Best Practices for FBA Investors

June 15, 2021

Dr. Oliver Dlugosch

Co-founder and Senior Vice President of Operations at Razor Group

Brian Strini

Senior Vice President of the North American branch of Razor Group

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Dr. Oliver Dlugosch is the Co-founder and Senior Vice President of Operations at Razor Group, a Berlin-based company that buys Amazon FBA merchants. Before this, Dr. Dlugosch worked as a Senior Consultant at McKinsey & Company and managed the marketing for Fortuna Düsseldorf, a German soccer club. He earned his Ph.D. in Economic Sciences from The University of Freiburg (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Düsseldorf.

Brian Strini is the Senior Vice President of the North American branch of Razor Group. Prior to joining Razor Group, he worked in venture capital and private equity M&A roles at firms such as Anheuser-Busch, Goldman Sachs, and Quintana Capital Group. He holds a BBA from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from London Business School.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How the pandemic has increased demand for private label FBA brands
  • What makes Razor Group different from traditional private equity firms?
  • The types of private label entrepreneurs that Dr. Oliver Dlugosch and Brian Strini have worked with
  • How the team at Razor Group finds and evaluates brands — and why they avoid cold-calling
  • Razor Group’s process for acquiring US brands versus European brands
  • What private label brand owners should do to prepare for a sale and how to know if it’s the right time to sell
  • Dr. Dlugosch and Brian’s advice to investors: be disciplined in your approach and invest in the future of your brand

In this episode…

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been an enormous increase in e-commerce businesses across industries. This has led to a rise in competition for investors, and many firms have resorted to cold-calling brands in order to make a deal. However, this typically leaves brand owners feeling bombarded and overwhelmed with offers. So, what is the best outreach approach for aggregators looking to make a valuable investment?

According to Dr. Oliver Dlugosch and Brian Strini, it’s important for FBA aggregators to consider a brand owner’s needs and desires when contacting them about a sale. At their firm, Razor Group, the team avoids cold-calling and instead opts for other forms of outreach, such as email. This way, the brand owner has time to process the offer — and prepare for a profitable sale.

In this episode of the Buy Box Experts podcast, James Thomson is joined by Dr. Oliver Dlugosch and Brian Strini from Razor Group to discuss the best ways to contact FBA brand owners about a sale. Together, they compare Razor Group’s process for investing in US brands versus European brands and explain their tried-and-true outreach approach. They also share their expert advice for current FBA investors. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

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Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.

Intro 0:09 

Welcome to the Buy Box Experts Podcast. We bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.

James Thomson 0:18

I am James Thomson, one of the hosts of the Buy Box Experts Podcast. I’m a Partner with Buy Box Experts and the former business head of the selling on Amazon team at Amazon, as well as the first account manager for the Fulfillment by Amazon Program. I’m the co-author of a couple of books on Amazon including the recent book, Controlling Your Brand in The Age of Amazon. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. When you hire Buy Box Experts, you receive the strategy optimization and marketing performance to succeed on Amazon. We also support investors with due diligence services. Go to to learn more. 

Before I introduce our guests today, I want to send a big shout out to the team at GETIDA, a global leader in Amazon FBA auditing and reimbursements. GETIDA analyzes your Amazon data, reconciles your FBA inventory, and files claims for reimbursements on your behalf. Checkout to learn more. Our guests today are Oliver Dlugosch and Brian Strini. Oliver is the Co-founder and Senior Vice President Operations of Razor Group. Prior to Razor Group, Oliver did marketing for Fortuna Dusseldorf, a German soccer club team and was a Senior Consultant at McKinsey & Company. Brian is the SVP North America at Razor Group. Prior to Razor Group, Brian worked in venture capital and private equity M&A roles at such firms as Anheuser-Busch, Goldman Sachs and Quintana Capital Group. Oliver and Brian, welcome. And thank you for joining us today on the Buy Box Experts Podcast. 

Oliver Dlugosch 1:58

Thank you for having us. Glad to be here. 

James Thomson 2:00

So let’s start with the inevitable. FBA private label brands are a hot commodity today. What do you believe has generated this recent interest in these businesses that have been around literally two decades? Why now what’s happening? What’s causing all this excitement?

Brian Strini 2:16

James in a word COVID. In the six months from March 2020, through August 2020, we saw the growth in online e-commerce in all industries and all e-commerce industries, catapult itself, basically five years quicker than what would have happened over those six months. Absent COVID. So this enormous once in a lifetime, really demand shift, if you will, from brick and mortar to online has redistributed the buying patterns of consumers, and hence the market share and to marketplaces such as Amazon, and others around the world. Yeah.

James Thomson 2:58

So private equity is asking questions and saying we now need to have some part of our portfolio in e-commerce as a company that’s exclusively focused on e-commerce, what makes you different than any other than a traditional private equity company looking at brands.