The Amazing Seller Podcast

What’s the latest sticking point in your Amazon or eCommerce business moving forward? Are you having trouble with product selection? Are there questions about using the Amazon dashboard or backend? Maybe it has to do with list-building or sales funnels. This is the Friday episode of The Amazing Seller podcast where you can ask your questions about eCommerce and private label sales on Amazon - and Scott Voelker is the guy who will answer your questions on the episode.

Is it helpful to include a product video on my Amazon listing?

One of the newest things the Amazon platform offers to private label sellers is the opportunity to create an enhanced product listing. You have to brand register your products to have the option but it allows you to adjust and improve your listing in lots of ways. One of those way is the inclusion of a product video to show more of the benefits and features of your products. But is it always a good idea? And if it is beneficial, what improvements in ranking and sales should you expect to see as a result? On this episode Scott walks through some of the initial things you can expect from adding a video to your product listing, so be sure you take the time to learn about this new feature.

How important is a unique design for my new product?

A listener called in to ask a question about the benefits of having a unique product design. He’s a graphic designer and as he looks through the Amazon catalogue many of the products seem to be pretty generic to him. He feels that he could create a better design for a product and quickly be THE go-to brand in the niche simply because his product is different. But is that true? On this Ask Scott episode, Scott Voelker walks through the pros and cons of creating a unique design for your products and when you should consider it in the product launch stages. If you’re curious about how to go about differentiating your products you need to hear this episode.

How can I go about tracking my product inventory. Amazon’s numbers don’t look right?

One of the listeners to The Amazing Seller Podcast called in to ask a question about the stats and inventory numbers that Amazon provides in the backend of the seller accounts. He doesn’t feel that his numbers look accurate because his total sales, returns, and remaining inventory numbers don’t add up. He’s curious if Scott has a better way to keep track of numbers instead of relying on Amazon’s numbers, and whether or not he should contact Amazon’s seller help to find out why their numbers are different. You can hear Scott’s answer on this episode.



Is retail arbitrage still an option? How can it be combined with private label sales?

Many Amazon sellers get their start by selling products through retail arbitrage on Amazon. That simply means they find discounted products under existing brands and sell them on Amazon as a wholesaler. But most people move from there into private label sales, which means they source their own product, brand it themselves, and have exclusive rights to the sale of that product. But it’s possible to do both at the same time and to continue doing both to add more cash flow to the business. In response to a couple of questions about retail arbitrage, Scott Voelker shares how some sellers are doing exactly that, so be sure you listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:28] A concept to consider for the new year: Setting your target.
  • [6:59] QUESTION ONE: How important is a film/video about your product?
  • [12:51] QUESTION TWO: How important is design for a new product? Costs?
  • [18:45] QUESTION THREE: How do you go about tracking product inventory?
  • [23:50] QUESTION FOUR: How can I become the top seller in retail arbitrage?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS301.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s episode 300 of the Amazing Seller podcast and it’s been an amazing ride! To commemorate the journey Scott has asked his good friend Chris Shaffer to come on as the HOST of this episode to help Scott walk through his own journey so that you can see that there’s nothing special about how Scott has gotten to where he is except for one thing - and it’s the thing that you hear Scott say episode after episode of this podcast - he’s TAKEN ACTION!

How Scott Voelker learned that he didn’t want to work a 9 to 5 job.

Scott Voelker has had his share of 9 to 5 jobs, “working for the man.” Right out of school he worked for a local cable company, connecting and disconnecting cable TV, climbing poles, etc. He’s worked as a supervisor or foreman in his Dad’s construction business, and he’s also run his own photography business. Scott decided through that journey that he didn’t like putting in a load of hard work to advance someone else’s business when he wasn’t being compensated for the amount of quality work he was putting in. You can hear how he made the transition from full-time employee to full-time entrepreneur, on this 300th episode of The Amazing Seller.

Why you can overcome any obstacle if you are determined to do it.

One of the overriding principles you’ll hear on this episode that recounts Scott’s journey from 9 to 5 employee to full-time entrepreneur is that he was willing to do the work needed to overcome the obstacles that blocked the path to success. Scott is convinced that if you set a goal and are determined to reach it, nothing can stop you. You may have to stop for a bit to learn a new skill or to find someone to help you, but you won’t be stopped for good if you think in terms of possibilities instead of obstacles. Scott’s journey is an inspiring example of how it works so be sure you take the time to listen!

An important question for any endeavor: What’s the worst that could happen?

As Scott has worked toward building his own online sales and training business he’s discovered that one of his greatest assets has been his wife. At many points along the road he’s been hesitant to step into something new, including the start of the Amazing Seller Podcast. But his wife was always there behind the scenes encouraging him to give it a try. One of the things she said to him repeatedly which you can take as a great tool for your progress is this: What’s the worst that can happen? When you can answer that question you’ll see that it’s usually not as bad as you think and not as difficult to press ahead as you imagined.

I knew if I could help enough people - eventually, I’d be compensated for it.

In this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott was asked by his friend Chris what his plan was for the monetization of his podcast when he first began. Scott said that he didn’t worry about that at first because he knew that the old Zig Ziglar quote was true - if he helped enough people get what they wanted, he would eventually get what he wanted - which did include a certain amount of compensation. It’s proven exactly true and Scott says to this day that it’s his greatest joy to see people apply what he teaches them and then go out to rock their own Amazon or eCommerce business. You can hear Scott’s story on this amazing episode of The Amazing Seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:14] Chris’ introduction to Scott’s show!
  • [1:33] The things Scott did before Amazon - cable to construction to photography.
  • [9:44] How Scott gets past the fear of starting something new.
  • [17:51] Learning to deal with people and problems along the way.
  • [26:00] The first experiences selling products online and the path to Amazon.
  • [39:56] Should you choose to go all-in or part-time? Don’t let the fear stop you.
  • [44:08] Where the idea for a podcast came from and how it has progressed.
  • [51:03] Where Scott sees the TAS movement going.
  • [1:01:58] Why Scott continues to help people when he could only do his thing.
  • [1:04:16] The importance of relationships you build on the journey.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS300.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Anyone who is busy selling eCommerce products, either on Amazon or other places, knows that the eCommerce space is always changing for various reasons. With those changes come both challenges and incredible opportunities for those who are willing to put in the work to learn what the changes mean and how to get their products rocking in light of them. This episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and his buddy Chris are chatting about the changes that have happened over the last year, what it has meant for building online eCommerce businesses, and what can be done better moving forward to make 2017 a rocking and powerful year for you.

Why changes over the last year on Amazon have shifted the launch mindset.

For a very long time, everyone who‘s been building a business on Amazon private label products has been able to motivate people to leave reviews by offering them a discount in exchange for that review. But that’s an advantage that has gone away due to changes on Amazon. The change has forced Amazon sellers to shift their mindset about how to promote products and how to build a more successful business. You’ve got to do new things to make sales happen now, that's the long and short of it. On this episode, Scott and Chris cover some of the mindset shifts that have been forced by Amazon changes and suggest ways you can make your business fly even higher by using the advantages that come BECAUSE OF the changes.

The changes Amazon has made lately make it BETTER for serious sellers. Here’s why.

The changes that have happened on the Amazon sales platform this year in relation to reviews have made one thing very clear. Many people were building a business solely on the back of being able to offer a discount in exchange for reviews. What that has done is make an opportunity for those who are serious about building a business on Amazon and independent of it. The learning curve is high but it’s actually a BETTER opportunity for those who are serious business people who want to build a long lasting eCommerce business. Find out how you can be one of those long-lasting brands, on this episode.

The winning way to choose private label products in light of recent changes on Amazon.

As things have changed on the Amazon platform over the last year it’s become apparent that the old way of doing product selection doesn’t work anymore. Why? Because reviews are now harder to come by so if you’re going to use reviews as a way to establish social proof you’re going to have a harder road getting there. That means you’ve got to target product niches where the most successful products have fewer reviews. If you’d like to hear more about how Chris and Scott go about selecting great products to launch on Amazon you can listen to this episode and get all of their insights.

Here’s how you can leverage lightning deals to promote your products and get more sales.

The Amazon platform has always allowed you to use the “Lightning Deal” feature, but the way to use it and exactly WHO can use it has changed a lot over the years. But now, it’s much more available to everyone than in the past and it’s a way you can utilize to get more product sales in spurts through Amazon’s promotion of your products. On this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast, you’re going to hear how Scott and Chris suggest anyone can use the Lightning Deal feature to boost sales and sales rank so to get your products rolling and build momentum.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this podcast about 2017 strategies!
  • [4:53] The things that have changed in the last year.
  • [10:12] Mindset shifts due to Amazon changes this past year.
  • [15:00] Why it’s now BETTER for serious eCommerce sellers.
  • [32:03] What to consider as you launch a new product in the future.
  • [34:14] Advice for those just starting on Amazon in 2017.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS299.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s time for another of the Friday “Ask Scott” episodes where you get to hear Scott’s answers to the real-life questions of other Amazon sellers. And what’s even better than that is that YOU can ask your own specific questions for Scott to answer. You’ll be able to learn all kinds of great things about product listings, marketing funnels, sales issues, and much more. If you want to hear Scott’s answers and even learn how to ask your own questions you should make sure you listen to this “Ask Scott” episode.

How much detail should you include in your product listing? Will other people copy it if you do?

A listener asks today whether he should include the kinds of things that set his product apart when it comes to product materials, densities, etc. He has two different thoughts about it. #1 - it IS the type of product that those things really matter so he sees it as a possible way to show that his product is high quality. #2 - He’s concerned that others in the market may use his detailed descriptions to copy what he’s doing and bring more competition to his market. Scott’s got a great way of looking at this issue so be sure you listen to get this episode.

Selling an electronic product? Do you need to be compliant with FCC regulations and such?

One of the things Scott has often advised AGAINST is the sale of electronic products. His main reasons have been that there are too many products in the space and that the likelihood of product returns due to product defects is much higher. But there are other issues having to do with government regulations, etc. that you need to be concerned about. On this episode, Scott dives into that issue and the various things you want to keep in mind so you don’t get yourself into trouble. It’s an amazing amount of detail for a short response so be sure you listen, take notes, and take action!

When you launch a second product and want to offer a discount to your list, how do you do it wisely?

A caller to the show named April is about to launch her second product. AND, she’s been building an email list for her first product and is eager to send a discount to her list for the new product. Way to go April! Her question on this episode has to do with the best way to provide a discount to the people on her list. Should she give a discount code that anyone can use? Should she create a single-use code and reply to each person who wants to use it? Or is there a better way? Scott’s got some great ideas about how to do this in a powerful, simple, and search-boosting way, so be sure you listen.

When it comes to the time you have available, here’s a caution to help you budget it well.

One of the things Scott has been learning (again) is that time is a very precious thing. Every minute that passes is a minute that you can never get back. Here we are approaching the holidays and most of us will be spending a lot of time with family. But we’re also eagerly building Amazon and eCommerce businesses. How do you effectively make sure that the time you’re spending with your family is time WELL SPENT with your family, with your mind engaged in the moments you have with them? You can hear why this is becoming more important to Scott and what he suggests you do to keep yourself on track when it comes to the wise use of your time, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this Q&A episode of the podcast!
  • [1:00] The importance of remembering that TIME is a precious thing.
  • [5:17] The phrase of the week: Consume then do.
  • [6:52] QUESTION ONE: How specific should my product details be in terms of materials and other parameters in light of potential copycat products?
  • [15:22] QUESTION TWO: On electronic products is the FCC label required on the product someplace?
  • [22:00] QUESTION THREE: I’m about to launch a second product and want to send a discount to my list for the second product. Can you advise me how to do this in the best way?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS298.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Today’s topic on The Amazing Seller is not all that appealing at first glance. It’s the issue of figuring out exactly who your target market is - your ideal customer - and how to speak the language they actually use in real life so that you can relate better to them and increase your conversions. For this episode, Scott has asked Josh Bauer to come on the show because he’s got tons of experience in this area and has been working to hone his skills in customer messaging to amplify his impact and sales. You won’t want to miss this because the results that can come from a few small tweaks can be powerful for sales conversions. Be sure to listen!

The #1 way you are wasting your marketing money.

Everybody who is selling products online - whether private label products or some other channel - understands that marketing is what keeps the wheels of the machine rolling. But you can’t just shoot out marketing messages and expect people to buy your products. You’ve got to produce marketing messages that connect with real people in real life. When you do that well you are showing a real person on the other end of your message that you care about them and that you can provide the perfect solution to their problem or need. Josh Bauer has learned how to craft his marketing messages to truly connect with the person on the other side of the message - and he shares his top 5 tips on this episode.

Why you’ve got to use the features of your product to highlight the benefits.

When you’re setting up a product listing inside the Amazon dashboard you have the opportunity to set up bullet points to highlight the features of your product. It’s important to list the features because they are a finer point of the things that make your product unique. But you’ve got to learn not to major on the features but instead focus on the benefits the end user will receive from using the features. The people who are purchasing your product need to understand what they are going to get from using your product and each feature needs to be tied into that basic human need to benefit personally. Find out more about how to do this like a pro, on this episode.

Here’s why you have to understand your customer’s journey to increase sales.

There’s more to marketing your products than simply putting out your message and receiving the sale. You’ve got to understand that your customers are on a journey of sorts, a progression from recognition of their need all the way beyond making a purchase to meet that need - into a relationship with the person who helps them meet it (you). On this episode Scott and his guest Josh are chatting about how important it is for you to understand your customer’s buying journey and how you can create marketing messages that not only take it into account but go beyond that to utilize it to help them see the benefits your products will provide and lead them along on that buying journey into relationship with you.

How to use the knowledge that extroverts are led by excitement and introverts are led by security.

There are two types of people in the world in terms of how they relate to others - introverts and extroverts. At risk of being too simplistic, you can use those two personality types to your advantage when it comes to selling your products. Extroverts are led toward a decision, many times, by excitement. Introverts, on the other hand, are led to a decision oftentimes through their desire for safety. Listen to this episode to better understand how your use of those motivations can help you position your products and marketing messages to tap into those underlying needs and gain more sales and customer relationships as a result.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this podcast for connecting better with your customer, and Scott’s guest Joel Bauer.
  • [2:25] Josh’s start in real estate and how he got into online sales.
  • [6:48] How Scott has learned from Josh and the rest of the people on his team.
  • [8:05] The power of creating copy (writing) that connects to real people.
  • [13:33] The difference between features and benefits and why it’s important to understand.
  • [19:10] The vital nature of understanding your customer’s journey toward a purchase.
  • [33:00] Understanding personality profiling: extrovert VS introvert.
  • [42:50] Adding personality to your product through your emails - it’s powerful!
Direct download: TAS297.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

There are lots of ways to start selling products on Amazon. But there are some approaches that restrict you more than others in terms of the categories you are able to sell within and the variety of products you can offer. On this episode, Scott talks with his friend Dom Sugar about what it means to build an open brand, why it is a faster way to find and launch products, and how you can approach this style of selling, on this episode.

Are you married to your product brand? What would happen if you weren’t?

The idea of selling products under an “open brand” is foreign to a lot of sellers who are trying to build a brand in a certain niche. An open brand enables you to sell products in all sorts of niches, testing as you go, learning what products are popular and which are not. This approach enables you to get products started faster and cull the ones that aren’t working while still building a business. You can even have multiple niched brands within your open brand. If it doesn’t make sense to you now, that’s OK. Listen to this episode to hear Scott and his friend Dom Sugar explain what the open brand strategy is.

How retail arbitrage can connect to an open brand sales model.

Dom Sugar has been selling products online for years. Most recently he’s been selling private label products and is doing so very successfully. But he’s not exclusively selling private label products, he still sells products under a retail arbitrage model through his open brand. He finds the opportunities, puts them on Amazon to see what will happen, and lets them sell at whatever rate they will. It’s a way that he has low-volume sales going on all the time to support his other business endeavors. It’s a great model that you can learn more about on this episode.

An open brand enables you to build brands within your brand.

As Scott and Dom talked about the concept of building an open brand on this episode, it became clear that it’s possible to build a handful of individual brands within a larger “open” brand. The open brand may be the name on the seller account - “ABC Products” for example. Then underneath that main brand may be a home brand, a pet brand, a sporting goods brand, and more. It enables you to try all kinds of products in any niche, regardless of whether you’re already doing that type of product or not. Find out how to make it happen in your business, on this episode.

The power of an open brand is that you’re able to test for beneficial, larger brand possibilities.

When you keep your brand broad and open you are able to try a variety of products without having to remain within a certain niche. When you find one that begins to sell at a rapid pace then you have the opportunity to think through the possibility of selling related products and actually building a brand from it. This is one of the tips that Dom Sugar shares with Scott on this episode. Dom’s been selling products online for years and has lots of perspective on how you can go about finding and selling products profitably.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast with Dom Sugar!
  • [1:20] Dom’s experience in online sales and why he’s such a great resource.
  • [4:00] What is the “open brand” concept.
  • [9:10] The importance of keeping email lists segmented according to interest.
  • [15:57] Should you have multiple seller account to create different brands?
  • [18:26] Tips for choosing brand names.
  • [26:48] Strategies Dom uses to sell more products.
  • [37:14] The power of brands within a brand.
  • [41:00] The kind of products Dom looks for to start another item in his product line.
  • [49:20] Don’t let the barriers stop you from getting started.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS296.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Whenever you start something new there’s a ton of things that can stand in the way of you getting started - and much of it has to do with ignorance. When you don’t know everything involved with starting it all seems pretty large, pretty overwhelming. That’s why it’s helpful for someone who’s been down the road ahead of you to come alongside to help you navigate the questions and pitfalls. That’s what these Friday “Ask Scott” episodes are all about. It’s your opportunity to get your questions answered about private label sales on Amazon and eCommerce business in general. Find out how you can ask your questions on this episode.

I can’t get Amazon to approve me for a seller account. What’s the problem?

A listener to the podcast called in today and has a very unusual problem. She’s applied to have a seller account on Amazon and has been denied. And no matter how much she follows up, trying to get an answer to why she’s being denied, she’s not getting anywhere. So she called in to ask Scott what he would recommend. Should she give up? Should she just go to Etsy or eBay and forget about Amazon altogether? Scott’s got some great insights for this person - and you can hear it on this episode.

My wife has always dreamt of starting a clothing boutique. How can we get started on Amazon?

A listener from Ireland called Scott to ask about the different issues he might face trying to sell clothing on Amazon. The clothing category is a very crowded space and it’s difficult to get started. But there are some things that you need to keep in mind that could help you set yourself apart from the rest of the products you’ll find listed on Amazon. What sort of things could you do to stand out? You can hear the kind of things Scott recommends on this episode.

I somehow missed the deadline to get my products listed before the holidays. What should I do?

A while back Amazon made an announcement that new FBA sellers would not be able to send in products until after December 19th. That’s because the Amazon warehouses are packed with products that will be sold through the holiday season. What should new sellers do if they have missed that cutoff deadline? Scott’s got some great insights into things you can do to maximize your impact when you are able to send products to the warehouse AND he’s got some suggestions for other places you might be able to sell your products over the holidays. Find out more on this episode.

If you want to start selling eCommerce products online, join the FREE private label workshop.

One of the things that Scott Voelker has provided free of charge for a long time is the private label workshop. He’ll walk you through the 5 phases involved in researching, buying, and launching a product on Amazon and to top it all off, he’ll stick around for questions after the workshop is over. You can find out more about the private label workshop and how you can get registered for the next one by listening to this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this Q&A episode of the podcast!
  • [1:23] The phrase of the week: Adapting to Change.
  • [5:50] QUESTION ONE: I can’t even setup a seller account. Can you help?
  • [14:42] QUESTION TWO: My wife and I want to start selling in the clothing category. Can you recommend how we should start?
  • [22:40] QUESTION THREE: I somehow missed the cutoff for getting my product to Amazon before the holidays. What should I do?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS295.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the frustrations about selling products on Amazon is that the platform is changing all the time. But one of the GREAT things about it is that things are changing all the time, too! Every now and then a change is made to the terms of service or tools that make it much BETTER for those selling their private label products on Amazon. On this episode Scott is walking through some of the most recent changes, helping you understand what they mean for you, and showing you how to use them effectively on your products to ramp up sales.

If your products are not brand registered you are now SERIOUSLY missing out on new features!

For a while now Amazon has been allowing private label sellers to apply for brand registration - a way to register yourself as the only owner of your brand. So far there have only been a few benefits to being brand registered but as of the last week, there’s a HUGE reason to get your products brand registered - you can get new formatting tools to make your product listing stand out in some special ways. Images, text enhancements and formatting, additional bullets, and more are now yours - but only if you’re brand registered. Find out how you can take advantage of it, on this episode.

What if you could build a long form sales page for your private label products?

Leadpages and ClickFunnels are two of the popular landing page software services that enable you to build sales pages on your own website. Statistics prove that landing pages of this sort are much more effective in making sales. Now Amazon has created some template-based features for all brand registered products that make your product listing much more like a long-form sales page. You can find out the details and learn how to start building your own product listing sales pages on the Amazon platform - on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

Do you have access to the new Enhanced Content on your Amazon listings?

Amazon has been rolling out a new feature - enhanced content - to all brand registered sellers over the past few weeks. But not everyone is seeing it yet. If you’re not seeing this new option in the advertising tab of your seller account then you need to reach out to Amazon to see how you can get it. Chris and Scott walk through what they suggest you do if Amazon has not given you the enhanced content yet, on this episode.

Now you can get rid of hijackers forever - by getting brand registered.

For quite a while now it’s been possible for someone to list products under your product listing and eventually take it over, leaving you with no control over your own product listing. But Amazon has now created a way for you to prevent that from happening, but you’ve got to be brand registered first. But not everyone gets approved for brand registry the first time. How do you keep working to get your products registered if you’ve been rejected? You can find out by hearing what Scott and Chris have to say, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:05] How you can get in on the next live workshop.
  • [1:54] Enrollment for the private label course is closing!
  • [3:54] What is enhanced content and where can you check it out?
  • [7:20] The templates and layouts that can be used for the enhanced content.
  • [13:35] How this new change is like a long-form sales page.
  • [15:00] Be sure NOT to include testimonials in these new fields.
  • [24:24] Why it’s vital that you get brand registered immediately.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS294.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the things Amazon sellers can easily overlook is the issue of liability. Is your product safe? Should it include a choking warning? Is there a risk that you could be sued or that your product could be held liable for harm done to a person or their property? These are not things we like to think about but they are a necessary consideration when you’re building a business. On this episode, Scott is chatting with Michelle Love about the issue of liability insurance, both for your business and to cover your products. You’ll want to hear this one.

Do you know when you need to purchase product liability insurance for your Amazon biz?

Many Amazon sellers who are just getting started have small supplies of their products and very low investment in the business. The thought of purchasing business and product insurance could serve as another reason to quit or not get started at all. But you don’t need to worry about that hurdle yet because Amazon has sales thresholds that you have to meet in order for them to require you to purchase insurance. Do you know what it is? On this episode, you’ll find out and get a lot more advice about insurance for your business from Insurance Agent Michelle Love.

How much can Amazon sellers expect to pay for product liability insurance?

When you are trying to budget for the expense of product and business insurance you really need to have some figures you can start with to ensure you’re going to be able to pay for it when the time comes. But it’s hard to know exactly what you’re going to need to pay because the premiums depend on the specifics of the products you are selling. How risky are they? What dangers might be involved? It’s not an easy issue to unravel without professional help. On this episode, you’re going to be shown exactly how to know when and what insurance you need in order to cover yourself from lawsuits and liability.

How do you know if you’ve got the right kind and enough insurance for your Amazon business?

Insurance is not the most exciting thing to talk about but if you’re going to run a business you’ve got to make sure you do everything needed to protect yourself and handle any legal claims that may come against you. On this episode Scott is chatting with Michelle Love, an Insurance Professional who is also selling products through Amazon FBA, so she knows the particular issues that Amazon sellers face and can help you navigate the confusion. Find out how you can know the right insurance and the right amounts of it to purchase, on this episode.

Did you know that the Amazon Terms of Service you signed require you to purchase insurance?

The habit we all have when it comes to terms of service is to quickly scroll through and hit “accept.” But that’s a practice that can come back to bite you eventually, especially if you are agreeing to do something in the arrangement - which most terms of service do require. In Amazon’s terms of service, there are requirements on you as an Amazon FBA seller that you buy product liability insurance when you reach a certain sales threshold. Did you know that? More importantly, do you need insurance now? Find out the answer for your situation on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this product liability episode of the podcast!
  • [0:30] Introduction to Scott’s guest, Michelle Love.
  • [5:00] The need and importance of insurance for your business and products.
  • [8:03] Product liability insurance: the price depends on the risk.
  • [10:47] When and what do you need to do to prove your insurance to Amazon?
  • [15:30] Additional issues that can impact Insurance premiums.
  • [18:00] How can you know that you’ve got the right insurance for your needs?
  • [22:40] Do you need coverage for products that are waiting to be shipped?
  • [24:00] Guidelines for what business and product liability insurance could cost.
  • [26:20] Is insurance needed for each and every product or just the brand as a whole?
  • [29:56] Don’t forget that you might need worldwide coverage for your products.
  • [32:00] Knowing the difference between “claims” and “occurrences.”
  • [42:21] The Amazon crack-downs on sellers who are not purchasing insurance.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS293.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

What’s the deal with this year? It’s just flown by! Here we are in the 4th quarter, the first part of December 2016 and we’re looking at Christmas coming up. But there is lots to be concerned about that’s much more important than product sales. Yep, you heard that right. You’ve got family at home and kids around and the holidays are almost here. So make sure you take a breath, look around you, and enjoy the moment. That’s the first thing Scott has to say as he starts this “Ask Scott” episode of the podcast and he’s learning it himself as he goes. If you’d like to hear this episode and ask your own question, you can ask Scott yourself. Listen to this Q&A episode to find out how!

I’m doing well with my first private label product but am still on page 8. How can I improve that?

A listener called in to ask how he can improve his product ranking. At this point, he’s consistently on page 8 or page 9 and his niche is a very competitive sub-niche of the sporting goods category. Even though he’s getting a decent amount of sales he’s curious if he’s ranking so low because his seller account is new. He’s also curious what he can do to improve his product rank. Scott’s got one main thought about why his product is ranking so low. Can you guess what it is? You can find out on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

No more discounts in exchange for product reviews. What should you do now?

In case you haven’t heard, Amazon has now changed its policies to forbid private label sellers from offering discounts in exchange for a review. That doesn’t mean you can’t give discounts. It doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for reviews. But it DOES mean that you can't offer the discount only if the purchaser agrees to leave you a product review. The practice of discounts in exchange for reviews used to be one of the most powerful ways to drive product reviews, which in turn helps with social proof, which in turn drives sales. So… since it’s not allowed now, what should you do to get a product going? Scott’s going to tell you how he’s modified his strategy, on this episode.

Can you tell me what the best way is to research great keywords for my products?

A listener called in on this episode and he's a Jr. in college and has already launched 4 products and has two more on order. He’s rocking the Amazon private label sales world already and is eager to find out how he can find the best keywords that his products can best rank for. He knows that getting his products found for the keywords people are actually searching for is what is going to help him get in front of the people who are wanting exactly what he has to offer. If you’d like to hear how Scott recommends all sellers go about finding their best product keywords - including the tools he’d use to find them.

If private label sales are proving to be a challenge, here’s how you can get your questions answered.

The Friday episodes of The Amazing Seller podcast are aimed entirely at answering YOUR Amazon, business, marketing, and private label sales questions. If you are struggling to get your private label questions answered, Scott is the guy. If you want to know how to do better list building and online marketing, Scott’s here to help. Don’t miss these Friday episodes. Not only can you find out how to ask your own questions, you can also hear answers to other sellers’ questions - and that will help you as well!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this Q&A episode of the podcast!
  • [4:32] QUESTION ONE: Just launched my first PL product and I’m curious if my products isn’t rising in the rankings due to being a new seller?
  • [17:30] QUESTION TWO: Since there are no longer discounts in exchange for reviews what do we do to get reviews from now on?
  • [26:39] QUESTION THREE: What is the best way to research the best keywords for my products?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS292.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s almost every week that somebody says Amazon is too crowded for anyone to build a successful business selling private label products. But this episode should prove to you that those are entirely false beliefs. This episode features a couple who started out selling products via retail arbitrage but soon transitioned into wholesale products from China that turned into a successful business. It wasn’t overnight and it took a lot of hard work and smart product research but this couple has done it. You can hear every step of their process and the things they’ve done to keep the ball rolling on this episode.

How to get past the discouragement to become successful selling on Amazon.

In any business, you’ve got to understand that discouragements are going to come. So what can you do to prepare yourself for the discouraging times? How can you set your mind in such a way that you’re more likely to press forward than give up? One of the most important things you can do is to find yourself an encouragement partner. That could be a person who is committed to cheering you on during the difficult times, or it could be an actual business partner like the couple featured on this episode. They have found that when one of them is down the other is able to encourage so they keep moving forward together. What’s your strategy for staying encouraged? Find out how it works for this couple, on this episode.

Did you know that you can be rid of Amazon product hijackers once and for all?

One of the best things that has happened on the Amazon platform in a very long time is that the powers that be at the Big A have added a new perk to the benefits of brand registering your products. Once you have a brand approved on Amazon it is now impossible for anyone else to begin listing products under your product listings unless they first ask your approval to do so. That is an incredible benefit to private label sellers, virtually eliminating the possibility of hijackers taking over your listing. On this episode Scott and his guests talk about the safety and power of this new ruling, so be sure you listen.

Product research criteria #1: Less than 100 product reviews in all of the top 10 listings.

When Scott asked this amazing couple what they were looking for when it came to product ideas one of the things they said is a non-negotiable for them is that every one of the top 10 products in any niche they consider must have less than 100 reviews. If you’ve been researching product ideas on Amazon for any length of time that may sound impossible to you but this couple says they find products that fall within that criteria almost every week. You can hear how they are finding them and the tools that make their search easy, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

How poorly optimized Amazon product listing are something you can use to your advantage.

When you’re checking out the listings of the competition in a niche where you are considering a possible product launch one of the things you need to look at carefully is how well the competitor’s product listings are optimized. If you find low-resolution pictures or a small number of pictures that’s a sign that you might be able to quickly capture the sales in that category by optimizing your own listing much better than theirs. That’s just one of the product research tips given on this episode by a couple who’s become very successful at selling private label products without resorting to PPC or giveaways. Find out more by listening.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this great interview edition of the podcast!
  • [1:45] The importance of having support in your business journey.
  • [6:20] The backstory behind this amazing success.
  • [12:40] Pressing forward in spite of the discouragement.
  • [17:31] The idea that sparked interest and the product research process that followed.
  • [22:40] Hijacker problems and how they dealt with the threat.
  • [26:59] The new benefits of brand registry some are experiencing.
  • [31:53] Future product ideas the path ahead.
  • [33:29] The product research criteria this couple is using and how they apply it.
  • [40:24] How the product listings are being optimized.
  • [53:50] The price point these products hit.
  • [47:55] Moving from non-branded to branded products.
  • [50:58] Tips to those who are skeptical about whether Amazon will work these days.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS291.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

So many things having to do with Amazon private label sales change from week to week. With changes happening that rapidly it’s hard to keep abreast of everything and to actually KNOW how to apply the changes effectively for your brand and products. That’s why these TAS Power Hour episodes are so helpful. Three experienced Amazon sellers unpack the current happenings in the Amazon ecosphere on the spot, as they are announced so you can get some perspective on what’s happening and what it means to you. Be sure to listen - this is a great episode that covers a handful of very important topics that have happened lately.

Are you using the enhanced listings for your Amazon products? Why not?!!!

If you aren’t aware of it, you need to know, Amazon has now rolled out an amazing feature for anyone who has brand registered their products. You can now use the Amazon enhanced listing feature to build out your product listings very much like a long form sales landing page. The drag and drop format and enhanced formatting options like bold, underlining, and more make it possible for you to make your product listing incredibly attractive and powerfully effective as a sales tool. You’ve got to hear the details from the TAS Power Hour guys, on this episode.

No more “dollar off” discount codes on Amazon products. It’s true.

It used to be the case that you could create discount codes for your Amazon products in two different formats - dollars-off and percentage-off. But it’s not that way anymore. Amazon has now restricted the options to only allow percentage-off discounts. Why is this a big deal? Because the percentage option allows those who receive it to game the system - sort of - and cost you some extra cash as a seller. The guys unpack the issue on this TAS Power Hour episode so be sure you listen so you can know the best ways to use your offer codes.

Does Amazon allow you to send discount codes to your email list?

With all of the changes going on surrounding review policies on Amazon and the use of discounts in exchange for a review (which isn’t allowed anymore), many people are confused as to what is legal and what is not. One question that comes up over and over is whether or not you as a seller are allowed to send out discount codes for your products via your email list. On this episode of the TAS Power Hour the guys discuss that strategy - tell why it’s so powerful - and what Amazon really thinks about it. You’ve got to hear this one.

It’s now possible to lock down your Amazon products to prevent hijackers.

For a long time now, Scott and his buddies have been recommending that every person who is selling products on Amazon go through the process of brand registering their products so they can get in on the many benefits it brings. Now there’s another benefit that’s been added to the brand registry perks - and it's amazing! You can now essentially lock down your products so that anyone who wants to list a product under that listing has to ask YOUR permission to do so. It’s incredible. Find out how to take advantage of this new perk on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this Power Hour episode of the podcast!
  • [1:04] How you can get involved in the next LIVE workshop.
  • [6:23] What is this about enhanced content for Amazon product listings?
  • [18:49] Amazon changes the discount code options.
  • [28:46] Are you allowed to send promo codes to your email list?
  • [41:00] A giveaway experiment that is exploding in email opt-ins.
  • [43:40] It’s now possible to lock down your products to prevent hijackers.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS290.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s one thing to learn the hard way. It’s an even BETTER thing to learn from the hard mistakes that OTHER PEOPLE have made. You can be one of the smart people who learns from that second option by listening to this episode of The Amazing Seller. It’s one of the Friday, “Ask Scott” episodes where you are able to ask your questions, share your mistakes, and find out how to an experienced Amazon seller would handle your situation or circumstance. It’s a great way to learn from the experiences of others to shorten your learning curve and make your business more profitable, faster.

What happens on Amazon when you change your product packaging?

