Tim talks about his recent trip to Austin for Ryan Levesque’s Ask Intensive, hotel wake up calls, and name drops a bunch of cool people.
Tim talks about the summer and his plan to Neflix and Chill himself over the next three months.
Two Drink Tim returns and he has missed you.
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This week I share a recent chat I had with Grady Spencer (of Grady Spencer and The Work). Grady shares his perspective on life, the music business, and the work necessary to become successful in all areas of your life. He also talks about his self produced EP which can be downloaded for free here: http://www.timreallylikes.com/grady
First, go get this damn EP from Grady Spencer of Grady Spencer and the Work.
Go grab it here:
It’s an acoustic, self recorded EP that just sounds amazing. I love acoustic albums because as much as I love the music the bands adds to an song, I love being able to hear the lyrics and the licks from the lead singer.
It’s 100% free and only cost you an email address. Don’t worry, Grady recently performed a show in my town and forgot all his merch to sell after the show. He’s not going to spam you to death.
Don’t worry, I can wait …
Back now, isn’t it awesome?
Once you grab the EP, it’s time for the lesson.
I asked Grady what he used to record the EP and doing some checking on the equipment he listed the setup would run about $1000 to $1500.
(I know poor musician will stop reading here. Listen this business takes money, so smoke a little less weed, do a few jobs, or ask your existing fan base to help you out to raise the cash – plus it’s a write off).
He’s using Noisetrade, which is a free service for artist to use to head spread the word.
Basically, you upload your music, tell people about it and then they can download it for free or leave a tip.
The band gets the email list, Noisetrade takes 20% of all tips (but they handle everything else for the artist – collecting the list, hosting the album, etc).
It’s really, really smart.
Here’s something even smarter.
Take that email list and upload it to Facebook so when your new album gets released you can create a custom audience and target them directly on Facebook.
Want to be even smarter?
Ok, do this.
Find bands that sound like or people associate with the current band.
So in Grady’s case, take the bands right from his Noisetrade page:
Target those bands and their fans on facebook and send them to download this EP.
When they do, you build your email list and following, without having to pick up a guitar or play a dive bar (although they are awesome to see live music in) to do so.
So for this investment a band could:
1. Build a brand new email list (to market to down the road when the full album is released).
2. Target other, similar bands and their fans to download the EP, building an email list … to market to them down the road.
I’ll even give you a turbo tip – if I were Grady, I’d find a guitar, an amp, or something musical, offer it for free as part of a giveaway to build an email list.
I’ve actually done this for a band and within two weeks we had a bigger fan page than they did AND a few hundred new email subscribers. All for about $5 per day.
But before you do any of that … go get this album and if you liked this article tip the band. I get nothing for it, but you get the karma of supporting amazing music:
PS: Any band wanting some help with this or other marketing stuff reach out to me, I love helping bands grow. And yes, I’ll be more than happy to help you out Grady when you get done reading this.
On November 10th, 2015 I placed a PRE-ORDER for a new computer with GearBest.
The PRE-SELL was going to end on November 20th, 2015 and then I could expect my computer to ship within 3 to 5 business days.
On November 20th, 2015, GearBest charged my Paypal account for the computer and sent me an email telling me that they would be shipping my computer within 3 to 5 Business Days.
When I had not received any tracking or shipping information from them by November 25, 2015 I reached out to them via their customer support desk.
According to Marva, they actually did not have the product in stock yet (even though they processed payment for it on the 20th) and they advised me to wait another 7 to 15 days for THEM to get the laptop I had ordered and then ship it to me.
When I wrote them back and told them that I didn’t understand how they couldn’t understand the demand for an item (you know, since they were taking pre-orders for it and knew how many to order) and that I wanted them to offer me a discount or upgrade my shipping to overnight they went silent and no longer returned my emails.
I reached out to them on 11/28. 12/1, 12/2, and 12/3 with no response.
On 12/1 I told them I needed to hear from them by 12/2 or refund my money.
When I heard nothing from them, on 12/3 I wrote them and asked them to refund my money.
I never heard anything from GearBest, so this is when I decided to involve PayPal.
I opened the dispute on 12/4 with PayPal and explained the entire situation to them.
I even went the added step of creating a PDF with all my emails and info about this transaction but guess what, PayPal wouldn’t let me attach it to the claim. It turns out you can only add documents IF PayPal asks you, not if you want to be proactive.
Well wouldn’t you know, the second I created the claim I got GearBest’s attention again and they finally started responding to me again.
