Ryan Mulvany was the Founder and President of Quiverr, an Amazon platinum third-party marketplace seller specializing in full-service channel strategy. Quiverr facilitated over $1 billion in sales on Amazon before Ryan sold it to Advantage Solutions in 2017. Ryan is now a pro merchant on Amazon and invests in disruptive CPG brands. His superpower is scaling the digital marketplace for some of the most innovative beauty and consumer products.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Ryan Mulvany talks about his journey selling on Amazon
- How Ryan got into the agency world and helped companies sell on Amazon
- The genesis of Quiverr and how it acquired customers
- Quiverr’s customer success stories
- Ryan shares his thoughts on private equity
- How Ryan exited Quiverr
- Tips for increasing the value of your company during an acquisition
- The power of mentorship
In this episode…
Amazon has evolved tremendously over the years, and its business method has also changed. How can you thrive in this space as an e-commerce brand?
After selling his wife and in-laws’ books on Amazon, Ryan Mulvany discovered an extraordinary business opportunity. He became devoted to selling on Amazon, learned valuable lessons, and acquired experience in the space — which eventually led to founding an agency. Tune in to hear Ryan’s journey in building (and selling) the agency and deploying Amazon strategies to help brands thrive.
Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz as he welcomes Ryan Mulvany, Founder and former President of Quiverr. Ryan talks about his journey selling on Amazon and developing an agency, how he eventually exited Quiverr, and tips for increasing the value of a company during an acquisition.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Toys R Us
- Drunk Elephant
- Dr. Bronner’s
- Danny DeMichele on LinkedIn
- Juozas (Joe) Kaziukėnas on LinkedIn
- Scott Galloway on LinkedIn
- Aaron Cordovez on LinkedIn
- Matt Newman on LinkedIn
- Brian Baer on LinkedIn
- “[Top Agency Series] Navigating a Merger and Becoming an End-to-End Digital Partner With Kevin Hourigan of Spinutech”
- “Why Civility and Kindness Need To Make a Comeback with Sean Magennis President and COO of YPO”
- “How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Affecting Amazon Sellers” with James Thomson
Sponsor for this episode
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We’re a professional podcast production agency that makes creating a podcast effortless. Since 2009, our proven system has helped thousands of B2B businesses build strong relationships with referral partners, clients, and audiences without doing the hard work.
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We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.
Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90x, Atari, Einstein Bagels, Mattel, Rx Bars, YPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.
The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.
Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.
Jeremy Weisz 0:22
Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of inspiredinsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I have Ryan Mulvany and he’s going to talk about his journey with Quiverr and beyond. And Ryan, before I introduce you formally, I always like to point out other episodes, people should check out on the podcast. So we were introduced by Kevin Hourigan, president of Spinutech, and people should check that out. Kevin founded Bayshore solutions in 1996 and ran it for over two decades, and just an amazing journey and story in his agency. Also, I had Sean McGinnis, who is past president and CEO of YPO, talking about leadership, and that’s Ryan and Kevin are in YPO. Together, and that’s how we met. And James Thomson Johansson started PROSPER Show, which they went on to sell to a publicly traded company, and he built it up. And then they built up an agency and sold that. So that’s, relates to this episode because Ryan built up an agency and sold it and is in the Amazon space, big time. So before I introduce Ryan, this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25, we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast we are do Strategy, accountability and execution of a podcast. For me, Ryan, the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire and to share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should. If you have questions go to rise25.com We’re happy to answer anything that you throw our way. And without further ado, Ryan Mulvany is the founder of Quiverr, which is an Amazon agency that has facilitated over $1 billion in sales on Amazon. He sold Quiverr to Advanta Solutions in 2017. Recently, he finished up his five-year non-compete. I want to talk about that extra Ryan because that seems like a long time. Maybe it’s not, maybe it’s normal for a non-compete. But today, Ryan vests and works with disruptive CPG brands inside of private equity, venture capital in the startup world. If you want to learn more about what he’s doing, you can go to Ryanmulvany.com, to learn more. And I think we owe your success to your wife because I think you started on Amazon because of your wife, right? But I want to talk about Justin Bieber pillowcases. So why don’t we start there?