One of the listeners to The Amazing Seller podcast called in to ask Scott about the impact of changing his product packaging. He’s making improvements to the quality and appearance of his product, which is always a great thing to do for the sake of customer perception of your brand and products. But does a change in packaging change the way Amazon handles his products? Does it affect his product listings in any way? Is he going to run into trouble because his products are not exactly the same as they have been in the past? Scott Voelker has a great answer about this issue and even gives some advice about how to go about deciding on the better packaging options for your products - it's all on this episode.

Use existing products and reviews to magnify sales of product variations.

When you’ve got an existing product for sale on Amazon and the reviews have already been coming in, you’ve got a great asset that you need to capitalize on. But how do you do that? Scott’s got some suggestions for how you can use the reviews and the ratings on your current Amazon product SKUs to help you build brand awareness, cross-selling possibilities, and more for your related or variation products. He’s sharing those ideas on this “can’t miss” episode of the podcast, so be sure you make the time to listen.

How to create a brand name or brand identity for your eCommerce products.

We all know the brands that have dominated the retail industry. Nike. Apple. Harley Davidson. These companies are known for their brand identity as much as they are for the products or services they provide. How do you create a brand that is THAT powerful? Is there a simple but effective way to begin the process? Scott Voelker is a proponent of what he calls “Open Branding” and on this episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast, in response to a listener question, he walks through what it takes to build an open brand, what it means for you as a person growing a brand from nothing into prominence, and how you can get started today.

What is your biggest eCommerce or Private Label struggle? Get a solution here.

There’s nothing like an experienced voice of reason to come alongside you when you’re struggling to find an answer to a pain point or problem you have. In business, that can be extra helpful because every delay or misstep can cost you money. This is an “Ask Scott” episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast where Scott Voelker answers your eCommerce, business, and Amazon sales questions. You don’t have to learn all the lessons yourself by making mistakes. You can learn from someone who’s been down the road ahead of you and is happy to help you learn to navigate your journey using his mistakes and lessons learned. If you’re at all interested in eCommerce, this episode is a great introduction to what it takes to build a successful business.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this Q& A session of the podcast!
  • [5:07] An upcoming TAS unofficial meetup in San Diego!
  • [6:20] QUESTION ONE: Upgrading my packaging… does Amazon care? Does it change anything?
  • [14:10] QUESTION TWO: When my product has variations and I stop selling the original SKU, will I lose the reviews I have accumulated?
  • [20:28] QUESTION THREE: What is your process of coming up with an actual brand name?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS289.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

 

It’s nearing the end of the year and most sellers are so busy preparing for a great fourth quarter that they aren’t thinking a bit about preparing for tax season. That’s pretty normal but could be a mistake. You’ve got to begin thinking through your tax liability a long time before tax season comes. That’s why Scott is doing this episode with his friend and business accountant, Josh Bauerle. Josh works with lots of online entrepreneurs and Amazon sellers and has a great deal of experience dealing with the tax implications of those kinds of businesses. You’re going to learn some great things from Josh on this episode so make sure you carve out the time to listen and get yourself ready for tax season.

One of the biggest tax mistakes Amazon sellers make has to do with inventory.

As a seller of online products you naturally have inventory. Inventory is the products you purchase to resell through your online platforms. You can write off your inventory when it comes to taxes - BUT inventory for tax purposes is NOT what you might think it is. You’ve got to know what the IRS considers to be inventory, how it handles these things, and how it requires you to keep your inventory records. Josh Bauerle is an expert on these things and he’s got a very clear explanation of how you need to handle your inventory issues - and he shares it on this episode.

Sales tax is a real headache for eCommerce sellers. Do you know how to handle it?

Every person or company who sells products online is liable for sales tax on those products. It's not only a federal issue, it also varies with each state in which the products are sold. If you spend even a small amount of time thinking about that you’ll realize that the potential sales tax liability for an Amazon private label seller can get pretty heavy, pretty quickly. And on top of all that, every state handles the rules differently. You’ve got to get this one figured out though - it could make or break your business. CPA Josh Bauerle is Scott’s guest on this episode and he’s got lots of wisdom for you regarding taxes and tax liability.

Why it’s legally vital for you to keep business funds separate from personal funds.

Many people start out in business flying by the seat of their pants. Every business expense and every personal expense seem to be the same thing because they are living off of the money they make from the business. But today’s guest, Josh Bauerle is a CPA who has worked with business people for a long time and he’s got some horror stories about the kind of things that can happen when you co-mingle your personal and business expenses. On this episode, he highlights the reasons you need to keep those funds separate and how you can easily track and coordinate them to keep you out of tax trouble. This section alone is worth the time it will take you to listen.

Are you getting all the business tax deductions that are rightfully yours?

When you start a business of any kind you’re going to spend money for a variety of things that go into the operation of your business. From office supplies, to educational resources, to trips, you can legally and ethically write off many of the expenses you have in order to decrease your tax liability. But there are guidelines for how you do it that you have to understand so that you don’t get yourself in trouble with the IRS. Find out how to do tax deductions the right way from Josh Bauerle, CPA on fire, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast with Josh Bauerle.
  • [4:00] Josh’s experience with Amazon clients so far.
  • [6:15] How you should track inventory for tax purposes.
  • [11:18] The variety of business entity options you could form for your business.
  • [16:30] The essential nature of using a separate checking account for your business.
  • [20:00] The tax advantages of forming an S-corp.
  • [25:50] What is sales tax and why it’s a mess for Amazon sellers.
  • [33:30] The tax breaks that come through business deductions.
  • [42:00] Why bookkeeping is vitally important for eCommerce sellers.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS288.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

In the business world these days you hear a ton of talk about mindset. There’s a reason for that. Mindset is one of the things that determines your progress and your ultimate level of success. And the good thing is that it’s one of the main things you can actually control. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott’s going deep with a friend of his, Ryan Daniel Moran about the development of a strong, success-oriented mindset. Both of them are convinced that the true bottleneck to success and growth is right between our ears. If you want to know how to break out of the limiting mindset habits you have, you’ve got to hear this great episode.

Often, the bottleneck in growth and success is mindset.

What you believe is possible for you will naturally limit what you find possible practically. It’s a fact of life. If you don’t think you can lift a 50-pound weight, you won’t be able to do it. In fact, you might not even make the attempt. That’s a simple example of how mindset can be the bottleneck to many things in our lives. On this episode, Scott chats with his buddy Ryan Moran about this issue of mindset - and they go deep. You’ll learn a handful of strategies to help you reset your mindset over time and reach greater levels of success as a result.

Beliefs TIMES strategy and execution TIMES time = results

One of the most powerful things Ryan Moran shares on this episode of The Amazing Seller is his formula for how our mindset impacts our results. Here it is: Beliefs TIMES strategy and execution TIMES time EQUAL results. What it means is that what you believe will be multiplied through the approach and actions you take and over time your results will come about. It’s a bit confusing to see in print but Ryan explains it incredibly well on this episode, so be sure you listen.

The 10X exercise is a way you can stretch your perception of what is normal and possible

One of the things Ryan Moran does with those who he coaches and who attend his events is what he calls “The 10X Exercise.” He has you write down the level of income you are experiencing right now. Then he has you write down where you want to be. Then - one more step - he has you write down 10 times what you want. A very interesting thing begins to happen as people write down that 10X number, something most people don’t anticipate. Do you know what it is? On this episode, Ryan shares the story and tells you what it reveals about mindset, beliefs about possibility, and more - on this episode.

Association and input determine what you believe is possible

Everyone is a product of the environment they have lived within. The things you hear as “normal” are the things you come to believe ARE normal. It’s THAT perception of what is normal that dictates what you believe is possible. How do you stretch that boundary? How do you get yourself to believe that more is possible for you, for your business? On this episode Ryan Moran shares some of the ways he’s found it possible to break through those perceived limitations for himself, so be sure you listen to find out how you can begin moving into a place of greater success and possibility.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode with his guest Ryan Moran of Freedom Fast Lane.
  • [3:54] Why Ryan believes that you are wired for the results you are getting right now.
  • [7:14] What does Ryan put into his head regularly (and why does he put on events)?
  • [10:25] Beliefs TIMES strategy and execution TIMES time = results.
  • [17:08] How you can break through the mindset limitations you have.
  • [22:54] How tiny habits lead to greater success - eventually.
  • [28:06] What happens when you attain your goal? What then?
  • [32:15] The power of active appreciation in determining value.
  • [46:58] Tactical things you can do to change your mindset.
  • [55:00] The upcoming event Ryan is hosting in Austin, TX.
  • [59:21] The type of people you’ll meet at Ryan’s event in Austin.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS287.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

There are always ways to learn. There are always ways to build your existing business even bigger. These Friday episodes of The Amazing Seller podcast are aimed at helping you learn how to do that by answering your Amazon private label or eCommerce questions. On this episode you’ll hear real-life questions from real-life sellers who are doing their part to learn how to build a business or make their existing business bigger. You can learn a lot by listening to the questions and answers on this “Ask Scott” episode of the show.

What’s the best way to get my brick-and-mortar products selling on Amazon?

One of the callers on this “Ask Scott” episode is curious what he needs to do in order to bring his existing products - that he sells in his physical location - onto the Amazon sales platform. Scott thinks this is an amazingly helpful question because in his view, every person who is already selling things offline should immediately (if not sooner) get their products listed on Amazon. On this episode, Scott’s going to share why he thinks this person should get his products onto Amazon and how he should go about it. It’s a great response to a very good question that you’ll want to hear.

How do I enter a market if I’m concerned that it might be too saturated?

If you are curious about what it takes to build a successful product business on Amazon then you need to hear the question one of Scott’s listeners asked on this episode. She’s curious how she can determine if a specific market she’s interested in is too crowded with sellers - and beyond that, she wants to know if there is a way that she can begin to offer products within the wider market without coming into direct competition with the big players. Scott’s got some very creative and interesting approaches to this question and he shares his ideas on this episode.

What are the best ways to work alongside your spouse in a business partnership?

One of Scott’s listeners is eager to get started with Amazon private label sales. He and his wife have been listening to the show together and want to work on their Amazon business as a team. He called in to ask for Scott’s advice regarding how to best work together with a significant other. He’s concerned about the stress and potential for difficulty and conflict - so he wants to head those things off before they get started by applying Scott’s great advice. What would you tell him? You can hear Scott’s answer and suggestions on this episode.

Do you have a question about business, eCommerce, or selling private label products?

It’s always good to have an experienced person in your corner, a coach or advisor who can point you in the right direction and give you their lessons-learned from experience. That’s what this “Ask Scott” episode of The Amazing Seller podcast is all about. You can call in to leave a voicemail question for Scott Voelker and he’ll do his very best to answer your question - and include it in one of the next Friday episodes of the show. You can find out how to ask your question and get an answer from Scott by listening to this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:07] A quick favor! Would you subscribe to the show and share it?
  • [3:45] QUESTION ONE: How would you maximize reviews when I am moving existing products to Amazon from a different platform?
  • [10:33] QUESTION TWO: How to I discern how saturated markets are?
  • [17:10] QUESTION THREE: What advice would you give to those who are married and want to go into business together?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS286.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the things Scott and Chris do on The Amazing Seller podcast now and then are “hot seat” sessions where they look at a real-life Amazon product listing to suggest tweaks to the listing and give advice about how to optimize the product for better sales. This episode of the show is exactly that - and it’s a bit different than usual because the product they are looking at is in a very competitive niche with competitive products that are well established and making lots of sales. How would you approach the promotion of a product given those circumstances? You can hear how Scott and Chris would do it on this episode.

Is it smart to go after a super competitive product niche?

On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris are looking at an Amazon product listing that is in a very competitive niche. The product owner asked the guys to look it over and give some suggestions about how he can increase his sales and gain more of the market share. But neither Scott nor Chris would have tried to sell this product in the first place because the market is crowded with heavy-hitting competitors. But now that the product is established and selling what should the product owner do? You can hear how Scott and Chris would approach it on this episode of the show.

Why an external strategy is key for products in a competitive product market.

Much of the reason that new products in competitive niches don’t have much chance of becoming popular with buyers is because of the social proof the larger, more established products have. They may have thousands of positive reviews when the new product is first introduced, which makes it an uphill climb to gain any share of the market. If a product like this is going to gain any traction it’s going to come from building a mailing list and doing promotions outside of Amazon. On this episode Scott and Chris walk you through how they’d do that and why it’s so important - so be sure you listen!

Should you create a lead-in product to stimulate existing product sales?

If you have a product that is being overshadowed by dominant competition there is a long-term approach you can take to gain ground in the market. Scott calls it a lead-in product. Here’s how it works: You begin offering a second product that has a less crowded market but is related to your first product. You do the things you need to do in order to get it selling then offer the first product (the one that’s difficult to sell) as an “also bought” or related product. It’s one way to come at buyers from the back door, giving them the opportunity to see your great product through another product's channel. You can hear Scott describe how he’d go about creating that kind of related product on this episode.

Do you know how to target your Amazon product to a specific person?

Many Amazon sellers feel that their product listings are optimized when there are many things they could do to make their listing more compelling. One of the things Chris and Scott suggest is to change the wording of your bullet points to reflect the benefits a specific type of person would experience if they were to buy your product. It’s called targeting - aiming your product at the person most likely to purchase your product - and you do it by getting into their world and determining what would be of greatest benefit to them relating to your product. Scott and Chris give some great examples of how to do it on this episode, so be sure you take the time to listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:20] The hot seat topic: My competitive product is not getting sales.
  • [2:59] Chris’ impression of this product and market in question.
  • [5:18] Is it smart to go after a very competitive product?
  • [7:20] Why the “external strategy” is going to be key for this product’s sales success.
  • [9:38] The vital nature of Pay Per Click with a product like this.
  • [11:21] The importance of a well optimized listing.
  • [15:00] Consider the idea of lead-in products to enhance an existing product.
  • [17:39] How you can take advantage of related products to your existing product.
  • [23:10] You can target your product to a specific person for more sales.
  • [27:15] The main areas for this product to focus on.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

www.TheAmazingSeller.com/workshop - get in on the next free workshop

Direct download: TAS285.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

The second TAS Breakthrough LIVE event just wrapped up and the amazing conversations and ideas that happened are hard to describe after the fact. But on this episode, Scott and Chris are going to give it a shot! So take some time to listen in to find out if events like this are something that could move your online business forward in the future. These two guys are sold on the value of these events and even read powerful testimonials about how this event served to move the businesses of other people forward. So sit back, listen to what these two guys learned, and how you can get involved in a similar group or event in the future.

The important role that personal connections make in the advancement of your business.

Everyone knows what it feels like to be discouraged. And conversely, everyone knows how good it feels to be encouraged by someone who is like-minded and gets where you are headed. There’s nothing like it. Chris and Scott have learned that events like TAS Breakthrough LIVE are a wonderful place for people who are working in a specific niche to gather, learn from each other’s experiences (successes and failures), brainstorm ideas for making each other more successful, and much more. But none of it will happen if you aren’t in a situation where you can be encouraged in those ways. Find out how you can connect with these events yourself, on this episode.

Once you’ve got a private label product on Amazon should you go wide or go deep?

Once you start to experience a bit of success selling private label products on Amazon you have a decision to make. Are you going to sit back and be satisfied with your current level of success or are you going to press forward to grow your success? If you’re going to press forward you have another decision to make. Are you going to go wide by finding building new brands that are unrelated to your current product? Or are you going to go deep by adding adjacent products that make your current products even more effective? On this episode, Scott and Chris talk about a scenario they discussed with the group who attended the TAS Breakthrough LIVE event where a current successful Amazon seller was asking this question.

Should you use Kickstarter to launch your products? It’s possible, but not easy.

If you are looking to launch a private label product on Amazon there are many ways you can go about it. But every one of them is going to require hard work and effective marketing. At the latest TAS Breakthrough LIVE event, one of the hot seat sessions focused on a successful Amazon seller (he’s making $25K per month presently) who has used Kickstarter to launch every one of his current products. In every case, he’s had a successful campaign that fully funded his product launch, but he wants to do even more. The guys had a great time helping him think through his Kickstarter strategy, why he’s doing things in that way, and what his end goal is for his Amazon business efforts. You’ve got to hear this part of the conversation, it’s a fresh look at the product launch approach that you’ll enjoy hearing.

There’s often potential to grow your brand even if you’re already successful.

At the recent TAS Breakthrough LIVE event, one of the people on the hot seat was trying to decide how she could grow her brand even more, even though she was already selling $80K per month. What? Isn’t that successful enough? Maybe, but it depends on your end goals. This seller wanted to build her brand even more and was unaware of some very obvious things she could do to make what she’s currently doing even more successful and the hot seat session helped her get clarity on a game plan for moving forward and reaching even higher levels of success. You’ve got to hear her amazing story.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [2:23] The value of sitting down around a table with successful people.
  • [5:54] A powerful testimony from the last TAS Breakthrough LIVE event.
  • [10:20] The type of “what if”s that push everyone in the room forward.
  • [19:51] A hot seat example from the event: Do I go broad or deep?
  • [24:55] Another situation discussed at the event: Using Kickstarter to launch products.
  • [33:44] $80K per month selling multiple SKUs: should she grow or start a new brand?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS284.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s always good to learn from the success and failure of someone who is already down the same road you’re walking. That’s one of the reasons Scott does these Friday “Ask Scott” episodes of The Amazing Seller podcast. You can hear other real-life Amazon private label sellers call in to ask Scott a question about their private label sales issues - and who knows, you may hear a question that addresses an issue you’ve been dealing with yourself.

My seasonal product has almost sold out. Should I replenish or wait until the next season?

On this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast a listener called Scott to ask what he should do in regard to his inventory. He sells a seasonal product that is very successful in the summer months, so it makes sense that in November he’s almost out of stock. He’s curious if it makes sense for him to replenish his product inventory now or to wait to make those purchases until right before his busy season. If you take the time to listen you’ll get to hear how Scott thinks about it - why he believes he's got the best approach - and you might be surprised by his answer.

Can I create a bundle as a variation of my existing product?

A listener called in to ask if he can create a bundle product (more than one item included in the one product listing) but do it as a variation of an existing product. He wants to benefit from the reviews and sales he’s already gotten on the “mother” product and would love to do so by adding this bundle as a variation. Do you know the answer to his question? On this episode, Scott answers the question and goes on to give some ideas about bundling products that will work for  Amazon sellers.

Is it harder to get started on Amazon today?

Many people out there in internet land have insisted that the Amazon ship has sailed. They say the market is too crowded, too many people are snatching up the good product ideas, and you don’t have a chance to get significant sales from selling private label products through Amazon. On this episode of the podcast, a caller asked Scott if he thinks there’s still room to successfully sell products on Amazon, and Scott’s answer is a resounding, “YES!” You can learn why Scott feels that selling products on Amazon is still one of the best ways to get a business started by listening to this episode.

Why Amazon private label is a great place to start and a terrible place to stop.

While the Amazon marketplace is still a viable option for starting your own product sales business (you can hear why Scott believes so in answer to a listener question, on this episode), Scott believes that Amazon is a terrible place to stop your business efforts. On this episode, Scott reveals why taking action is vital - and how Amazon private label can help you do that - but he also briefly unpacks why it’s important that you don’t plant your flag on Amazon alone. If you listen, you’ll get a lot of insight from a guy who’s been doing e-commerce and Amazon sales for some time.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode!
  • [0:45] Why change and flexibility are always part of life - and why we have to adapt and expand beyond our comfort zones.
  • [6:00] QUESTION ONE: My seasonal product is running out of inventory, should I replenish my products now or wait until before the next big season?
  • [13:26] QUESTION TWO: Can I create a bundle as a variation? If so, can I create different titles and bullets for it?
  • [19:28] QUESTION THREE: Is it too late to get into Amazon private label sales given the reviews in the niche I’m considering?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS283.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the things Scott and his buddies have been enjoying are the Friday afternoon chats they have about Amazon private label sales, e-commerce, online business, and much more. They’ve been having so much fun they decided to start recording them so you can benefit from their experiences and insights. On this episode, the guys talk about Amazon lightning deals, yet ANOTHER change to the Amazon Terms of Service regarding product reviews, product giveaways, off Amazon sales channels, and much more. Be sure to listen to their great conversation.

What’s an Amazon lightning deal and how do they work?

One of the ways Amazon enables sellers to move products is through offering lightning deals. You’ve got to be approved to participate but once you are you can offer your products at discounted prices for a short period of time - but the bonus is that Amazon HELPS YOU promote them in a handful of ways. It’s a great opportunity to sell a lot of products quickly if you know how to use them. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and his buddies chat about some lightning deal experiences they’ve had recently and how they didn’t pan out as successfully as they had hoped.

Amazon is changing the review policies AGAIN! Get the scoop on the most recent changes.

It was just a few weeks ago that Amazon changed its terms of service regarding product reviews that prohibits discounting products in exchange for reviews. Now it seems that those rules are changing again and it’s surprising that this time it’s AMAZON that’s encouraging a certain type of discount in exchange for reviews… and it has to do with gift cards. Want to know the whole story? The guys chat about this new development on this episode.

Contests and giveaways: new ideas you can use to sell your Amazon products.

More and more creative ways of using contests and product giveaways are being devised where you can encourage people to enter your drawing - thereby building your email list - in hopes of winning one of your products. And there are ways of doing this outside of Amazon, including social media, that can really ramp up your opt-ins and sales at the same time. Find out some of the ways people are successfully using giveaways to promote their products, on this episode.

In order to move your business forward, you have to keep learning.

When it comes to setting up contests and sales channels outside of Amazon it’s easy for private label sellers to get intimidated and scared. There’s a lot to learn and it can be a bit confusing when you first start. But on this episode, Chris Shaffer makes the point that everything is at least a little bit confusing when you first start. But once you make the commitment to dive in, learn, and master the process involved in learning the new system you’re able to get it running and working for you in a relatively short period of time. If you’re interested in finding out how to build your business outside of Amazon you’re going to learn a lot from this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the TAS Power Hour.
  • [4:10] How you can get in on the next event in Phoenix.
  • [5:02] A lightning deal FAIL story - and why it happened.
  • [14:09] Yet ANOTHER change to Amazon’s review policy.
  • [19:10] Giveaway ideas you can use to sell more products.
  • [39:00] The learning curve issues of using new platforms.
  • [43:10] TAS Canada.
  • [49:20] Updates from Amazon about a variety of issues.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS282.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

When Amazon changed its policy concerning discounts given in exchange for product reviews the private label sales community exploded. People panicked, bailed out of Amazon, and encouraged others to do the same. But much of it was an overreaction. The companies and sellers who were doing well long before the policy changes adjusted their strategies and continued making a killing selling their products on Amazon. One of the people who was dramatically impacted by the change was Greg Mercer. His company, Review Kick had to entirely rebrand and change its business model but is still viable and running effectively. Today Scott is chatting with Greg about the things he’s learned from the changes and how he sees Amazon handling the issues it affects.

What did Amazon’s attorneys have to say about the review policy changes?

One of the opportunities Greg Mercer had when the Amazon terms of service changed - no longer allowing discounts in exchange for product reviews - was to speak personally with attorneys from Amazon’s legal team to understand the particulars of what the changes mean on a practical level. Today Greg shares what he learned from his conversation with the Amazon legal team and how he understands the terms of service now that they’ve changed. You won’t want to miss what Greg has to share. It could save you a bunch of headaches in the future.

Why private label sales on Amazon is an even better opportunity.

When Scott asked his friend Greg Mercer if he still thinks Amazon private label sales is a good opportunity for those who want to start their own online business, Greg said that he believes it’s an even better opportunity than before. He thinks that Amazon’s penchant for changing the rules periodically has scared off those who are unwilling to work hard - those only looking for an easy buck. That leaves more room for those who understand what it takes to build a successful business and are willing to put in the effort. You can hear the ways Greg thinks the recent review policy changes will improve the ability to sell on Amazon on this episode.

How the policy changes at Amazon impacted a business built on Amazon reviews.

Greg Mercer is the head of a company called Review Kick. The focus of the company was to help Amazon sellers get more reviews - and they did so by helping sellers effectively promote discounts in exchange for a review. But Amazon’s terms of service recently changed and that practice is no longer allowed. As you can imagine, it was potentially devastating news for Greg and his team. But rather than throw in the towel they decided to pivot and make their business better than ever, even creating an avenue to expand their user base outside of Amazon sellers. You can hear how Review Kick became Jump Send, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

How you can effectively use deal sites to promote your products.

One of the concerns about Amazon’s changes to its review policy is that any discount offer sellers make might prohibit those discounted customers from being able to leave a review. But Greg Mercer doesn’t think that’s the case. In fact, he’s done a few product promotions on his own since the changes went into effect and has seen reviews of those discounted products post on Amazon. On this episode, Greg gives you his take on what the Amazon legal team says about the new policy changes and tells you how he’s used deal sites like JumpSend to promote his own products.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast and his guest, Greg Mercer!
  • [2:36] Why Scott invited Greg onto the show again so soon.
  • [3:53] Greg’s perspective of the day Amazon announced their review changes.
  • [5:30] Why Greg believes Amazon private label is still a great opportunity.
  • [7:40] Revealing conversations Greg has recently had with attorneys from Amazon.
  • [14:20] Do purchases made with discounts limit the purchaser’s ability to review?
  • [19:48] Changes to Greg’s service - Review Kick as a result.
  • [22:40] The best uses of deal sites like JumpSend - and will Amazon target them?
  • [28:09] How Greg is retraining his current subscribers to abide by Amazon policies.
  • [31:28] The future of Amazon from Greg’s perspective.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS281.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Fridays are one of Scott’s favorite days of the week because it’s the day that the Ask Scott session of the podcast hits the airwaves. These episodes are designed to do nothing more than help you get your answers about Amazon private label or e-commerce sales answered. Scott’s got years of experience in both realms and is eager to help you become successful selling your products online. If you want to ask Scott a question about your particular situation you can find out exactly how to do that on this episode of the podcast. Who knows, maybe you’ll be featured on a future episode of the show!

I’m having some issues with my supplier putting my logo on my product. Can you help?

A listener called in to ask Scott about a problem he’s having with his supplier. He’s trying to get his product branded by having the logo imprinted on the product but the supplier is telling him there is not enough space to do a good job of it. He’s curious how this will impact his possibilities of getting his product in Amazon’s brand registry and if there are any other options Scott can think of to get his branding on his product. As you might expect, Scott’s got a great answer for him that includes a couple of possible solutions.

Can I get multiple manufacturers to work together to create product bundles for me?

One of the approaches to building a unique product on Amazon that Scott often suggests is through bundling your primary product with an accessory or other related product. When you do you’re able to offer something that no other Amazon seller is able to offer. It’s a great way to stand out. Today a caller asks if Scott knows of a way he could get his product suppliers (he uses more than one) to work together to bundle his products for him. That way he won't have to have the products shipped to his house and be required to do the work himself. Scott actually knows somebody who is doing that exact thing and has some suggestions for how the caller can handle the situation.

How can I discourage others from copying my product?

An Amazon seller who is just starting called Scott to ask if there is a way she can discourage others from copying her product now that it’s selling pretty well (15 units a day). Without knowing the particulars of her product and market it’s hard for Scott to give detailed answers but there are some guiding principles he has to share that might help this seller - so he shares them on this episode. If you’d like to do your best to make your product the stand-out item in your market, Scott’s answer to this question may be just what you’re looking for.

Should I work to keep ahead of my competition in terms of reviews?

Positive product reviews are important when it comes to Amazon products. They lend a sense of legitimacy to your product, telling potential customers that others have bought and enjoyed your product. But is it important to make sure that you stay ahead of your competition when it comes to the number of reviews you have on your product? On this episode, Scott dives into the issue of reviews and outlines how good reviews help a product and at what point the number of reviews begins to lose its significance. Are you interested to know what he has to say about it? You can find out by listening to this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:40] How you can submit your own questions.
  • [2:15] The word of the week: Kindness!
  • [6:34] QUESTION ONE: Problems getting my logo on a product. What are my options?
  • [11:58] QUESTION TWO: Any ideas to get manufacturers to work together for bundling?
  • [17:31] QUESTION THREE: How can I discourage others from copying my product?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS280.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Brainstorming Amazon private label and e-commerce strategies is something Scott and his buddies love to do. They have been connecting on Fridays for a while now to do that and thought it would be great to record their conversations and publish them for you to hear. That’s what this episode of The Amazing Seller is - and they’re calling it the TAS Power Hour. And more than simply pontificating about what’s going on they also field questions from people who are watching on Facebook Live and Periscope so you can hear them address real-life scenarios and questions as well.

Does driving traffic to my Amazon listing help my ranking?

It’s a good idea to drive traffic to your product listings on Amazon. No question about it. But you have to understand that while it’s a great thing to get people to your product, if they don’t actually buy the product you could be hurting yourself. On this episode of The Amazing Seller Scott and the guys chat a bit about how the Amazon Algorithm calculates a product’s popularity from visits to the product page. It turns out the action visitors take from there has a huge impact on whether or not the product is ranked higher or lower. How long do they stay on the page? Do they buy? Do they click away from the page? All of it matters, so be sure you listen to discover the best strategies.

What are the best ways to get my product to page 1 - besides pay per click?

Amazon pay per click is definitely the simplest way to get your products listed at the top of the search rankings, but it costs money. Are there other ways you can rank your products without spending that kind of money? Scott, Chris, and Don say there are only two other ways. The first is to sell products. They don’t say that in a smart alec way but because it’s true. If you could sell products consistently without any PPC or advertising of any kind, Amazon would organically rank you at the top of your category because sales are the main thing the algorithm looks at. But there is another thing you can do to maximize your potential of landing your product on page one, and Scott and the guys tell you what it is on this episode.

Is it OK to include inserts in my product packaging? What should I include on them?

There has been some debate about whether or not it’s OK with Amazon’s terms of service to insert some kind of promotional or call to action card inside your product packaging. Scott, Chris, and Don all feel that it’s totally legitimate to do so. But if you’re going to do it, what should you put on that card? The guys talk about insert cards at length on this episode and address a number of possible things you could include. If you want to know what they think is the absolute best use of insert cards, you need to listen to this Power Hour episode.

What’s the best way to create product giveaways?

One of the strategies that Scott, Don, and Chris recommend for promoting your products is the use of product giveaways. You’re able to gather email addresses of people who are interested in your products and get eyes on your products at the same time. But there are ways of doing it that are not quite as good as others and the guys walk through the reasons behind using a professional giveaway service on this episode. If you’re considering a product giveaway you’ll get a good deal of insight from this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this TAS power hour edition of the podcast!
  • [3:47] Clarifying the new review rules - from conversations with Amazon.
  • [13:46] The best way to get ranking after running out of stock.
  • [15:00] Does outside traffic help ranking within Amazon?
  • [16:18] The only ways to get to page #1 besides pay per click.
  • [19:34] Best practices for product insert cards.
  • [21:02] Emailing your customers? Here’s how you can do it.
  • [23:39] How can you target people outside of Amazon?
  • [31:00] The balance of when to make offers to your email list - and when not to.
  • [38:51] Giveaways and the platforms you can use to set them up.
  • [43:00] What are lightning deals and how do the guys use them?
  • [56:00] Books the guys recommend.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS279.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

There’s been a lot of talk going on lately about whether or not Amazon is still a good or viable way for people to create an online business. Some people feel that crowded product markets and Amazon’s ability to change the selling platform at any time make it an uphill battle at best. Others feel there’s still lots of opportunity for new sellers and existing sellers alike. On this episode, Scott talks with his friend Jeff Cohen, a man whose company is neck-deep in Amazon related issues. He’s got lots of insight into what’s going on within the inner workings of Amazon and what it takes to build a new product on the Amazon platform successfully. You will get TONS of value from what Jeff has to share, so be sure you listen.

There is still lots of optimism surrounding product sales on Amazon.

When Scott asked Jeff Cohen whether or not he feels Amazon is still a viable place for new sellers to get started with an online business, Jeff said that he’s still seeing lots of optimism when it comes to selling products on Amazon. He thinks the key is to learn how to minimize risk - which is what Amazon is doing with their ongoing policy changes - and work successfully within the rules that Amazon establishes. In his mind, the benefits of selling on Amazon far outweigh the negatives. You can hear Jeff’s view on this episode.

Why Amazon private label is not a plug-and-play business.

There are many people who have started a business on Amazon with the false belief that it’s a plug-and-play type of business. That means they think that putting their product on the Amazon platform will enable them to rake in the money without having to do much to keep the business running. Jeff Cohen says that Amazon businesses are no different than a regular brick and mortar shop in that business owners have to continually be tweaking, adapting, pivoting, and working to build a more successful business than they had the day before. You can hear how Jeff suggests Amazon sellers do that, on this episode.

As your Amazon business grows you must learn to reduce your risk.

There are many places in the product cycle where risk is part of the game. But as a business owner you have got to learn how to reduce your risks at every point you can. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Jeff Cohen and Scott Voelker chat about what it means to run a true business as a private label seller, working hard to make your processes and products more successful as you go. You will learn a lot from Jeff’s insights as he works behind the scenes for Amazon sellers who use his software products.

Any Amazon business that’s focused on the customer is going to win.

The focus of your efforts promoting and marketing your Amazon private label products should not be about the money. Your focus should be about your customers. If you keep your eyes on what will make your products a better value to your customers you won’t go wrong. Jeff Cohen mentions this powerful point as he emphasizes the importance of working WITH the Amazon terms of service instead of trying to game them to your own advantage. You can hear his insights into how you can do that in this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this interview session of the podcast!
  • [3:18] Jeff’s background online and with Amazon sales.
  • [5:05] Why there is still a ton of optimism surrounding Amazon sales.
  • [11:57] Two thoughts about the danger/concern of having all your eggs in one basket.
  • [20:06] A big mistake many Amazon sellers make when it comes to quality and safety.
  • [24:50] What does the review policy change mean for sellers going forward?
  • [38:24] Scott’s theory about the safest way to follow up with discounted customers.
  • [47:30] Patience in light of Amazon’s unintended consequences.
  • [53:33] Jeff’s best advice: Don’t be scared by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 

Direct download: TAS278.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

If you’ve got question or curiosities banging around in your head about selling products online, Amazon private label, online marketing or business, then you have hit the jackpot! This episode of the Amazing Seller podcast is aimed at answering questions that every day people ask about selling products online or anything else related to online business. You can ask your questions by listening to this episode and following the link Scott shares. Nothing is out of bounds so be sure you take the time to listen and then ASK your questions.

