Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Interview at EcomBalance. At EcomBalance, we’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the ecommerce space.
In this exclusive interview, we have a conversation with Chris Green.
Chris Green has literally ‘done it all’ when it comes to online entrepreneurship.
From eBay, to Amazon, to self-publishing books, and print-on-demand merchandise, he’s tried them all and openly shares what he’s learned with anyone who will listen on social media. Chris started selling on eBay back in the 90s and was one of the very first FBA sellers on Amazon.
He also co-founded the first scanning app specifically for FBA sellers (ScanPower) and wrote the first book about FBA. He even coined the term Retail Arbitrage!
His current focus is helping people use their phones to identify items from yard sales and thrift stores that can be FLIPPED online for a profit. ANYONE can use the eBay and Amazon apps along with the amazing Google Lens app (all free apps) to IDENTIFY an EVALUATE literally ANY ITEM for potential resale. This is the best way for people to get started in the world of online entrepreneurship.
Chris lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two very cool children.
Connor: Hey Chris, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. As a company, one of our goals is to highlight our partners so that our clients can benefit where it makes most sense. To get started, can you give us a high-level introduction to chrisgreen.com and a little bit about how the company got started?
Chris: Over the past 20+ years, I’ve been “making money online” using all kinds of different methods and models such as retail and online arbitrage by selling on eBay and Amazon/FBA, SaaS, mobile apps, memberships, self-publishing, print-on-demand, consulting, speaking engagements, hosting events, and more. Currently, we have become more focused on providing content and information to people looking to get started in the make-money-online space and point them in the right direction. For people who are just starting out, the best answer is often selling items from thrift stores and yard sales on sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace, commonly known as ‘FLIPPING’. It’s simple, easy, and if you have a smartphone and a couple of free apps, it’s practically risk free and potentially quite lucrative.
Connor: Thanks for sharing that! Can you dive a bit more into the various content and courses you produce to help make money online? Our audience is always looking for reputable companies that they can lean on for specific parts of their eCommerce businesses.
Chris: There is a ton of high-quality and free information on YouTube and in Facebook Groups for all kinds of online businesses, especially around eBay, Amazon/FBA, arbitrage, self-publishing, and print-on-demand. All of these businesses are fairly simple although each one has their strengths and weaknesses depending on the skillset of the person and their business goals. Some work better if you’re better with numbers and accounting, some require a little more capital than others, and some require skills in graphic design or marketing. Some aspects of many business models can be outsourced, but it’s my personal opinion that matching up a business model with someone’s personal interests and strengths is a huge factor in predicting the future success of the business.
My personal favorite is self-publishing (through Kindle Direct Publishing, KDP) because it’s the one with the most potential upside. Writing a book is a big task, but once you’re published, so many doors open up that can lead to some big opportunities. Also, the marketing options that become available when you have a book (especially on Amazon) are just incredible. And since writing a book is something that many people won’t ever do, it’s an easy way to differentiate yourself from any competition.
These are some of the reasons why I publish my course material AS BOOKS on Amazon. In my opinion, anyone who is a course creator should consider converting their course content into book format so that they can get their course on Amazon as a Prime-eligible, printed-on-demand physical product. It’s such a powerful method to distribute course content and most content and course creators are sleeping on it.
Connor: Jumping off of that…when you’re thinking about your ideal customer, who is that? Where are they selling online? Where are they located in the world? How much sales do they typically have in a year? If there’s any other qualities, please include them as well. We’re all about making introductions where it benefits both parties.
Chris: If someone wants to “make money online” but they don’t know where to start, there is no one in the world that would be better to talk to than me. I know that may sound arrogant, but I feel that my specialty is helping people see what options are out there as well as help them identify their own strengths and interests in order to match them up with the model that has the highest chance of success and helping them meet their goals.
In my experience, people too-often try to pursue things for the wrong reasons. For example, not everyone wants to make a million dollars; many people would be thrilled to death to know that they can make an extra $1,000/month in their spare time from home. Now I can help BOTH, but if someone doesn’t have the breadth of experience, I would worry that they would be giving people blanket advice when what they actually need is curated and personalized advice to help someone achieve their goals in a realistic way.
Additionally, most people simply have NO IDEA what options are available to them. Amazon’s KDP platform came out in 2007 and I still talk to people who have no idea that it even exists. Amazon’s print-on-demand merch platform came out in 2015 and people still get excited when I tell them about it because they’d never heard of it until then.
