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Improve Your Sourcing With Zignify!
Sebastian Herz is the Co-founder of Zignify Global Product Sourcing, an agency that provides streamlined sourcing solutions for businesses. He is an Amazon seller who also helps people boost their sales on Amazon and in retail. Additionally, Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who founded MännerSache.rocks and MakakaOnTheRun Anti-Spy Products.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [03:12] Sebastian Herz talks about Zignify Global Product Sourcing and the solutions it provides
- [08:54] Tips for finding the best manufacturers
- [13:17] Does Zignify vet the suppliers they work with?
- [16:26] Sebastian explains how they help entrepreneurs deal with international manufacturers
- [19:28] How Zignify helps entrepreneurs with only a product idea and other services it offers
- [27:06] How Zignify helps with quality control
- [29:58] Zignify’s sourcing trips
- [33:09] Sebastian discusses his money-making process
- [35:59] Sourcing advice
In this episode…
Sourcing quality products at an acceptable price is vital to running a successful business. So, how can you streamline your company’s sourcing to thrive in a competitive marketplace?
According to Sebastian Herz, product sourcing entails many things, including researching appropriate manufacturers to build quality products, production costs, negotiations, and finding the best price for your products. It is a daunting task for most entrepreneurs, but partnering with a sourcing agency makes all the difference. By leveraging a vast international network of suppliers, a sourcing agency gains access to a broader range of quality products at a reduced price point than you’d have access to on your own.
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Pat Yates sits down with Sebastian Herz, Co-founder of Zignify Global Product Sourcing, to discuss his journey of building and running a sourcing agency. Sebastian explains how Zignify helps entrepreneurs with sourcing, negotiating with international manufacturers, how they help entrepreneurs who only have a product idea, and maintaining quality control.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Sebastian Herz on LinkedIn
- Sebastian Herz
- Zignify Global Product Sourcing
- Quiet Light
- Quiet Light on YouTube
- Joe Valley
- Pat Yates on LinkedIn
- Mark Daoust
- Quiet Light Podcast email: [email protected]
- The EXITpreneur’s Playbook: How to Sell Your Online Business for Top Dollar by Reverse Engineering Your Pathway to Success by Joe Valley
Sponsor for this episode
This episode brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.
There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. They provide trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations. So, your Quiet Light advisors aren’t your everyday brokers — they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.
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Hey folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.
Pat Yates 0:32
Hello, everyone, and welcome again to the Quiet Light Podcast. I’m Pat Yates sitting in for Joe Valley, I have a great conversation today that I think will be really actionable for people that are trying to source products. Let’s say you come up with a conceptual idea, or you have a current product and you want it to get to market and maybe you’re looking to save 50 cents a unit or whatever it is, or change your manufacturing because you do have issues with your current manufacturer just want a second one. And what Zignify Global Product Sourcing does, they were founded in 2020. It’s a company that provides streamlined, sustainable sourcing and procurement services across the globe for Amazon sellers, business founders and fast-growing brands. With a team of over 50 plus multilingual sourcing specialists located in different parts of the world, they have the ability to work worldwide to source your products, improve the products or even look for your secondary manufacturer, maybe to save a little bit of money. Sebastian is a really, really smart guy, he lives in Germany, he works on sourcing trips, I’ve been with him to Mexico before looking at sourcing products and how to change your supply chain and logistics of manufacturing there. I think he’s an expert in figuring it out. And what’s interesting is, I think that if everyone looks at this from a standpoint of M&A If you save money on your product, or maybe you lower down your amount of import freight duty and tax, if you add 30 or 40 cents to something, and he gives an example of someone that’s doing half a million units, you do that math, and it’s a huge savings. And then eventually, if you exit with someone like Quiet Light, then you’ll have the ability to go over in and be able to save that money and increase your valuation and exit eventually. So I was really excited about talking to Sebastian about this because I’m kind of a junkie when it comes to manufacturing and sourcing. So I’m excited to talk to Sebastian about this. Let’s go right to it. Welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast, Sebastian. It’s great to have you today.
Sebastian Herz 2:20
Pat, thanks a lot. It’s an honor to be here.
Pat Yates 2:23
Man, this is exciting. You know, sometimes when you get to tape, these podcasts, you talk to people, the United States, so tell everybody about you and where you’re from?
Sebastian Herz 2:31
Well, myself, I am German. And we do live in Germany, and but our company actually is globally placed. So they’re all over the world. This where the factories are, let’s say this way.