What should I do? I’ve found someone selling my products on eBay!

A listener called in to ask Scott about something she’s discovered: her products are being sold by someone on eBay. What many private label sellers don’t know is that there are a handful of software packages out there that can be populated with information from an Amazon product listing and then posted automatically on eBay. These software packages can even monitor the price of your items and raise or lower the eBay price automatically in response. Is that something you should be concerned about? If so, what can you do about it? You’ll get to hear Scott’s response on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

I’m trying to determine if a product niche is a good one to get into. Can you guide me?

When you’re considering a product to sell on Amazon as a private label item you want to do some careful product research. But you don’t want to look ONLY at the product and similar products, you also want to look at the entire market surrounding that product. By doing that you can determine if there is enough demand for those types of products to expect that your product would be able to garner enough sales to make the work worth it. Scott goes deep into the issue on this episode so be sure you listen so you can learn how to research a product and market effectively.

I got a sample product from my supplier and it doesn’t look like the picture I was shown.

When you order products from a supplier, whether a U.S. supplier or a foreign supplier, you want to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you want - in terms of quality and appearance. If you ever receive a sample product or even your final product and it’s not exactly what you want it to be like, you need to remember that you are building a business. You want everything to be top quality for your customers and for the sake of representing your brand. How should you handle a situation where the product you receive is not what you want? Scott’s got the answer on this episode.

I’m ready to create a logo and packaging for my product. Where do I start?

One of the most important aspects of your overall product design is - believe it or not - the logo and packaging. Those are the first impression your customers will have of your product so you want it to be the best it can be. You don’t want to cut corners here because what you present to your customer first is what will represent the quality and feel of your entire business from that point forward. On this episode, Scott gives some great advice about how to find a good graphic designer or package supply company to represent your brand exactly as you want.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 
  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this Ask Scott session of the podcast!
  • [5:05] QUESTION ONE: I’ve noticed that people are selling my actual product on eBay. What should I do?
  • [12:06] QUESTION TWO: How do I know if a product niche is the best for me?
  • [17:52] QUESTION THREE: My product sample is not like it was represented on the supplier’s website.
  • [24:15] QUESTION FOUR: Where should I go to get a good logo or label created?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS277.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

 

One of the most dreaded and devastating things that every Amazon private label seller fears is account suspension. Remember, all of us are playing on Amazon’s playground and they are the ones who get to make and enforce the rules as they understand them. That means that for any number of reasons the items you sell can be reviewed by the Amazon powers that be and be rejected - even after you’ve been selling them successfully for some time. That’s the exact scenario Eric experienced and he’s with us to tell his story on this episode of the Amazing Seller. Scott isn’t trying to scare you by highlighting Eric's story. He wants to help you avoid these problems with insights from Eric’s experience.

You can’t depend on Amazon private label as your only source of income.

If you do, it’s only a matter of time until you'll wish you’d diversified your sources of revenue. The reason is that Amazon can and does change things from time to time. The changes often come without warning and in areas that dramatically impact the way you sell and offer your products. Changes of this nature can impact your income dramatically overnight. On this episode, Eric shares a situation where Amazon’s decision about his products slashed his income instantly, he lost his page 1 ranking, and almost got kicked off of Amazon entirely. Please listen to Eric’s story to hear the reasons Amazon put his products on the chopping block so you can safeguard yourself and your products the best you can.

The choice not to inspect his products almost got him booted from Amazon.

Eric’s products were selling like crazy. He had great revenue coming in every week, was ranked on page 1 for many of his keywords, and things were running smoothly. At one point he needed to reorder products and decided to shortcut his normal process by not doing an inspection of the products between the supplier and Amazon. In that shipment, some of his products didn’t have a clearly stamped logo on them (they were blurry) and customers complained that they had received a “generic” product. Those complaints served as a red flag to Amazon and Eric’s product was suspended without any questions. What did he do to rectify the situation? You can hear the entire process on this episode.

Much of the advice you read about importing products from China is wrong.

Since building his successful Amazon FBA business Eric has moved on to become director of marketing for a company that is American owned but with boots on the ground in China. What he’s come to discover since going to work for the company is that much of what he’d read online by supposed experts about China manufacturing and sourcing is flat out wrong. On this episode Eric shares some great resources you can use to find out the truth about sourcing products from China and how you can safeguard your investment even more, so be sure you listen.

Learn how to sell private label products on Amazon from this free workshop.

Every now and then Scott Voelker offers a free private label workshop that walks would-be Amazon sellers through the 5 steps he’s discovered for researching, sourcing, purchasing, shipping, branding, and listing a product on Amazon. If you’ve been eager to learn how to source your own private label products you won’t believe how much incredible knowledge Scott shares for free in this workshop. Take the time to listen to this episode so you can hear how to get involved in the next private label workshop.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast about account suspension.
  • [4:15] Eric’s background: how he got started selling Amazon FBA.
  • [8:08] The need for diversification in your online business efforts.
  • [9:06] How Eric’s account was suspended by Amazon.
  • [12:33] The back and forth process with Amazon trying to reconcile things.
  • [19:24] Tracking down the reasons his products were refused by Amazon.
  • [22:24] Why the inspection process is so vital for every shipment.
  • [27:42] A recent change Eric has made in his business path.
  • [34:31] Great resources you can find to learn about importing from China.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS276.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

More often than we’d like to admit our choice of a private label product was not the best choice we could have made. It’s either got too much competition or is not in a viable market to expect sufficient volume of sales. When that happens your sales can stall out or never get started at all. If you’ve done everything you can to get your listing optimized and jump start sales but still can’t get things moving, you may need to liquidate those products. On today’s episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott chats with Brad Kugler, who is an experienced liquidator both online and offline. Brad shares some amazingly generous tips on things you can do to sell your products and cut your losses. You won’t want to miss this one.

What does it mean to liquidate your products?

Anytime you run into a situation where your products are not selling as quickly or for as much as you had anticipated and you forecast that future sales will not be much different, you may be in a situation that requires that you liquidate your products, cut your losses, and move on to another product. Liquidating is the process of selling your products at the best price you can in order to recoup some of the money you’ve spent on the products so you can move on. Today’s episode features a professional liquidator, Brad Kugler. He’s got lots of tips to share about how you can do your own product liquidation quickly.

Can you use eBay to get rid of products that aren’t selling?

Brad Kugler says that one of the best tools that you can use to sell products that you want to get rid of is eBay. The platform seems to work very well for product liquidation and he has found that the buyers on eBay are very different from those who typically purchase through Amazon. Therefore you are able to get your products onto Ebay quickly, sell them faster, and get back the money you’ve invested so you can cut your losses and move on. On this episode Brad shares some tools you can use (most of them free) that will help you get your products on eBay and sold as quickly as possible.

Is retail arbitrage success still possible on Amazon?

One of the things Brad Kugler deals with often is the process of doing retail arbitrage. That’s because he often purchases bulk lots of items from stores or vendors that are liquidating and will resell those in whatever way he can. One of those ways is through retail arbitrage. When Scott discovered that Brad is familiar with the current state of retail arbitrage he asked what he thinks about the possibilities of successfully running a retail arbitrage business today. You might be surprised at what Brad has to say, so be sure you listen.

Do you know about the Amazon Giveaways feature?

One of the great Amazon tools that Brad Kruger recommends on this episode of The Amazing Seller is the “Amazon Giveaways” option. It’s a way that you can use the power of Amazon to promote products that you’re willing to giveaway to one winner. But all the other people who enter the contest receive a discount on the same product. This enables you to move a good number of units quickly because Amazon is the trusted source that’s promoting your contest. You’ve got to hear the tricks Brad has discovered to make the giveaway feature work for liquidations, so be sure you listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast about product liquidation!
  • [2:51] What’s the best way to eliminate the need to liquidate products?
  • [8:31] What Brad has been doing in the liquidation space since 1997.
  • [13:23] What Brad’s business does today and how he recommends you liquidate.
  • [19:44] What does Brad do with inventory he purchases?
  • [22:53] What Brad thinks about the possibilities of retail arbitrage.
  • [26:48] Tips for retail arbitrage on eBay.
  • [32:00] Taking advantage of the Amazon Giveaways feature.
  • [39:06] Using Facebook Groups to help you get rid of products.
  • [42:20] Scott’s summary of the conversation.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS275.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Many people who get started selling products online, whether on eBay, Amazon, or other sites run into snags and obstacles that they can’t figure out how to overcome. Wouldn’t it be great if someone who’s been in those shoes would advise you on what to do to overcome your obstacles? That’s why this “Ask Scott” episode on Fridays exists. Scott wants to help you navigate the sometimes troublesome world of online sales so you can be more successful and confident when it comes to marketing your products and building a business through private label sales or any other kind of online business. Be sure you listen so you can learn how to ask Scott a question.

Under what circumstances can you place the ™ symbol on your products?

A listener called in because he has a pending trademark application submitted to cover his private label product but he’s not sure what the rules are for whether or not he can include the trademark symbol on his product yet. Thankfully, this guy was smart enough to ask somebody who’s been down that road before - Scott Voelker. Scott’s got a very helpful answer for this listener but he also throws in some thoughts about whether or not worrying about those kinds of little details is really worth the energy and effort. You’ll find out what Scott thinks about it on this episode.

Can Amazon re-sell your products they have damaged?

If you are selling products on Amazon, every now and then you will receive a notification that one of your products was damaged in Amazon’s warehouse. When that happens the company typically asks you what you want to do with it and one of the options is to have Amazon reimburse you for the sales price of the product. What happens if you decide to take the reimbursement? Could Amazon then relist the product as “used” and list it under your original product listing? A listener to the show called in to say, “That’s what’s happened to me!” and wants to know what he can do about it. You can hear Scott’s answer on this episode of The Amazing Seller

Is there such a thing as automated product discount codes?

One of the strategies that many sellers follow during a product launch is the creation of discount codes to encourage initial sales of their product. A listener called in for this Ask Scott session to find out whether Scott knows of a way that he can produce single-use discount codes and distribute them without having to manually create them and send individual emails to every single person who wants the code. Scott has an answer for the guy on this episode, so be sure you listen to find out the best ways to use coupon codes in the current selling environment.

Do you have an Amazon or online sales related question you’d like to ask?

If you’re trying to build a business that sells products online, don’t reinvent the wheel or spend way too much time researching an issue on your own. Take advantage of the Friday episodes of The Amazing Seller - the Ask Scott sessions. Scott Voelker is ready to answer your questions about Amazon sales, private label, online marketing, and much more. Listen to this episode to get a feel for the kind of expertise Scott has to offer and to learn how you can ask your own questions.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:30] The pivot Scott is making in his business (not just a focus on Amazon).
  • [4:01] QUESTION ONE: Under what circumstances can I place the “™” symbol on my name/product?
  • [9:01] QUESTION TWO: Amazon is relisting my damaged products under my listing. What should I do?
  • [14:57] QUESTION THREE: Can I set up single-use coupon codes without having to send manual emails to each person who is interested?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 
Direct download: TAS274.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

The recent changes to the Amazon review policies have lots of people panicking about whether there’s a future selling products on Amazon. Since everyone is still rebounding and trying to figure out what the new rules mean for sellers Scott thought he’d take some time to chat with his friend Chris Guthrie who has made it his business to help sellers communicate with their customers. The two of them chat about what these changes mean practically for sellers on this episode. These two guys know their stuff so you’ll get some great insights from what they are thinking and the strategies they are putting in place to help their businesses continue moving forward.

When you play on somebody else’ playground the rules change.

If you are going to try to sell your wares on a platform you don’t own (like Amazon, or Facebook, or eBay, or whatever) you’re going to have to play by their rules. And they get to set the rules. And change them. That’s what has happened on Amazon lately and though many people are crying that it’s not fair what you need to understand is that the people who run Amazon get to decide what they are going to require you to do as a seller on Amazon. Period. So you’ve not only got to learn to play by the Amazon rules, you’ve got to adapt each time they change them. Chris and Scott think it’s good for you and for your business to have to pivot like that. It keeps you on your toes and makes you get creative when your competition may not do the same level of work to stay alive.

The Amazon review changes kill the strategy of approaching top reviewers.

It used to be a great strategy to contact the top Amazon reviewers and offer them a free product if they would leave a review. The belief was that doing so added some clout to your product if a top reviewer left a good review. But with the recent changes to Amazon’s review policy that strategy is out because you can no longer give a discount on your products in exchange for a review. You can hear other effects this change has on the way you build your business and market your products, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

A new way to promote your products to your email list and boost sales.

Even though you are not allowed to give a discount in exchange for a review, if you’ve done the work of building up a mailing list you can use it to get some spikes in your product sales. For example, you could contact your list and tell them that on this upcoming Saturday you’re going to be offering a $10 off price for 6 hours only. Those people will be the only ones who know about the discount and will go to get the deal. You should sell a good number of products over that time span and your sales ranking will rise accordingly. Then you just need to follow up via Amazon email and your own list to encourage those purchasers to leave a product review. Scott and Chris have more ideas like this on this episode of the podcast.

Private Label sales on Amazon are far from over.

Many people are all doom and gloom about the recent changes on Amazon but on this episode, Scott and his buddy Chris Guthrie chat about why there is still plenty of opportunities for people to get started selling products on Amazon. The recent changes actually make thing similar to how Amazon was when both Scott and Chris began their sales journey on Amazon. In that respect the changes don’t seem all that bad to them. They share some new strategies and approaches to building an Amazon business on this episode so be sure you listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast discussion with Chris Guthrie!
  • [3:40] A shout out to the iTunes reviewers and Facebook community.
  • [6:20] Chris’ initial thoughts about the changes happening on Amazon.
  • [9:20] How this change is similar to changes Google has made over the years.
  • [13:20] The reason top reviewer requests are not possible anymore.
  • [19:30] Why building an email list is your best asset.
  • [23:12] How a list can be built with a contest then a flash email to discount for everyone.
  • [25:03] What’s really SPAM and what isn’t?
  • [34:00] The impact of this on previous reviews that have been left for your products.
  • [36:49] Why sales on Amazon are not over.
  • [39:44] Changes like these have always been happening on all platforms.
  • [46:16] Get in on the next LIVE event.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS273.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s becoming more and more common that unscrupulous Amazon sellers are sending letters to their competitors that sound very official and legal but are fakes. These letters are sent to intimidate competitors into taking down their listings and eventually removing their products from Amazon altogether. The practice is a kind of bullying that Ted Luymes, an attorney who deals with Amazon related issues in his practice sees all the time. On this episode, Ted shares some of the things to look for if you receive a letter like that and gives advice on what you can do to make the bullying stop.

What if somebody says you’ve infringed on their product’s patent?

Even if you were very thorough when you went through the product research phase it’s possible that you have infringed on someone’s patent, but you won’t know unless you did an actual patent search, which can be expensive. On this episode, Ted Luymes talks about the steps you can take to assure yourself first of all that your product is not stepping over legal lines, but also what you can do if someone accuses you of doing so. He’s got great advice for you so be sure you take the time to listen.

What does Amazon do if a complaint is made that you’re infringing on a copyright?

Any Amazon seller has the right to file a complaint with Amazon that claims another seller has infringed on their product patent, copyright, or trademark. When this happens Amazon typically doesn’t ask questions first, they just take the listing down. Then they begin an investigative process. On this episode of The Amazing Seller attorney Ted Luymes shares what you can do to expedite the process if this happens to you. You’ll want to hear this because the longer you are on the Amazon platform the more likely it is that you’ll experience things of this nature.

Do you know how to use a DMCA counter-notice?

If Amazon happens to suppress your product listing or take your listing off of their platform because of a copyright or patent complaint, you have the right to file a DMCA counter-notice. By law, the person or entity who filed the claim that you’ve violated their copyright or patent has a limited amount of time after that to prove their claim. If they don’t, Amazon must put your listing back on the platform. That’s how the law works. But there are a number of steps you should take before you resort to the DMCA notice. Do you know what they are? Attorney Ted Luymes is on the show today to give us the answers.

When you deal with people regarding your Amazon business, learn to be professional.

Imagine this scenario: You’ve just opened your mail and find a cease and desist letter from another Amazon seller. They say you are selling an unauthorized version of their product that infringes on their copyright. If this happens to you the last thing you should do is write a snarky or angry email reply. There are much better ways to deal with the situation. On this episode, Attorney Ted Luymes gives some solid advice about how you should respond to those kinds of letter or notices and tells why it’s so important to do so if you want a favorable outcome to the issue.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this podcast episode with Attorney Ted Luymes.
  • [2:38] The reality of the bumps in the road that come in business.
  • [4:20] The kinds of bullying Ted has been seeing.
  • [9:10] What can be done if a product is infringing on a patent?
  • [11:28] How does Amazon respond to accusations of copyright or trademark infringement?
  • [14:28] What should you look for if you receive a cease and desist letter?
  • [21:00] What is a DMCA counter notice and how should it be used?
  • [24:56] Advice about how to learn to write messages and emails that are professional.
  • [28:55] Why is it good right to buy out a competitor’s inventory if they hijack your listing.
  • [36:24] Get in on the next TAS LIVE event.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS272.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s time for the next Friday episode of The Amazing Seller podcast - the “Ask Scott” episode where Scott Voelker, an experienced online business guy and Amazon seller answers listener questions. That means YOU can get in on the action by asking questions related to your Amazon Private Label business - or any other business you may be running. Scott’s got the experience to give you some insight to feel free to reach out to him with your situation - and listen to this episode to find out how you can do that!

Here’s one way you can use product variations to your advantage.

One listener to the Amazing Seller called in to ask how his competitor is getting his product to show up in search results for two different, gender-specific searches with DIFFERENT TITLES for the same product! Does he have two listings? Scott says it’s most likely that he has the product set up with variations. Product variations, when done right and in a way that is genuine are a great way to target your product to different audiences. You can hear how Scott describes it and get an idea of how you can use product variations on this episode of the podcast.

When dealing with product suppliers, should I use a domain-based email that matches my brand?

A listener called in to ask about the best way to correspond with a potential vendor. What he’s concerned about is whether or not the vendor will take him less seriously if he uses a generic email like gmail or yahoo mail - as opposed to an email that was something like NAME@GarlicPress.com. Do you know if it makes a difference? What do you think Scott recommends? You can find out my listening to this episode of the Amazing Seller podcast.

If you were just starting out, here are Scott’s most important episodes you should listen to.

A listener’s wife is getting started on Amazon as a private label seller and he wanted to know which of Scott’s over 270 episodes of would be the most important for her to listen to in order to understand the basics and get started. Scott says that even though Amazon has changed a lot over the years the basics of how to get started are pretty much the same. So the episodes he mentions all have to do with product research and selection. You can hear this list of “best of” episodes from Scott on this episode.

Would you like to sit across the table from Scott to get some helpful advice?

That’s what’s going to happen at the TAS Breakthrough LIVE event coming up in Phoenix, Arizona in November 2016. A small group of Amazon sellers will come together to experience the power of corporate strategizing, brainstorming, and “hot seat” product evaluations with Scott Voelker leading the way. This event could truly change your profit margin and the success of your business like nothing else. If you’d like to get in on this great event you can find out how to get registered on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [3:43] QUESTION ONE: One competitor’s product is coming up with a description as “for men” AND “for women.” How does he do that and is it advantageous?
  • [11:34] QUESTION TWO: What are your thoughts about the importance of a domain and email that matches your brand?
  • [20:23] QUESTION THREE: My wife is going to get started selling on Amazon, what are the most important podcast episodes she should listen to?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS271.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

So many people are having such great success selling private label products on the Amazon platform through FBA that it’s not too far of a stretch to think that some of them may be interested in selling their business. You may not be thinking about that possibility now but the opportunity may come your way someday. That’s why Scott wanted to have someone on the show who is experienced at buying and selling online businesses who could shed some light on what can be done ahead of time to ensure that should the time come that you want to sell your business, you’ll be able to do it with the least amount of trouble and the greatest amount of profit. You can hear more about this exciting possibility on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

If you do the right thing by your customer, you won’t have any problems.

Too often businesses are built on the strategy of doing everything possible to take advantage of the loopholes in a sales platform’s terms of service. The practice may result in huge profits in a short amount of time but as soon as the platform learns that sellers are abusing the system you can be sure that changes will be made and those businesses will be dramatically hurt, and possibly kicked off of the platform. Today’s guest has tons of experience buying and selling e-commerce businesses and his advice is simple: Do the right thing by your customers and you’ll be OK when it comes to surviving whatever changes do come. You can hear more sage advice like this on this episode.

Set up good clean financials to sell your business more easily and get more offers.

Many entrepreneurs start out doing whatever it takes to make a buck. They may set up one umbrella LLC or Corporation and run all the finances for many smaller business ventures through that one entity. That’s OK at first. It’s entirely legal and most people have to do that to get started. But if you ever want to sell one of those businesses you’re going to discover that there will be fewer buyers interested because you won’t be able to clearly demonstrate the profits of that business on its own. So today’s guest has some tips on how to set up good clean financials for your business so that you can be ready to sell it easily and for more when the time comes.

A business that is successful both on and off of Amazon sells faster and for more.

If you’re considering the sale of your Amazon private label business it’s entirely possible. But will you get top dollar? You won’t if your business is only selling on Amazon. A potential buyer will be more averse to buying your business if you are selling your products on only one platform because if something on that platform changes in a way that adversely impacts your business, their revenue stream could dry up if they were to buy your business. But if the risk is spread out over many sales channels, they’ll be more open to considering your business. On this episode of the podcast, you’re going to learn how important it is to start building those sales funnels and establishing an off-Amazon presence for the sake of selling your business in the future, on this episode.

Buying an existing business can be a very good investment.

There’s so much emphasis these days on building a great online business, and it’s a great strategy for many people. But what if you’re a person who doesn’t really want to go through the hassle and hard work of building a business from the ground up but would be open to buying an existing business and growing it? That’s a great strategy, one that today’s guest sees implemented all the time. If you’ve got money to invest in a business and are curious how it works you can learn a lot from Scott’s guest today, so be sure you listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [4:23] How Joe developed his expertise selling online businesses.
  • [5:36] How updates on web platforms can impact ecommerce businesses.
  • [10:22] How often do people sell FBA businesses? Is it possible?
  • [12:50] How to set up a business so it’s easier to sell in the future.
  • [17:00] Why a business that is both on and off of Amazon sells faster and for more.
  • [21:48] How do sales funnels and traffic generation figure into the sale of a business.
  • [26:43] How Joe’s company specializes in buying and selling businesses.
  • [29:40] The price ranges of investors Joe’s company deals with.
  • [32:35] What is the #1 thing people starting a business do wrong when selling.
  • [36:40] Why it’s vital to keep track of inventory to get the best value from your business.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS270.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

There’s a lot of stress being felt in the private label community since Amazon has made changes to its product review policy. But is it living up to the doom and gloom we’ve heard from some people? Scott doesn’t think so. In fact, he believes this is a good thing for anyone who wants to be successful in private label sales. On this episode of the podcast, Scott is going to tell you why this policy change is a good thing and what you can do to make the most of it.

What would you do to sell a product if Amazon didn’t exist?

If there was no Amazon - what would you do to sell a product online? You’d probably figure out a different way to do product research. You’d learn about other platforms where you could sell your products online (Etsy and Ebay come to mind). You’d figure out what it takes to sell on your own website and drive traffic to it using Facebook Ads or Google Adwords. The point is that even if Amazon was totally gone you’d still be able to sell products. It may be a bit more difficult than it is now, but it would be possible. That’s why you need to understand that the recent change to Amazon’s product review policy is not the end of the world. Find out how Scott is moving his private label business forward in spite of the changes, on this episode.

Private Label will never die. Here’s why.

The term “private label” means that somebody is selling a product of their own. They’ve sourced it. They are packaging it. They are distributing it. It is THEIR product. That happens every day and you see the outcome of it on the shelves of Walmart and other stores across the nation. You will always be able to create your own product and sell it. The recent changes to Amazon’s review policy don’t change that at all. It only limits the WAY you can go about promoting your products. So what are you going to do? You’re going to have to figure out ways to advance the sales of your products within the boundaries you have - and part of that is Amazon Terms of Service. Find out how Scott recommends you take advantage of the new changes, on this episode.

Gaming the system only lasts so long. That’s what the Amazon review policy is about.

No matter what the rules are that govern an online platform, somebody will work the rules to their advantage and do everything they can to milk that advantage for as long as possible. We call it “gaming the system” and those who run the platform in question will eventually make changes to keep people from unfairly using their systems. That’s what’s happened with Amazon’s recent changes to product review policies. On this episode, you get to listen in as Scott thinks out loud about what these changes mean for him and his business as well as discover what he plans to do to keep his products selling like normal.

This Amazon review change is good news. It levels the playing field.

There was a time when companies that had deep pockets were able to offer dramatic discounts in order to entice people to leave them a review on Amazon. That, in turn, made it look like many people loved their product, when in fact, it may not have been the case. As a result, the little guys were not able to keep up and fell further and further behind the sales curve. But not anymore. The recent policy changes to Amazon’s Terms of Service have put an end to that practice so now everyone has an equal chance of getting favorable reviews from legitimate buyers. Find out what the changes are and how they impact your Amazon private label business, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [5:36] Understanding why people buy products online and what would it be like if Amazon was not even part of the equation?
  • [8:45] The role affiliate sales could play in business success.
  • [12:00] Why it’s good news that Amazon still exists as a sales platform.
  • [16:00] The importance of building an email list.
  • [22:20] How Scott is modifying his approach in light of Amazon’s review changes.
  • [23:45] Why product research is key to this approach.
  • [30:46] Why the update levels the playing field.
  • [33:20] A new workshop Scott has created.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS269.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Scott is back with another “Ask Scott” session of the podcast. Be sure you listen to these real answers to real listener questions, submitted by Amazon private label sellers. On this episode, Scott answers questions about product photos, what to do to increase your ranking once you’ve run out of product inventory, how to modify your products to be a feasible offer in a different country, and how to build an email list as an ongoing asset to your business. As usual, you’re going to get a truckload of value from this episode, so be sure you listen.

Should I switch my product into a different market?

Imagine that you sell an electrical adapter. As you probably know, it would have to be a different model adapter if it was going to be used in Europe than if it was to be used in the United States. Today's episode features a question from a private label seller who has a product that has similar unique qualities that vary from country to country. He's got questions about what he should do to generate more sales when his product details don't exactly match the country he's selling in. It's an interesting conundrum that Scott answers, on this episode.

My product ranked well before I ran out of inventory. Now I can’t get it selling again. Help!

There are times when your products on Amazon sell faster than you expected (a good problem to have). But it causes issues because you run out of product, which in turn causes your sales rank and organic search ranking to go down for as long as you are out of inventory. When the product is back in stock, it’s sometimes hard to get the product ranking and selling again. On this episode, Scott answers a listener question about how to get a restocked product selling again. It’s a problem you’re bound to run into eventually so be sure you listen to find out how to handle the situation.

Should you put a watermark on your product photos to keep them from being stolen?

Many Amazon sellers know about the possibility of someone hijacking their products. It’s something we are all vulnerable to but there are things you can do to protect yourself. A listener of the podcast called in to ask if one thing that could be done is to watermark his photos. That would make it easier for him to prove that the photos belonged to him. But Scott’s not so sure it’s a good idea and says that he will probably never do it himself. Find out why Scott is not too keen on the idea of watermarks on product photos, on this episode of the podcast.

I need to start building an email list. What’s the best way to do it?

It seems like every episode Chris Shaffer is on lately he harps on the fact that an email list is your single most valuable asset as an Amazon private label seller. The reason he believes it so strongly is because it’s the only way you can contact your customers and prompt sales of your products anytime you want to do so. Today’s episode features a question from a listener to wants some tips about how to go about building his first email list. Scott’s covered the issue before but thinks the issue is so important he was willing to address it again. You can hear how he suggests you get started building your own email list, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:46] Thoughts on the big changes to the review policies on Amazon.
  • [2:50] The upcoming TAS Breakthrough LIVE.
  • [4:07] QUESTION ONE: Do you think photos on Amazon should be watermarked?
  • [8:35] QUESTION TWO: I sold out of my first product in a month and had no inventory for 2 weeks. Now I’m not gaining traction with new inventory. How can I improve sales?
  • [15:53] QUESTION THREE: I’m ranking with my product but my product doesn’t apply well to the U.S. market. Should I move my product to another market?
  • [22:06] QUESTION FOUR: I want to build an email list by offering a free manual for how to use the product. I’d love your tips for building an email list effectively.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS268.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

As you’ve probably heard by now Amazon has changed its policies regarding whether or not you as a private label seller can ask for a review on your product in exchange for a discount on the product. What Amazon has said is, "No, you can't." that's going to be a problem for many private label sellers because they have centered their entire product launch sequence around the allowance of reviews for a discount. So how does this impact the way we go about launching a new private label product on Amazon? That’s what this roundtable discussion with Scott Voelker, Chris Shaffer, and Dom Sugar is all about. The guys chat about the actual policy change, what it means for product launches, and why in some ways, it’s a better thing for the private label community overall. You can hear the entire conversation on this episode of the Amazing Seller podcast.

The recent Amazon review changes actually level the playing field for all private label sellers.

It’s important to look at the recent changes to Amazon’s review policies from the perspective of a brand new seller. Before this change the climb to a successful product launch was made very difficult because competitors with bigger budgets were able to invest lots of cash in building reviews through giving huge discounts to potential customers in exchange for a review. But now, Amazon has removed that possibility so everyone is required to launch their product without the benefit of huge discounts in exchange for a review. In short, the big boys in any niche now have to deal with the same limits as the little guys. You can hear more insights into the ways the little guy seller benefits from the recent Amazon review changes, on this episode.

“I don’t care about reviews, I care about sales!”

The strategy of getting lots of reviews on Amazon for your products is meant to build the social proof for the value and quality of your products. That way more people will possibly feel comfortable buying your product because others have done so, and are happy with it. But that’s all assuming that more reviews equal more sales. But it’s not always the case. Scott has interviewed plenty of sellers who have launched and gotten a huge jump on product sales without any reviews. On this episode, both Chris and Dom agree that sales are much more important than reviews, not only because sales put cash in your pocket but also because sales are what causes your product to rank higher in the Amazon search results. Reviews don’t do either of those things for you. Find out more about how the guys view this Amazon policy change, on this episode.

Why did Amazon make its change to the review policies?

Everything Amazon does is to increase the ability of sellers to sell quality products. That’s how Amazon makes its money, through sales of truly helpful, high-quality products. The recent changes to the “review in exchange for a discount” policy is aimed at making sure that the reviews given for products actually reflect the product quality, instead of being done in exchange for a personal benefit to the reviewer. That should enable the reviews on any product listing to be more honest, giving potential buyers more assurance that the products they buy from Amazon are something they will be happy with. Amazon will have fewer return issues and the platform itself will become better trusted and more effective. But the change will require sellers to come up with new ways to launch their products and use reviews effectively. You can hear how Scott, Chris, and Dom are thinking about the issue at this point, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

If you’re going to run your own private label business, you’ve got to learn how to flex with the changes.

As with any business, Amazon private label sellers have to learn how to adjust to the market and selling platform changes. Amazon will never be a static sales platform, meaning that Amazon will always be tweaking its algorithm and policies to increase sales and make their business more trusted and secure. As a seller on Amazon, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with those changes each time they are made in order for YOUR business to remain viable and healthy. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott’s hosting a roundtable discussion with a couple of guys who have been working in private label sales for a long time. They’re discussing the recent changes and the types of pivots sellers will have to make as a result. Be sure you listen. You’re sure to hear things that you hadn’t thought of yet.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast and his buddies Chris and Dom!
  • [2:47] What did Amazon do to change their review policies?
  • [6:05] Dom’s thoughts about the news once he had time to think it through.
  • [9:00] How this change levels the playing field.
  • [11:43] Why Chris and Dom don’t care about reviews and the impact this change has.
  • [23:35] Why Amazon made this change: to stop people from abusing the system.
  • [28:15] This change is going to help you do more accurate product research.
  • [32:10] Why you’ll have to change email follow up sequences as a result of this change.
  • [36:30] Scott’s idea about how to change his approach to his own review club.
  • [41:51] Why this change is not as dramatic as it first appears.
  • [47:00] Why an email list is the single biggest asset in your business.
  • [49:00] The vine program: What is it and how to do you get into it?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS267.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

If you’ve never looked into the possibility of selling your own private label products online to build a business of your own, this is the episode for you to hear. My guest today is Paul and he built his own private label sales business from scratch - and started out with only $30. That’s right - $30. On this episode, he debunks many ideas about getting started with online sales by sharing exactly how he took each step to move from a $30 investment to thousands of dollars in sales every month. You can hear the whole thing on this episode of the podcast.

Overcoming the fear and roadblocks to building your own private label business.

Fear is a natural response to something you don’t understand. You wonder if you’ll have what it takes to handle the difficulties and challenges the situation may bring. But fear is also something that you can use to your advantage to motivate and drive you forward. On this episode, Paul shares how he stepped past the fear he felt by taking small, less risky steps to assure himself as he went along. It’s a smart strategy and one that worked out very well for him. You can hear the entire story on this episode of the podcast.

Starting small from where you are is the key to success.

There’s nothing that can really hold you back from becoming successful at private label sales if you really want to be successful. Paul’s story is a great example of that. He started out very small, with only $30 worth of product. As that began to sell he purchased more with the profits and scaled the business larger and larger over time. You don’t have to order tons of product right off the bat and Paul’s story demonstrates how true that is. You’ll get to hear Paul’s story, the steps he took all along the way to success, and where he’s come over time on this episode. You can also hear what he’s doing now to expand his business beyond Amazon, so be sure you take the time to listen.

Why you need to think outside Amazon with your product sales.

Amazon is a wonderful place to get started with online product sales. The FBA setup is one of the simplest and easiest ways to get started and everyone interested in product sales should at least look into it. But Amazon is not the end game - or shouldn’t be. There are many risky aspects to using Amazon that you want to consider when it comes to the long-term sustainability of your business. On this episode Scott and his guest, Paul talk about the kinds of things they’ve seen that have caused them to look outside Amazon to establish their own, entirely controllable platform for generating income for themselves. You’ll learn a lot just from this short part of their conversation.