Ryan Mulvany 2:54
Wow. Okay, I like it. I like it. No, it’s fun listening to that intro, I want to know who’s number one on your 100 person list here. So we can come back to that and shout out to James because I spoke to James many times over the years. When we were going through the sale process, I felt like the adult in the room. Sometimes I needed to call him and he would like, you know, talk me back what’s going on? So yeah, but Justin Bieber pillowcases. If we go far enough, back, there was a time where on Amazon, you could find stuff that was for sale at a certain price point. And then you could find that product in retail for cheaper. And it’s called arbitrage. Now I’ve later learned back in the day, there wasn’t a word for it. But in a sense, I found out that Toys R Us was dropped shipping a lot of products. So in a sense, you could get something from Toys R Us and ship it to an Amazon consumer. And there was a difference sometimes in the price points. And so that’s how I got into Justin Bieber pillowcases, backpacks, beds. There were so many random Justin Bieber things and he was popping. And that’s how I knew about it at the time probably didn’t actually know any of his songs. But I knew that people knew his songs.
Jeremy Weisz 4:11
We know he’s your favorite artists. It’s fine. You can admit it.
Ryan Mulvany 4:14
Now. I’m a bieber. I’m a believer now. But back then I wasn’t so much.
Jeremy Weisz 4:20
So your evolution? Were you at that point? Were you drop shipping through Toys R Us or were you putting it on Amazon? How are you doing it originally?
Ryan Mulvany 4:29
Yeah. I learned that through Toys R Us you could connect with some of the manufacturers, because they were used to drop shipping. So you could get an order in through Amazon. And you could send an order through the manufacturer and get it shipped directly to the consumer. And it was great because at the time I was living at home I didn’t really have space to store anything. So it was sort of I’d like to say it was out of strategy, but it was sort of out of necessity that I got into that model.
Jeremy Weisz 4:55
What was the evolution of that? You started selling right And you started selling because your wife books,
Ryan Mulvany 5:04
Yes. My wife had a textbook just finished college handed it to me and said, I have a girlfriend who just sold this on Amazon. You should do that because you look not super employed right now I was a kayaking tour guide. So I was employed, I just, I don’t know, I don’t know, under employers probably just well afford employed for my stature in life. And I put it up and it’s sold in about 15 minutes. And I thought that was the easiest, was 50 bucks, but it wasn’t it was technically her money, her dollars, but I was like, that was an easy $50 what else can I sell in 15 minutes, and I was in this room, in her parents house with all these books everywhere. And, you know, we were just girlfriend boyfriend at the time. And so I had a good relation with their parents. So I just took all their books and listed them on Amazon without telling them and about half of them sold overnight. It was like this is way too easy.
Jeremy Weisz 5:58
What point is the agency world come into play?
Ryan Mulvany 6:02
So fast forward, the reason why I got I evolved beyond books. Well, the books were just to pay for our honeymoon, we were engaged and I wanted to pay for our honeymoon, it was called one love books. And very quickly did that. And then the Kindle came out. And I became terrified that people would stop reading physical books. So I started getting into the Beiber pillowcases and bamboo fences and all sorts of other random things, emergency food supplies. It was wild to watch, like a disaster hit. And then all of a sudden I’d sell like 100 pounds of rice. And I was like, where’s this going? But it was this sort of haphazard thing I was doing. I could use the data that Amazon gave everybody. But I could look at it a certain way to determine how well something was selling. And then I just needed to be able to get my hands on it. And so, it was a side hustle until I landed at a digital agency and the owner of the agencies, I caught his attention because I asked him why he wasn’t offering Amazon as a service at the time. And this is a time when eBay and Amazon were sort of going toe to toe in an unbranded want to be on either. And so as a result, the channel was largely neglected. And that’s why the brands didn’t want to be there because they weren’t well represented. And so I said, hey, it was kind of an assumption. It’s like, hey, what if I established a really good relationship with the brand and I could set up a really nice presence for the brand, they would then sell to us to make us their exclusive seller. And he’s like, that’s a cool idea. Let’s test it out. And so we pitched it to a haircare company, the haircut I didn’t know at the time, but that’s where we would spend most of our time was in beauty. Because it has a little bit of a disrupted supply distribution chain. And Amazon was always sort of the bane of their existence. So if we could solve it for the beauty industry, it would be a lot easier to solve for other industries was our conclusion.
Jeremy Weisz 7:59
So then, when did Quiverr, how did that stone?
Ryan Mulvany 8:04
So Quiverr came out of that agency, we actually grew up underneath the staircase of that agency, because that’s where we could store the product. And once we landed the first brand, we talked to the brand about it, and this net new entity, and then they said cool, we’ll be on board with that. And so we launched it in 2014. It was myself and two partners.
Jeremy Weisz 8:31
And then, at that time, what was come there was no real rulebook, right? You were kind of making up as you go along. Now, I don’t know what best practices are. But that would be amazing, right? If someone said an exclusive brand for Amazon.