Pat Yates 2:43
That’s great. So folks, we’re with Sebastian, today he’s with Zignify and he’s going to talk a little bit I know special, we want to tell people about sourcing, this is kind of an interesting podcast for us to do, because a lot of the things we do are actionable after you start a business. So let’s say that someone is trying to get into the e-comm business, and they want to get a product and they just absolutely have nowhere to start. And they call you and say maybe I have an idea. Or maybe I don’t tell us what Zignify does to help them bring products to market.
Sebastian Herz 3:12
So quite a lot of our customers do actually have an idea already. They’re usually in the market or to have at least a product idea. And the ones were developed a little bit further, they usually let’s say for example, Amazon, they go on Amazon, they find the competitor, they take the link and they send us the link and say you know what goes source this product with chatGPT and any of the other help, we’ll find out all the negative points. So means we want to improve their product. Let’s go find producers negotiate the prices make the product better ship it over so we can start selling it. We do find the manufacturers all over the world. And not just two or three, but we want to go really deep in and find the best prices and will then produce them and or negotiate the prices for your best sellers to literally save millions of dollars on the existing products.
Pat Yates 4:00
Wow, it’s amazing. So let’s back up a step. So let’s say someone already has an e-comm business, they developed a product and maybe they want another alliteration of it or a different kind of design of it or color or whatever. So those people can come to you and say here’s the product we’d like you to improve it help our sourcing from many standpoints, maybe its supply chain, maybe it’s the manufacturer could be quality, it could be price driven, what are all the things that people come to you to try to improve if they have a current business?
Sebastian Herz 4:29
I have just done this with a few partners and went through this. So I think the most three common things are if you’re looking for a new product, you want to find a new manufacturer and extend your portfolio or want to exchange your current supplier because of cost price quality whatsoever issues or even some of them become that large. That capacity issues. The producer can’t handle the amounts. The second one is most often for us sellers. Well, Trump invented not invented he didn’t invent them but he started pretty much well, the economy war against China in May of 2018, and started putting import dumping anti-dumping tariffs on a market, I think of about $250 billion worth. And all those products have like 25% or higher, the highest I’ve seen is like 48% import taxes, so you don’t get them back. It’s duties, it’s fees, it’s import taxes, because the products are from China. So the second case is many of the US sellers want to go away from China find the same product here intend. Think about, you can get your product if you have import tariffs from a different country, the same product, but me it was 0% import tax. And that means for some of our customers, literally millions. And the third one is if you say hey, you have good selling products, whether before an M&A process, you want to optimize the prices, so you get a higher multiple when exiting the business? Or in general, if you want to keep running your business, we’re always optimizing prices.
Pat Yates 6:01
Yeah, that’s an interesting point. I want to go to the M&A stuff here in a little bit because I have a lot of questions about that. But you mentioned something that’s kind of interesting. I think that one thing that as solopreneurs may not be thinking about but kind of should be thinking about is if you have one factory it’s just a matter of one problem before you could have zero factories do you really feel like that maybe some of this could be in conjunction with your current manufacturing that you’re going to make sure that you have a second one to keep either the first person honest on price or to make sure if there’s a problem you have a fallback which one do people come to you most with?
Sebastian Herz 6:33
Right, actually really liked this expression you have one supplier you want problem away from having zero I never heard this phrase. Thanks a lot. That’s nice. It’s true. Well, some of the reasons are literally now more and more people wake up and they come for the reasons like hey you know what, I want to optimize my price this may still be with the same supplier to get better prices but getting additional ones gives you a huge leverage of negotiation but the second thing was one of the most the biggest reasons for the last years was getting a new supplier where the long shipping terms and we had like 13, 14 weeks of sea time before the stuff was arriving on land the delay in the factories the corona COVID shutdowns of the factories massively delayed the production so they all want to have a backup supplier and or do the so called near shoring means get your product the production closer to where you’re selling you can make smaller orders you can don’t have to invest so much money you don’t have to wait that long the shipping is much cheaper and then you know you can frequently but more often play small orders, So I think those are the most reasons others are yes quality issues for example, or suppliers raising prices new things like really again, I mean come on. And then you start whether you go with a new supplier but if you have more proposals, you just go unfortunately tell hey, I have so many other options stick with the old price I’m sorry, I need to leave I need to go to a new supplier and yes, quality is same or better quality as you deliver.