BEST ADVICE: Take it step by step to get started building your own business.

As Scott wrapped up this interview with his guest, Paul he asked what one piece of advice Paul would give to people who are considering Amazon private label sales. Paul’s advice flows right out of his own experience: take it step at a time and go slowly. Nobody says you’ve got to invest tons of money or do highly risky things to get a business going. Amazon FBA makes it possible for you to start as small or as large as you are comfortable starting and to grow your efforts from there. If you wonder if it’s really possible to succeed at private label sales, you need to hear Paul’s story. He’s got a great one to tell and it will benefit you to hear it.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [3:40]  How you can get into the TAS Breakthrough LIVE.
  • [6:34] Paul’s income through e commerce and private label: how he got started.
  • [14:34] The road toward his own products.
  • [16:30] Paul’s first attempts in paying for his products and why he went slowly.
  • [21:19] Why you don’t have to start with a huge order of products.
  • [24:29] How Paul gets his traffic back after running out of products.
  • [26:43] Paul’s efforts to add a second product: frequently bought together.
  • [29:35] Why you need to think outside Amazon with your product sales.
  • [38:03] How Paul is selling in the U.S. market from Ireland.
  • [41:00] The review service Paul used and how it worked for him.
  • [44:42] Paul’s advice for people just starting out with e commerce and private label.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS266.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s time for Scott Voelker to answer your questions about Amazon Private Label sales because this is the Friday episode of the Amazing Seller Podcast. We call it the “Ask Scott” episode because that’s all the episode is - your questions about Amazon product sales and FBA related issues that Scott fields and answers. His hope is that you’ll be helped by the questions and answers you hear and that you’ll also step forward to ask your questions so that others can be helped by hearing an answer to YOUR sticking points. Listen to this episode to find out how you can ask your own questions.

A new idea for using another product for building a sales funnel for your product.

A listener called into the show to share a strategy he’s been using to promote his products and build his email list -and it’s not the normal thing that you hear of people doing. He’s creating a giveaway contest where people who enter have to submit their email address to be entered - but the giveaway item he’s using is not his product. It's a very desirable one in the same niche as his product. That enables him to follow up via an email list to all the contest entrants with pitches and helpful information that relate directly to his product. You’ll not only hear how the strategy is working for him but you’ll also get to hear what Scott thinks of the idea, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

What’s the best way to assess if a product idea is a good one?

When it comes to product research there are so many things that you need to take into consideration that it’s impossible to cover them all in a short blurb like this. But what we can say is this: There’s more to it than simply looking at sales numbers. You’ve got to be able to look behind the numbers to understand the sales cycles of the product niche you have in mind so that you can make a better-informed decision. On this episode, Scott points you to a powerfully helpful resource that can help you do product research and make better decisions about the products you offer on Amazon private label.

My sales conversions are low. What can I do to improve sales?

The sales conversion numbers you see relating to your Amazon products have so many moving pieces that it’s almost impossible to talk about all of them on one podcast episode. But the main thing you need to keep in mind is that sales are ultimately an issue of traffic to your product listing. If you can get the eyes of people who are interested in your product to actually see it, then you have a much better chance of selling them the product. But if they never see your product then naturally they won’t become a customer. On this episode, Scott talks about the main strategies you can pursue to get more eyes on your products.

Does the amount of inventory I have available on Amazon impact my search rank?

Today Scott fields a very interesting question that he’s never been asked before. Here it is: “If I have a low amount of product on the shelves of Amazon’s warehouses but my competition has a high amount of product available in Amazon’s inventory, does my low inventory number negatively impact my search ranking?” Scott admits this is a question he’s never really given much thought to but after being asked about it, he decided to ponder it a bit. You can hear his answer on this episode and find out what he recommends to keep your product inventory higher regardless.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:40] Scott’s disclaimer: it has to do with juicing!
  • [2:46] QUESTION ONE: A tip for building product sales funnels.
  • [9:33] QUESTION TWO: How do you verify that a product is a good product?
  • [13:07] QUESTION THREE: I’m having very low conversions on my products. Can you help me assess the problems?
  • [21:24] QUESTION FOUR: Does the number of units in inventory influence how well my products rank?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS265.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Scott has been hosting the TAS Power Hour on Fridays at 1PM EST and the response has been great. This episode of the podcast is a replay recording of one of the recent power hours where he and his friend Chris Schaeffer discuss a handful of important strategies you can use to increase product sales on and off of Amazon. You’ll probably hear some ideas on this episode that you’ve not heard before and Scott and Chris walk you through the steps it takes to put most of them in place and begin profiting.

The benefits of live events and why TAS Breakthrough LIVE is a BETTER event.

Scott and Chris recorded this episode of the podcast live at a conference that the two of them attended together. The things they heard and experienced at the event caused them to chat about the benefits of that kind of event and why Scott has put together a different kind of event. You’ll be intrigued by their ideas and the benefits of a low number, hands-on event like Scott and Chris hold frequently. Find out how you can get into the next TAS LIVE event on this episode.

How content overload can lead to content paralysis.

One of the things Chris and Scott realized as they experienced the Content and Commerce event was that events (and podcasts) can provide so much content and great information that the people attending or learning can become a bit paralyzed. They don’t know where to start, what step to take first, how much of what they’re learning applies to their current situation, and more. On this episode the two of them talk about that situation and why they take care not to let themselves get into a place of paralysis. You’ll learn a lot by listening to this one.

The impact of variations in product sales.

You’ve probably heard Scott talk about the addition of product variations to your product line. What are the benefits of adding variations to your products? Does a variation actually add to your workload of stocking product SKUs without adding much financial benefit? There are many concerns about the approach of product variations and Scott and Chris address all of those questions on this episode of the show.

Why an email list is your most valuable asset.

Chris Shaeffer has said it before and he’ll continue to say it: Your email list is the greatest asset your business owns. On this episode, as he and Scott talked about the importance of an email list for any business that sells products or services, Chris covered how you can use your email list to target your audience through platforms like Facebook and how you can also use it to create what’s called a lookalike audience of potential customers who could quickly and naturally opt-in to your email list - and it all starts with compiling your own customer list in the first place. Find out all the details on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [3:30] Thoughts about the event Chris and Scott attended.
  • [8:30] How content overload can lead to content paralysis.
  • [18:47] Recommendations about whether to hire a VA to do product research.
  • [19:47] Tools to forecast sales projections and how to expand product lines.
  • [26:09] How variations impact your sales numbers.
  • [30:00] Why email lists are your most valuable asset.
  • [36:09] How a bundle giveaway could work for an email list lead magnet.
  • [40:25] The possibility of Amazon lightning deals to spike BSR, sales, and reviews.
  • [51:32] Understanding what a product line really IS and why 3 is an ideal place to start.
  • [53:45] How to integrate recurring sales into your business model.
  • [58:35] How bloggers can integrate private label sales into their platform.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS264.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

There's big news from Amazon this morning (10/4/16) concerning reviews and the policies that govern them. Listen to this episode to get the full scoop!


 

Many people see the value and power of selling private label products on Amazon. But they take far too long to get started. There are reasons they hesitate and reasons they never get started. On this episode, Scott is going to talk about the fear that accompanies the dream of starting a business and how to overcome it. You’ll benefit a ton from this episode so you should make the time to listen, learn, and take action.

 

Why is Amazon the best way to get started selling online?

 

There are many reasons Amazon is the ideal place to begin selling for the first time. First off, the traffic on Amazon already exists. People are there looking for products without you having to go find them. There’s no fancy website needed so you can get started with less upfront work. You also don’t need a shopping cart so the learning curve is even smaller! Here’s a big one… You don’t have to store products at your house. And finally, you can do this yourself. In other words, you don’t need employees. Today Scott is going to tell you how to step past your fear to get started with Amazon private label sales.

 

There are reasons people fail at Amazon private label sales.

 

Much of the time the fear of failure is a primary reason people don’t get started selling their product ideas on Amazon. But that fear can be dealt with powerfully if you understand the most common reasons people fail and avoid the mistakes they make. On this episode, Scott is going to walk you through some of the most common mistakes that lead to failure and tell you how to avoid them. You’ll get an earful of insight through this episode, so be sure you listen.

 

Are you looking at product reviews as part of your product discovery process?

 

Pretend for a moment that there’s some reason that you can’t sell products on Amazon. But you still have access to the reviews people leave regarding products they have purchased on Amazon. Do you see that the data you are able to glean from the reviews about existing products are a wonderful way for you to research whether people want a specific product? It also tells you some of the main issues purchasers are having with the products as they currently exist. Once you know those things you could create the same product with improvements and sell it on your own website or another channel. Scott gives some great ideas about how to use reviews for product research, on this episode.

 

The fear you feel about choosing private label products is not unique to you.

 

In fact, if you didn’t feel fear about making a wise product choice you would be in a dangerous place and you'd likely make some dumb decisions as a result. The fear forces you to do your homework, to look at all the indicators, to examine the data about whether or not the product you have in mind has the possibility of being a winner at all. On this episode, Scott’s insight into the process of selecting a product for private label sales will help ease your mind and give you the confidence to step past your fears. You’ll want to hear what he has to share.


OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:48] Question one: Why do you want to sell on Amazon first?
  • [4:30] Question two: What is holding you back from selling on Amazon?
  • [9:50] Reasons people fail at Amazon sales.
  • [24:55] The power of reviews when discovering product possibilities.

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 

Direct download: TAS263.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

If you have questions about Amazon private label sales one of the best things that could happen for you is to be given the opportunity to ask an experienced Amazon seller the specific questions you have. That’s what you get on this episode of The Amazing Seller. These Friday episodes are “Ask Scott” sessions where Scott Voelker answers questions listeners submit, in detail, and completely. No half-measures here. You’ll be benefitted by what you hear others going through and what Scott has to say to advise them. Be sure you take some time to listen.

 

How do review groups work and is there a way I can pay Amazon fewer fees on promotions?

 

When you do a promotion or giveaway to get your products noticed or reviewed, there are costs you still have to pay Amazon for the privilege of using their platform. It’s just a cost of doing business. Among the misconceptions is that people feel like since they’re giving away a product, they shouldn’t have to pay fees. But any brand new business needs to make sure they let others know they exist - and that’s called marketing. It’s an expense of any business. You can hear how Scott addresses reviews, discounts, and giveaways and the fees involved, on this episode.

 

How to list a product on Amazon that is already there under a brand name.

 

A listener just purchased a company that owns a patented product and some of his existing distributors have the product available on Amazon. He’s curious if he should set up his own brand listing or if there is a way to combine their listings with his since it’s his product. Scott’s got a very helpful, clarifying answer to situations like this on this episode. Make sure you listen to this response because there are multiple applications of this concept to product sales on Amazon.

 

How soon should I start building an email list for my products or brand?

 

A listener today has heard Scott talk about the importance of building an email list but he’s a bit confused about why it’s important for a beginning private label seller, whether it’s worth his efforts, and how he should go about it when he begins using it. There are some great questions there. Is it really necessary for a new seller to begin creating an email list from the beginning? You can hear Scott’s in-depth response to this important question on this episode. He even tells you how to go about getting people to opt-in to your email list.

 

How would it benefit you to be in a room with experienced Amazon sellers to get their feedback on your products?

 

What benefit would you receive to sit with 20 to 30 experienced Amazon sellers as they analyze and give feedback about your product listings to help you optimize them for more sales? How would it benefit you to sit in the room as the same thing is done for others? You can probably see that you’d get a ton of value from seeing through the eyes of other sellers. The good news is that you can do this coming up November of 2017 at Scott’s live TAS event in Phoenix, Arizona. Listen to this episode to get details about how you can be a part of this business-changing event.




OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this Ask Scott session of the podcast!
  • [1:29] The upcoming LIVE event in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • [4:22] The TAS Power Hour - How you can get involved.
  • [5:38] QUESTION ONE: I have a question about promotions and giveaways - how does Amazon charge for those and can I minimize those fees?
  • [14:07] QUESTION TWO: I just bought a business that has its products listed on Amazon through distributors but I want to add them myself through FBA. What’s the best way to do that?
  • [22:26] QUESTION THREE: I’m trying to understand the purpose of establishing an email list. Can you help me understand why I should devote energy to it?

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 

Direct download: TAS262.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Scott and his friends - Chris Schaeffer and Don Sugar have been doing some Periscope and Facebook live sessions talking about various issues that have to do selling products on Amazon. They’re calling these “TAS Power Hours” and they’ve been a lot of fun so far. Today’s podcast episode is a republication of one of those power hours that was done recently and it has some incredible content about current issues being experienced selling on Amazon. You’ll get to hear a lot about new ways people are hijacking listings, brand registry, product research, and more.

 

Is Amazon hijacking listings?

 

Many people who sell private label products on Amazon are concerned about people hijacking their listing. That means that a person comes into your listing and offers similar, but not the same products under your listing. There are ways they can do that and gain control over the product listing to change things and potentially damage your brand. It turns out that there are some new ways that hijackers are taking over listings using some of Amazon’s own tools - so it looks like Amazon has taken over the listing. It’s a bit confusing so make sure you listen to this episode.

 

Amazon brand registry is even more important for private label sellers these days.

 

Because of the more creative ways that black hat folks are taking over product listings (hijacking) it’s more important than ever that you get your product brand listed on Amazon’s brand registry. It’s not a defense against being hijacked but it definitely gives you the right to get the control of your listings back if they are hijacked. You’ll want to hear this discussion about brand registry and how you can take steps to get your product line registered with Amazon.

 

Are you afraid of choosing the wrong private label product?

 

One of the things that Scott hears often is that many people see the opportunity of selling private label products via Amazon but are scared to take the plunge because they are concerned that they will choose the wrong product. It’s a reasonable fear, and one that Chris Schaeffer says he feels every time he chooses a product. But should that be a reason not to get started? Everybody on the podcast today says, “NO!” You’ve got to hear why they say that on this episode.

 

Should you try to launch a product on Amazon that isn’t there at this point?

 

Some people who consider selling products on Amazon think that their wonderful new idea or invention is a perfect fit for Amazon private label. But if the product is brand new to Amazon - there’s nothing even close to it already selling - there are reasons to be cautious. What you might do first is launch a product in the same niche that IS already on the platform, then once it’s rolling and you have a good email list and customer base, launch your new product. You can hear how the guys would go about doing it on this episode of the podcast.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this power hour episode of the podcast!
  • [2:54] The next TAS live event on November 5 & 6, 2016.
  • [6:44] Getting hijacked by Amazon? Yep, it happened.
  • [11:25] Why brand registry is so important.
  • [18:11] Is fear of choosing the wrong product something that should hold you back?
  • [33:50] How to use Google Trends to choose products.
  • [43:30] Comparing sales in the U.S. vs other markets.
  • [48:00] What grinds Scott’s gears this week.
  • [53:55] You have to understand the risk/reward process.
  • [59:30] The risks associated with selling products on Amazon’s rented land.
  • [1:01:00] Q4 sales: Is it possible to get a new product up in time?
  • [1:03:50] The issue of business entities and how to decide it.
  • [1:07:01] Advice for product research paralysis: Pick one and go do it.
  • [1:13:15] Don’t forget to include product registration cards to gain contacts.

RESOURCES MENTIONED

Direct download: TAS261.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the things Scott enjoys is learning from the successes of others. One of the ways he’s able to do that more effectively is to pass along what he’s learned by teaching you about it. Lately, he's been learning quite a bit concerning retail VS online sales from the television show, Shark Tank. He’s hearing some repeated themes and stories from the show and wants to pass along his observations to you so that you can learn some of the things he’s noticed. So take a few minutes to invest in your own education by hearing what Scott has noticed from the experts on Shark Tank. You’ll be glad you did.

Do you understand what “proof of concept” means?

One of the things Scott has noticed when he watches Shark Tank is that the investors always ask about sales numbers right from the start. Why do they do that? It’s because sales numbers indicate that there is already interest in the type of product that the newcomer is proposing. That’s called “proof of concept” and it means that there's good reason to expect success with the product you’re wanting to create and sell. Scott’s got some ideas about how you can use the tools provided on Amazon to discover if there’s adequate proof of concept for the products you want to sell, on this episode.

Do you have to educate people about your product before they will buy?

People come to Scott all the time with a great new product idea that is entirely original. He’s all for new products coming to the market but he also knows that if there're no other products in the market like it then there may not be enough demand to warrant creating the product in the first place. On this episode, Scott’s going to talk about that situation and give you some ideas for what you should do if your DO indeed have an entirely new product.

What should you do if you have an entirely original product?

Anytime a world-changing new development or technology comes on the scene there’s a ton of work and money that goes into helping the public understand exactly what it is, why it’s needed, and how to use it to best effect. As Amazon sellers, few of us have the resources to launch that kind of product on the scale needed to accomplish all of those things. What should do if you have a world-changing product that nobody’s heard of? On this episode, Scott gives you some suggestions regarding what he would do if he was in that situation.

Why do you want your products to be in retail stores?

Many of the people who bring product or company ideas to the Shark Tank TV show are seeking investment money because they want to get their products into retail stores. That’s not a bad idea but many times it’s premature given their situation. On this episode, Scott shares what he’s noticed about the advice the “sharks” give those people and relates it to Amazon sales and business. You’ll learn a lot from what he has to share so be sure you listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:52] A shout out to some recent iTunes reviewers.
  • [5:33] The concept of “proof of concept” and what it means.
  • [9:40] Do you have to educate people about your product before they buy?
  • [14:30] What to do if you have an entirely original product.
  • [17:03] Should you shoot for getting your products into retail stores?

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS260.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am EST

Here it is! The “Ask Scott” session of the Amazing Seller podcast. This is where we talk about all kinds of things relating to online business, private label sales on Amazon, and anything having to do with making a better life for yourself and making a difference in the world. On this episode, you’re going to get straight, helpful answers to real life questions. And the person answering your questions is Scott Voelker, an experienced online businessman, and Amazon seller. You can also hear how to ask your own questions, so be sure to listen and learn!

The power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people.

Scott has recently moved from upstate New York to South Carolina and he’s noticed the difference his surroundings are making on his own mindset. In particular, he’s aware of the people in his neighborhood. Their focus on fitness and healthy eating are impacting Scott and his family, encouraging them toward their own version of fitness and health. It’s an example of why the people you surround yourself with are hugely important for your life - and Scott's got some encouragement for YOU along that line, on this episode.

What are the pros and cons of listing a new product as a variation VS a stand alone product?

Many people are discovering opportunities to create multiple products based on their first product. Sometimes it’s as simple as creating a variation of the product (color, size, etc.) and other times it’s a new product that is different in a unique or significant way. On this episode, Scott covers the advantages of variations VS new product listings and encourages Amazon sellers to think about who they are targeting with their product as one way to decide whether there are advantages to one approach over the other. Be sure you listen if you’re interested in creating multiple products as a spin-off from your original product.

How does my product rating relate to my number and quality of reviews?

There isn’t any way to know for sure how your product rating relates to your reviews simply because Amazon doesn’t reveal how its algorithm works when it comes to product ratings. But there are some things you can focus on to help you improve your product rating. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott gives a couple of very practical things you can focus on to improve your product rating overall. Both are simple but do take some time. So make sure you listen and commit yourself to doing the work to improve your business and products.

I’m creating product packs from a bulk quantity but I’m having trouble scaling.

A listener called in to ask for help from Scott concerning scaling his sales to a higher level. He’s purchasing bulk size orders of various products and breaking the bulk packaging apart to place the individual products into smaller quantity packages. The problem is that the labor of doing so is slowing down his ability to scale his sales. It’s a very creative and intriguing idea that’s getting good sales traffic but he wants to have more opportunity. Scott’s got some great ideas about how he can leverage others to help him scale the business.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:20] The TAS power hour - a Facebook/Periscope broadcast - Fridays 1PM Eastern.
  • [4:01] The power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people.
  • [9:12] QUESTION ONE: What are the pros and cons of listing variations VS stand alone products.
  • [16:08] QUESTION TWO: My product rating is at 3.9 out of 5. To me it doesn’t make sense when I look at my reviews? Can you shed some light?
  • [25:15] QUESTION THREE: I’m having trouble scaling my sales due to some logistical issues. Can you help me think it through?
  • [34:30] The TAS Power Hour broadcast - and how you can get involved.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS259.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the most common sticking points Scott hears from people who are looking into the possibility of placing products on Amazon is the product discovery phase. Many people experience brain-lock when it comes to figuring out what to offer for sale. On this episode, Scott’s got a couple of great stories of how he figured out some product and business ideas that should help you see the kinds of real life things that can help you discover product ideas. You won’t want to miss this one. It covers some of the most practical ways you can discover unique products to serve a particular market.

What are you good at?

There are many people in the world who are also engaged with the exact areas where you have skill and expertise. They need resources to help them become even more accomplished in that niche. What knowledge, skills, or expertise do you have that can be turned into a product that you could sell to those people on Amazon or other online platforms? You have a leg up on the competition because you already know the market and need. That’s just one way that you can create a product that you can be fairly certain is going to be a success. Listen to this episode to hear the whole story of how you can discover product ideas.

What do you want to learn more about?

Every one of us has our interest in a new topic piqued from time to time. When that happens there are many things you have to learn or resources you need to purchase in order to get started in that area. Right there are a handful of product ideas that you could possibly begin selling through private label on Amazon. What are you interested in right now? Are there any new hobbies or areas you’re about to step into? Listen to Scott’s ideas on this episode to help you sort out the many opportunities that exist around you right now.

What are your kids or friends’ kids into right now?

Scott’s daughter has just begun to get involved in two new activities - playing the piano and volleyball. In each of those areas, she’s got to gather the resources she needs in order to be equipped for the activity. For piano lessons and practice she may need a metronome or staff paper. For volleyball, she may need specialized shoes or knee pads. Those pieces of equipment are some of the things that many people need when they are interested in the same activity. On this episode, you’re going to learn how you can observe the things you’re already doing or just getting started with so that you can generate product ideas to sell on Amazon.

Do you have friends or neighbors who have a skill that could help you launch a product?

Scott just moved to a new home in South Carolina. As a result, he’s meeting lots of new people and getting to know his neighbors. In almost every conversation he’s noticing skills, interests, or knowledge that his new friends have that could be leveraged into a product idea to sell on Amazon. On this episode, he’s not only going to tell you a handful of stories about those encounters but also give you some ideas about how you can begin to pay attention to the relationships you have that could be tapped into for the sake of product ideas.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:08] The upcoming LIVE event in Phoenix, AZ in October 2016.
  • [3:52] Scott’s story about how he got started online.
  • [21:23] 4 questions to ask yourself.
  • [30:39] Why you should be a good listener who understands other people’s lives.
  • [36:12] Do an internal “audit” of your interests and connections to discover product ideas.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS258.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the most unaddressed and confusing issues when it comes to selling any kind of products online is the collection of sales tax. One of the reasons it can be so confusing is because every State has its own set of regulations surrounding sales tax as well as its own process business owners need to go through in order to register and pay their taxes. That description alone should show you how difficult it is to remain in compliance. State sales tax issues are one of the most frequently asked questions Scott receives so he decided it was time to get someone on the show who could answer the basic questions about sales tax. That someone is Mark Faggiano of Taxjar. You can hear their conversation on this episode.

I have to collect State sales tax? Really?

Sometimes the fact that the internet is worldwide makes it seem like State and National jurisdictions don’t apply to what goes on, on the World Wide Web. But the fact is that when a product is purchased that transaction is taking place in a particular place. In other words, the purchaser is sitting at a computer or other device within a specific jurisdiction. It makes sense that States would want to collect sales tax when that happens. So yes, as a seller of products you really do need to be collecting sales tax with each product you sell. But how do you do it? That’s what this episode of The Amazing Seller is all about, so be sure you listen.

As an Amazon seller, what States do you need to collect sales tax for?

When it comes to knowing what States you should collect sales tax for it comes down to a couple of issues. First is the issue of “nexus.” Nexus refers to the place where you as a business are actually doing business. The most obvious qualification for where your business nexus is located, is the State in which you reside and do your work. But what if you have employees in a different state, or a warehouse in yet another State? And what if Amazon is warehousing your products in a number of States? As you can see, it gets very complicated. But Mark Faggiano from Taxjar is on the show to help us sort it all out. He’s Scott’s guest on this episode.

Do I really need to register with a state to pay a very small amount of sales tax?

What if you discover that you’ve sold enough products in a particular state - let’s say Maine - to owe $15 in tax to the State of Maine. Does that mean that you should register with the State of Maine so you can fork over that $15? Technically, probably so. But there’s another way to look at it that most people who do product sales for a living feel is safe and ethical. You can hear abou the varying approaches to the issue on this episode as well as hear all of them explained in detail. What are you waiting for? You should listen to this one.

What if I had lots of sales in the past and never collected sales tax at all?

It’s entirely possible that many people who sell products on Amazon - either private lable or retail arbitrage - are just now hearing about the possibility that they may owe sales tax to various States. If that’s you, here’s something important you should consider. What kind of sales volume have you done in various states in the past? That may impact whether you should be concerned about the issue or not. But at the very least it’s an issue you should look into because of the possibility that a given State may decide to audit you to come after their Sales tax money - and that could be even more costly than paying the tax of your own accord. Find out how you should think through the issues on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode and his guest, Mark Faggiano of TaxJar!
  • [1:14] How Scott came to do this episode in the first place.
  • [3:29] How Mark got into the business of dealing with sales taxes.
  • [6:03] What is meant by “nexus?”
  • [10:37] How do product sales impact the States I collect tax in?
  • [12:44] Can you limit where Amazon moves your product inventory?
  • [15:00] The 2 camps sellers tend to fall into when it comes to State sales tax compliance.
  • [19:30] Does Amazon send State sales tax on my behalf as a seller?
  • [21:57] How many States does Amazon have warehouses in?
  • [23:42] How Taxjar helps sellers keep track of their tax liabilities.
  • [25:41] Stories of Amazon sellers who are being audited for sales tax issues.
  • [28:10] What’s the easiest way to register in various States?
  • [30:44] The first steps for brand new Amazon sellers.
  • [32:32] How you can get your tax data for free from Taxjar.
  • [33:25] How to deal with past sales on which you may owe tax.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS257.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s time for that cup of coffee and a conversation across the virtual table as you and Scott get to chat about the Amazon private label questions that are on your mind. If you’ve got a sticking point, a lesson learned, a piece of information you need to know… this is your chance to ask Scott about those questions. If you are eager to get answers to your Amazon questions this is the episode for you. Find out how to ask your questions directly to Scott by listening to this episode.

I’m not quite sure why Pay Per Click is important? It seems like a huge expense?

A listener to this episode of The Amazing Seller asks why it’s important that private label sellers use Amazon Pay Per Click. It’s quite an expense over the long haul and she’s not quite sure why it’s beneficial. On this episode Scott answers her question, telling her why PPC is vital to getting your product started generating sales from the beginning, which in turn will drive your organic sales higher in the Amazon search rankings.

What is BSR ranking and why is it important?

The BSR ranking on any product in Amazon tells how often and well the product is selling. There are ways you can track the sales ranks of your products and your competitor’s products manually, but it is tedious and requires a good deal of discipline. On this episode Scott describes how he did this using a spreadsheet when he first began selling products on Amazon. He also tells how you can use software to do it much quicker - and offers an affiliate link for you to get the software to try for yourself.

I’m about to launch a clothing product. When should I use variations and when should I create a new listing?

A listener called in for this episode of the podcast to ask about her product launch. She’s going to be selling items that belong in the clothing category and is curious when she should create a parent product with variations underneath it for size, color, etc. - and when she should start an entirely new listing for products. It can be a bit confusing so Scott tells her what he’d do if he were in her shoes, and more importantly, why. You can hear his answer on this “Ask Scott” episode of The Amazing Seller.

The next TAS LIVE event is on the calendar. Want to join Scott, Chris, and other Amazon sellers?

October of 2016 is going to see the beginning of Scott’s next TAS LIVE event. This time, it will be held in Phoenix, AZ. It’s a two-day event that allows 10 Amazon sellers to go on the hot seat. The entire group will analyze their business, products, listings, and make recommendations as to what can be done to increase their product sales and improve their brand. The last event was sold out quickly so if you want to be part of this one head over to the show notes page for this episode and find the link to TAS LIVE.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the episode!
  • [2:13] Scott’s next live event is going on in Phoenix Arizona!
  • [5:03] You can also join the TAS Power Hour on Fridays!
  • [7:28] QUESTION ONE: I don’t quite understand the benefits and use of PPC.
  • [18:47] QUESTION TWO: I’m trying to understand BSR rankings. Can you give me some illumination?
  • [25:05] QUESTION THREE: I’m about to list some products in the clothing category and need some help understanding variations.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS256.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Occasionally Scott likes to have roundtable type discussions with people who he’s come to know through his experience selling private label products on Amazon. On this episode, he’s recorded their conversation which was originally published to Facebook Live and Periscope. You’ll hear Scott, Chris Shaeffer, and Don Sugar chat about some of the things happening around the Amazon private label space and how the issues impact private label sellers and retail arbitrage accounts. Stick around for this one, there’s a lot of insightful thoughts to learn from and some cautions that could save you some real headaches.

 

We’re hearing that changes are happening in the Amazon terms of service.

Much of what’s going around in the online communities that surround Amazon private label is not verified by Amazon yet, but nevertheless, there does appear to be some changes happening. What is the stink about? Most of it surrounds the issue of brand registry and the conditions Amazon is requiring. There are also many brand products that Amazon is bringing into the issue, requiring that sellers prove their right to sell the product. It could be a mess, or it could be a blessing. Find out why on this roundtable episode.

How to the recent Brand Registry changes impact private label sellers?

Many private Label sellers are concerned about the brand registry requirements Amazon appears to be enacting but Chris Shaeffer says that it’s a blessing more than a curse. Why? Because it is going to make it more difficult for hijackers to take over the listings of private label products. In fact, that could very well be the issue Amazon is trying to address with the new actions they are taking regarding brand registry. You can hear Chris’ argument on this episode and find out other things going on in the Amazon universe, on this episode.

Why is it vital to capture email addresses of potential customers?

Part of the discussion on this episode of the podcast surrounds the tactic of building an email list of potential or previous customers. Email list building is a proven online sales strategy that many private label sellers have not tapped into. On this episode, the guys chat about why email lists are so important, how to go about building one, and how you can use them to generate sales and build your brand.

How many potential sellers are using these issues as an excuse not to start.

One of Scott’s concerns when things in the Amazon community begin to get stirred is that people who might be considering private label sales might use the confusion as an excuse not to get started. If you’ve listened to this podcast for any length of time you won’t be surprised to hear Scott addressing that issue. After all, he’s the guy who’s coined the term, “Take Action.” No matter what’s going on in the Amazon space there are always going to be hurdles. But don’t let them scare you away. Everything is going to take some hard work, diligent research, and learning. But the benefits are much larger than the difficulties it takes to get started.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this roundtable discussion.
  • [3:50] What are the changes Amazon has been doing?
  • [11:45] Why the changes are good news to private label folks.
  • [15:25] How can you deal with “gray market” products?
  • [17:39] Why brand registry is now more important than ever.
  • [23:00] Be careful about the words you use in your keyword or search term fields.
  • [34:33] The things needed to get brand registered.
  • [39:06] The best ways to capture emails of potential customers.
  • [45:06] The consensus about what’s going to come of the changes.
  • [48:40] The excuse not to get started.
  • [1:01:00] When and how you can hear the TAS power hour on Facebook or Periscope.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS255.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

If you are curious how an experienced Amazon seller would go about optimizing a product listing that isn’t performing very well, this episode is for you. On this one, Scott chats with his friend Chris Schaeffer about a product one of their listeners is selling. The listener feels that she might want to liquidate the products to get rid of them so she can start over with an entirely new product. Scott and Chris talk about that approach but also give her some ideas about what she might be able to do that could increase her sales.

Just because you launch a product on Amazon doesn’t mean it’s going to be a winner

Many people who try to sell products through Amazon Private Label if you don’t take the time to do the research required. You’re going to need to know what products are selling well and how much room there is for you to introduce another of those products. Just because you don’t launch a product on Amazon doesn’t mean it’s going to be a winner. On this episode, Scott and Chris talk about what can be done if you didn’t do your product research properly to make something out of the loser products you have listed. OR - you may want to liquidate the product altogether. Scott and Chris talk about both options on this episode.

How can you formulate an exit strategy for loser products?

Sometimes in spite of your best efforts and product research, you’ll get a product listed on Amazon that isn’t selling well - and won’t - no matter what you do. That’s when you want to create an “exit strategy” to get rid of those products. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’re going to hear how Scott and Chris would go about selling off unsuccessful products in order to get as much out of the failed effort as possible. That way you can begin to invest your time and resources in another product that might be able to do better for you.

Is it better to continue PPC or to do a new promotion?

There are two ways you can drive people to your products on Amazon using the Amazon tools provided in your seller account. The first is PPC (pay per click). That’s an ad platform that enables you to place your products on the top or side of the search page when people search for the keywords you want. PPC is great - but it can be expensive. The other option is doing promotions - which can cost you much less. When should you do PPC and when should you do promotions? On this episode,  Scott and Chris answer the question.

What is this thing I keep hearing about called a “sales funnel?”

When you begin selling products through your own website you’ll want to take advantage of every opportunity you have to sell products to the people who join there. One of those opportunities revolves around your creation of a sales funnel. It’s a simple but powerful tool you can create to capture email addresses and market to people in a way that is appealing and helpful to them. Scott and Chris walk through a real-life scenario, telling a listener what they would do to create a sales funnel for her products, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:07] The upcoming LIVE event you can get involved in.
  • [5:20] How can you get out of a product that is a loser?
  • [13:53] Is it better to continue PPC or do a new promotion?
  • [17:12] A plan to improve an existing product.
  • [23:54] Building a sales funnel: What is it?
  • [38:20] Using Facebook retargeting pixels.
  • [42:24] Follow up email sequences on sales funnels.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS254.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

This is the podcast that teaches you, step by step, how to find, source, purchase, list, and sell your own private label products on the Amazon sales platform. It’s The Amazing Seller with Scott Voelker. This is one of our Friday episodes where Scott answers real life questions from private label sellers like you. If you’d like to ask Scott a particular question about what you’re experiencing, the challenges in your business, or the Amazon sales platform itself. If you’d like to ask your own question, you can listen to this episode and hear how you can do that!