Connor: For our audience to truly understand what makes you stand out from other entrepreneurs that create content, can you share a story of how chrisgreen.com truly helped one of its customers?
Chris: I’ve lost count how many times this has happened, but two of the best and easiest money-making models today are self-publishing and print-on-demand. Amazon has both of these platforms built into their marketplace, including internationally, and both platforms are COMPLETELY FREE to use.
Seriously, both of these platforms allow users to create PHYSICAL PRODUCTS that are Prime-eligible on multiple Amazon marketplaces. When a customer places an order, Amazon will do ALL OF THE WORK. They will print/create it, package it up, and ship it to the customer. They even handle customer service issues and returns. Then, each month, Amazon will send you a royalty check.
And when I tell people about this FREE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION, people are amazed and also grateful for me sharing it with them. I’m happy to take a little credit for being the conduit of these programs, and sometimes I feel like an unpaid Amazon evangelist, but the truth is that people are often overwhelmed with options and that can make it hard to know what to do and where to begin when they want to start an online business.
Connor: As you and your company think about the next year ahead, what does it look like? Are there any specific initiatives that you’re working on as a team to better your products or services for your customers?
Chris: As someone with many ADHD tendencies, I’m trying to FOCUS and do what I can to get the best information into the people’s hands who want it the most. I know that people are overwhelmed with choices and blasted from all sides with marketing messages about the fast and easy ways that they can “make money online” with no money, no experience, and no work. It’s frustrating that those false messages are out there, but there are other people like me that want to make the world a better place for the online entrepreneurs who are just getting started and simply need a little nudge in the right direction.
Connor: How about this…everyone loves a company’s growth story. We all naturally go through ups and downs as a company. What was one of the biggest challenges that the company faced in its growing stages?
Chris: I’ve never been a good delegator. I’ve written all of my books, every single word. I’ve never hired a ghostwriter or even an editor. Why? No good reason. I’m not compulsive or need to control everything. I do worry about accuracy, though, because of the subject matter that I write about. You can’t misquote Amazon policy in a book because that could put someone’s account at risk. And if you don’t know Amazon’s policies inside and out, I think it would be difficult to write about them. This is something that I’m working on because there are many things that need to be done that don’t necessarily need to be done specifically by me.
Connor: Thanks! Let’s talk some eCommerce! Where do you see the industry heading in the next 1-2 years? Any big changes that you’re predicting for the industry? How can eCommerce companies prepare for it?
Chris: Everyone is talking about AI and I can definitely see how AI could disrupt and affect the self-publishing and print-on-demand models. AI will make it easier to create books and graphic designs, but I have not seen a way for AI to create demand. You could have the best book today, but if no one knows about it or no one cares about it, then it’s not going to sell. Same for t-shirt designs. You could already publish anything you wanted and you could already upload the most amazing t-shirt designs, but it just took longer to create the original files. AI will make this process faster, but AI doesn’t solve the problem of getting people to care enough about your product to make a purchase.
And if everyone is using AI to crank out book content and t-shirt designs, how are people going to differentiate themselves? Why would someone expect a customer to buy their product over someone else’s?
I think people should look for ways to use AI within their business in order to make better products that can solve their potential customers’ problems. You’ll still have to find ways to connect with your customers in a meaningful way if you want them to actually buy something from you.
Connor: Changing gears a little bit…When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, what do you think the biggest pain points for eCommerce business owners are? Feel free to speak from personal experience as well.
Chris: Bookkeeping isn’t necessarily fun or exciting, so it’s common for people to put it off. Also, in my experience with small businesses and entrepreneurs who are just starting out, it’s an aspect of the business that they really didn’t think about or sign up for. They’re looking for a way to “make money” and once they start making that money, they realize that now they have something else to learn and do. I think this opens a big opportunity for people to outsource this part of their business as it’s likely not going to particularly align with their strengths so that they can spend more time on the most profitable parts of their business.
Connor: Okay, here’s an open mic opportunity. If there’s one thing that you’d want the EcomBalance community to hear from you, what would it be?
Chris: I am confident that every business out there can benefit from having a book published on Amazon. It can be to establish credibility or authority in a niche, or for lead generation, or as a type of business card, or as a catalog of service, or a complimentary item to another product or service. Time and time again, I’ve seen tremendous upside that people receive once they have a book on Amazon and since most people won’t or don’t do it, it’s such a great way to differentiate themselves.
Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today?
Chris: ChrisGreen.com of course! There you’ll find links to find all of my books, projects, social media accounts, courses, and more. If anyone needs help or has a question, just guess my email address and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.