Pat Yates 8:10
Wow. See, you mentioned something really interesting because one thing I didn’t think about is the savings on free duty and taxes say for instance someone’s manufacturing in China like everyone wakes up and thinks I’m gonna make a consumer product that has to be made in China it’s really not that way even though it’s sort of dominates it but do you take your clients and analyze and say okay, your manufacturing costs is here but the other costs that you’re spending like freight duty tax and timing and just all that other stuff adds up to this but if you moved to say India I’m just making that up that the duty and tax would say go away or be less than and then the math right there makes it worth the change. I never thought about that side of it as much so do you analyze that first? Is that kind of where you attack where they need to go? Or is it based on locale?
Sebastian Herz 8:54
I mean it is quite easy quite obvious by now really where to go I mean it’s just could be just go away from China and go to Vietnam or go to Mexico or wherever like we just talked about before right? The trade show Ebola time that’s where we were in Mexico as well. Now I mean if you want to I can give you like one specific example where yes, Texas the import tariffs are quite important. German guy selling in the US not even on Amazon. Oh, it’s actually three people. And they’re selling over Shopify. Those guys they really know what they’re doing in terms of marketing, which was rocket. I mean, we have own brands as well but my Shopify is really the needs to be a long beep here right now. I don’t get I’m not gonna say that word, but they’re selling in the 10s of millions of dollars over the Shopify store per year. Now they came to us and said you know what, oh, I have an issue. Why because we sell quite a lot and yes, we’re sourcing from China can you find that product in another country, where we had a 0% in protect? I was like, sure we can look and it was I have to admit, I mean, it was a record it will never never, never, never happen again. I mean, it was super, super lucky, it took us three hours. In three hours, we found a new supplier in Vietnam, same product quality, of course, done, same quality or better. And we had the luck that we also ordered this, we could we could negotiate $1 cheaper than the previous supplier. So even outside of China can be cheaper. And then here comes the story. $1 cheaper on the unit. He’s selling 500,000 units a year. That’s $500,000 in clean savings just on the product. Now you come to the funny thing, import taxes, he was lucky, whatever, it’s not the super highest it was 27% only. When you imagine if you order for $100,000. You import that stuff, you show the goods the value, and you leave $27,000 at the US customs or at the US border to the customs just because he imported stuff. For him it was a little bit different. I mean, again, he said $500,000 a year every year now from the envelope finding cheaper supplier. And he sold 500,000 units original price was $6 $3 million in order a year. And that is by 27% $810,000. of import tariffs. So $810,000 $500,000 in savings, three hours of work. Again, we’re super lucky. But it’s $1.31 million dollars of saving every year with one single product.
Pat Yates 11:33
That’s really incredible. See, I think that it’s really funny because you mentioned it, it’s like people concentrate on so much on the design of their product, the packaging getting it in I don’t think they think about the little dimes and quarters that slip out and they end up adding up just like you said, even if you fight for 10 cents more on that many units, it’s a huge amount of money. So you help people source, does it really matter? Where do you try to find the best manufacturer for it? Or just the least expensive price? What most people come in and look for here? Are they looking for a cost savings? Or is there something that’s more important to them in their company that they’re looking for a new manufacturer for?
Sebastian Herz 12:09
Well, when it’s completely new products in general, of course, they’re looking for manufacturers and see anybody who can produce it. And if they say now, it’s becoming tougher and tougher against all the Chinese competitors. I mean, Amazon itself has driving India, the Chinese suppliers directly to get them on the platform for the last three years or so. And many understand is like, hey, I want higher USP is like when it’s in the US, like I want it made in us or we have customers, right, and they’re not made in China and not capitalized, literally on the product. Or yes, when it comes to besides not only portfolio extension to optimize the current cost of your product, because I mean, you can see this, this can be massive amounts of money.
Pat Yates 12:54
Now, one of the things that I was reading, when I was looking at your site, one of the things I don’t think people really understand they can have people go in and check factories, you know, you can have people go in and look at your products. And if they don’t go to China, sometimes it’s a leap of faith. Tell me a little bit about how you vet those people. So if someone’s coming in, they can be confident that the vendors you’re working with you check with them, and they’re reputable, and they follow all the guidelines.
