it does not work in China so they use We Chat there instead. They also use Zoom.us that allows them to have face time with the staff. They also use Skype. They ensure that they have a Skype or zoom call every week with the remote team.

They also have retreats where they bring everyone together to connect. The retreat helps people connect and exchange ideas.

Tips for working with China

It is difficult to change the thinking of the people in China since they have a different culture. Initially, they started by having some drop shipping vendors although the relationship broke down. After changing from drop shipping to do their product label, they started looking for factories. Here are some tips for those who want to follow the Chinese route.

  1. When choosing a factory to develop a long-term relationship with, it is advisable to look for a factory that has some experience producing and shipping products to the U.S.
  2. Also, once you decide on a factory and have them do a product for you, ensure that you hire a company like Asia Inspection to do a pre-shipment inspection of the goods in order to find any defects.

It takes time to develop a relationship with China. Since they are not familiar with American culture, they are bound to make mistakes. However, instead of switching factories, it is better to correct them and help them make a perfect product. This will help in growing your long-term relationship.

Amazon selling

There is a huge difference between how Amazon was in the early 2000s and how it currently is. Amazon has a large market and thousands of products are being sold. For those getting started, it is advisable to have a private level product. The main reason is that it is too expensive selling another person’s product.

Selling other people’s products does not give you control over the product listing. Harvil is the private label brand for Dazidi.com. since they are brand registered, they have complete control over the product listing that allows them to talk about their product in detail and have additional imagery among other things.

They also listen to customers and make changes to the product based on feedback obtained from reviews.

Lightning round

  1. How do you hire people?

Through asking crazy questions to find out if the person is a good fit for the team.

  1. What are your 3 indispensable tools for managing your business?

Slack, Trello, Dazadi’s internal ERP system

  1. What has been your best mistake to date? i.e. a setback that has given you the biggest feedback.

The biggest mistake was to go after market share in spite of profits where they lost $1 million. Through that, they realized that they are not in the online market share business but are in the online sales for-profit business.

  1. If you could choose a single book or resource that has made the largest impact on how you view building a business and growth, which could it be?

Rich Dad Poor Dad

TIMESTAMPS

06.50   Military background and business strategy

08.27   Revenue and key milestones

14.50   Family and Leadership

19.00   Market Place

20.30   Philippines

24.46   Managing Teams

27.30   Tips for working with China

35.40   Amazon Selling

45.45   Lightning Round


About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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