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Need passive income? Utah startup, Byld Capital wants to help you open an Amazon store with the help of autonomous driving vehicles.

Utah Business

Need passive income? Utah startup, Byld Capital wants to help you open an Amazon store with the help of autonomous driving vehicles.

Byld Automation wants to help you open an auto-driving Amazon store

Imagine starting a retail business and instantly having the power to reach 300 million customers in 180 countries, access to 175 fulfillment centers worldwide, and brand advertising that reaches 96 percent of US adults aged 25-54 every month. Imagine if, once you get started, you didn’t really have to do a thing other than sit back, check your analytics dashboard, and track your profits in real-time.

Utah startup Byld Automation wants to make what they call “Amazon on auto-drive” possible. “We are a service that will run a business for clients. We do that through Amazon,” says Jonny Schmidt, Byld Automation founder and CEO. “Amazon has a platform that allows people to leverage all of their network, their fulfillment teams, and their traffic.”

So does this mean if you’ve got a great product idea, Byld will bring it to market for you on Amazon? Not exactly (so you can put the jewelry pliers down). “We don’t take requests for what to sell,” Jonny says. “We’re not manufacturing products and listing them as our own brand. We have a team that does all the product research for what we will be selling…they’re all name-brand products that already exist—things that people are searching for every day. We’re going out there to get brand approvals from tons of different suppliers.”

Chris Schmidt, Byld Automation partner, explains that each store the company opens for clients isn’t dedicated to one type of product or genre. “We’re not saying this store is a makeup store or that store is a kitchen and goods store. It’s hundreds of products in each store, randomly flipping in and out, testing profit margins on these products.”

Byld Automation has software tools that track e-commerce trends daily, identifying discount offers and products in high demand. “We’re not just looking at trends or hot industries; we’re looking for products with the highest profit margins,” Chris says. “Say heart-shaped mirrors are being searched 100,000 times a week in Tokyo. We can see that on our software, and we see if we can buy these mirrors for $1 and sell them for $6, our profit margins will be huge on that. We’ll focus on products with the highest profit margins because there’s an arbitrage for what we can buy it for and how much we can sell it for.”

Byld Automation’s software is leveraging the online space to find differences in pricing for the same products, Jonny says. The focus is wholesale and online arbitrage, which he says are two different selling methods on Amazon that the company leverages simultaneously. 

“For example, you could find a kitchen table on Amazon going for $200 that you could also find for $150,” Jonny says. “It’s the exact same table—maybe being sold by a competitor on Amazon, Walmart, or Sam’s Club. We are able to leverage that price difference to make a profit. Once we’ve found the product that has a difference in price, we would order the cheaper product. Let’s say it’s the table for $150. We’d send it to our warehouse, package it in an Amazon package, send it to Amazon, then list it for $200 and make the profit. There are expenses behind the scenes, but for roughly every product we find, we make sure it has at least a 20 percent or above profit before considering taking it in. Some of the products we research have 50 percent, 60 percent, even 100 percent profit margins.”

Jonny freely admits that Byld Automation isn’t the first company to offer Amazon selling services. But after finding inefficiencies in the way these companies are run, he wanted to make the process even better. After investing in development and testing for several months, Byld Automation officially launched in February and has already signed 100 clients and counting. 

As Byld grows, the team continues to find ideal clients. “We’re the perfect business for people who have the money to invest in Amazon but don’t have the time to do so,” Jonny says. 

It’s as if people are paying Byld to bring them passive income they don’t have to do anything for, Chris says, “But the passive income is much more lucrative than any investment because it’s a company, and companies can be the most profitable assets out there. So the return on investment is absolutely absurd. People don’t believe the numbers when they hear them. But it’s because we’re running a successful e-commerce business in their name and splitting the profits 50/50.”

The appealing thing is that you can actually get a passive income with only a small upfront investment, says Easton Jolley, one of the folks who recently turned to Byld Capital to open an Amazon store. “That is almost impossible to find anywhere else…Don’t go into debt to do this, but if you have the money, it’s well worth it,” he says.

Byld Automation is arriving at a time when all eyes are on Amazon—the pandemic spurred huge growth for the already enormous e-commerce behemoth. While the company recently listed significant quarterly losses (largely due to its investment in electric automaker Rivian Automotive), it saw 7 percent growth over the same period last year. 

More people are taking advantage of the Amazon store opportunity, with Amazon reporting third-party sales growth at 52 percent a year (compared to 25 percent for first-party sales). Amazon also says that third-party sales account for 58 percent of Amazon sales, with their product sales accounting for an average of more than 6,500 American products per minute.

The twin Schmidt brothers (fun fact—they are the sons of The Piano Guys’ Jon Schmidt) are working to ensure that Byld Automation helps its sellers stand out in that crowd. Beyond the product research, sourcing, and fulfillment, Byld navigates the endless maze of Amazon’s rules and regulations, working to ensure all of its clients’ stores have good account health ratings, which are critical for success. “We’re a copycat business,” Jonny says, “But we’re doing it better than the competitor by a longshot.” 

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