Sebastian Herz 13:17
Yeah, really good question. And really important. We don’t only have a database, where we just grab and send you the links or so I mean, we are doing the background checks for sure. In the beginning, when we start searching, we usually search for about 33, zero to about 66, zero, potential producers get in contact with them, it doesn’t make sense to check all of them in the beginning to depose down detail, because that would cost you a lot of money. But then when we come to the point where we say it’s like, there’s 234 or five of them, let’s get samples. Of course, we do full background checks. I mean, once we have by now in two years, we grew from one person to almost 60 employees never made a place that paid advertising just through the word of mouth, and some trade shows. But that means we also have a big team. Like in China, for example, I think we have 16, 17 or 18. Ladies, it’s all women actually, by the way in the company. I’m the only guy I am not on purpose Long story short, but yeah, women are just the better shoppers and they enjoyed it, I believe a lot more. And in order to check on the backgrounds of the companies, you would see hey, are they a registered business? Are they actually a trading company, if they’re a trading company to kick them out? We don’t want anybody who’s boxes and get 20% for that. So always go directly to the manufacturer, if you want to check with them, then you know, check if they have a business license if the business exists, do they have an export license? What can you see? Do they have any of course simplest thing that reviews? Can you see any customer experience? What about the management? Where is the management involved? Which other companies are there? Can we see that some of the companies or the managers are being sued in front of court right now? How easy is the communication? How flexible are they? Do they really have a factory or just an office? And you can do those checks simply yourself, by the way, actually, as well go call them go call, or when you talk with your supplier, and don’t tell them before, but they hit them by surprise, and then you just chat with them over ration, or WeChat. And just asked like, so. Hey, are you in the company right now? Are you in the factory? Yeah, I am. So okay, cool. All right. Awesome. Do me a favor, turn on your camera. Now I want to see the factory, I want to see the production. And when is it just in the office? And I’m like, no, no, I’m downtown. Right now in our office, aha, your trading company, check out the background check out the web pages to see is like if they’re producing, baby products, baby toys and electronic articles at the same time, and maybe also supplements that is very unlikely a producer, this is a trading company and all of those checks. You can do we can do? Yeah, it is important to not only just order from any supplier you find, but due to background checks.
Pat Yates 16:00
Yeah, it’s really incredible. I think that one of the things that I think about nurses, some people, you know, have a fear of culture or language or anything when they’re dealing with suppliers, manufacturers, tell me a little bit about that. Because let’s say that someone is dealing with a Chinese manufacturer, and they’re unsure how to deal from a business standpoint and culture even it is that something that you help these sourcing people along in that situation has that helped them.
Sebastian Herz 16:26
It helps us that we used to live a long time in Asia, actually, my wife lived for nine years in China, I was three years in China, we met there and well, we got quite into the Chinese culture, of course, and latest to live in Singapore, it does help for sure. I mean, and again, on the other hand, you don’t need to be afraid you can also easily talk to them, you understand that the ones you talk to are most of the employees. They’re not founders like you, and they’re very much driven by commission. So they’re really about selling and this, by the way, is also the secret why are the Chinese like answering day and night all the time. They’re always there in sales for you. Just very simple for the reasons they are commissioned, driven. It’s not like the rest of the world. This is why the rest of the world it’s a little bit more difficult to get proposals, but also their. Be patient, you’ll get them. Now when helping with this, yes, right now we actually have actually one of our customers, he went over to China, and we even had our local Chinese team guiding him through the factories, doing the quality control with him feed, guiding him through the cities doing whatever fun activities in the evening, or just intro. But that’s the thing we already do in project management, ensure you to the supplier, and if there’s any moderation needed, I mean, more than happy to do so. In order to trust people, of course, I mean, you know, we usually say never marry a stranger, you probably if you are going out on a date, and you are whatever getting into a relationship, there are a few things you want to see if that works, right. I’m talking of course about what happens if you go in a fight? Are you able to work along? Are you able to get through this? Do you have the stamina and the want and the need to work together with this person? That’s the same thing that will happen with your supplier, believe me, everything is great and awesome in the beginning, but also for our own, we have a cosmetics brand as well. A German fully Germany manufacturer or made cosmetics brand and yes, even with them, we had troubles. But then it’s important thing is like, are you able and is he able to work together with you to find the solution? Or is it gonna be just head-on-head, ego against ego, and you never get along? So of course this you will also see in the process of getting to know your supplier very important.
Pat Yates 18:51
Yeah, you know what, that’s an interesting point. Because you can be it an intermediary to that relationship and help form that relationship, you have a longer relationship with a supplier, maybe a new relationship with the buyer, it’s great to be able to have someone in between it can help put that together. So again, folks, we’re talking with Sebastian Herz from Zignify Global Product Sourcing. So let me ask this, so you help start to finish so someone has a conceptual item. So they come to you and say, I have this buggy whip that I want to make, and I’ve had it in my mind all the time. And I’d like to go out and find something similar. Do you help them through the process of even refining before you manufacture what is someone only has an idea?