They tell me that they STILL don’t have the product in stock and that they would be offer me a full refund (which I already requested) and request again from them.
But then something strange happens – I get a DHL notification of shipment from GearBest and they provide me a tracking number – AFTER I’VE REQUESTED A REFUND AND OPENED A DISPUTE.
So just a quick recap:
I ordered from them on Nov 10th
They charged me on Nov 20th (with nothing in stock)
I requested a refund from them on Dec 2nd
They created a shipping label on Dec 4th
I again contact GearBest and PayPal several times over the following week to get a refund. I get no response from GearBest (emails 12/5. 12/8. 12/9).
I finally hear from GearBest on 12/12/15 telling me that they had already shipped my computer (even though DHL showed nothing except a shipping label) that day and that they couldn’t refund me.
So I called DHL on 12/12/15 they said that NOTHING had been shipped and that only a label had been created. They had zero record of any shipment and only that the label had been created.
I call PayPal to inform them of this on the 12th and they tell me, despite me asking for a refund on 12/2/15 and despite the fact that NOTHING had been shipped to me, the fact they gave me a tracking number meant I needed to give them until the 14th to ship me my product or they would refund my product.
He actually told me that he wanted to close the claim for me but that he couldn’t and the only division that could help me didn’t work weekends.
December 14th comes – NOTHING HAPPENS.
So I wake up today, December 15th and guess what – the DHL website finally shows some movement on my order and I should get it on the 21st.
So what’s the problem?
Well – I asked for a refund BEFORE they created the shipping label.
They had my 4 refund request and ignored them all.
PayPal said even with that information, there is nothing they could do because they created a tracking number and that if the item wasn’t shipped by the 14th they would close the claim.
Here’s where it gets real fun.
So now I have a computer coming to me, that I didn’t want, that I requested a refund on prior to them shipping and now PayPal tells me there is nothing they can do to help me because the vendor did what they were supposed to.
Except they didn’t.
They took my money on the 20th, without having a product in stock and charged me for it. Then they ignored my 4 refund request, created a shipping label and took an additional 11 days to ship me the computer that I told them 4 different times I didn’t want.
Instead of helping me, PayPal is saying there is nothing they can do because despite everything above, the vendor shipped the product, even knowing everything above, PayPal was going to side with the vendor on this.
If fact the PayPal rep told me the only thing I could do is refuse the shipment and then they MIGHT be able to refund me my money.
So now, the only option I have to get my money back (guess that refund and dispute WAY before this didn’t matter) spend an entire day waiting for DHL to show up and hope to catch them so I can refuse a shipment.
All I can conclude from this entire process is this:
GearBest is a joke. They don’t actually send you the products you ordered when they say they will, they pre-charge your account even if they don’t have the product in stock and then when you request a refund, they ignore your request and then string you along with a shipping label that does nothing.
PayPal is 100% ok with this business practice (pre-charging my account with no product in stock) and even if you have WRITTEN PROOF asking for a refund from the vendor they do not want it.
They also are ok with keeping a claim open for 10 days with no movement and if they tell you they are going to close a claim on a certain date, they don’t.
Then if the vendor does send you something (even after you request a refund and open a dispute), IT’S ON YOU to wait for the product to arrive, refuse it and then go to PayPal to try and get your money back.
So far I’ve sent close to a dozen emails and called PayPal 5 different times on this issue NOT to mention the time it took me to write this post and call PayPal again about it.
If you value your time, do not order from GearBest and I would use your credit card over PayPal so you can actually get someone to help and respond to your issues.
BTW Paypal if you’re reading this here is proof of every conversation I had requesting the refund from GearBest that I TRIED to send to you, but you weren’t interested in.
I also have every call to you (except my last one) recorded if you want to hear those as well.
So last night I got this from YouTube
It seems Kevin O’Connor from The Offline Assistant doesn’t like me telling people what happened with his company and I and he’s trying to remove all traces of this off the internet.
Too bad for him that we have several ways to share this message with the world.
Like this one:
This is a serious warning to stay away from Kevin O’Connor and The Offline Assistant. A recent experience with them cost us $7,800 and he refuses to accept responsibility and make things right. Listen to this episode and then decide if you want to use them after hearing our experience.
*** Update: Here is a video update of our on going dispute with Kevin O’Connor and The Offline Assistant Company ***
Spoiler Alert: They are suing US for 1 million dollars and trying to get all of our content removed from YouTube.