Why you really need to figure out your “why” if you’re going to move forward.

Scott has found it incredibly helpful to keep a clear sense of why he’s doing his Amazon business in  mind at all times. A clear and compelling “why” fuels your business and motivates you to keep working on the things that really matter. On this episode you’re going to hear Scott riff on why his “why” is important - and he’s going to tell you how you can develop your own compelling why that will keep you moving forward and taking action.

Two separate listings for variations, one sells better. How can you increase traffic?

A listener has a pretty interesting situation - he’s got two products that are identical in all other ways except that their colors are different. One of those colors sells very well and pretty consistently. The other doesn’t. His question is this: How can he optimize or promote the product that is not selling as well to get its sales numbers higher like the other product. Scott has a great set of suggestions for this listener and there’s a good chance that you’ll hear something that’s helpful for your business as well.

I’m launching a product in a gated category that doesn’t allow PPC.

One of the best tools provided on the Amazon sales platform is the pay per click tool that can help you drive sales to your products. But there are some product categories that do not allow sellers to use PPC. What do you do then? Scott’s got a handful of suggestions that center around optimizing the listing, researching your top 5 competitors, doing some sales promotions, and running ads from Facebook to a Leadpage. If you don’t know what all that means - you need to listen to this episode. Scott breaks it all down for you.

What is your daily routine to run your private label business, Scott?

Running a business of any kind can be quite a challenge. And if you’re a solopreneur or solo entrepreneur like Scott is (and many of you are), it can be especially tough. That’s because when you don’t have anyone telling you specific things to do in order to move the business forward, you’ve got to figure all of that out for yourself. On this episode Scott is asked what his daily routine looks like, and in typical Scott style he doesn’t answer the exact question - but what he does have to say is worth its weight in gold. You’ll want to hear this one.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:15] Why it comes down to figuring out your “why.”
  • [5:57] QUESTION ONE: I have two identical products of different colors. I’m trying to increase traffic on the one that sells less. Can you help?
  • [11:55] QUESTION TWO: I’m launching a product in a category that doesn’t allow PPC.
  • [20:13] QUESTION THREE: Could you share your daily routine with me?
  • [28:20] QUESTION FOUR: Can you tell me details about the Amazon Brand Registry?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS253.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Today’s conversation is one that should give anyone considering Amazon private label sales hope that they can be successful. Jarret Colton is a guy who went to Scott’s LIVE event in 2016 with his head spinning. He’d listened to almost every TAS podcast episode and knew a lot of information, but it was all a grable in his head. Once he was able to talk with other sellers who had seen success and glean a lot of tips from the speakers at the event, he took action - and that action translated into incredible sales. You can hear how Jarret did it, on this episode.

We sometimes overthink these things and need to go back to basics.

Jarret is an example of a person who got his head crammed full of information and began to overthink things. There are too many things you CAN do to attempt to make your private label products sell, but there are not a lot of things you SHOULD do at first. So the back to basics mindset that Scott talks about on this episode is the prescription for many people. Be sure to listen to Jarret’s story so you can be inspired by what’s happened in his business - and get some ideas about what you can do to move your sales forward.

What is YOUR next move?

Every person who has placed a product on the Amazon sales platform has a next move that they need to take. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling lots of products or very few. You have something you can do to move your product sales forward. On this episode you’ll hear how Jarret made the decision to shut off all the noise and information that was clogging up his mind and simplified his process so he could simply do the next thing. You may be in the same place Jarret was - so be sure to hear how he got himself taking action on the right things.

The power of professional product photos.

One of the most important things that Jarret and his wife decided to invest in was professional photos for their product. He knew that once a person searches for his products he had to have some way to catch their eye and get them to click on his listing instead of the listing from his competition. The photos were exactly what did it for him. You can hear how Jarret found his photographer, the difference the professional photos made, and how he uses them within his listing, on this episode.

4 of his main products appear on page 1. Wow.

After applying the tips and strategies that he learned at the TAS LIVE Breakthrough event, Jarret was able to increase the search ranking of his product listings. In fact, he was so successful at optimizing his listing that he’s now got 4 out of 6 of his main “parent” products showing on page 1 for their primary keyword. You should take the time to hear Jarret’s story. It’s inspiring and instructional for anyone who’s looking to rank their listing higher and get more product sales.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to his next guest, Jarret Colton.
  • [3:12] Jarret’s experience before jumping into Scott’s live event.
  • [8:14] Why Jarret attended Scott’s live event in Denver in 2015.
  • [11:35] The mess Jarret was facing with all the products his wife ordered.
  • [14:12] Where Jarret found the photographer for his product images.
  • [15:30] Jarret’s game plan and what actually happened.
  • [17:11] Spending time figuring how to solve people’s problems.
  • [19:57] Jarret’s beginning goals and the competition he was facing.
  • [25:23] Jarret did not conduct any giveaways.
  • [34:10] The next steps for Jarret and his wife in the business.
  • [37:40] Why Jarret wants everyone interested in private label to take action.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS252.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Running a business is complicated in and of itself. There are all kinds of things you have to keep track of including taxes. There are many common mistakes made when it comes to taxes and on this episode of the podcast, Scott is talking with his friend Josh about the common questions that come to him when it comes to business text questions. Being a CPA, Josh has the actual answers you need in order to do things legally and ethically. You can hear all of these common questions and their answers on this episode of the podcast.

Are you calculating your product inventory the RIGHT way for tax purposes?

Many people think that in order to calculate their taxes correctly when it comes to inventory they simply need to add up how much they have spent on products during the calendar year. Scott's guess today is a certified public accountant and he says that is actually not the right way to do it. You will find up providing wrong figures to the IRS if you do so, and you could be liable for a much larger payment, plus penalties by doing it. On this episode, you were going to learn the right way to calculate inventory for tax purposes.

Is an IRS audit something you should be afraid of?

When you hear the phrase, “tax audit” it may cause you to break out in a cold sweat. But do you really need to be so concerned? What is the likelihood that you were really going to be audited? And if you are, which kind of audit is it that you should be concerned about? And this great conversation with a certified public accountant you were going to hear about the different kinds of audits, what each of them really is about, and what you should do if you are audited. It's a great episode to dispel a lot of the myths that are floating around in the business community, so make sure you take the time to listen.

What meals and entertainment are deductible?

Many people who run a business have been told that they can deduct meals and entertainment that have to do with their business with no problem. But is that entirely true? When this episode of the podcast a certified public accountant is going to tell us that you actually only get to deduct 50% of your meals and entertainment, and you can only do that if those are directly related to a business activity of some kind. If you want to hear the full story on this important issue, make sure that you listen. It could save you a lot of money in the end.

What business entity is best for your business?

There's a good deal of confusion about which business entity you should choose for your business activity. Should you be a sole proprietor? What about an LLC? Or maybe an S corporation or C corporation? If you're confused by all of these possibilities you are not alone. On this episode of the podcast, you will hear the definitions of each of these, what their advantages are, and how you should go about choosing the one that is right for you and your business. This section of the podcast alone is worth the time it will take you to listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:09] Scott’s introduction to this episode!
  • [3:19] How to deal with inventory as a business expense - the RIGHT way.
  • [11:29] Turning common personal expenses into business deductions.
  • [13:15] Home office space - how do you deduct it as a business expense?
  • [16:14] When the IRS contacts you for an audit - how does it happen?
  • [19:10] What meals and entertainment are deductible?
  • [21:06] Bookkeeping issues: How should you keep your records?
  • [25:41] A good rule of thumb for withholding federal taxes.
  • [27:20] The various business entities you can do business as.
  • [34:20] Can an S-corp be backdated to the beginning of your LLC creation?
  • [38:40] The issue of sales tax: How should you handle it?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

www.TaxJar.com

Direct download: TAS251.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

When was the last time you sat down to pick the brain of someone who is experienced at what you’re learning? It’s always a great experience where you get to learn what you don’t know. That’s the flavor of what happens on these Friday episodes of the Amazing Seller podcast. Scott answers questions that are submitted via voicemail to give you an idea of how he thinks about the challenges and obstacles that you come across when selling private label products on Amazon. Today’s episode includes questions about saturated markets, international sales, keyword usage, and more. Be sure you take some time to listen to this one. You’ll get lots of great insights from Scott’s responses.

I know a certain market very well, but it’s extremely saturated. Should I jump in?

Here’s a very interesting question about choosing a market: A listener has been working in a particular market outside of Amazon for some time and feels that he knows a lot about it already. But the market on Amazon is incredibly crowded and he’s not sure if he should take the risk of putting a product onto Amazon in that market. Scott’s got some ideas about how he could do it that may not be typical. It’s likely that you’re going to get your wheels turning about your own products after hearing the answers Scott gives to this great question - so be sure you listen.

My product sales are going quite well. I’m curious if I should expand my product to Canada or the UK.

On today's episode, a listener asked about expanding her product line into sales platforms outside of the United States. She is getting an average of 20 sales per day and thinks that expanding into Canada or the UK may be a good step for her at this time. Scott has some great insights into what it would take to become successful in other countries and gives her some tips on what to look for as indications that she could be successful doing so. If you've never sold your products in countries other than the United States you will want to hear what God has to say to this listener.

How should I best use the keywords and search terms in the Amazon backend?

One of the many confusing things about the Amazon platform has to do with the use of keywords and Search terms in the back-end of the Amazon seller account. There have been quite a few theories and opinions shared about how to best use those fields for the best results. On this episode, a listener asks about how those fields should be used and Scott gives an answer that covers all the bases. If you've ever been confused about the search term fields in your Amazon seller account, this is a response you will want to hear.

Scott got to appear on Pat Flynn’s show, Smart Passive Income!

It's not often that your success is noticed by people who are further along the path than you are. But that happened just this past month when Pat Flynn reached out to Scott to ask him to submit a response for one of his podcast episodes. It was a great honor and Scott was excited to condense some of his hard-learned business lessons into a short sound byte for Pat’s podcast. You can find out how to hear Scott's responses to Pat’s question by listening to this episode of The Amazing Seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:31] How you can ask your own question.
  • [2:42] Scott’s appearance on Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn.
  • [5:00] QUESTION ONE: I’m looking at a very saturated market that I know well - when should I jump in and when should I run?
  • [12:20] QUESTION TWO: I’m curious as to when I should expand my products into other countries (Canada and the UK).
  • [18:55] QUESTION THREE: I’d love to get an overview from you about how to use the keywords and search terms in the Amazon backend.
  • [24:57] QUESTION FOUR: I’ve got a lot of questions from inconsistent sales to reordering products. Can you help?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS250.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

If you’re going to build a business you really need to think long-term. One product can’t sell on a sustained basis - you need related and sibling products that can fill in the gaps of what people who use that product need on a regular basis. On this episode, Scott wants to walk you through 7 steps that he suggests for building a brand from the ground up. It’s a step by step process from product and market research all the way to ongoing sales and customer retention. You’ll get a lot out of this episode of the podcast - in fact, you should be sure to grab the transcript so you don’t miss anything.

Do you understand the difference between a product and a market?

Scott talks about this a lot on the podcast because it is vital: are you building a business based on a product or aimed toward a market? It is entirely possible to build a business around one product. But in Scott’s view, that is not a long-term solution that you can count on. The reason is that one product can lose its appeal over time but if you have multiple products within the same product in it or Market you will be able to maintain consistent sales in spite of downturns in the sales of one product line.  On this episode of the podcast, Scott wants to help you understand the difference between a single product and a product line that can take over a product market so that you can be even more successful in your online ventures.

You need to know who your ideal customer is.

Once you have done the research to know the product line and Market that you want to reach with your products, you need to discover who is buying those products. That doesn't mean you need to know names and email addresses but it does mean you need to know the common characteristics of the people who are regularly buying those items. Are they men or women? How old are they? What other types of things are they interested in? As you are able to answer those questions you will find yourself getting a clearer picture of who your ideal customer is. When you know the characteristics of those people you will be much better equipped to position your product in the market in ways that are attractive to them. Make sure you listen to this episode so you can hear Scott's explanation of how to discover your ideal customer.

Content marketing can set your brand up for success.

If you are not familiar with the term “content marketing” you need to make sure that you understand it and know how to use it to advance your brand. The concept behind content marketing is that you are providing value to people through your resources and tools that help them understand the product market better and begin to view you as a valuable authority or resource within that market. When you can effectively do that you will gain the trust of the exact people you were trying to sell your products to and they will become more prone to purchase your product as a result. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways of building a loyal following of customers who believe in your product line. Listen to Scott’s explanation of how to use content marketing to advance your business and brand, on this episode.

Implement these 7 steps to build a brand that lasts.

Selling products online is not that difficult if you're willing to put in the work to build the foundation's necessary to support the success of the business over the Long Haul. On this episode is Scott is walking you through 7 steps that you can use to build an online brand that will weather the ups and downs of Market swings. None of the steps can be successful on their own, and none of them are easy. But if you break them down into bite-sized chunks you will be able to accomplish one at a time with the end result being an established brand and a somewhat automated system by which your products are promoted and sold. This episode has so much content you should grab a transcript so that you don't miss any of the details.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:06] How trends relate to brands and which is best long term.
  • [5:16] Scott’s overview of the 7 steps he’s going to cover and why they are important.
  • [5:46] How to discover the niche customer for the products you’re interested in selling and ask yourself, Can you create a product line in this market?
  • [14:47] What is an avatar and why is it important?
  • ]15:12] How to use Google keyword planner and Google trends.
  • [17:41] Starting to create helpful content around your product.
  • [21:28] Find out where your ideal customer hangs out online.
  • [23:17] Use your research to to gain followers and customers.
  • [27:26] Create the basic sales funnel for your products.
  • [31:15] An example of how a free contest could work to promote your products.
  • [37:44] Consider the possibility of a digital product as well.
  • [39:03] Why these are good long term approaches to building a business.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

 

Direct download: TAS249.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

There is no argument with the statement that we’d all love to see more revenue coming into our business. But there are tremendous disagreements about the best ways to create that revenue. Scott is convinced that the “how” is not important as long as you are increasing your revenue and he wants to see everyone who listens to his podcast do so as soon as possible. On this episode, Scott walks through 5 ways to generate more revenue that you may not have considered, and many of them are able to be attached to your existing brand by going for a market, not just a product. You can hear it on this episode.

The importance of multiple streams of income for everyone.

Think this through for a moment. If you put all your eggs in the “selling products on Amazon” basket, and Amazon changes things in a way that impacts your success, you’ve just lost all of your eggs. That means the money you were once making dries up overnight. Scott’s a great advocate of creating multiple streams of income to support your business and personal life. The more you have your income spread out the less vulnerable you are to the changes in any one platform. Today’s episode is filled with Scott’s insights into the ways you could launch some additional streams of income and support your life and business even more successfully.

Is there a book opportunity you could build off of your current products?

You probably haven’t thought of it this way but no matter what your product niche is, there are people who need to know more about that niche. There is probably an opportunity for you to create a digital book that you could sell on Amazon that covers some of the most important elements of the niche. You’d be providing a great service to would-be customers and creating an additional stream of income for yourself. Listen to Scott’s ideas about how to understand your market so that you can come up with ideas for additional streams of income.

If you have physical products is there a way to create a digital version of it?

It might require some creative thinking but many physical products can be pivoted into a digital version or a related product that is digital. There are so many ways you can create helpful things for people who are using your existing products and offer those items for sale. Creating additional streams of income is not as difficult as it might sound. You can do it - and this episode is full of ideas for how you can rethink what you do to increase your revenue.

You probably have a video course inside you. Yep. It’s true.

You may not be a technically oriented person. You may not know a thing about video. But you can be assured that there’s something you know well that others would pay money to learn. And more importantly, they would pay money to learn it in the WAY that you teach it. Scott’s got lots of ideas to give you about how you can create additional streams of income, and one of those is a video course that you can offer online or via DVD. You don’t have to be the expert on video, you can still create the course. Scott’s going to tell you how, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:53] Scott’s invitation to you: Subscribe to the podcast and share it!
  • [1:55] The international TAS connections.
  • [4:39] The importance of multiple revenue streams for everyone.
  • [6:53] Have you considered a digital product version of your physical product?
  • [16:31] What about a video course? Do you have something to offer?
  • [21:48] Special downloads that relate to your product.
  • [24:27] Content creation that can be repurposed for additional revenue.
  • [29:46] A story from Scott’s experience: GarageBand and music loops.
  • [33:40] Scott’s tips to wrap up the episode - and a bit of homework.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS248.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

 

Welcome to this Friday Q & A episode of the Amazing Seller Podcast. We call these the “Ask Scott” sessions because it’s exactly that - your opportunity to ask Scott Voelker anything you want about selling on the Amazon platform. From product research and selection to shipping issues, to Amazon seller accounts and terms of service, to packaging, promotion, reviews, seller feedback - you name it and Scott is willing to address it on these Friday episodes. Be sure you ask your question. Who knows? Maybe it will be featured on a future Ask Scott episode.

Why results bring confidence in business and in life.

Everyone knows this but it’s true nonetheless. When you get results in any area of life you begin to gain confidence in that area. But you’ll never get the results if you never start. That’s why one of Scott’s biggest mantras is #takeAction. So if you’re struggling with confidence when it comes to your Amazon sales simply because it’s so new to you, you may need to simply take a step into the unknown so that you can gain the results you need to build that confidence. You can hear Scott’s thoughts on how he’s experienced this dynamic in business and in life, on this episode.

 

How can I best use Pay per Click to get myself to page 1 of the Amazon rankings?

Amazon’s pay per click tool is an amazing way to quickly make your product visible in the Amazon search rankings. But it’s not a normal listing that your potential customers see, it’s a promoted listing. But it’s what you’ve got to do in order to get your first sales. The first part of the launch is not about ranking, it’s about getting initial sales and reviews. That is where  Amazon PPC comes in as a powerful way to drive those sales. The next part of a launch is about ranking higher and that doesn’t happen through promotions, it happens through organic sales. And those organic sales are fueled partly by the existence of good reviews. Reviews serve as proof that your product is quality and actually something others want as well.

When I have variations on my products will my Best Seller Rank (BSR) apply to all variations or does each have it’s own BSR?

Every product in the Amazon catalog, including yours, has a seller rank. Every seller wants their product to achieve a best seller rank that shows potential customers that their product is worth buying. A listener asks about how variations of a product impact BSR. Do the variations each  have their own BSR or is the overall “parent product” the only one that has a BSR to be concerned about? It’s a great question and Scott has one of his “it depends” answers for you on this episode.

Should I have my products shipped first to my home address or directly to Amazon?

It may seem like a sensible shortcut to have the products from your supplier sent directly to the Amazon warehouse. After all, why would you want to keep inventory in your own home? Isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid through FBA? But the issue is that when you send products directly to the Amazon warehouse you have no quality control process in place to ensure that your products are free of defects. The only way you know is that customers begin leaving negative reviews on your products - which is never a good thing. On this episode of The Amazing Seller Scott outlines some of the options for shipping that make sense for international sellers and domestic sellers.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:28] Random thoughts from Scott: results build confidence.
  • [5:28] QUESTION ONE: How do I get to page 1 using PPC and how l can I track it?
  • [12:18] QUESTION TWO: Questions about product variations and shipping.
  • [19:16] QUESTION THREE: My products are large and heavy but sell well. What can you tell me about freight forwarding services?
  • [26:50] QUESTION FOUR: Can you recommend a good copywriting service for me since I don’t speak English as my first language?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

 

Direct download: TAS247.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the most important parts of running a successful Amazon private label business is making sure you are establishing your brand and products as high quality and reputable. A HUGE part of doing that is getting honest reviews from your customers. If you don’t know how to effectively get those reviews you’re going to have a very hard time building a successful sales channel. On this episode, Scott and his friend Chris Guthrie are here to walk you through the ins and outs of reviews - what makes a good one, why you need them, and how to get them. Be sure you take the time to listen. It could increase your sales tremendously.

Amazon is cracking down on reviews. Here’s how to keep your product reviews safe.

There’s a lot of talk lately about Amazon’s attitude when it comes to product reviews - and it’s actually more than JUST talk. Amazon has adjusted its terms of service and is cracking down on reviews that it considers being fake or in some way manipulated. There’s only one way to ensure that your product reviews are safe from the Amazon crackdown and that’s to get real, legitimate reviews in the first place. This episode of the podcast is dedicated to making sure you understand the right and wrong ways to go about that - including some thoughts about the use of review groups, so be sure you listen.

What makes a real review and what makes a fake review?

You hear the terms “real” and “fake” applied to product reviews on Amazon all the time. But do you know what constitutes a real or fake review? On this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast, Scott has asked his buddy, Chris Guthrie to come on the show and unpack the details of what makes a good review and what contributes to the kind of reviews that Amazon has been removing from product pages. It’s their hope that using the information you hear on this episode you’ll be able to not only safeguard your product reviews from being removed but also get better quality reviews in the first place.

Why you need to follow up with your customers via Amazon’s integrated email.

You may not even have known but Amazon provides an email contact option within your seller account that you can use to directly contact your customers. Using that email tool is the best and most effective way to follow up with your customers once they’ve purchased your product - and part of that follow-up strategy can and should include a reminder to your customers to leave an honest review for your product. We all need reminders now and then, right? Your customers are the same way. Find out how you can use the email solution Amazon has provided on this episode - and learn how you can automate it so you don’t have to worry about it ever again!

Keep seller feedback in mind - not just reviews.

This episode of The Amazing Seller podcast is all about product reviews - OK, well not ALL about reviews - there’s a section right toward the end of the conversation where Scott and his buddy Chris Guthrie chat a bit about seller feedback and its role in making sure your account and products stay in Amazon’s good graces. Sometimes in the rush to get good reviews we forget about seller feedback, which can be a mistake. Be sure you hear this part of the conversation. It could keep your account from being banned for shut down temporarily.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:30] A LIVE review workshop coming up that you can attend for free!
  • [4:10] Review clubs: should you be using them?
  • [5:58] Does Amazon respect reviews that come from product promotions?
  • [7:37] The purpose and reason behind getting legitimate reviews (social proof).
  • [11:25] Why follow up email to customers is crucial - and how to do it!
  • [14:58] Gifts you can expect from the upcoming free webinar.
  • [25:30] Things to be careful of when asking customers for reviews.
  • [28:50] Chris’ advice to get your first initial batch of reviews.
  • [34:25] How does seller feedback relate to reviews and why is it important?
  • [41:14] The importance of looking at your business and sales from a long term perspective.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS246.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EST

When dealing with a huge platform like Amazon you've got to expect that there will be places where confusion sets in. This episode is an example of that very thing. Karon Thackston is with us today to help us understand the new items within the Amazon terms of service. Not everything is coordinated and not everything makes sense but if you learn how to operate within the Amazon guidelines your products were ranked better and your sales will increase. Karon Is here to help us navigate the changes and make sense out of all of it.

Amazon says you should make sure your title is less than 200 characters. Period.

The rules have changed many times over the years but now Amazon has a new guideline when it comes to the length of your product title. 200 words is the new limit and you have to be careful because the back end will not stop you from putting in more characters. But if you do you could be subject to a suppressed listing or even worse, Amazon could change the title for you and not allow you to change it back to something of your choosing. You've got to hear this one to believe it, and you can hear it on this episode of The Amazing seller.

Be sure to watch the Amazon style guide for what is allowed. Nothing else.

You can take a few minutes to click around the Amazon website and find conflicting guidelines for how you should list your products on their platform. But today's guest, Karen Paxton believes that you should only pay attention to the Amazon style guide when you are trying to conform your listing to the Amazon standards. The things Karon shares on this episode are from the Amazon style guide and as you will see, are not all that simple. But Karon is a pro and can help you navigate it more simply, so be sure you listen.

Why you should contact seller support over and over when you have issues.

If you run into issues with any of your product listings and need to contact Seller Support it is likely that you will run into a support agent who doesn't know the facts of how Amazon runs. Why would we say that? Because it's absolutely true. You can call Seller Support and talked to two or three different agents and get two or three different answers to your questions. That's why our guest today, Karon Thackston,  recommend that you continue to call Seller Support until you get help with the things that you need. Eventually you will be able to talk to supervisor and get things straightened out.

You should be careful with those search term fields from now on.

 

It wasn't too long ago that Amazon increased the number of Search terms you could enter in the search type fields in your product back end feels. But now they have come out saying that the search term fields don't really need to be used at all as long as your keywords are included in your description and bullet points. But Karon Thackston doesn't believe you will be penalized if you leave words in the search term fields, and is not recommending that any more experienced sellers go through their listings to remove them. You can hear the entire fiasco on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode with Karon.
  • [5:00] Karon’s summary of what she’s covering for you today.
  • [8:15] Another reason to build a platform of your own off Amazon.
  • [9:56] The issue of title suppression (titles over 200 characters).
  • [13:45] Why you should contact seller support if your backend doesn’t reflect the 200 character limit.
  • [20:40] The new guidelines for search terms to optimize your listings.
  • [25:40] Is any aspect of the product listing weighted more than anything else?
  • [27:33] Scott’s recent keyword test.
  • [29:04] Amazon’s latest guidelines for keywords (to kill keyword spam?).
  • [34:34] And Amazon still says you should not use commas in keyword fields.
  • [38:02] What Karon recommends to sellers who have been around a while.
  • [41:14] The importance of split testing to ensure what’s truly working.
  • [44:05] Do not use competitive product names in your listing anywhere.
  • [50:08] Overly long content in the description, etc. is not advised either.
  • [51:02] Taking account of common abbreviations and plurals in descriptors.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS245.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am EST

Nobody knows it all. Not even those who have been doing something for a very long time. We all need to ask for help from time to time and these Friday episodes of the Amazing Seller Podcast are an opportunity for you to ask your questions about Amazon sales and private label products. Scott LOVES these episodes where he gets to sit down and deal with the real life situations that you and many other sellers like you are facing each day in your business. You can listen to the questions people have already asked and even ask your own questions, right here on the Friday episodes.

When should I start PPC (pay per click) on my new products?

On today's episode a listen to the podcast asked whether he should wait to start his pay per click campaigns until he has a significant number of reviews, or whether he should begin PPC immediately once his product is live on the Amazon platform. What would your answer be? Today, Scott has an answer for this listener and has advice for you if you are trying to determine when and how to start your PPC campaigns. You can hear it all on this episode of the podcast.

If I rank for a long tail keyword will I also rank for shorter keywords within it?

Do you know what a long tail keyword is? A long tail keyword is a keyword phrase that uses a primary key word with other qualifying words added to the beginning or end. For example, garlic press maybe the base keyword. But long tail keywords would be, “stainless steel garlic press,” OR “long handled garlic press.” On today's episode a listener asks if he will rank for all of the keywords within a long-tail keyword phrase, or only the long tail keyword phrase itself. It's a great question and Scott has a great answer. Be sure you listen to find out what it is.

Do I have to set up multiple seller accounts if I want to sell more than one brand?

The first thing you need to do in order to sell products on Amazon is to create a seller account. Today a listener asks if he should set up multiple seller account if he is going to be selling products under multiple brand names. It's a great question and one that can have many answers depending on what your and goals are for your business. On this episode, Scott answers the question with a good deal of insight and foresight, so be sure you take the time to listen.

Is it a good idea to enter a market when there are 3 to 4 pages worth of sellers in the niche? What if I did a bundle?

A listener today has found a product possibility in a niche where there are many, many sellers of the product. But he's curious if it is a good opportunity anyway since there is only one seller who is providing the product in question in a different color, while all the rest offer the exact same product. He is curious if he could create a bundle that includes both colors, or even add additional colors to make a bundle that is more attractive. You can hear Scott's answer to this interesting question on this episode of The Amazing seller.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this “Ask Scott” episode of the podcast.
  • [2:30] Why you need to schedule and plan things if you’re going to be successful.
  • [6:03] QUESTION ONE: How long do you wait to start your Pay Per Click campaigns after getting reviews?
  • [10:15] QUESTION TWO: I’m trying to rank for a long tail keyword… If I rank for a long tail keyword will I also rank for the shorter words within the long tail keyword?
  • [15:50] QUESTION THREE: I’ve been told I can only create one store within Amazon. Is that true?
  • [20:43] QUESTION FOUR: The product I’m considering has 3 pages of sellers but only one is selling a different color and he’s doing well. Is this a good bundle opportunity?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS244.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

When you start anything new in your life you’re going to feel nervous or scared. That’s OK. Nerves and fear are natural in any new endeavor but they aren’t the thing that determines success. What determines your success is your own mindset. On this episode Scott chats with a successful Amazon seller, Bobby Jacques and the two of them agree that mindset is crucial. You can hear how both of these guys approach their business in light of mindset, on this episode.

Why you have to just do it and simply take action.

When people talk about mindset they’re addressing the issue of belief. If you are going to attempt a business on Amazon or any other platform you’ve got to first believe in your ability to learn, to grow, and to pivot through the disappointments and obstacles until you reach success. It’s a “never give up” attitude that you have to develop - and today’s episode is one that can help you do that. You’re going to hear from a very determined Amazon seller who made it his goal to replace his full time income in a very short period of time. He did it, and is a testimony to the fact that you can do it too, if you’re willing to work hard, learn, grow, and keep going.

The importance of mindset to believe that you can accomplish things.

When it comes to building an online business, whether through private label sales on Amazon or some other approach, you’ve got to believe that you can do it. The person who doesn’t believe in their ability is the one who will give up quickly after they hit the first obstacle. And you WILL hit obstacles if you take the entrepreneurial route. Bobby Jacques shares his story on this episode and tells how he went from nothing to $50K per month in sales on this episode.

Dialing in your pay per click (PPC) is important for product visibility and profits.

One of the tools that makes private label sales on Amazon such a successful thing is Amazon pay per click. PPC is one of the tools Amazon provides to help you get people's eyes on your products when they are searching for exactly what you have. Make awesome money and takes time to figure out, but one You can be the pot at the end of the rainbow. On this episode Scott's guest is going to tell us how he manages his pay per click campaigns and what you can do to organize your campaigns properly from the start.

If you’re going to start, you’ve got to determine that you will start and succeed.

Determination in any business is huge. You can't be the type who will give up at the first sign of trouble or difficulty. No difficulty can stop you if you are convinced that you can learn and grow for the sake of overcoming any obstacle. Your job as an entrepreneur is to make yourself successful so that you are able to bring great value to the world.  On this episode of the podcast you're going to here a great story of success from a guy who started with no money in the bank and is now bringing in $50,000 per month in sales revenue. Bobby Jacques is Scott’s guest on this episode of the podcast.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:30] Join the next live workshop.
  • [2:20] Shout out to an iTunes listener who left a review.
  • [4:04] Why Scott wanted to chat with Bobby for today’s show.
  • [6:45] How Bobby got into business after a long road of other stuff.
  • [12:50] The motivation of engagement to build toward a business.
  • [15:01] How Bobby decided to fund and start his online sales business.
  • [17:30] The timeline and goals Bobby set for himself.
  • [24:00] PPC strategies Bobby uses.
  • [32:29] Things Bobby wishes he’d done differently from the start.
  • [33:50] How Bobby manages his PPC campaigns and keeps them straight.
  • [35:42] Up to 50K in revenue every month.
  • [37:46] Liquidating products that aren’t doing so well.
  • [41:11] What people starting from scratch should do to start on the right foot.
  • [43:26] Is Amazon still a viable platform for new sellers?
  • [44:30] How to connect with Bobby.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS243.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the things Scott and his friend Chris Schaeffer love to do to help private label sellers boost their sales is to do these “hot seat” episodes. It’s a real life Amazon product that is already selling that is submitted for review and suggestions to increase sales. Scott and Chris are looking at a product today that is in a tight niche and is very low priced - both of which are problems from the get go. But there are some things that can be done to improve the sales of this product regardless. You can hear Scott and Chris’ suggestions on this episode.

A bad thing will happen when you’re product price is low to begin with.

If you get into a market where the sales price for the product is $7 or so, you’re going to run into a problem. Even if your product only costs you $1, you’re going to pay a lot in Amazon fees and not have much product margin to play with. That’s why Scott recommends that you look for products that will sell for $15 or more most of the time. You can hear more insights into the way the product cost impacts your profits and success, on this episode

The first thing your potential customers see is the photo. Make sure it’s a good one.

When you’re putting together your Amazon listing one of the most important things that can’t be underestimated is the photo you use to highlight your product. Amazon requires that your product photo is the product alone on a white background - and Scott and Chris both feel that it’s vital that the photo be high quality and positioned in a way that shows it as large a possible. Today’s hot seat product needs a better photo and Scott and Chris will tell you exactly what they’d do to make the listing photo better.

Providing a bonus item for freer is a great idea - but this seller didn’t use it well.

The product that’s on the “hot seat” on this episode of The Amazing Seller also includes a free ebook to help the user learn how to use the product. It’s a great idea and is a powerful way to increase the perceived value of the product. However, this seller hasn’t taken advantage of the bonus. How did they miss the opportunity? The bonus item is not mentioned in the title of the product OR shown in the product image. Both of those are great opportunities to stand out from the competition. Find out how you can use this example to improve your product listing on this episode.

Bundling may be the key to increasing your private label product sales.

Often, once a private label product is introduced into the market others begin to jump on board and offer the same product. Before long that niche is flooded and the price begins to race to the bottom. It’s not a good situation for anyone but there are ways to become the dominant seller in the market, and the main way is by bundling your product with accessories or related products that purchasers might need in order to use your product. You can hear some great ideas for how you can think in terms of bundling for your product on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this hotseat episode with Chris Schaeffer!
  • [3:00] Introduction to this hotseat scenario.
  • [6:19] The market today’s product is in: good or bad?
  • [9:21] The market looks saturated and the price point is low.
  • [14:22] An interesting market that should allow for increased sales.
  • [15:55] Why the product photo is important: and this one needs to be improved.
  • [20:25] Looking at the listing for issues that could use improvement.
  • [29:02] Looking at related products to come up with bundle ideas.
  • [39:12] The more you look into the bundles, the more opportunities you see.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

 

Direct download: TAS242.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Here is the regular Friday version of The Amazing Seller Podcast - the “Ask Scott” session! This is where you’re able to ask your very own questions about Amazon Private Label sales, online sales in general, and how to do your pay per click, promotions, and more. If you’ve got your own questions about selling on Amazon you can ask Scott directly and possibly be featured on an episode just like this one. You can find out how to ask your question by listening to this episode!