Sebastian Herz 19:27
I mean, we’re now even starting for sure also with product hunting or finding product ideas that may be profitable on the market. I mean, of course using the tools and going through the tools and seeing what which product is likely. On the other hand, one of the things you got to say very, very clearly is you can never guarantee the success of the product. Why? Because it depends on the market. Of course the buyers and everything I’m betting depends on you guys. Because if you’re lazy, if you’re not getting great images and please images, images, images, images, I don’t know, who did not say this yet focus on great images, make it great, make it a great product, of course, make good listings and everything. If you don’t do that, then the greatest product can suck. And even the shittiest product can go quite well if you put the right effort in there, right? So, if you have just an idea, or basically if you have just an idea, and yeah, we can develop this together, we have done even electronic PCB board designs, we have done, of course, packaging designs, textile cutting lines or cutting dies, what would that be called an English? All possible? Yeah, an easy start, usually, for most of them is, you take your Helium 10, or your Data Dive, by the way, here’s a shout-out to Brandon Young and his Data Dive as well as Anthony Cole, Francesco. Nope, not paid. But it’s awesome tools out there, we can really, really, really analyze the market. And, you know, you go in there and you see, hey, there’s like five tests. There’s only five vendors in there. But it’s a market of $1.2 million a month. And I think I can be at least number six, I look at those images, like yeah, I can do that. So just find the market. And when you have this, take the link of the good competitor, find out what the problems are, again, like chatGPT take all the 1, 2, 3-star reviews, throw them into chatGPT and say, hey, tell me what is the summary of those negative reviews? And then you have actually a great product with improvement capacities. And you go I mean, you make a good product better.
Pat Yates 21:39
Yeah, word that’s really incredible. So with your company, I’m looking at the mind of the person who really doesn’t understand manufacturing or wants to actually save a lot of money. Obviously, if they come in and they’re talking to you, are there steps that you have in place that helps them actually get to market better? So for instance, if someone doesn’t think about certain things on their packaging, is it important to have a group like you that says, oh, by the way, you may want to put this on the back your package, or there’s this warning, and we worked with this company before? And they do this amazing box that you can leverage? Are there things that you guys have that can actually sort of add value to the company, just based on the relationships that you have as well?
Sebastian Herz 22:21
Yeah, I mean, packaging is a basic thing we have done now, I’m saying it’s actually for more than a year. So I think the number has increased, we’ve done more than 3000 products so far that we’ve sourced out, sure lots of product packaging, I mean, we do know pretty much what needs to be on there. At the same time, I have actually or we have created a list that goes out to Amazon sellers, e-commerce sellers, anything that is a collection, I think by now if 130 or 140 companies or so software and service offers, where you have actually discount links or bonuses, all of the income through us from Zignify we’re not getting any affiliate, all I want to do is like you know, help the market and help anybody else to build businesses as well. And the list, I still don’t know from all of them, the typical project value and the savings value, but the few of them that I collected together, I summed it up the list has already a value of more than $20,000. So it’s probably somewhere around 40 $50,000 worth this list. I can share this with you another problem. But the important thing here is since we’re selling ourselves since 2014, we go through the same struggles. So yes, we have all the needed people, whether in Europe or in the US, or even Australia together to say, they, for example, make great images, I’m happy to make introductions for you. They make whatever great SEO, they make the greatest PPC, they make great a pass content or videos. Here’s a good lawyer, there’s whatever, logistics company fulfill orders when you have a web page or the web page builders of course as well. And I mean, of course, if you come to the point of an M&A well, there’s Quiet Light, go to Pat and discuss M&A.
Pat Yates 24:07
Yeah, that’s exactly right. It’s really interesting because you make our job a lot easier. You get people in line and logistics, you get their pricing in place, they understand their landed cost of goods sold, which makes them more efficient on accounting standpoint. It’s really great. So let’s talk a little bit about let’s say okay, so we started with a conceptual item or we’re approving a widget and then we’ve gone to the manufacturer negotiated pricing you guys have done it now it’s ready to go so how do you help let’s say that someone has never imported product or they need supply chain help or anything like that you will help go from that point to where they can completely supply and get it to themselves here at let’s say in the United States.
Sebastian Herz 24:41
You mean in terms of sourcing and supply chain?
Pat Yates 24:43
Yes post manufacturing getting it to them logistically if someone doesn’t understand supply chain.