Here’s the video update on YouTube: https://youtu.be/-ibf9UgJEUw
For those of you in Ireland (where Kevin is trying to block the content) here is the video:
On November 18th, 2015 during a routine review of our books, our accountant noticed a $7,897.68 error caused by Kevin O’Connor’s Offline Assistant Company.
We hired Kevin and his company to fulfill our physical product store orders and it turns out that they had been double ordering and shipping our most popular item to customers at our expense for no understandable reason.
Once the error was discovered, I immediately had the last 100 orders they had placed for us reviewed, and there was an 85% error rate in those orders so we started to dig deeper.
I immediately let Kevin know about this issue personally and told him I would get him a full report by the following Monday (this was Friday).
We pulled our financial records from the store, the supplier, and matched them to our credit card statements for them to get a full accounting of just how bad it was.
When all was said in done, Kevin’s employees had over ordered and shipped products to the tune of a $14,968.45 – almost DOUBLE what the orders should have cost and costing us $7,897.68 in profit.
Armed with this information I sent everything to Kevin and asked him to review everything and if the numbers were correct explain why none of the orders were checked by his project manager (as promised when we signed up) or anyone else on is staff for accuracy, how his employees could see us losing money on ever order and not say anything, and why they hadn’t followed the spreadsheet directions we gave them.
When he finally responded 3 days later, he blamed us for not catching the error and cited a training example order we included in the training materials (of a totally different product than the one they misordered above) as a reason why they had doubled ordered everything.
Except they hadn’t double ordered every item.
His team managed to order the correct quantities of other items we sold in different amounts (1, 2, 4 etc) with no problem.
When confronted with this, he went radio silent and refused to respond to any more of my emails.
It was only after I demanded repayment for the $7,897.68 error that he finally responded, and only to tell me that he considered the matter closed on his part and that he and his employees had done nothing wrong and that he wouldn’t be paying for his employee’s mistake.
So here’s where we stand
– Kevin’s company over ordered and shipped an additional $7,897.68 worth of products to my customers which I now have to pay out of my own pocket
– No one from his company (that we hired to manage this for us) reviewed any of the orders to ensure they were being done correctly despite his assurances they do quality control and project management on all jobs.
– There was an 85% error rate by his staff in ordering products for us
– When presented with facts (credit card statements, Shopify print outs, and AliExpress orders) Kevin still refused to accept any responsibility and to this day has refused to pay me back for his company and employee’s mistakes.
The money part stings, but here’s the worst part.
I first met Kevin when I and several others (Brad Gosse, Ron Douglas, E. Brian Rose, Ben Littlefield, Ben Adkins, Colin Theriot, Mark Helton, Brian Anderson, Ryan McKinney) were his mentor at the Marketers Mansion.
We all spent time with him trying to help him grow his business.
I personally promoted Kevin not only to my list via a webinar, but also through my podcast (free of charge), and told several business associates about him (who ended up signing up with him – right Los).
Just last month I dropped everything when he came into town and showed him around Lubbock and offered to help him even more with his company.
And this is how he repaid me and everyone else who helped him for doing so.
No apology, no acceptance of the facts, and most of all not a single offer to help us or compensate us these errors.
I gotta assume that whole personal responsibility thing Garret White preaches didn’t sink in with Kevin.
Now don’t worry about me. We’ll be seeing Kevin in court and we’ll get every cent (plus some) back from him.
I’m writing this post to warn others and share my personal experience with Kevin O’Connor and his company.
If you choose to use him after seeing that he doesn’t stand behind his employees work, has zero quality control or checks to ensure work is being done correctly, and no matter how much proof you have of their mistakes, he will never admit when his team has made a mistake or compensate you in any fashion for those mistakes – go ahead.
If you want to host a webinar, podcast, or invite him to speak on stage after reading this, that’s your choice and speaks more to your core values than mine.
I just refuse to have people who have helped him in the past have their name associated with him or his company without knowing the facts about what he did to our eCom business and his unwillingness to stand behind his word and his employees mistakes.
I’m just thankful that we have the cash reserves to not only absorb this temporary loss and but also pursue every legal recourse against him.
In closing I’ll share with you one last thought. Sometimes in life things like this happen. People disappoint you, friendships end, and true colors are revealed. While you can’t control when or why that stuff happens, you can control your response to those situations.
I tried to resolve this in private, I gave Kevin every opportunity to make this right. It was only after he refused to do so, and I saw how huge of a disaster this could be for people who don’t have the same resources I do, that I knew I had to go public with this issue.