I have an online following and want to promote a private label product through it. Is that a good idea?

One of the listeners to the Amazing Seller is a guy who does his own podcast and has his own online following established already. He wanted to know if there is a way that he could effectively begin selling physical products that he lists on Amazon through his other brand. Scott’s answer to his question was a big, fat, enthusiastic, “YES!” and you can hear why Scott’s so excited about this kind of opportunity by listening to his response.

Can I get a Chinese supplier to customize a product for me in unique ways?

Ordering products from China is one of the most affordable and easy ways to get a private label product brand started. But are you limited to the products the suppliers have on hand? Nope. You can take any product idea - even one you haven’t seen on their platforms - and send them sketches, schematics, etc. and ask if they can build it for you. You’ll go back and forth with the supplier for a while getting the details right, then you’ll have to front some cash to get a prototype made. You can find out what comes next by listening to Scott’s answer to this great question - on this episode.

Is it OK for me to copy the URL of my Amazon product and ask people to go there to buy?

It’s the most natural thing in the world to ask people to buy your product. It’s also natural to make it easy for them to purchase by sending them the direct link to your product on Amazon. But the way Amazon’s algorithm works that’s not always the best idea. Why? It’s because Amazon continually calculates how many purchases of your product happen based on the number of views it receives. So if you send someone directly to the product and they don’t purchase, you could be hurting your product rankings. Find out how it all works out on this episode.

Is it OK for me to try to sell a product where the competition has more than 100 reviews?

A listener has been doing his product research and wants to know if he would be safe to try to enter a product into a market where the competition has over 100 reviews. Scott says it’s OK but more important than the reviews the competition has is what he calls the “depth of market.” What is that and why does it matter? You can find out all the details by listening to this episode of the podcast.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:34] Scott’s recording on his birthday to spend time with his family later!
  • [5:09] A question to ask yourself right now.
  • [7:42] QUESTION ONE: I have an online presence and brand already. I want to combine that with private labeling. Will product suppliers customize products for me?
  • [16:05] QUESTION TWO: What links should I use to drive outside traffic to my listing?
  • [22:19] QUESTION THREE: I’m having trouble finding a product to start out with that has competition with lower numbers of reviews. Is that OK?
  • [27:20] An audio from a listener about the success she is experiencing.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS241.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Today’s guest is Spencer Haws, he’s a long time web entrepreneur who has built his experience and knowledge creating niche based websites. You can see more of what he’s done in that realm at his site www.NichePursuits.com. But today Spencer is with us to help us understand how you can build your own website that sells your own products - independent of Amazon. Interested? Be sure you listen to this great episode.

Why you need to move your success to your own platform.

Spencer strongly believes that you need to take your success to a different platform once you’ve gotten your feet wet on Amazon. Why? Because you want to build something that you have entire control over, no matter what. On Amazon you have to follow the constantly changing rules and make sure you’re not making any mistakes. On your own site you are the king of the castle and you make up the rules. And maybe just as important, you’ll be cutting out the Amazon middleman that bites into your profit margin. Hear how Spencer and Scott suggest you take that step, on this episode.

When is the right time to build your own website store?

Let’s say you’ve had a private label product on Amazon for a while and you’re selling a decent amount of products every day. Should you take the step of creating your own website and trying to sell your products independent of Amazon? Spencer Haws says that once your products are selling well on Amazon you’ve got a great test case that shows that your products could sell independent of Amazon as well. Find out exactly how Spencer says you can know if you should take the step to build your own sales platform, on this episode.

Using long tail keywords you can get lots of traffic.

You may not even know what a long tail keyword is, but Spencer Haws believes that you’ve got to become skilled at identifying and using them if you’re going to have success building a sales site for your products that operates independently of Amazon. Spencer has proven on his own sites that going for the lesser known long tail keywords can be very successful in the long run. You can find out how Spencer does it, step by step, and the software tool he uses to do his research on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

How you can get specific training to build your own niche website.

If all of this website building talk sounds a bit scary to you, relax. Spencer Haws has created two ways you can learn everything you need to know to build a website the right way and start selling your products independent of Amazon. First is an internship where over the course of 4 weeks you’ll learn how to do everything you need to make your site stellar. Second, if you can do an internship there’s an 8 week course that covers the same content. Before you know it you’ll be rocking your own sales platform that cuts out the Amazon middleman!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode with Spencer Haws!
  • [1:51] Details about stuff you’ll want to know for this episode.
  • [3:49] Why Spencer believes you need to move your success onto your own platform.
  • [5:45] When is the right time to build your own website property?
  • [7:59] The main goal for building your own website.
  • [9:35] Why keyword research is important and how to go for long tail keywords effectively.
  • [16:20] What should you look for when it comes to long tail keywords.
  • [20:37] Using top list posts to get backlinks and build your network.
  • [23:11] How to use Google’s Keyword Planner to find keywords.
  • [24:55] How Spencer would use the data inside Amazon.
  • [29:00] What you can do if you’re not a good writer.
  • [30:34] How to format the content you produce.
  • [34:10] Getting your content published: posting and scheduling.
  • [35:40] How to build backlinks effectively.
  • [40:41] Spencer’s new internship program to train people to scale websites.
  • [44:56] Spencer’s course to teach you how to build out your own website.
  • [47:12] Do these strategies still work today?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

 

Direct download: TAS240.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

A big part of launching any business is the fear you have to conquer because of the risk that’s inherent in starting a business. While the fear may be an obstacle, it doesn’t have to be such a big one. You can reduce the chances of failure (what you’re really afraid of) by checking out what’s already working in your product niche and duplicating those things for your product. On this episode Scott goes way outside his normal topics to show you how he looks at products and marketing approaches so that you can learn how to use other people’s hard work to make your own business less risky and more profitable.

How to use Amazon and eBay as incredible marketing research tools.

Most of the time Scott is talking about Amazon as a sales platform - and that it is. But you may not have considered that Amazon’s setup is also designed in a way that you can use it to research product ideas and market trends. On this episode Scott talks about how you can use reviews, data, and the “also bought” section of Amazon, eBay, and other platforms to make smarter decisions about your products and business.

Pay attention to the customer experience you have relating to products you buy.

When you buy any product - from Amazon or even your local Walmart - you should pay attention to the way the company has positioned your buying and follow up experience. Is the packaging appealing and cool? Does the verbiage on the package give you clear instructions? Does it encourage you to submit contact information so you can receive more from them? Does it offer you other ways you can benefit from your product or receive more information? Scott has begun observing these kinds of things and it’s given him all kinds of ideas for his own business and products. What about you? Learn more on this episode.

Why you should intentionally buy your competition’s product.

One of the best things you can do for your business is to know your competition. Not just who they are or what they sell, but also HOW they sell it and WHAT they do to follow up with their customers. The best way to do that is to become a customer. When you purchase one of your competitor’s products you’ll get to see exactly what they do to connect with their customers, follow up with them, offer them related products, and more. Then you can reverse engineer it to include those things in your process OR you can improve on it and blow your competitors out of the water. Find out more about tweaking your competition on this episode.

Don’t forget about print magazines and TV. They are great at marketing.

While you may never consider advertising your Amazon private label products on TV or in a magazine you would do well to pay attention to what advertisers on TV and in magazines are doing to sell their products. Advertisers have been using print and video for years and they really know what works. You can borrow their ideas and apply them to your promotions and advertisements to up your game. Scott goes through a ton of ideas for promoting and presenting your products better, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:07] This episode was sparked by questions from listeners.
  • [5:36] The importance of using Amazon.com and eBaby.com for data and insight.
  • [9:21] Using product reviews to refine products and build new ones.
  • [11:00] Buy a similar product and go through their customer experience.
  • [12:33] Search Google to find a product similar to yours and buy it through their website.
  • [15:32] Click a Facebook Ad for a similar product to yours and go through the process.
  • [24:16] Why you should pay attention to magazine advertisements.
  • [28:16] Opt in to somebody’s email list and observe their follow up process.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS239.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Amazon private label sales is one of the best ways to get started with online business. You don’t have to have any experience because there are many good hearted people like Scott Voelker who are eager to walk you through the ways you can get started with even a small amount of cash. This episode is one of Scott’s weekly “Ask Scott” episodes where anybody who has a question about sales on Amazon is able to ask their questions. This episode highlights listener questions about product categories, shipping costs VS storage fees, responding to bad product reviews, and using the keyword fields in the Amazon product backend wisely.

I’m not sure which categories I should choose for my private label product.

A listener asks a very good question today about product categories. It’s often the case that one product could legitimately belong in more than one category. When that’s the case, how do you go about choosing which category you should designate as your “primary” category. On this episode Scott answers the question and encourages the listener who ask it to focus on keywords and optimized listings more than the category - though he does give some tips on how to choose the most effective category as well.

Should I pay increased shipping or storage fees to house my products?

A TAS community member called in to ask Scott about his situation - he’s got a great product but in order to get his best price he’d have to order 2000 of them! He’d be saving enough money that it seems like a wise thing to do, but he doesn’t want to keep them at his home and doesn’t believe that Amazon would allow him to send in that many at once. He’s asking Scott’s advice on whether storing those products at some warehouse would make sense. Scott’s got his typical common sense answer to this one and you can hear it on this episode.

Can I leave comments or replies to negative reviews I get on my products?

A listener asks Scott if he is able to respond to the comments that are made to his products, and if so how? The tool you need to know about in order to do that is called Sales Backer (find it in this episode’s resource links) and it’s a great way to be active in the space surrounding your product and to do great customer service that can not only fix problems your customers are having but also get some of those negative reviews removed or changed. You can find out about Sales Backer and how you can use it on this episode.

I heard you talking about keyword duplication on product listings? Can you tell me about that?

There has been a lot of confusion about keywords and how they are used in the Amazon product listings, and for good reason. It appears from trials that various Amazon sellers have done that some of the conventional wisdom surrounding keywords may have been incorrect. On this episode you’ll hear Scott dig into the topic a bit in response to a listener’s question about how to use keywords. It’s a very helpful response so make sure you take the time to listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:29] Shout out to the TAS Facebook community.
  • [4:10] QUESTION ONE: I’m doing a new product launch and I’m not sure how to choose the right category in light of competition, etc.
  • [11:11] QUESTION TWO: I’m having trouble figuring out if I should pay high shipping or buy more products and store them economically in the U.S. with arrangements to ship to Amazon monthly?
  • [18:14] QUESTION THREE: How can I leave comments on reviews left on my products using Sales Backer?
  • [24:04] QUESTION FOUR: I’m curious about keyword duplication in the Amazon backend. You and Chris discussed using Keyword Inspector to weed out duplicates. Can you expound on that a bit?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS238.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

 

Part of the difficulty in launching a private label product on Amazon is always the task of getting interested eyes on your product. You’ve got to be able to find out how to get your product in front of the people who are most likely to buy it. This episode is a chat with a TAS community member who took it on himself to find his own ways of doing that and he had some pretty significant successes. So sit back and relax, grab a cup of coffee and a pen and paper because you’ll want to take some notes about what Kent did to get attention for his products which in turn ramped up his sales and built an interested email list of customers right from the start.

Are you selling a product or the story behind the product?

One of the things today’s guest did masterfully to build enthusiasm for his product was to create a story (a true story) around the product and even the process of how it came to be. He highlighted the story of his own family and the need they felt for a particular type of product that didn’t exist - and followed up with a description of how they decided to create the product themselves. It’s a beautiful demonstration of what’s being called “story selling” and you get to hear the inside scoop on how Kent pulled it off, on this episode of the podcast.

Using Facebook to enlist the help of friends, family, and associates.

When Kent finally got his products ordered he wanted to start a pre-promotion phase to encourage interest in the product before he actually launched. He coupled the story behind the product’s creation with requests to friends and family (and others) to help him get a good start with ratings and reviews. He invited those interested in helping to join the mailing list to learn more about the product and get a discount when the product launched. He was able to build a list of 130 subscribers before he even had product in stock at Amazon. You can hear his creative solutions to product promotion on this episode.

The up and down of a product launch’s initial stages.

As Kent finally got his products listed on Amazon and began his launch he had an initial spurt of good sales and 25 reviews within the first week. But his sales began to slump fairly quickly once the first week launch was over. He was discouraged for a bit and quickly realized that the momentum of the launch was not something he could count on long term. But the fact that he’d already built a list of interested customers - and that his product was one that needed to be replenished over time - enabled him to stay encouraged and keep moving forward. That’s when he got the idea to do a different form of promotion that worked big time. You can hear him tell his entire story on this episode.

Don’t forget to try promotions through traditional media outlets.

After Kent’s initial launch week was over he started thinking outside the box to find additional ways to promote his products. One approach he thought of was to offer a “feature” story to the local newspaper. He sent a very simple email that briefly outlined the story in an appealing way and got a great response from the paper. His product and family’s story was featured in the Saturday edition and Kent got over 150 sales the day of publication. He’s excited to see where his product will - and you can hear all the details of the journey so far on this episode!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:02] The power of building an email launch list.
  • [1:49] A shout out to a member of the TAS Facebook Community!
  • [5:50] How Scott noticed what Kent was doing.
  • [7:20] Kent’s story of going from retail arbitrage to private label.
  • [10:50] How Kent chose his first product for private label.
  • [12:43] Kent’s process for collecting email addresses.
  • [16:40] The 6 part email sequence Kent used.
  • [18:30] Getting purchases and reviews.
  • [21:10] Asking people to purchase in the smartest way.
  • [22:50] How Kent did this the smart way by building relationships.
  • [24:25] Using his personal Facebook profile to publicize the product.
  • [31:33] How things proceeded after the launch.
  • [32:45] Kent’s traditional media approach through local newspapers.
  • [35:21] How Kent’ pitched the article to the local newspaper.
  • [38:27] Scott’s takeaways from this episode and process.
  • [41:50] Kent’s advice to those getting started with private label sales.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS237.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Once you get started doing private label sales on Amazon and other platforms you need to understand the importance of how you present your products and brand to those who are considering a purchase from you. That means packaging is a big deal. On this episode Scott is taking a look at the packaging of a product he recently bought because he thought it was done very, very well. He wants you to learn from some of the smart things the company did to increase his perception of their company and the product he purchased. It’s all on this episode.

Perceived value is one of the most important reasons to create custom packaging.

Scott recently purchased a lens for his iPhone to make his photos and videos pop a bit more. When he received it he was blown away by the packaging and all the little “extras” the company included with his order. On this episode of the Amazing Seller you’re going to hear about Scott’s experience and get some great ideas for how you can increase the perception people have of the products you are selling with some simple little tricks and added value. It’s a great, thought provoking episode so don’t miss it.

Does your product need some kind of “Help” materials included?l

Depending on what type of private label product you are selling you may want to consider adding some helpful materials like a “Getting Started” guide or insert card that leads the purchaser to a page on your website that demonstrates the product in use. Why would you want to do that? Because you want your customers to have the impression that you are a real business (and you are, aren’t you?). You’re erasing any doubt or skepticism they may have had with every little value add you can provide. A help resource is a great way you can do that.

 

Grab that email address with custom packaging.

When you think about creating custom packaging for your private label products you may only be thinking of logos, colors, shape, etc. But did you ever consider that you can place some kind of call to action on the packaging that drives people to your website? That’s a great way to encourage opt-ins to your email list so you can communicate directly to your customers. You don’t want to draw them away from Amazon for the purchase of your product, but you can offer them something more such as product registration, help guides, etc. That enables you to get them on your site where they can be asked for an email address. You can hear Scott’s thoughts on this great idea on this episode.

 

Getting into the private label world? You need this free workshop.

If you are interested in selling products online it’s always better if you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Thankfully, you don’t have to. Scott Voelker has put together a free private label workshop that he runs now and again and you are invited to register. You’ll not only hear the 5 phases of getting a product for sale on Amazon, you’ll also get to be part of the Q&A session at the end of the workshop. It’s all done live via video so you can attend no matter where you are in the world. On this episode you can get the details of how you can sign up to be a part of that event. And don’t forget, it’s free.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [3:30] Why you might hear some odd sounds in this episode.
  • [4:29] Why the packaging to Scott’s recent purchase mattered to him.
  • [6:32] Right out of the box, don’t worry about custom packaging.
  • [9:45] Did you consider you could print things on the packaging?
  • [11:50] Basic packaging options available.
  • [15:28] Examples from a product Scott purchased.
  • [24:13] The importance of a call to action on insert cards.
  • [30:42] How to determine what content to place on your cards.
  • [22:08] What’s the best source for your packaging?
  • [34:44] Why you have to order a larger quantity for custom packaging.
  • [36:15] The power of bundling things together and the extras received.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS236.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

When it comes to researching and launching a private label product on Amazon there are many hoops to jump through - and the Amazon terms of service change often. How do you know that what you’re doing is the right thing to do? One way is to find a trusted person who’s already been down the path - and that’s what these Ask Scott episodes are all about! You can ask your own questions of Scott Voelker, an experienced Amazon seller. He’s got 4 questions today about PPC, unloading failed products, the impact reviews have on sales or PPC, and whether or not you should try to sell your products on platforms other than Amazon. It’s all on this episode.

How to cut your losses to get out of a private label product you’ve tried.

A listener called in to ask Scott if he could walk through the various options when it comes to liquidating private label products that simply aren’t selling. Scott understands the question and the need behind it. There are many reasons you might need to get rid of products that you’ve been trying to sell and his answer to this question is one that will give you a head full of ideas to try out if you’re in the same situation. Be sure you listen to find out ways that you can sell products to recoup the money you’ve invested.

I have hundreds of products on Amazon already. How should I approach PPC?

On this episode a caller asks about using PPC when she’s already got an established and broad Amazon seller account. In her case, she’s already listed hundreds of products on Amazon. Choosing how to approach PPC seems like a daunting task. But Scott’s got some good suggestions for making her pay per click strategy effective and he shares them with her on this episode. Are you confused about PPC? As Scott answers this question you’ll probably find some help to the issues that are hanging you up, too.

What impact do reviews have on the success of my products and PPC campaigns?

A lot of people who place their private label products on the Amazon sales platform don’t understand how product reviews work in the Amazon ecosystem. It’s not that your reviews directly get you a higher ranking on Amazon search results OR give you an increase in your sales numbers. Reviews serve more of a complementary function. Imagine this: You’re searching for a product you’ve been meaning to buy and there are two options. One of them has 3 product reviews, the other has 300. Which are you more likely to trust? The one with the 300 reviews. Do you see that the number of reviews your product receives serve as social proof that your product is a good one? Find out how Scott advises this caller who only has a handful of reviews on what she can do to get more social proof for her product by listening to this episode.

Is your ecommerce business being held hostage by Amazon?

Selling private label products on Amazon is really an ecommerce business. Since it’s on Amazon you may not have thought of it that way, but it’s the truth. Ecommerce can be implemented on a wide variety of platforms - Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, and more. But you have to understand that whatever platform you’re selling on, you have to play by that platform’s rules. It’s understandable - and somewhat frustrating at times. Scott answers a listener’s question today with a question of his own… Is Amazon holding your ecommerce business hostage? You’ll want to hear this one.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:04] How you can submit your questions for these Q&A episodes.
  • [2:42] QUESTION ONE: How should I go about bailing out of a product that I want to stop selling?
  • [10:35] QUESTION TWO: How should I approach PPC when I already have hundreds of products on Amazon?
  • [16:30] QUESTION THREE: How do my sales and PPC campaigns relate to the number of reviews I have?
  • [25:30] QUESTION FOUR: My product was reviewed and has been unlisted. I have similar products so I’m a bit confused.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS235.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Every private label seller has dreams of their business going big. But very few think as big as what actually happened for Chad Rubin. Chad’s private label success forced him to create an amazing software solution for his biggest problems. You’re going to hear Chad’s story from the beginning until now - how he built an amazing private label business on Amazon, grew it to monstrous proportions, and then pivoted to create a software that is now leading the way in the ecommerce space.

Great ways to discover product ideas that actually sell.

One of the most difficult aspects of building an Amazon private label business is finding that perfect product that sells - and continues to sell. Chad Rubin says that those kinds of products require a lot of research into the market it will be serving. You’ve got to make sure that you’re actually meeting a real life need to ensure that there will always be a market for the product so you’re not left with a huge investment that never pans out. You can hear Chad’s advice for finding those kinds of products on this episode.

 

Come up with an idea that solves a specific problem.

You can’t expect to jump on Alibaba and choose the first product that looks like it might sell. You’ve got to find one that truly meets a need that consumers are willing to pay to have solved. Chad Rubin’s formula for private label success starts there. He suggests that you look at your own life - at the problems you face and the things you wish were different - and let those frustrations inspire you to create products that solve those problems. If you have the problem, you can bet thousands of others do too. Find out how Chad goes about his own product discovery on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

Come up with an idea that has to do with something you love.

Many private label sellers fade away over time because they start selling a product they think will be successful, but it’s not something they personally have an interest in. Chad Rubin says that long term success requires that you’re working on something that you actually enjoy or have interest in. When you’re passionate about the products you sell you’re going to be much more motivated over the long haul and will be able to persevere to see your business thrive. If you want to be inspired by an incredible story you’ll want to hear this episode.

Choose a product that doesn’t get you stuck in one narrow niche.

Successful private label sales depends on building a brand, not just selling one popular or in-demand product. When you only have one product you get stuck in a one dimensional place where it’s hard to branch out and create secondary streams of income for your business. Chad Rubin suggests that you start out with an eye toward building a brand that can span many different niches of products. That way you’re able to pivot more easily, add complementary products to your product line in a natural way, and maximize your potential to cross sell to your existing customer base.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to this podcast episode.
  • [1:46] An iTunes review left recently (leave your review over there, too!).
  • [3:24] The upcoming workshop!
  • [4:24] Scott’s introduction to Chad Rubin and the beginnings of his story.
  • [6:42] How Chad recommends someone get started when looking for products.
  • [8:19] Why Chad focuses on products that bring innovation to the market.
  • [9:18] The way that Chad began selling his inventory on Amazon.
  • [10:55] How Chad pivoted his business to service existing brands.
  • [13:27] The places Chad gets his product ideas.
  • [15:26] Chad’s recipe for e-commerce success.
  • [17:30] The value of making sure your products are on more than one channel.
  • [18:58] The process to getting products listed on Wal-Mart.
  • [24:31] Choosing a brand that doesn’t get you stuck in one small niche.
  • [28:28] Is Alibaba the best place to find a good product?
  • [32:10] A big rookie mistake Chad made when he began.
  • [34:19] The way Chad fulfills his orders.
  • [36:19] How Chad created his own software to solve a business problem.
  • [38:30] Chad’s book: Why he wrote it and what it’s about.
  • [41:23] What Chad says to those just starting out.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS234.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Every Amazon private label seller is going to face this problem sooner or later: you’ll run out of stock so quickly that you won’t be able to get new products to Amazon in time. There are many ways you can deal with it, but what should you do to ensure that your sales resume at a good pace once you have products back in stock? On this episode Scott and his friend Chris - both experienced Amazon sellers - are looking at a real Amazon product that ran out of stock and is now having trouble resuming the good sales it had before. Both guys have great insights into the issues that are causing problems, on this episode.

Always check the trends surrounding a product’s sales before you launch.

You may not think of your particular product as a seasonal item. But you might be surprised. Scott and Chris always recommend that a key component of your product research phase is to use a tool like Google Trends to research the trends of how your product has sold in the past. On this episode Scott and Chris discover that a product that was selling like crazy and suddenly lost it’s momentum is actually seasonal in nature. It makes a huge difference in how you approach your product sales and sometimes impacts whether you choose to sell that product at all.

Are you making this mistake with your product title?

In an effort to build brand recognition many Amazon sellers place the name of their brand in the title of their product. Both Chris and Scott believe it’s a mistake to do that. Why? Because unless someone is specifically searching for your brand name you won’t get any search juice out of having your brand name in the title - and the title of your product is one of the most important spots you want to have keywords that people may be searching for. On this episode you can learn some additional hacks you can use to optimize your listing for better search accessibility and greater sales.

Do you have the right kind of pictures on your product listing?

Amazon’s terms of service make it clear what type of picture can be used for your primary product photo, but when it comes to your secondary photos there are many things you can do to make them stand out and attract attention. On this episode Scott and Chris analyze a real private label product that is having problems with sales and the images are one of the things they notice. Find out what remedies they recommend and get some ideas for how to improve your own product listing, on this episode.

Look at the product that is selling the most in your niche and imitate what they’re doing.

It only makes sense that if one product in your niche is dominating the sales, you should borrow from what they’re doing. Never use the exact photos they are, but if you can create a photo that is similar in approach or feel, do it. Never completely copy their title or description, but if they are expressing the usefulness of your product in different ways, try to learn from what they are doing. You’ll find some “best practices” from those who are doing it the best - so be sure you take the time to analyze your competition.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this “Hot Seat” episode of the podcast!
  • [1:26] How you can get into Scott’s free workshop.
  • [2:08] Get into the TAS Facebook group.
  • [4:28] The scenario the guys are looking over today.
  • [6:03] Initial thoughts about the out of stock problem and lagging sales.
  • [9:00] Why you want to look at the trends surrounding products before you launch.
  • [10:28] Using Jungle Scout Pro to look at the Amazon search results.
  • [13:50] Looking at average sales to assess true market depth.
  • [14:20] Keyword results: Something that seems to be missing.
  • [17:35] Pictures are a HUGE issue for product sales.
  • [21:20] Potential products to feed sales alongside this product.
  • [23:30] Build out content around the product.
  • [25:15] Great tricks learned from the highest seller in the niche.
  • [27:20] The importance of benefit driven copy and descriptions.
  • [32:40] Should you jack up your price when you’re about to run out of stock?
  • [39:25] Summarizing the assessment of this product.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

PREVIOUS HOTSEAT EPISODES

 

Direct download: TAS233.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

This episode of the Amazing Seller podcast is where Scott Voelker answers questions about Amazon private label sales and ecommerce. On this episode he’s addressing some pretty interesting questions. Should you try to compete directly with Amazon when it is the only seller of a particular product? How can you go about coming up with a brand name? When would it be better to merge two identical products that only have one small variation? Those are just some of the things you’ll hear on these Ask Scott episodes, so be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode.

Should you launch a product that is in direct competition with Amazon?

There are many products on Amazon that only Amazon sells - and it may be intimidating to think of going up against the mighty Amazon. But Scott thinks that if you approach it the right way and keep your head on straight. You can do it. On this episode Scott is asked about that issue and he gives a very clear answer to whether it’s a good idea to compete directly with Amazon, what questions you should be asking, and what you should look out for if you’re going to take it upon yourself to challenge Amazon’s sales.

My products are duplicates except for their color. Should I merge them?

When you list a product for sale on Amazon you have two options. You can set up every product you bring to the platform in its own listing, or if they are similar and only differ by variations such as color or size, you can place them under the same listing, but as variations of the same product. Which is better? It depends on a number of things that can sometimes be confusing. So on this episode Scott tackles the question and gives you his ideas on how to make the decision.

I really want to find the brand name for my products that is just right. Do you have any tips?

In many ways naming your brand is just like naming your first child - you really want to get it right. But Scott doesn’t think it’s all that important at first. Instead he recommends that you get a trial run of your product on the way and experiment with its sales first to ensure that all your energy to name it is well founded. But he doesn’t stop there - Scott does have some good ideas for how you can brainstorm brand name ideas, so be sure to listen to this episode.

If you are new to Amazon Private Label, here’s a free resource for you!

It can be very confusing trying to figure out all the rules and steps involved in listing a product for sale on Amazon. That’s why Scott Voelker has simplified things into 5 steps and put it into a free course. You can learn everything from researching product ideas, to choosing the product, to finding a supplier, to getting your first shipment and listing it on Amazon. You won’t find a better resource to teach you how to get started so make sure you listen to this episode of the podcast to see how you can get started with Amazon Private Label.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [3:57] QUESTION ONE: I’m curious if I should try to launch products that Amazon itself sells?
  • [13:08] QUESTION TWO: I’m trying to come up with a brand name. Any tips?
  • [19:29] QUESTION THREE: I have some products that are duplicate except for their colors. Should I merge their AISNs?
  • [25:35] How you can ask your own question for a future episode.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS232.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

 

Scott hears people complaining all the time that they can’t do sales on Amazon because they don’t have the cash to get started. Hey, we all know what it’s like to be tight on cash. But if you are honest with yourself you’ll be able to look at the opportunities you have to get the extra cash you need to get started. That’s what this episode of the podcast is all about. Scott’s talking with his friend Dom Sugar about the way he’s gotten started and the simple but significant things he has done to make cash when he didn’t realize he had the resources. Anyone can do what Dom suggests on this episode so be sure you take some time to listen.

From a retail store, to ebay, to retail arbitrage, to private label.

 

Dom Sugar grew up in an environment where business was a significant part of life. As he grew older he began looking for ways that he could “set up shop” for himself and one of the most significant in the early years was through eBay. He learned quickly that he could sell used and new items for a profit and began leveraging the opportunity to increase his own cash flow. As the online space grew and changed, so did he, and the success he’s experienced in his business overall is a testament to the power of diligence and patience. You can hear Dom’s story and get some ideas about how YOU can get started selling items online, on this episode.

There is no excuse for not getting started.

It seems that many of the people who say they want to get started selling products on Amazon just don’t want it badly enough. Dom Sugar is convinced that anyone can scrounge up the money to get started, whether it’s through a garage sale, through selling used or unused items on eBay, or beginning to step into the retail arbitrage area. On this episode he tells the story of how he got going with retail arbitrage, gives some great tips on how to go about it and the types of products to look for, and speaks to why he thinks RA is the first logical step into the Amazon waters. You can learn a lot from this conversation.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

One of Scott’s favorite sayings is, “Take action” because nobody ever did anything by waiting for it to happen. If you want to get started selling products on Amazon there is a way. The question is, “Do YOU have the will to see it happen?” On this episode Dom Sugar shares with Scott how he’s been able to make his business grow through consistent hard work and learning, and how he’s now sending truckloads of products to Amazon to prepare for Christmas and the 4th quarter. It’s a long way from where her started, but he’s convinced that you can do it too - and on this episode he tells you where he’d begin if he were starting all over.

When things change in the marketplace, you’ve got to learn how to pivot.

From a big box department store chain to a mom and pop store on the corner of your town, any successful business has to pivot as the market changes. That means the leaders of the business have to adapt, come up with new strategies, introduce new products, whatever it takes to ensure that the business can continue to make sales and expand profits. Dom Sugar has done that as his online business efforts have changed time and time again over the years and on this episode he shares some of his ideas about how you can not only get started building cash for a successful Amazon business, but also how you can strategize to stick with it long term.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [3:02] Dom’s background in business, retail arbitrage, and ecommerce.
  • [5:12] Why Dom got into the online space with his retail businesses.
  • [9:53] Why you can’t stick with only one sales platform.
  • [11:00] The difference Amazon FBA made to Dom’s business.
  • [15:20] The reason retail arbitrage is a good entry point.
  • [21:25] The first place to go if you need cash to get started on Amazon.
  • [27:13] Why there is no excuse for not starting.
  • [28:00] Moving onto the Amazon platform with Retail Arbitrage.
  • [36:26] The kind of things that are good products for Retail Arbitrage.
  • [41:49] Why you should get started sending in products for Christmas (4th Quarter).
  • [47:00] How getting a sale is great motivation to keep moving forward.
  • [50:45] The importance of knowing how to pivot when things change.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS231.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Since the beginning Scott’s blog, website, and podcast have been all about making money through Amazon Private Label sales. Scott will always be teaching people how to get started selling products on Amazon because it’s a great platform where buyers are already hanging out. You can test product ideas and start generating revenue right away. But if you put all your eggs in one basket - even the Amazon basket - you are at the mercy of the platform where you’ve put all those eggs. On this episode Scott begins talking about how you can begin to build your own platform, that you control, to sell your own products and have total control over the revenue you make.

The best way to build a sustainable business.

If you want to build a business that will benefit you financially over the long term you’re going to need to have entire control over the costs you have to pay to serve your customers - AND you’ll need to be able to interact with your customers freely. If you’ve been selling private label products on Amazon for any length of time you know that those are two things you DON’T have when using the Amazon platform. When you’ve got control over those things you’re able to make decisions and do promotions in a way that are able to move your business forward at a much more consistent and rapid pace. You can hear Scott’s outline of why this stuff matters, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

Blogging to provide valuable content to your ideal customers is a great way to build a sales funnel.

There are many people who have built a significant business on the back of a blog. But if you want to go this route to build your own platform for product sales you need to know that it’s a very crowded space - which only means you’ll have to do an excellent job at it. As you blog, adding valuable content that helps your ideal audience or customer you’ll be building the trust your audience needs to feel comfortable purchasing your product. And in the meantime, you’re building systems into your blog that captures the email addresses of those who come to your blog. It’s an amazing thing that really works. You’ll want to hear Scott’s approach to this idea on this episode.

You can use a giveaway to build an email list and stimulate sales.

If you want to start building your own mailing list of people who are interested in your products you can do it right away by doing a giveaway. A previous guest on Scott’s show - Mike Jackness - did this with amazing results and got thousands of email subscribers. You can use those emails later to provide a discount to those who did not win the contest, provide them valuable content to help them with their particular area of interest relating to your products, and to promote future products in your market to increase future sales. Scott walks through the details of how to set up an effective giveaway on this episode.

If you want to start building a business, Amazon is a great place to do it.

If you’ve never sold a product or service online before, there’s no better and easier place to get your feet wet than by selling on Amazon. It sounds intimidating at first and there are lots of things to learn and tweak as you go along, but you can do it. Scott’s focus up to this point has been to help you build and maximize a sales channel on Amazon so that you can build the life and business that you truly want. If you’d like to get in on one of Scott’s live workshops that teaches you the 5 steps to building an Amazon sales machine, you can find out how to get in on the next workshop by listening to this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to thIs episode of the podcast!
  • [3:40] How you can get into a free workshop about Amazon sales!
  • [5:32] The best way to build a sustainable business (VistaPrint example).
  • [8:11] What if you could pay $1 and make $5?
  • [11:35] What if you could follow up with customers immediately and remarket to them?
  • [14:59] Why having a person’s email address is powerful, now and in the future.
  • [19:39] The first kind of sales funnel: Creating blog content.
  • [29:00] The second kind of sales funnel: Create a giveaway.
  • [34:50] The third kind of sales funnel: The sales plus shipping offer.
  • [42:42] How you can get into one of Scott’s free workshops.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS230.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s time for you to get your Amazon private label questions answered from Scott Voelker, an experienced private label sales professional who is actively building his business both on and off Amazon every single day. You can submit your questions and hear others ask their real life PL questions and Scott will give his best suggestions, answers, and tips for how to resolve the problems that are presented. If you want to ask your own private label questions, listen to this episode to find out how you can!