Sebastian Herz 24:48
Yeah, I mean basic for us and almost every project as well. We go in and find logistics companies carriers forwarders, who bring it to you like the fastest, cheapest and the safest way I also suggestion you always think about, for example, shipping insurance or to travel forwarding freight insurance. Now I have it and yeah, I mean, we do everything with a shipping preparation, just getting on board to the input preparation, you are the guys who have to do the import, but it’s also quite easy. You send usually to your customs or whatever, like an email like this, hey, I’m the owner, I’m the importer, blah, blah. And please import this for me this, those are the products, here’s the packing list, the commercial invoices. And then send me the invoice as usual later afterwards. So this is the point that you have to do on your own. Why because we are legally not allowed to do that. But then it’s up to your warehouse, if you want to, we can of course then tell them to bring it to whoever great logistics companies they are or your existing warehouses, whatever you have. So the target is of course from finding a product idea until having it not here in your office, but in the warehouses or the third party suppliers, and the third party services who will just do all the handling for that, because think about this as well. I don’t know if you necessarily want to build up really an own warehouse own people in there, where they’re experts already. I mean, I am with small accounts, but I don’t handle my shipping on my own.
Pat Yates 26:24
Yeah, that’s great. I mean, what I’m trying to get people to understand, obviously, again, talking with Sebastian Herz from Zignify Global Product Sourcing, what I’m trying to get across to people is, I think people are intimidated on how to get into business, they understand they can get to shop fire, Amazon, but the sourcing, development, pricing, you know, communicating with suppliers and all, it’s amazing that you take care of this really start to finish where people can get it in their warehouse, and they’re ready to have a business. So one thing that always seems to come up is quality control. Tell us a little bit about because, there’s so many regulations, maybe a product has to have certain testing and things like that. Do you help with beginning and understanding the testing needed, then obviously, to check the quality of the product once it’s done?
Sebastian Herz 27:06
Of course, I guess that would be the short answer. But as you noticed, I talk a lot.
Pat Yates 27:13
That’s because you’re very informative.
Sebastian Herz 27:15
Well, as long as it’s not boring, guys don’t switch off. Pat has a lot more interesting to say after me. Now, for sure if it’s about patent research and finding out what kind of certificates are needed for this kind of product depends always on the country where you import it where you sell it. So, baby food products they will be strict in both countries. But Germany in the US would have different regulations once the FDA and in Germany, what better counterparts. But yes, I mean, it’s for sure important to know about them. Either you can find this out on your own or you have a compliance men in the compliance manager but a compliance consultant or so for that we have several in our list in there that you can find also directly in the in the US. And if you know what certificates are needed, well then at the same time, you also need to get them in some cases, it may be that the supplier actually already has it, when you buy it from them, or when they make an offer to you, they will always say they have it. But this is also a simple thing to check also about the suppliers to see whether they are true whether they are valid, whether they’re legal or whether they are not valid anymore. So we of course do also the checks if we want to if you want us to do that, to check the certificates about the need. And if there’s some that you don’t have yet, we see this very, very often in the US in Europe. Why? Because most of the Chinese they sell the products, of course and mass to the US. But the European market, they don’t really know the regulations, they didn’t sell so much of that yet. And the US amazon.com is a lot larger than Amazon, even though German markets the largest one now. And they may not know the regulations. So we pretty much all the time have to check what regulations are there? Do we have them, and then help to get them for example, to work with UV SGS DEKRA or any other accredited testing facilities in order to obtain the certificates that are not only needed by Amazon, but by your government.
Pat Yates 29:21
That’s really incredible. I think the one thing about Zignify Global Product Sourcing, I look at it when I was researching your site, it’s like there was no area I could go to that you didn’t seem to cover. I think some people might like doing it over zoom or talking to people over the phone or whatever it’s going to be but you also have sourcing trips where you allow people to go to these locations and actually look at factories. We did one together both of us have been to Mexico for the sourcing showdown there for Mexico show, which I thought was fascinating to see some of those processes. Tell us a little bit about the educational side of this where you can take people and help them talk to them in front of these vendors.
Sebastian Herz 29:58
Yeah, I mean, we’re doing them together. Right now, like Mexico and Amy ways you may know her amazing at home also shout out hey, me. So we I think all of us, that’s the interesting thing in the industry worldwide, you see the same people actually worldwide, you see the same ones in Sydney, as you see in LA, or sometimes even in Prague. So the sourcing trips, the cool thing about this is, the next one will go also together with Amy is the Canton Fair. And we’re going to head over to China, we take a few along, if you still want to join, we still have a few seats available, let us know. We’ll book you in. Now what we do there is we go and we of course, have a good time together and nice hotels do some nice days to some culture, explored, of course, the markets, explore the cities do some cultural stuff. But I mean, I’m usually a person’s like, okay, I could live without that. I just want to focus business. But then we go to the factories, we find out some of the factories, we go make guided tours there. And through that, like the last ones we had were, for example, one of them was a plastics manufacturer. And we went through and we seen, the extrusion machines. And I looked around, for example, and showed the people around like, hey, this and that you can check and I just took, for example, one of the ladies, and I was like, here’s a scratch, okay, took it away in the next one. There’s another scratch, it’s the same thing. So I actually, we could tell the factory there, it’s like guys do me a favor, look at your mold, your mold has a problem. And they didn’t notice this on their own. There was just a scratch on there, go clean your mold, fill it up, whatever you have, it’s most likely it’s something like a piece of metal or so was stuck with glue to it. And that made the scratch in the lead and that looks like a scratch on a live nice. And other things that aren’t you know, you go to trade shows at the same time you go look around, find vendors, you start negotiating, learn some of the negotiation type of techniques, and just try your best. And this will be very interesting, especially in China, they give you one thing where the Chinese especially it’s kind of common or culture already, when you talk to them, you start negotiating, it’s too expensive, too expensive. And then you just walk away, you literally walk away with knowing it already that you will come back because they will yell after you. They will come after you and you go away, you talk about whatever other prices, and they are yelling you some other prices, and then all of a sudden, like, look there, there it was come back. Alright, now we’re talking about prices. That is a really nice experience plus to me, it’s the best food in the world. I mean, yeah, you will not regret real authentic Chinese food.
Pat Yates 32:38
You know what, I’ll tell you what, I am really kind of upset that I can’t go on that. And if people are listening right now, we’re kind of we’re recording this in August. And that trip is in late October, which I was hoping to go on Chuck Mullins from Quiet Light will be when he was two guys, I believe me? Yeah, it’s really amazing. So one of the things we didn’t talk about is tell us how Zignify Global Product Sourcing is makes their money with a client? I mean, how do you price? How do you structure your work? And maybe Is there a contract they have to lock into for a period of time? Tell us all about that?
Sebastian Herz 33:09
Yeah, the common thing is usually, you take a percentage of the order volume, will find your manufacturers and take a percentage, but that’s not what we do. I think we’re doing it quite different from the rest of the market, maybe for the reason, because we’re sellers ourselves. So we are actually paid by the hour. And we are taken, actually we’re tracking, you will get both one of the very important things you’ll get the contacts of every supplier that we find this is also something not so special. Why? Because if I take a percentage from you, then I will not tell you who the supplier is. So you have to come back in the future to me, so place another order, and I’ll get another percentage No, we don’t do that. We wanted 100%, open 100% transparent and 100% honest. So this is why we show all of the contact details you can if you want to contact at any time, themselves take over, we just need to talk when do you want to take over etc, etc. And then you will have another extra list an overview where you see the minutes actually that we’re spending not the hours, but the minutes, and then you can see what we spend it on. And the other thing that’s just a very open honest an hourly rate, you can see that and when it comes to savings projects, we do a little bit different there. I mean, then we take the hourly rates and we negotiate with you we have like a set of percentages, again, of the savings, never off the order volume only of the savings. So for example, I’ll tell you one of the things like the guy back then with $1.31 million saved in three hours. Even said we just talked about the savings, the 500,000 from what is it from the product saving so the cost savings, not the imports. And he said you know what’s the question I would even give you $200,000 Because I still make 300,000 immediate savings in this year. And I said, you know what his name is also Sebastian’s like, no, I don’t want to thank you very much for the offer, but it’s not in the contract. So and also for the next product, it was not in the contract with him. So we said, you know what, we’ll do this for you. And this is our massive learning. But, yeah, there will be just the basic standard contract, we’re suppliers, your service providers, your customers, we can do this, this this, then there’s an hourly rate and a percentage in case it’s a savings project. And that’s it. Let’s go ready. So we usually start shooting tomorrow.
Pat Yates 35:32
It’s very simple process. And obviously, it’s great to have someone that you can work directly with sometimes talking to manufacturers. So you have five out there, you’re betting and you’re doing it yourself, you’re having a wave through that information, figure out if they’re reputable, you help them get there faster, which makes someone even more efficient. So Sebastian, are there other things that you think that the listeners need to know about Zignify Global Product Sourcing is? Do we cover pretty much everything? Or other things that you would tell them you guys are able to do?