Is it “legal” with Amazon to put my website URL on my product packaging?

One of the main ways you can build your Amazon private label business is to capture the email addresses of the people who purchase your products so that you can then remarket to them with discount offers, other product possibilities, and more. But how do you get the email addresses of your customers? One Amazon seller has the idea to put his website URL on his actual product packaging.But is that legal according to Amazon’s terms of service? On this episode Scott is going to answer the question from his own perspective. His take is interesting because the answer is not very clear in the Amazon terms of service.

I’ve ordered my first private label product but am starting to feel like the market is too crowded. Help!

If you’ve already got your products or they are on the way to you, that’s great. Way to take action! But sometimes you might start to second guess yourself while you’re waiting to receive your products. It’s not unusual for people in that situation to continue to check their niche and begin to feel that they chose the wrong product because the market is too crowded. If that’s you, what should you do? On this episode Scott fields that question and gives some hopeful answers to make the most of the products you already have. You won’t want to miss this one.

I’m considering the purchase of Jungle Scout Pro… can you help me understand the options?

Two of the best tools out there to help Amazon private label sellers make the most of their product research and listings is Jungle Scout - but it comes in two versions - the basic and PRO. What is the difference and how do they work together? Scott is personal friends with the creator of Jungle Scout and he has used both versions of the product. That means he’s got a very solid experience and opinion about the software and on this episode he shares the differences, similarities, and which you should get if you’re looking to get into Amazon sales.

Should I include multiple words in my search field to get exact match keywords set up?

There’s been mixed advice over the years about how to use the “search terms” field in the backend of your Amazon product listing. Some people have said that you should not repeat words in those fields while others say that it’s OK to repeat words to maximize the possibility of being found for long tail keywords. Which is right? On this episode Scott outlines what he’s heard on both sides of the argument and invites listeners to submit their split-test data regarding keywords so he can report on it to the rest of the TAS community. If you want to be part of this experiment, go to the contact page on the website and let Scott know!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:20] How you can ask your own questions.
  • [1:54] How to get into Scott’s free private label workshop.
  • [2:46] QUESTION ONE: Am I allowed to put my website URL on the product packaging? And can I put an opt-in on that website?
  • [9:42] QUESTION TWO: I’ve ordered 500 units of my product but I am beginning to think my market may be too crowded.
  • [15:07] QUESTION THREE: I have some questions about Jungle Scout Pro pricing. Can you help me?
  • [19:17] QUESTION FOUR: I’m a bit confused about the search term field in my Amazon backend. Should I repeat words to get exact phrase matching?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS229a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Scott has long been a champion of working the Amazon sales engine to build your business - and he still is. On this episode he’s going to say that over and over. But he also wants to be known as an Amazon seller who will speak the truth about what’s really happening as Amazon gets more and more crowded and as Amazon adjusts its algorithms as a result. He’s not abandoning Amazon (no way!) but is beginning to notice why he’s got to think bigger, broader, and make things a little less dependent on Amazon alone. You’re going to hear his latest sales numbers and what he is planning to do to adjust his strategy, on this episode.

Why would Scott share his own sales and expense numbers?

On any of the Amazon sales communities you find on Facebook or other places online you often see screenshots of amazing sales numbers that sellers are getting from their private label products. Great! That’s what selling on Amazon is all about. But often those screenshots and brags don’t tell the whole story. The costs, fees, and other miscellaneous things that go into running a successful business have to be clear as well. So that you can see the real situation that exists for most Amazon sellers, Scott likes to share his own expense and profit numbers. He doesn’t do it to impress you but to impress upon you the realities of what it takes to sell on Amazon successfully. You’re going to get a great education on this episode.

Are you sick of the huge fees you’re paying to Amazon?

Next time you look over the reports Amazon provides about how your private label products are doing, take a look at the amount of fees Amazon is taking for every sale. Does that number make you sick? Recently Scott looked over his numbers and saw that almost 40% of his sales income was going to Amazon. That’s OK, Amazon deserves something for helping him sell his products so successfully. But what would it be like if even half of the products Scott was selling were able to be sold independent of Amazon? That’s a huge amount of profit back in his product. On this episode you’re going to hear what Scott’s going to be doing to break free of the Amazon fees, so be sure you take some time to listen.

Why content marketing is the best way to build a business long term.

Do you know the term “content marketing?” It’s one approach to getting people to look at the things you’re doing online. But it’s a long term game. It requires you to be producing quality information that educates people about the topics surrounding your product. It requires you to be working hard to produce lots of things that don’t actually sell your product, but build the level of trust that people have when they see what you have to say about your market area. Can you create content around your market that helps your customer? Scott thinks you probably can and that you should be to begin building a sales channel that is independent of Amazon so that you can make greater profits. Business is business and you need to adjust as you go to make your sales go as far as they can. Be sure to listen to this one.

Why you need to focus on a market and not just on a popular widget.

 

It’s great to get sales from selling lots and lots of popular products. Profit is profit. But if you’re making those sales for only a short time, that’s not a strategy that’s going to last you. That’s why you need to be focusing in on a market that will provide you with many product ideas that can create a sort of product line - not just one product that’s popular right now. On this episode of the podcast Scott unpacks what it means to build a product line within a market and why it’s so important so be sure you take the time to listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [1:10] Why Amazon is a lot like Google and what it means for our businesses.
  • [5:30] What Scott is saying to new people to Amazon.
  • [8:07] The importance of thinking long term when it comes to an overall strategy.
  • [11:10] Scott’s most recent sales numbers.
  • [15:00] Scott’s thoughts about the fees he pays to Amazon, and the shift he’s making.
  • [17:21] Why Scott would start an external channel sooner if he were to start over.
  • [19:05] Problems Scott has had on Amazon and what he’s doing about it.
  • [25:34] Why content marketing is the best way to build a long term business.
  • [32:08] Why business is a roller coaster that has no one-size-fits-all approach.
  • [40:13] How to get in on the next free workshop.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS228.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Scott just completed a physical move of over 800 miles. He’s in his new home office and doing his first recording of the podcast from there, on this episode. The planning, preparation, and pressure of the move got Scott thinking about the simple but important things he’s been able to do that enabled the move to go smoothly… and as usual, he’s got to share what he’s thinking with you. So today you’re going to hear Scott’s thoughts about work life balance and how to avoid the overwhelm that can easily happen in life, and especially if you’re trying to build a business while you enjoy your life. It’s a great episode you can learn a lot of practical things from, so be sure you take the time to listen.

Everybody who wants to accomplish specific things needs structure in their life.

And isn’t that everybody? All of us have dreams, but until those dreams have something behind them that pushes them forward, they remain dreams only. Scott’s a “take action” guy in case you haven’t noticed. His belief that action precedes success has proven to be true in his business over and over. On this episode he’s addressing the need for a balance between work and life, and like everything else in life he believes that if you’re going to accomplish it, you’ve got to structure things so that it comes about. Nothing happens by serendipity or chance, it happens because forces are at work that make it happen. You can be that force for your own life and business. You can be the one to impose a structure that leads your life and business in a direction you want. Find out more on this episode.

TIP #1: Create a list of your current tasks and obligations.

If you were to take the time to create a list of all the tasks and obligations you have to do in any given day - work, family, social, religious - how long would that list be? For some people it’s exhausting just to think about listing everything out, but there’s an actual freedom and lightening of the load that happens when you do. Getting things on paper makes them a bit more manageable, a bit more “real” in terms of seeing them for what they are. It will help you think through everything at one time and recognize the things that need to come first, what is next, etc. Scott’s 5 tips for achieving better life work balance are pretty simple, and if you apply them to your life and business you’ll see some amazing results. Be sure you get to hear all 5 by listening to this episode.

Deadlines don’t have to be stressors. They can be your best friends.

Do you remember your school days? You always had due dates for certain assignments, didn’t you? Why did your teachers make you complete papers or projects within a certain timeframe? It’s because they knew that non-time-based objectives are not really objectives at all. A task that has no time of completion attached to it floats around in your head and on the periphery of your personal radar and is easily bumped to a secondary place in your mind. You don’t pay as much attention to it and it tends not to get done. Tip #3 on Scott’s list of ways to find work life balance and avoid overwhelm is to set your own deadlines for the things you have to do. He’s got some great ways of thinking about that, on this episode.

Do you put your tasks into a daily schedule? You should if you want to get them done.

Think about it. The major things we want to accomplish are often too big for us to get done all at one shot. That means they have to be broken up into smaller, bite-sized tasks. Those are the things we have GOT to insert into a daily workflow, a daily schedule that enables us to take those individual bites that enable us to get the whole thing done over time. It’s a cooperation of time and task that chips away at a large thing until it is D-O-N-E - done. On this episode of the podcast Scott talks about how he does this to avoid the overwhelm that can come from trying to balance work and life - and how he did it successfully during a recent time of high stress in his own life.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:20] The reality of obstacles in life and business.
  • [6:00] The need for structure and guidelines for your life.
  • [9:20] How Scott’s move to South Carolina illustrates the need for work life balance.
  • [15:18] Launching products while on the move (literally).
  • [16:03] TIP #1: Create a list of all your current tasks and obligations.
  • [17:10] TIP #2: Prioritize that list.
  • [17:18] TIP #3: Set deadlines for the tasks you’ve organized.
  • [18:13] TIP #4: Plan for your tasks according to their needs.
  • [19:15] TIP #5: Set your daily schedule from the lists you’ve made.
  • [20:28] Why multitasking is the most terrible thing you could do.
  • [22:00] How your business funds your lifestyle ultimately.
  • [24:28] A homework assignment for you.
  • [29:17] Your invitation to leave a comment on this episode.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS22720.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

It’s time for Scott’s favorite part of the week, the episode where he gets to answer your Amazon private label questions on the show. Today’s episode is filled with questions from real Amazon sellers who are in the trenches, building their own business to benefit themselves, their family, and the world. Today Scott answers questions about choosing a second product, aiming at a particular market, shipping to Amazon USA when you live in a different country, maximizing your PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns, and how to use Camel Camel Camel. It’s all on this episode of the podcast.

I’ve heard people say that launching a second product is a good way to increase sales, is that always true?

The short answer is, “No.” A second product has to be researched effectively and tied into your current product line to make the most sense and give you the most return on your effort. You can’t expect to simply pick a product, set it up on Amazon, and see sales come in. It simply doesn’t work that way. It makes a lot more sense to research your market and to develop a uniquely branded product line within the market that feeds from one product to another within your brand. That way you can promote cross sales and related items to people who are already familiar and happy with your products and brand.

I don’t live in the U.S. How can I have my Chinese supplied products shipped straight to Amazon instead of to my home?

A caller has heard that it makes sense to have your products from China shipped to your home before you send them to Amazon so that you can inspect them and assure that the quality is as you wish. But what if you don’t live in the U.S. but are selling on the Amazon U.S. site? The answer is to find an inspection company that can go on site to your supplier and inspect your products to ensure their quality before they ship. It’s an added expense and an added step, but it is a great way to enable your supplier to ship directly to Amazon and ensure that the quality of your products is high as well.

My Pay Per Click (PPC) budget is used up in the first day. What am I doing wrong?

If you’re running a PPC campaign where the daily budget runs out quickly or almost immediately, you may have a very good problem. What’s happening is either one of two things: #1 - You’ve allotted a very small amount and it’s running through it quickly - in which case you’d need to increase your daily budget. OR #2 - There are many people searching for your target keywords and clicking on your ads as a result. How do you determine which it is and what can you do to take full advantage of it? You’ll find out on this episode of The Amazing Seller when Scott answers a listener question about PPC.

A great tool you can use to validate data about a new product idea.

When you’re considering a new product, it’s easy to be misled by the initial research. The numbers can look very good at first until you dig a bit deeper. You want to use tools like www.CamelCamelCamel.com to look into the sales history and other facts surrounding similar products before you take the plunge. You can learn a lot that could save you from making a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars. You can hear Scott’s description of how to use it effectively on this episode of the podcast.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:33] Why it’s important to move past your fear.
  • [2:05] How you can get transcripts and show notes.
  • [2:36] QUESTION ONE: I’m a bit confused about the criteria for launching a second product.
  • [7:59] QUESTION TWO: I’m in Amsterdam. How can I get my products shipped to the U.S. in the most effective way?
  • [10:51] QUESTION THREE: I ran out of PPC budget within the first two days. What am I doing wrong?
  • [14:20] A BONUS TIP: The Google Chrome extension from Camel Camel Camel.
  • [15:38] What is Camel Camel Camel?
  • [16:30] Why you need to validate data around potential products.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS226.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

If you’re a fan of The Amazing Seller Podcast you’ll recognize right away that this is not your normal episode. Scott and his Dad, Papa V., were driving a moving truck to Scott’s new home and decided to use the time on the road to record an episode of the podcast. It’s a fun ramble around the topics of business building and pursuing a particular market niche for your business. You’ll hear Scott and Papa V. brainstorm product and content ideas live as they drive (hey, that rhymes), on this episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast.

Building a business long term is more than getting one product on Amazon.

It’s a great thing to get your private label product onto Amazon and get it selling. Good for you. That’s the way to take action. But just because you have one product that is selling doesn’t mean you have a long term, sustainable business yet. You’ve got to do some strategic thinking around that product to discover the vertical products or related products that you can offer to build an actual brand. When you’re able to do that, you have a long term business that can serve you and your customers over the long haul. This episode of the Amazing Seller features Scott’s ramble about how to get started moving toward a brand and building that long term business.

The best way to establish credibility and trust with your customers.

You remember the kid in elementary school who was always bragging about the things he could do or had done? Nobody really believed him, did they? That’s because it’s much more impacting to have others praise you. That “social proof” serves as credibility for you that doesn’t have to come from your own mouth. That’s the power of reviews and testimonials - and once you’re able to get them flowing, you want to keep them coming, because when potential customers see that other people have purchased and enjoyed your products, they are more prone to trust you too.

A solid website outside of Amazon is the next step to building your own brand.

Amazon is great. You’ll never hear Scott saying otherwise. But he has seen enough to know that having all your eggs in the Amazon basket is not a good long term strategy. You need to be able to sell your products on a platform that you control so that you can have greater margins and greater flexibility in how you interact with your customers and serve them with new products. The first step toward that is building your own website. When you do that and begin getting customers on to your sales list, your sales can increase exponentially every time you have a new product or an addition to your product line. Listen to how Scott recommends you go about setting up your website on this truck-cast episode.

How you can build an email list of customers who love your products.

When you are able to establish your own website that features your products, you’re ready to begin collecting email addresses from your customers. But Amazon doesn’t allow you to communicate directly with your customers - so how do you get their email addresses? One way to do it is through adding inserts to your products that ask your customers to register their product for future customer service benefits or information. That allows you to communicate directly with them without having to go through Amazon’s systems. Imagine what you could offer your customers if you could communicate directly. And you can do it if you take action on the things Scott has to share on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:34] Why Scott’s driving a moving truck for today’s episode.
  • [1:11] Today’s topic: How to start a business that lasts long term.
  • [2:21] The reason Papa V. was able to attract customers over other competitors.
  • [5:07] How social proof and testimonials drives credibility and trust.
  • [7:42] The importance of a solid website.
  • [12:05] How can you best serve the market you are aiming at?
  • [13:17] Opt-in content to build an email list.
  • [15:46] The first steps to take when creating good content for your market.
  • [25:00] Ways to find product and content ideas around a niche.
  • [31:10] Why going back to basics is a good thing.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

The number of questions Scott gets week after week about whether or not a product idea is a good one are so numerous that it’s prompted him to record this episode. There are certain things that make for a great private label product opportunity and other things that make for a lot of trouble and very few sales. On this episode Scott highlights 3 of the main things you should look for that would serve as warning signs or red flags that the product you’re looking at is not a good idea to invest in. You can hear it all on this episode of the Amazing Seller Podcast.

Product Research Red Flag #1: Identical Products.

If you’re considering a particular product to sell on Amazon you’ve got to be aware of this one. It used to be an approach for sellers to simply grab the exact same product from a Chinese supplier that is already being sold on Amazon and put it up on Amazon. And believe it or not, they would get sales. But that approach doesn’t work anymore simply because it’s too easy for other sellers to sell the exact same thing and undercut you, steal your listing, and other problems. So if you look at a potential product on Amazon and see the identical product over and over and over, beware. Find more things to be careful of when choosing a private label product on this episode.

Product Research Red Flag #2: Pages and pages of the exact same product.

If you’ve got an idea for a private label product and find pages and pages of the exact same product on Amazon already, you should be very careful. It will be very difficult for you to get your product to make any headway on that product. Why? Because there are so many of the same thing. But there is still a possibility and it lies in whether or not you’ll be able to differentiate a product enough to make yours desireable in ways that the competition is not. You can hear Scott dive into the issue on this episode and ramp up your private label sales.

Product Research Red Flag #3: When you see the exact same product on the websites of suppliers.

The reason you don’t want to try to start selling a new private label product when the images and product description on the suppliers website is exactly what is already on Amazon is because that product is easily copied. Not only will you have tons of competition for sales on that product, you’ll also have a very high risk of your product listing being hijacked and you will lose control of the buy box and your overall ability to control your prospects for sales. You can find out exactly what all that means on this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast.

How can you sell a private label product successfully in a crowded market?

The answer is to make your product unique in some way that the buyers truly care about. How can you discover the ways you should differentiate your product? You’ve got to a little legwork by reading through the reviews about similar products that have been left on Amazon. You’ll discover things that actual buyers have complained about regarding the product which translates into improvements you can make to the product that will make yours more desireable. You can also look at related products that could be added to your product in a bundle so that your product is not only a greater value but also more unique. Scott has lots of ideas about this kind of thing and you can hear them on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the show.
  • [1:57] How you can get transcripts and show notes.
  • [2:16] Get in on the new Private Label Workshop.
  • [3:21] Get into the TAS Facebook group.
  • [4:17] Why Amazon is not too saturated for you to make it big.
  • [7:30] Some promising results Scott has had recently on a new product experiment.
  • [10:13] Red flag #1: Identical products.
  • [11:53] Red flag #2: Pages of the identical product.
  • [17:41] Red flag #3: The exact same product on supplier websites.
  • [19:20] Considerations you should make about these situations.
  • [31:35] Recap of these red flag issues.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

This is the Friday Ask Scott episode of The Amazing Seller podcast where you (and people like you) get to ask their particular questions about Amazon sales. On this episode Scott fields question about choosing a product when the market appears to be very crowded, how to differentiate products, and what to expect when having products shipped from China. You’ll get a great taste from the type of things Scott is able to answer and learn how you can submit your own questions regarding Amazon private label sales, on this episode.

I have found a product possibility that looks promising but the market is very crowded. What should I do?

One of the things that you need to research when it comes to finding a product that could be a good seller on Amazon is the market that product is within. You want a product that is already on Amazon and selling fairly well, but if the market is too crowded you’ll have a very hard time getting your product to become a contender in that niche. BUT - that’s not always the truth. If you find a crowded market but many of them are not optimized well or are not getting many sales, you might have a winner, especially if you can differentiate your product somehow. On this episode you’ll hear Scott go over a number of ways a product can be created that is unique and draws in buyers, so be sure to listen.

Creating a bundle may be your answer to entering a crowded market.

If you’ve found a potential product that has great sales numbers in the highest selling products but is in a very crowded market, you can break in by offering a product bundle that meets more specific needs of the market. How do you do that? On this episode Scott talks through many of the things you can do to find exactly how you can make your products unique, get them into the market in a powerful way, and begin taking some of that market by adding value that nobody else is adding. You’ll hear it all on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

I got a quote from my supplier for shipping of my products but now that my products are in production the shipping has doubled? Is that normal?

A listener called in to ask Scott about what’s normal or customary when it comes to working with overseas suppliers. She’s already found her product and negotiated a deal on cost and features and the products are being produced now. But just recently she received an email from her supplier saying that her shipping costs had more than doubled - from $1000 to over $2500! She wants to know if that’s normal or if she should be skeptical and ask more questions. In typical style Scott goes right to the heart of the issue and gives some clear and practical advice on what this listener can do to find out exactly what’s going on. You can hear it on this episode.

Do you have an issue with your private label product that you’d like answered?

There’s no reason you can’t ask and get an answer. The Ask Scott sessions of The Amazing Seller podcast publish every Friday and are a great way for you to submit specific questions about Amazon private label sales and get an answer from Scott Voelker, and experienced Amazon seller. He takes questions from the most fundamental to the most advanced so don’t be shy about asking. You can find out how to submit your question on this episode of the podcast.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to thIs Ask Scott episode!
  • [1:03] The issue of moving in Scott’s life, and how good is coming from it.
  • [3:15] iTunes reviews are coming in!
  • [4:56] QUESTION ONE: Can you clarify about how much competition is too much?
  • [13:30] QUESTION TWO: I’ve got a possible product with great signs that I can get into the market, but there are many people trying to sell the product. What should I do?
  • [23:20] QUESTION THREE: Do shipping costs change without warning or is my supplier trying to gouge me?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Direct download: TAS223.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

If you’ve not experienced the frustration of a well selected private label product that simply won’t sell yet, you probably will in time. When a product won’t sell but it looks like the market is a pretty good niche to be in, there are usually some fundamental things wrong with the product listing itself. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott Voelker and his friend Chris Schaeffer look over a real life product listing of a product that’s having those exact problems and true to form, the listing itself is much of the problem. You can hear all the details on this episode of the podcast.

How beneficial would it be to have an experienced seller tweak your private label product listing on Amazon?

That’s exactly what you get from these Hot Seat sessions of the Amazing Seller podcast. Scott Voelker and Chris Schaeffer take their time walking through the fundamental and advanced steps to optimizing product listings of private label products that have been submitted for help. They normally find a little bit of both and help struggling Amazon sellers get over the hurdles so they can begin selling their products more consistently. There’s not a regular schedule to these hot seat sessions so you should subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss them, and hear how Scott and Chris advise today’s seller on this episode.

Is the market of your private label product a good market to be in?

How can you know if a potential private label product is one you should take a chance on or one you should leave alone? The best way is to research the broader market that product is in and the current sales of that particular product or things that are similar. By using some simple software tools (many of them free) you can discover exactly what the market for that product is like and whether there is enough room in it for your product to push in and grab some of the sales. Scott and Chris chat about the details of doing that and a whole lot more on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

 

Quality, clear product images are vital to a good product listing.

The product listing that Scott and Chris are looking at today has one major problem that both of them notice immediately; the images do not possess the quality and clarity of any of the other products in their niche. It’s the main reason Scott and Chris believe this product listing has only gotten one organic sale so far. You can hear what they recommend to upgrade the images and how they’ve seen an improvement of the images change the sales of a product dramatically, on this episode. But that’s not all. There are other suggestions for this seller that Scott and Chris make so be sure you take the time to listen. What they share could be the key to YOUR private label product getting even more sales.

Don’t start your exact match PPC campaigns too soon.

As Scott and Chris look over an actual private label listing on Amazon on today’s episode they notice that the seller is already running an exact match PPC campaign, and both of them feel that he’s probably wasting his money. Why? Because he’s not taken the time needed in order to truly understand what his exact match keywords should be. It takes weeks and sometimes months of broad match campaigns to receive enough data to show exactly what keywords are most used when finding your products, and then it takes some time to discover where the actual clicks and sales are coming from within those keywords. Only when those milestones have been crossed you might be ready for an exact match campaign. Find out more on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to this episode and his friend Chris Schaeffer.
  • [4:40] The scenario Scott and Chris are addressing today.
  • [5:17] The importance of the data in evaluating sales problems.
  • [6:30] A look at the stats on this product.
  • [8:35] Sorting by estimated sales to get a different view.
  • [12:19] Why the review counts don’t scare Scott or Chris.
  • [13:20] The concern of the niche being dominated by one brand.
  • [14:40] The importance of quality, clear images for clicks and product sales.
  • [22:12] Optimizing the title for better keywords and description.
  • [27:58] Optimizing the backend of the listing including keywords.
  • [31:13] Pay per click considerations for a poor selling product.
  • [40:37] Looking at the numbers of the competition for the sake of giveaway planning.
  • [44:09] Considerations for the future of this product to research more sales.
  • [46:12] A quick summary of what needs to be fixed on this episode.
  • [46:55] How to use the data from CamelCamelCamel to research competition and make sales projections..
  • [53:00] Bundle possibilities for this product listing.
  • [55:34] Why you need to model what’s working in your market.

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One of the most powerful things that any entrepreneur can do is to make sure they are around others who are of the same mindset that they are. The energy and motivation that surrounds getting together with those kinds of people increases your level of energy and motivation just from being around them. On this episode Scott reveals the top 5 takeaways he had from spending time with like-minded people at the recent Seller’s Summit. Be sure you listen to Scott’s takeaways and learn some tips about how you can move your private label business forward.

What could Pinterest do for your private label product sales?

One of the things that Scott was aware of but not well verse in before the Seller’s Summit conference is the power and effectiveness of Pinterest for driving interest and sales to a product. Being an image based platform, it’s a powerful way to make the appeal of your product instantly attractive to people who are most interested in it. You can hear Scott’s thoughts about Pinterest and how he’s going to be moving into PInterest marketing in the months ahead, on this episode of the Amazing Seller.

Are Facebook Ads relevant for private label sales?

Facebook Ads are one of the things out there that can be a bit intimidating at first. It requires money, it requires a bit of knowledge about how the platform works, and it takes time to learn. But it’s one of the most powerful ways to drive very targeted, specific traffic to your webpage or product sales page and in time, you’re going to have to get going on Facebook Ads. With FB Ads you can put our products directly in front of the very people who are most interested in your products. Hear what Scott’s thinking about Facebook Ads and how he’s going to be moving into them sooner rather than later.

eCommerce stores outside of Amazon are still making incredible sales.

One of the things Scott has been talking about a lot lately is the task each private label seller should be aiming toward of setting up their own sales channel outside of Amazon. For most of us that’s going to mean setting up your own eCommerce store on your own website. These stores are very effective and many, many people are making incredible money building their own store that sells products independently of Amazon. Not only do you get to keep a lot more money (Amazon doesn’t get any), you also get to interact directly with your customers - which is invaluable. Find out more about how eCommerce stores are rocking online sales on this episode.

Do you have a sales funnel started? It could be one of your missing power tools.

If you don’t know what a sales funnel is, here’s the short answer: A sales funnel is a systematic, planned sequence that you take prospective customers through that narrows their focus from interest in what you have to say and sell, all the way to becoming a paying customer. You can learn how to build an effective sales funnel, and you should because it’s such a powerful way not only to get sales, but to get repeat sales from loyal customers. On this episode Scott gives his thoughts about sales funnels and tells some of what he’s doing to build out his funnels more, so be sure you listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:51] The biggest benefits of being at conferences, and the TAS online version.
  • [3:06] How you can get started with private label sales.
  • [4:10] Takeaway #1: The power of being around like-minded people is HUGE.
  • [8:30] Takeaway #2: Pinterest marketing could be a powerful next step.
  • [13:09] Takeaway #3: Facebook Ads is a viable way to increase product sales.
  • [19:44] Takeaway #4: eCommerce stores are still a powerful way to build a business.
  • [23:30] Takeaway #5: Building marketing funnels is a huge part of building a business.

RESOURCES MENTIONED

Direct download: TAS218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Today’s episode is a bit unusual for the Amazing Seller podcast because it’s a recording of a live event where Scott was asked to speak about using Amazon’s tools to launch and rank products. He spoke at the Seller’s Summit, an event put on by Steve Chou of www.MyWifeQuitHerJob.com and was a great opportunity for Scott to meet many people interested in making money online. His talk was very well received and serves as a great introduction to those who are unfamiliar or new to the Amazon platform. Be sure to pass this episode along to those you know who have been talking about selling products on Amazon. There are some great insights on this episode.

Scott’s journey to Amazon private label sales was not a straight line.

Scott had a significant business background when he first came upon the idea of selling products on Amazon. He had helped his father run a construction business, established and run his own photography business with his wife, and then moved into online sales. Private label sales made perfect sense to Scott because he saw it as a way to take advantage of Amazon’s built-in mechanism for getting and selling to customers. You can hear Scott’s journey and how he’s come up with a 5 step formula for finding and launching products on Amazon, on this episode.

Never forget that Amazon is a search engine for buyers.

Think about that for a minute. Anyone who’s doing a search on Amazon is doing so because they are considering the purchase of something. Millions of people have their credit cards on file with Amazon already so a purchase decision once they’ve found the item they’re searching for is that much easier. If there was a way that you could take advantage of that incredibly effective buying environment, wouldn’t you want to do that? That’s exactly what private label sales on Amazon allows you to do. Learn about the Amazon platform and how you can get your very own products for sale for searchers to find, on this episode.

There is only one thing that causes your products to rank higher in Amazon search.

What is that? Sales. As your product sells the Amazon search algorithm considers that it’s a product that people who are searching actually want to buy. Naturally, the more purchases of your product that happen, the more Amazon considers your product to be desirable by real people who are searching. With that in mind, it’s vitally important that you know how to optimize your listing for the things people searching for it will be looking for. That means you have to learn how to use keywords in your listing and in your Amazon dashboard to make it clear to the algorithm what your product is and how it relates to the searches people are making on Amazon. Listen to this episode to get more detail on how you can make your products stand out on the Amazon platform.

Where do promotions (Pay Per Click) come in

When you have your listing optimized for search you still may not get many sales simply because your product listing is not being found frequently in the flood of products that are on Amazon. You need to do something to boost your product to the top of the search results. That “something” is paying for your product to be promoted using Amazon pay per click. Amazon PPC enables you to choose the keywords you want to target and when people search for those keywords your product appears at or near the top of the listings. You can learn the entire simple approach Scott uses to set up his PPC campaigns for products, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to this episode.
  • [1:47] Get in on the next LIVE event.
  • [3:17] Introduction to the topic.
  • [6:30] How Scott got into selling on Amazon and why it was appealing.
  • [10:26] The big thing you need to understand about Amazon sales.
  • [15:00] Product research is the key to being a success on Amazon.
  • [17:15] First you need to understand how the Amazon platform works.
  • [22:15] How to get your products to rank in Amazon’s search engine.
  • [27:15] Using Amazon’s product reviews to get intel on how to improve products and sales.
  • [29:03] Why you need to optimize your product listing and how you can do it.
  • [45:00] How to use Amazon PPC for your products.
  • [56:27]

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Direct download: TAS221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

There are so many things to learn when it comes to selling a private label product on Amazon. But you don’t have to learn it all from scratch, you’ve got a friend who’s been down the road a bit farther and is willing to help you get going and be a success. Scott Voelker publishes these Friday “Ask Scott” episodes to answer your Amazon private label sales questions. If you’d like to submit a question to Scott for one of these Friday Q&A episodes, you can find out how to do that on this episode.

PPC issues: Balancing inventory and income to get the right amount of sales.

A caller for this episode of the Ask Scott podcast episode, the seller had a great problem that he needed some advice about. He is selling his first product at a rate of 30 sales per day. That’s a wonderful start. He gets most of his sales through Amazon Pay Per Click and has established a daily budget to ensure that he doesn’t spend more than his budget allows. The problem is that he’s selling so much of his product that he runs out of budget by early afternoon each day. He’s afraid to increase his PPC budget because he might run out of product. What would Scott do? You’ll get to hear his answer on this episode.

Launching a product that is not on Amazon, but self-created.

A listener called in to ask Scott about his situation, and it is a very unique idea. He and his wife have created a product of their own and would be able to source their product components from Alibaba in China. He’s curious what they should do because there is nothing on Amazon that is even close to it but they believe that it would sell very well. He’s curious about whether he should try to sell the product on Amazon or not? What would Scott do? As always, you’ll hear Scott’s response on this episode of the Amazing Seller Podcast.

Pay Per Click headaches and figuring out the problems.

When you first begin running pay per click to promote your Amazon products you need to start with broad match categories using the keywords that you are hoping your product will rank highly for. You let that run for around 7 to 10 days to discover which of those keywords are actually converting into sales. Once that happens, you should take the keywords that have gotten sales and put them into their own broad match campaign to put your entire budget toward those keywords that work. Once you do that for another 7 to 10 days, you’ll need to take the winners from that campaign and put them into an exact match campaign to crank up your sales on your most profitable keywords. You can learn a lot from this episode as Scott answers a question about Amazon PPC.

Have you gotten your basic education by receiving Scott’s free private label course?

What are you waiting for? Scott has created a free 10 day course to help beginners to the Amazon private label community learn how he’s gone about researching, buying, packaging, promoting, and selling his own private label products on Amazon. It includes everything you need to know to get started. If you want to learn how to build your own business the private label way, you need this free course. Nothing is held back so be sure you listen to this episode of the podcast to find out how you can get into the 10 day course.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the episode!
  • [0:25] How to ask your question for Scott to answer.
  • [1:10] How to connect with the TAS Facebook community.
  • [3:16] How to get into Scott’s free private label course.
  • [4:23] QUESTION ONE: My PPC is running out of budget too early, what would you do given that I’m working with limited inventory?
  • [12:07] QUESTION TWO: My wife and I have invented a product and want to know if we should try to sell it on Amazon.
  • [22:25] QUESTION THREE: My PPC “phrase match” is causing my ACOS to go up too high. Can you give me some advice on what I’ve done wrong?

RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

 

Direct download: TAS220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

 

When Scott attended and spoke at the Seller’s Summit a few months ago he met Mike Jackness, an Amazon seller who makes over 7 figures from his private label products and the two of them hit it off right off. Mike got into private label sales when he purchased a website that was already selling its products on Amazon. Over time, he replaced all of those products with his own private label products and began working to drive traffic to his products outside of Amazon through Facebook Ads, contest, and much more. This episode is not for the newbie, it’s stuff that experienced sellers who are already having success can apply to increase their revenue over time.

What is a sales funnel?