Sebastian Herz 35:59
The good question. I’m actually trying to turn this around not to talk necessarily about us. But and we’ll give some hints out there of saying even though there’s a lot of people, of course, who do sourcing on their own. And one of the things really one of the suggestions is, do me a favor and go and when you find suppliers, and when you find proposals, don’t look for two or three proposals. Why? Well, because you have three prices, and you have a high price and a low price, what do you think the highest one is going to say, but the lowest price, different quality, better quality, right? Doesn’t matter which country it comes from. But if you start having like 10, 12, 15, 20 proposals, because you have looked for 30 to 60, potential producers, you know what that gives you first, a clear overview about the market price, you see what is the real market price, you see if second one, you will have higher medium and low prices, a lot of them so you can see who’s really like running out and giving you insane prices, or something, whether it be the cheapest one is not usually the best one, of course not. But the third one that also gives you a massive point of negotiation leverage, because you can say is like, you know what, yes, we want your quality, you have the best quality, we really like it, we check it, we liked it, we checked it, we want your quality, but at the same time, there are three others who deliver same quality, but you still have to do with like there’s so many others lined up that also want to do the business, you know what, you need to come closer to us, we always work in the interest of the seller to get the lowest price possible for the needed quality. And this is why when you have an overview, yes, it’s tedious work. Yes, it’s a lot of work that somebody really needs to love doing. But that’s the reason why we exist. Our ladies love doing that. I mean, women, their shopping, they enjoy that thing. And they’re really good at negotiating. Plus of just being patient, being patient with the suppliers. So when you go and you don’t get proposals, even if you do it on your own, be patient continue. Sometimes outside of China, you may need to have like 3456 and every seven times approaching the same supplier until he is really moving and saying like oh, yes. Okay. Sounds like it’s interesting. I’ll give you a proposal. Now nobody’s on vacation anymore. My colleague is back is not sick anymore. We’re out of Corona. And whatever. I’m not in summer vacation. Chinese I really like I want to sell I want to sell I want to sell I want to work. The rest of the world is like yeah, I want to sell but I don’t want to do anything for it.
Pat Yates 38:31
It’s really incredible. And I think that when I listen to this, it’s weird because I rewind to 20 years ago when I was doing a lot of sourcing it was much harder to do then you didn’t have the communication sources you really didn’t have the history. Anyone out there that’s listening. It’s thinking about starting a business or has a product I mean, I can look at how Sebastian could sit not only save you a lot of money but a lot of time it’s like some of the tangible savings of half million of import cost or product costs is one thing but if you’re three hours leaner a week over a year’s time, you’re gonna find ways to make even more money. Sebastian this has been an amazing conversation today man I hope that I know that at Zignify Global Product Solutions you can get a free call schedule free call and analyze where you’re at and just get an idea so you know tell our listeners how they get in touch with you.
Sebastian Herz 39:19
Very simple, let me see if it moves it covers I try not to show too much right now. No it doesn’t. But let me move this and there’s a QR code. It should work actually people try it this scanning it by.
Pat Yates 39:34
It was in there most of the I was watching it and most of our recording was in their crypt away a little bit like it was leaning but that’s great. So they can scan that or go to zignify.net and try to schedule a call with you correct?
Sebastian Herz 39:46
Exactly Zignify the beginning is a Z and the end is the y and the rest of you can spell zignify.net
Pat Yates 39:51
Can they find you on LinkedIn or email if they want to reach out to you.
Sebastian Herz 39:54
You find me as Sebastian “The Connector” Herz on LinkedIn or on Facebook. That’s pretty much the ones are so many people by now have my whatsapp number. And again I’m super happy also if you have a question hey Sebastian, can you connect me to this person? For sure not a problem. No, I’m not getting an affiliate fee. Oh, and by the way, if there’s one day when you say you want to bring your successful products into the online, not only online into the physical world and the big box retail stores, that’s what I do as well. I’ve made this with my first brand. I’m about to do this with a second brand. And we help others of course doing that as well. So if you want to get into WalMart, we have also partners in the US we work with all over Europe to say hey, let’s get your product into 1000s of shelves.
Pat Yates 40:39
That’s incredible man. Sebastian, it’s been so great having you in the Quiet Light Podcast today. And everyone if you have any sourcing needs, obviously, they’ve got all kinds of new things going on at Zignify Global Product Sourcing, get them at zignify.net, again Sebastian, thanks for taking the time today. I appreciate you coming in the Quiet Light Podcast.
Sebastian Herz 40:57
Thank you so much for having me. Have a good day.
Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast, subject or guest, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.