The term Sales Funnel has to do with getting people who are interested in your products onto an email list and using a progressive series of emails to build a relationship with them with the end result of them becoming a customer, and hopefully, a repeat customer who tells others about your products. Mike Jackness tells the details of how his team set up their sales funnels, how they got their initial email subscribers, and how they used a variety of tactics to give them great content that was truly helpful and build the relationships that translate into trust and then sales. You can hear all of those details on this episode of the podcast.

Building an email address through contests.

Mike Jackness has used an online contest platform to drive two vital things: his number of email subscribers and the social sharing and social proof of his brand’s reliability. On this episode Mike shares the details of how he ran his contests, the timing of the rewards and winner announcements, and how they leveraged the social component to greatest advantage. This is some advanced, high level stuff that you’ll want to hear, especially if you’re already experiencing a good deal of success as a private label seller on Amazon.

How to build trust through your automated emails.

When you get someone to subscribe for your email list, the last thing you want to do is send them a series of emails that ask them to do things for you. Instead you want to provide them tons of value, tons of helpful things that make them wonder why you are being so generous. You want them to know that you care about them, that you want to give to them in a way that is related to your products or niche. Once you’ve established that trust, then you’re ready to ask them to do things for you - leaving reviews, buying more products, taking advantage of discount codes, and more. You can hear Mike Jackness describe how his company did that very effectively, on this episode.

Using an email list to create new product ideas.

Mike Jackness has been learning from his email list processes daily for some time. One of the things he discovered was that his mailing list was a great resource for helping him narrow down the ideas for new products, and it’s not only helped him produce items that are tailored to his audience but also to avoid mistakes that would have cost them thousands of dollars. It’s a great way to poll your users and customers to not only make smart business decisions but also to be of greater value to your audience or customer base. Mike’s insights are very helpful and you can hear much more than what has been described here on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the episode and his guest!
  • [2:30] Get into the free private label course.
  • [4:20] Why Scott wanted to have his guest on the show.
  • [5:51] The site purchased and how Mike’s gone about replacing its products with his own.
  • [7:45] Not wanting to be relying on one channel of revenue.
  • [9:42] Building a funnel to capture email addresses: at the right time.
  • [10:31] How Mike went about building his email list: the first steps.
  • [12:48] The task of building a contest to fill their email list (and get some orders).
  • [22:41] Different approaches to driving traffic without already having a huge following.
  • [28:24] Training an email list to open their emails.
  • [30:52] Facebook Ad fails and how they corrected their mistakes.
  • [37:38] Using the email list to get new product ideas.

RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Your opportunity to hear and ask your own questions from an experienced Amazon private label seller is here - it’s the Friday “Ask Scott” session. Today’s episode features a handful of questions about adding products to your private label lineup, how to utilize the analytics provided from your Amazon seller account, , and tons more insight surrounding those topics. If you are getting into sales on Amazon, don’t reinvent the wheel. Listen to these Ask Scott episodes to ensure that you aren’t making mistakes you don’t have to make as you build your business on Amazon.

Should I choose a second product related to my first one that is in a very competitive niche?

A caller on this episode is doing well with her first private label product and is ready to add a second product within the same market. But the product that makes the most sense to add to her lineup is going to be difficult to sell simply because the market is very crowded and competitive. What should she do? Is it smart to even make the effort or would she be better off choosing another item to sell? Scott’s got some ideas about what she should do including what he suggests new sellers do to avoid this kind of issue if possible. You’re going to get some gems from this one, so be sure to listen.

There are lots of reports inside the Amazon seller dashboard. Which should I be using?

There are many ways to learn from your current and past sales and make adjustments to increase your private label product sales even more. One of the best ways is to get the hard facts on how your products have been performing. You can do that through many of the reports that Amazon provides in your seller dashboard. But where should you start and which reports are the most helpful? On this episode Scott shares the reports that he uses, how he uses them, and the results he’s seen from doing so consistently. You won’t want to miss this one because it will give you some trustworthy tools you can use to increase the sales of your products.

What’s the best way to understand air freight from China?

A TAS listener called in to ask a question on this episode of the podcast regarding having his products sent via Air Freight from China. He’s not sure what to do to make sure that he’s not personally tied up in the process too much or to ensure that he avoids entanglements when it comes to customs. Scott answers his question directly with some simple advice that will give this Amazon seller a direct route to the answers he needs. You can hear Scott’s advice on this episode of the podcast.

Are you new to private label sales? Get up and running within the next 10 days.

One of the ways that Scott has created to help newbies understand private label sales and learn how to find and launch their own products successfully is his free 10 day course that walks through the 5 steps involved in selling on Amazon. He doesn’t hold anything back, telling you everything you need to know to choose a good product, test it to ensure that it’s a quality item, make your first order, list it on Amazon, and optimize your listing and start promotions to get your sales going. You won’t believe the value Scott provides in this course, and you can find out how to get it on this episode of the podcast.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of Ask Scott!
  • [4:35] QUESTION ONE: When choosing a second related product the numbers look incredibly competitive. Should I still go for it?
  • [12:58] QUESTION TWO: Can you comment on the analytics in Amazon that we can and should use?
  • [22:10] QUESTION THREE: I’m shipping air freight from China. What are the things I should look out for to make sure my items aren’t held up in customs?
  • [27:00] The value of understanding the reports and your sales numbers.
  • [27:50] How you can ask your own question.

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Direct download: TAS217.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Have you ever had a time where you saw your Amazon private label product sales drop for a day, or two, or more? What have you done to check on that once you notice it? If you’re not checking on it, you could be missing out on sales because your listing is suppressed by Amazon for not adhering to the terms of service. On this episode Scott shares his own story of how a new product he place onto Amazon was suppressed, why it was suppressed, what he did to fix the problem, and what he suggests you do on a regular basis to monitor your product listings and ensure that your products are always live and ready to get more sales.

How Scott discovered that his Amazon listing was suppressed.

A normal part of Scott’s day every morning is to log into his Amazon seller account to check the status of his sales, inventory, and products and to check whether any red flags or issues have come up - like returns, seller feedback he needs to respond to, etc. But while he was traveling he was unable to stick to that routine and while he was offline some strange things happened, resulting in one of his listings being suppressed. Essentially, his listing was offline, not allowing anyone to see his listing or purchase the product. How did Scott figure out that the listing was being suppressed by Amazon? Listen to this episode to get all the details.

What can you do to unsuppress a suppressed listing?

 

Once you discover that your private label product has been suppressed by Amazon (taken off line) what can you do? First you need to scan through your listing in an effort to identify the things that might be wrong with your listing that is causing the suppression. It’s not always an easy thing to do because Amazon may not always tell you the specifics. You may have to go tab by tab through the back end of your listing to find any warnings or highlighted areas. It’s a tedious process but eventually you’ll find the problem. Listen to this episode to hear how Scott corrected a problem on one of his own listings and what he suggests you do to avoid this problem on yours.

Tips on optimizing your private label listing.

Scott has talked about this issue quite a bit on previous episodes but since new people are coming into the Amazing Seller community every day, he feels it’s appropriate to repeat some of the most important things. One of those is how to optimize your listing, including your titles, proper keyword formatting and completion, bullet points, images, descriptions, and more. On this episode Scott walks through those basic things again to help you first identify the problems your listing may have and second, to help you correct those problems so you can get your listing running as smoothly as possible, which will result in more eyes on your product and more sales.

Adding your primary keywords in your title is a powerful tactic for listing optimization.

If you’re trying to optimize your listing you have to start with your title. The title is the main thing that is going to be searched by Amazon to make keyword matches with search queries, so it’s important that you craft a keyword rich but natural title for your product to make the most of the keywords that people are searching for. That’s how you’ll increase your chances of your product being seen by people who are searching for it or something similar. On this episode Scott gives you his best tips for optimizing your titles including the rationale behind them and how you can go about doing them on your listings.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:32] Get into the next upcoming workshop.
  • [2:52] How Scott discovered his listing was suppressed by Amazon.
  • [4:12] What could cause a listing to be suppressed? It depends…
  • [6:10] Why Scott’s title was causing issues with his listing.
  • [8:20] Steps Scott took to resolve the problem.
  • [9:50] Signs that your listing might be suppressed.
  • [12:46] Tips on optimizing your title with keywords.
  • [15:00] Updating keyword fields and bullet points and description.
  • [19:00] A dip in rankings when you change your title: be patient.
  • [20:37] The importance of finding relevant targeted keywords.
  • [23:00] Pay close attention to your listing after making tweaks.

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

 

Direct download: TAS216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

It makes sense that when your Amazon business is up and running well, you may want to add a totally different brand or niche to your overall business strategy. There are so many opportunities that kind of approach can provide. When heading in that direction it might be tempting to open a second seller account with Amazon. Is it legal (with Amazon)? Should you do it? Scott’s got some very clear ideas about the subject and is eager to share them with you on this episode, so be sure you listen to get some perspective on whether or not it’s time for you to create a second seller account.

Why do you want to open a second Amazon seller account?

Many people who are successful at Amazon private label sales are entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs are known for having tons of ideas bouncing around in their heads. One of the struggles every entrepreneur faces is keeping their own ambition and eagerness in check so that they don’t get too strung out. It may seem like a great idea to build a new brand but most people take that on far too soon. On this episode you’re going to hear Scott’s thoughts about why you should reconsider that choice and what things you can do instead to maximize your profitability and business.

What are some of the hassles of opening a second Amazon seller account?

When you open a second Amazon seller account you’re not breaking any rules. Amazon will let you do it, but they will want to see certain things in place. For example, you’ll be required to have a different business entity for that account than the one you have on your first account. You’ll also be required to provide different banking information. These are just two things you’ll have to restructure in order to open a second account - and there’s even more besides these. Scott’s going to walk you through every one of the things he can think of that makes it difficult to manage and deal with two brands and two Amazon accounts. It’s all on this episode so make sure you take the time to listen.

Building out a product line instead of starting a brand new brand.

Instead of building a second brand, what would happen if you totally maximized every opportunity you have in your current private label market? In Scott’s experience, most people who are selling on Amazon have not done their due diligence to build out their product line and opportunities to the greatest effect. They’re missing things like sales funnels, email lists, external sales channels, social promotions, and more. Where are you in the stages of building out your current product line? On this episode Scott will show you the kinds of things you need to consider when thinking through whether you should open a new Amazon seller account or not.

Why an external sales channel is the next step for any Amazon business.

Scott strongly believes that every Amazon private label seller should work hard to establish a sales channel outside of Amazon after sales on Amazon have become consistently successful. He subscribes to the idea that you should never put all of your business eggs in one basket - and though Amazon is a very LARGE basket, it’s still only one sales channel. On this episode Scott walks through the main ways that you can build your own sales machine independent of Amazon and tells you why you should focus your efforts there instead of building a second brand on Amazon. It’s a great summary for you to consider, on this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [4:03] Starting two differing brands - Is it time to take that leap?
  • [9:00] Considerations when growing/scaling a business - multiple accounts.
  • [14:32] 5 reasons to reconsider opening a second seller account.
  • [18:06] The complications that come from a second brand as opposed to a broader existing market.
  • [19:45] Why the next phase for any Amazon business is external sales channels.

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Direct download: TAS215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EST

Any little (or big) thing we can do to increase the likelihood of people who search for our products to actually click on our product is worth the time it takes to get it done. On this bonus episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast Scott is chatting with his friend Greg Mercer about the testing he’s been doing on his Amazon listings and the great increases in click-throughs and sales that have come as a result. You’re going to want to hear how these simple tweaks can increase your bottom line without costing you a dime.

A picture is worth a thousand words… or increased click-throughs and sales.

Scott is merciless at emphasizing that you keep everything you do on your private label listing completely above board. You want to follow Amazon’s terms of service and requirements to the “T.” BUT - many people don’t realize the areas of flexibility that exist within those guidelines, especially as it relates to images. On this episode Scott and his friend Greg Mercer chat about the small changes they’ve made to their images that have caused greater amounts of click-through and purchases in a very short time. You can do the exact same things on your product, so find out how on this episode.

25% off your first month of Splitly - Automated split testing software for Amazon private label listings.

 

Greg Mercer is already well known in the Amazon selling community as the creator behind Jungle Scout. But now he’s added a new product to his company that enables you to automatically and on an ongoing basis, split test your private label listings so that you can ensure they are optimized the very best for click throughs and sales.It’s called “Splitly” and as a TAS listener you can get 25% off your first month of Splitly service. Listen to this episode to hear all the things Splitly can do for you and how you can get your 25% off.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast episode!
  • [1:35] Upcoming workshop - get registered now.
  • [4:00] Split testing, conversions, optimizing your listings through tweaks.
  • [5:41] The basic tweaks Greg Mercer has done to increase conversions.
  • [7:44] Tips on good main images and tweaks you can make to it.
  • [14:54] How to do your testing in a way that gives accurate results.
  • [19:09] A case in point Scott learned from another seller: drawing the eye.
  • [21:34] Why you can’t think you know the answer: do the split test.
  • [22:07] How changing your price can make dramatic differences.
  • [26:00] Why it’s important to test over a longer period of time (a few weeks).
  • [29:52] Other minor items you can split test: bullets and description.
  • [32:25] Split testing your product title for product ranking.
  • [37:10] The software Greg has created - Splitly - specifically for Amazon.
  • [42:03] How you can get into the upcoming live workshop using Splitly.
  • [44:00] Greg’s last advice to people regarding split testing and optimizing listings.

RESOURCES MENTIONED


When you’re starting something new it’s great to be able to ask someone who has been down the path before you. That’s what these Friday “Ask Scott” sessions are for… an opportunity for you to ask Scott the pressing questions that are on your mind about private label selling and selling on the Amazon platform in particular. There are many things Scott has learned the hard way that you don’t have to learn that way. You can glean lots from what Scott has to share and he’s happy to do it. Be sure to submit your questions to Scott to keep these Friday episodes going!

What is needed to set up a seller account on Amazon?

A listener has been doing some initial product research and hasn’t set up his Amazon seller account yet. He’s curious what pieces of information he needs to have in hand before he tries to create an Amazon seller account. It’s a great question that Scott answers in depth on this episode. It starts with simply having a social security number and logging in, so depending on what products you’ll be selling and what your overall goals are you may want to have some other pieces in place. What are they? Scott’s going to cover all of it on this episode.

Things you need to know about getting product reviews through review groups.

A listener called in on this episode to ask Scott what she should do in her situation. She’s a professional reviewer, reviewing products in all kinds of niches in order to receive free products. She takes the job very seriously and gives quality, unbiased reviews. But recently her account has been banned from doing reviews. She wonders if it’s related to a review group she’s been a part of in the past. Scott’s got some very practical advice for the seller relating to review groups as well as some “heads up” info for Amazon sellers about what you should and should not expect about the results you get from review groups.

What should I do if my product is being purchased in lots and resold on Ebay?

A listener called in with an interesting situation that Scott was eager to tackle on this episode. His products have been selling well, even 4 or 5 at a time. He had a hunch that something odd might be going on so he checked up on it and found out that his products were actually being bought in lots of 5 or 6 at a time and resold on Ebay. He’s not sure what to think of it. Should he contact the purchaser and tell them that they are not allowed to resell his product or is it a great asset to have someone buying his product in bulk? What do you think? Scott’s got a very clear answer and he shares it with you on this episode.

When a potential product has great cost margins, should you sell it in bundles of two?

Another listener has been doing her product research and has found a product that she believes will be a winner. Part of the reason she likes the product so much is that the cost and profit margins are very large. That means she’ll be able to make a very good profit. She’s wondering if it would be worthwhile to offer the product in bundle packages to differentiate herself in the market and gain more sales. Scott’s advice is very helpful and gives a couple of options for this listener to consider, so be sure you listen to apply what he says to your situation.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:39] Scott’s introduction of Chris Nelson, a TAS listener at the event Scott attended.
  • [1:37] How you can leave a question for Scott and get into a live workshop.
  • [3:28] QUESTION ONE: What do I need to have set up in order to create a seller account - and what legal issues do I need to be aware of?
  • [8:55] QUESTION TWO: I’m a legitimate reviewer but have been banned by Amazon because I was part of a review club. What happened?
  • [16:17] QUESTION THREE: I notice that my product is being purchased in lots and resold on Ebay. What should I do?
  • [21:04] QUESTION FOUR: I found a product with great margins and wonder if I should sell them in bundles of two?

RESOURCES MENTIONED

Direct download: TAS214.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

You may have noticed lately that Amazon is advertising within your seller account for their non-U.S. sales platforms. They are trying really hard to get current sellers to expand into different marketplaces. For some time Scott has been giving that option some thought but when he received an email from today’s guest, Nick Kemp, he was even more interested. Nick has been selling on the Amazon Japan marketplace for some time and is experiencing a good deal of success. In this conversation Scott and Nick chat about how it’s working, how he got into the Japanese market, and his road to private label success.

What do you do when your private label item is infringing on another’s patent?

Today’s guest was beginning to sell a lot of his product and decided that it was time to get more listings on Amazon. He chose a related items that was very unique because of its design and sourced it from a China supply company. But he soon discovered that the supplier had signed an agreement that they would not sell the product in the U.S. but hadn’t told him. He discovered that sad fact by receiving a letter from the patent owner’s attorney telling him he had to stop selling the product immediately or he would be sued. It was a $10,000 loss for him and he’s still recovering. Listen in to this conversation to get some tips on how you can avoid that sort of thing with your private label products.

Making money in the Amazon Japan marketplace faster than the U.S.

Within a very short amount of time after launching his products on the Japanese marketplace, Nick Kemp began to see sales. In his experience one of the advantages to selling on the Japanese marketplace is that you typically don’t have to get near as many reviews to begin selling your products. A well optimized listing seemed to be all it took and Nick was selling a good number of items per day within no time. On this episode Nick tells you how he began selling on the Japan marketplace step by step, so be sure to listen.

Ranking on page 1 within hours on the Amazon Japan market.

When Nick finally jumped through all the hoops to get his products listed in the Amazon Japan marketplace he wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. It was literally only a few hours after listing his products that his item was showing on the first page of the search results for his product niche. He was amazed, as most of us would be, and felt the impact of that in his sales almost immediately. But there are plenty of difficulties to face as well. You can hear Nick’s story on this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast.

Why the difficulties of getting on the Amazon Japan market are worth it.

If you’ve already experienced a good deal of success selling on the U.S. or U.K. marketplace and want to expand your sales, the Japan marketplace may be the way to go. Nick Kemp says that you’ll have to jump through certain hoops to make sure you’re doing so legally and in a way that works with the Japanese culture. That includes language barriers and other things as well. But he’s convinced that it’s worth doing simply because the Japanese marketplace is virtually untouched in terms of volume and competition. If you’re at that point of expansion, listen to what Nick has to share so you can assess the situation for yourself.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast.
  • [3:45] Who is Nick Kemp and how did he get started selling in the Amazon Japan marketplace?
  • [8:00] A first product flops because of patent issues.
  • [13:30] Getting into the Japanese marketplace on Amazon.
  • [17:00] Particular things needed to sell in Japan.
  • [19:20] How Nick researches sales prospects in the Japanese marketplace.
  • [21:13] Dealing with language issues: listings, products, labels, etc.
  • [24:38] Jumping into a super competitive niche in Japan.
  • [29:50] First steps to getting your products on the Amazon Japan marketplace.
  • [33:00] Why the hurdles of selling on Amazon are worth the price.
  • [40:52] How funds transfers and income works on the Japan marketplace.
  • [43:15] Nick’s future plans for his business pursuits.
  • [50:30] Final advice for people new to the Amazon marketplace.
  • [53:30] Assessing the right time to move to international marketplaces.

RESOURCES MENTIONED

Direct download: TAS213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

The Amazon sales platform is open to 3rd party sellers (like you) to sell products to people who are already shopping for things they want and need. That’s the amazing benefit it is to sell your products on Amazon. However, there are certain categories where not just anyone can sell products. Amazon’s reasons for doing this is mainly to protect the consumer by ensuring that the people selling products in those categories are legitimate sellers who are not selling items that will be harmful or fake. Chris Schaeffer is a pro in these things and he unloads how he goes about getting products ungated, on this episode.

The category that I want to sell product in is blocked to new sellers (gated). How can I get in?

It happens quite often. Someone does their diligence in product research and discovers that the end of that process that the category their product falls into is blocked to new sellers. How can you get past that? Is there any way? That is exactly what this episode of the podcast is all about. Scott and his friend Chris walk you through 5 Steps you need to take in order to get your private label products into a gated category on Amazon. Be encouraged, their experience shows that you can always get into the category, it just may take time and some hard work. Be sure you listen to find out how you can get your product into the categories they belong in.

How does the Amazon Brand Registry fit into the ungating process?

 

If you have not gone through the steps to register your products and brand in the Amazon brand registry, that is one of the first things you need to do if you want your product to be considered for categories that are currently gated. Amazon will not consider your product if you have not verified your product through brand registry. On this episode of the podcast, Chris and Scott are going to walk you through the steps involved in getting brand registered, and show you that it really isn't as hard as it might sound at first. If you need someone to hold your hand, this episode does exactly that.

Make it easy for Amazon to approve your “ungate” request.

Anyone selling products on Amazon is able to apply for their products to be considered for a blocked or gated category. Chris Shaffer advises that if you were going to do that, you make it easy for Amazon to say yes to you. How do you do that? By getting all of your documents and requested things in order before you apply to have your product considered. Amazon is very clear about what it takes to become eligible for selling in those categories, so you need to do your part to meet their requirements before you even apply. On this episode Chris walks through what those things are so that you will be able to gather your information and go in with your guns loaded.

Don’t let the gated categories on Amazon get you frustrated.

The process of getting your products into gated categories can be quite irritating and frustrating. Sometimes Amazon will reject your product request and not provide any reasons why they have rejected it. Other times, they will respond with very big reasons that don't make sense. It is important that you understand that those things are just part of how it is, and that you need to do everything on your end to make it easy for Amazon to approve your request. Keep going, walk through the things you have submitted very carefully to ensure that they meet Amazon's standards, and even follow the tips Chris lives in this episode to restart the process if need be. And his experience, every request can be approved if you approach it the right way.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:59] Why categories on Amazon are gated (to protect consumers).
  • [4:58] How gating impacts pay per click (PPC).
  • [5:40] Is it possible to place your product into a different category if you’re gated out of the one it belongs in?
  • [8:45] Select the category you want to be in.
  • [9:45] Why you need to switch to a pro monthly plan to get started ungating.
  • [11:30] Hitting the Amazon seller performance targets.
  • [12:50] How new products figure into the gated category issue.
  • [13:43] Working with your supplier to get verification regarding your products.
  • [14:40] Particulars you need to make sure are correct.
  • [16:40] The importance of having a website for the sake of Amazon brand registry.
  • [18:25] Making sure you have your documentation together (including 3 invoices).
  • [21:46] What to do if Amazon doesn’t give much reason for rejecting your request.
  • [24:00] Why you need to make it easy for Amazon to approve your request.
  • [26:43] Additional steps to take to get yourself approved.
  • [29:49] Why it took Scott and Chris 3 weeks to get ungated in one situation.
  • [32:12] Recap of the steps you need to take to get your product ungated.
  • [34:40] Why you should consider the possibility of gated categories during your product research phase.
  • [36:09] Chris’ final word: don’t let this frustrate you.

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Direct download: TAS212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

If you’re an Amazon seller, either through Retail Arbitrage program or through private label products, you know how frustrating it can be when you hit a snag in your business and don’t feel that you have anywhere to turn. Wouldn’t it be great to have a “voice of experience” you could turn to who could guide you through the challenges? That’s EXACTLY what you get on these Friday episodes of the Amazing Seller. Scott Voelker does his “Ask Scott” session to field your questions about Amazon sales and the challenges of doing it right. If you want to submit your questions for Scott to answer on one of these Friday shows, you can find out how to do it on this episode.

How can I improve my pay per click (PPC) campaign so it doesn’t cost so much?

A listener to the Amazing Seller recently called in with a question about his pay per click campaigns. He’s at a point where 70% of his profits is being eaten up by the cost of paying for traffic through Amazon PPC. Something about it just doesn’t feel right and he wants to know what he’s doing wrong. On this episode Scott responds to his question with some insights about how you can modify your PPC campaigns over time to hone in on the exact keywords that are going to bring you the biggest bang for your buck. You can hear Scott’s response on this episode.

What warehouse should I send my products to as an international seller?

Anyone who sells private label products on Amazon Has the option of sending their products to various Amazon warehouses for the option of making sales in various countries. On this  episode of the podcast, an international seller calls with a question about where she should send her products to get the best sales. She's also concerned about the kinds of taxes she will have to pay if she is going to send her products to the United States. Make sure you tune in to listen to this episode where Scott replies to her question.

Should I go after a product with lower margins but higher volume?

Scott usually recommends that sellers look for products where they can make at least $10 of profit on each sale. But on this episode of the podcast listener calls in to ask whether it is worth it to sell products that only get $4 to $5 profit on each sale but has a very large volume of sales possible. You might think Scott would say to avoid that kind of product, but he actually says the exact opposite and gives you very clear reasons why he would go for it. You can hear his entire answer on this Ask Scott session of the podcast.

How long does it take for products to rank to page 1 after an initial surge of sales?

On today's episode of the podcast Scott reads A post from a member of his Facebook community, reporting how his product launch has gone. He had some great and initial sales and just looking forward to a very successful product line. But his product is still on page 8 of the Amazon search rankings. He is curious how long it takes for products to rank all the way to page one after an initial surge of sales like he is experienced. On this episode Scott gives some great insights about how products rank within the Amazon framework, and what you can do to boost your products toward the top. You won't want to miss this one.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:47] How you can get in on Scott’s next live event.
  • [3:29] QUESTION ONE: 70% of my revenue is going to PPC. What’s wrong with the way I’m doing it?
  • [10:36] QUESTION TWO: I’m an international seller and I want to send from China to an Amazon warehouse. How do I choose the right location?
  • [17:50] QUESTION THREE: Should I go after a product with lower margins but higher volume?
  • [22:43] QUESTION FOUR: How long does it take to rank for your product after a surge of sales?

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Direct download: TAS211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Any change to your life and lifestyle will require you to make some sacrifices. Today’s guest is a tremendous example of a person who was willing to put in the kind of hard work required so that she could do what she wanted in her life - stay at home with her kids. Raquel’s story is one that we hear all the time, a parent who longs to have the time with her children and is willing to do anything to make that happen. You’re going to hear a tremendously inspirational story as Raquel tells how she went from selling on Ebay to Retail Arbitrage on Amazon and why she decided to move toward private labeling, the decision that has so far grossed over $73,000 in sales. Make sure you listen tot his one - it’s worth it.

The challenges with Ebay and Retail Arbitrage.

For a while Raquel was making a good amount of profit finding things to sell on Ebay. She had great margins and was able to find some things that were selling pretty well on a consistent basis. But the difficulty was that she had to take new pictures for every listing and had to do all the shipping herself. That led her to Retail Arbitrage on Amazon which was worlds better, but it still required the daily hustle out in stores and closeout sales that she was trying to get away from. That’s when she began learning about private label sales and connected with the TAS community. You’ll want to hear Raquel’s story to hear another path that has been followed and how she began with $100.

Multiple products within the same niche.

Raquel’s approach to finding products was to look through various resources to discover product ideas. One of those was a junk email that she received from a company that was unsolicited. That’s where she found a bundled set of products that she felt she could purchase, split apart, and remake into her own bundles. That enabled her to have multiple SKUs to sell within the same niche, which was a great way to diversify her approach to the market. That has enabled her to get cross sales and to begin customizing products to offer in addition to the things she’s already selling. Her first custom order from China is now underway. Be sure you listen to Raquel’s story - it’s full of insights into how things could work for you when you’re just starting out

How Raquel used reviews to determine what she could do to offer in-demand products.

As Raquel began offering her first products she spent time reading the reviews of her competitors. It was in those reviews that she discovered things that buyers of those products wished were different about the products they were already buying. That gave Raquel a lot of insight into modifications and unique tweaks she could make to her products to make them more desirable to buyers and thereby take over the sales of brands in her niche that are not providing those customized options. It’s a “gold” way to create true value for customers and carve out a niche for themselves that will be sustainable long term.

We want to build a business that enables us to give powerfully.

 

In this conversation Scott asked Raquel about her future plans for her private label sales business. She and her husband have given a lot of thought to what they want to do with the successes they are experiencing. Her husband truly enjoys his job so there are no plans for him to quit. But the two of them have come to a place that they hope to pay off their house within a short time and then be able to meet needs of people they come across. That’s a powerful “why” for anyone, being able to make the lives of actual people better.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast and Scott’s guest, Raquel.
  • [1:03] Why you don’t need to start private label sales with a ton of cash.
  • [2:47] Who is Raquel and why did she try her hand at Amazon sales?
  • [5:50] From Ebay to consignment, to retail arbitrage on Amazon.
  • [14:00] A junk email that offered some new possibilities for Raquel.
  • [23:10] The minimal things Raquel did to launch her first products.
  • [26:15] Getting her products brand registered.
  • [30:51] Raquel’s plans toward the future.
  • [34:40] How Raquel helped a friend get started selling books on Amazon and how she advises new people to get going.
  • [36:30] The goals Raquel has to build consistent sales throughout the year.
  • [37:27] How Scott sees Raquel’s story as an example for those who are making excuses.
  • [38:18] Raquel’s current thoughts about retail arbitrage.
  • [41:00] Why you need to just start - even if you’re starting with a small amount of money.

RESOURCES MENTIONED

 

Direct download: TAS210.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Every one of us has a legacy that has bred us, the things that have made us into the people that we are. Sometimes those are negative influences, sometimes they are not so good. On this episode of the show Scott shares a conversation with his Dad that he recorded recently to share some of the legacy of his own life. In Scott’s eyes his Dad is a great example of someone who was always willing to work hard and earn the money needed to care for his family and take care of his obligations. He’s also the one who taught Scott to hustle and figure out ways to build his own businesses. You’re going to enjoy the homespun wisdom and insights Papa V. has to share, on this episode.

From egg sales to a chicken farm to a draft notice.

Scott’s father was an entrepreneur from an early age simply because he had to be. He wanted extra money to buy his own lunch at school and his father didn’t have the money to give him. So his dad arranged for him to get some chickens and begin selling eggs. That business grew into a chicken farm and in time he was doing quite well. When he was 22 years old he was drafted, but signed up for the Navy instead. Even in the Navy his Dad found an entrepreneurial opportunity sewing patches on uniforms, stocking up on cigarettes and reselling them to fellow soldiers at a higher price, and even making loans at interest. You can hear this powerful example of old fashioned entrepreneurial hustle on this episode.

There’s always a way you can find to get the money you need.

On today’s episode of The Amazing Seller Scott shares a conversation with his Dad who was his example of hard work and determination. He showed by his actions that he could always figure out a way to make the income needed to meet his obligations and take care of his family. As you listen to this episode, keep in mind the obstacles you face and think about the opportunities you may have every day to increase your income and make a way to build your income. There is a way. Find it.

Partnership woes and things you should watch out for.

Neither Scott nor his Dad believe that partnerships are always terrible or to be avoided. But they both have seen the negative side of partnerships and have lots to say about the various cautions that you need to be aware of when considering a partnership. On this episode you’ll hear the story of their partnership woes and how you can avoid making the same mistakes. It’s a great story of persistence, learning from mistakes, and building a successful business on the coattails of a business mess.

Hard work and persistence will ALWAYS pay off for you, if you take action.

The main purpose of this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast is not to teach you tricks and strategies for doing private label sales better. It’s a deeper and more general lesson than that. This one brings you an old school example of how determination and drive to succeed will enable you to be successful in the end. Scott’s Dad (Papa V.) has lots of stories to share and a great deal of wisdom to impart so you’d be wise to listen and get some ideas about the kind of work and dedication it takes to build a business you can be proud of.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:02] Scott’s introduction to the podcast, and this conversation with his Dad (Papa V)!
  • [1:23] Scott’s introduction to his Dad.
  • [3:25] Where Papa V. grew up and what his family life was like.
  • [4:00] Why Papa V. wanted to earn money as a kid - he wanted to buy his own lunch.
  • [5:40] His first job: an egg route, learning sales, and starting his business.
  • [8:00] Scaling the egg business into a chicken farm.
  • [17:10] Beliefs about working for retirement or not.
  • [24:15] Landing a job and starting another business.
  • [31:00] Scott’s “why” to work alongside his Dad and build a company together.
  • [32:45] Thoughts and cautions about partnership opportunities.
  • [41:23] The only things Papa V. would change if he could go back.
  • [45:10] The lessons Scott learned from his Dad.
  • [53:33] A final story about the crazy experiences working as an entrepreneur.
Direct download: TAS209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Whenever you’re starting something new it requires that you do a lot of learning at the front end. You should never just jump in and figure it out on your own because there are so many people who have traveled the path ahead of you that you can learn from. That’s why Scott does these Ask Scott episodes - to be that trusted and experienced resource to anyone who wants to get started with Amazon private label sales. You can ask your own questions and have them answered on the podcast, so be sure you listen to find out how to do that!

What’s the best way I can order from a foreign supplier and protect my financial investment?

There are many ways you could arrange to make payments to your suppliers. Paypal - Western Union - Credit Card - Escrow - which should you choose? On this episode a listener asks Scott what his options are now that he’s figured out the supplier he wants to work with and Scott has some great advice about the best and safest ways to exchange funds with suppliers from China and other places.

When I complete the product listing fields, which of those fields are not needed?

When you go into the backend of your Amazon product listing you’re going to be faced with many tabs, options, and fields that can be completed. It’s very confusing for a first time person. You may wonder, like the caller today, which of those fields really apply to your product and which of them don’t. Scott’s main advice on that issue is covered on this episode and it all comes down to doing this: Be sure to complete the search terms and keywords and fill out anything that honestly pertains to your product. Be sure you listen to get all the details.

What are the risks of dealing with a supplier without using Alibaba?

When you find a supplier from China that you believe is the one you want to use to source your product, there are many risks to you as the buyer. You want to make sure that your supplier is trustworthy and that you have a way to hold their feet to the fire in case there are issues with your product delivery or quality. In order to do that Scott recommends that you always stay within a sourcing website like Alibaba and that you ensure that the supplier works with you on an escrow basis. If all of that is confusing, be sure to listen to get clarity.

Is there a way to know the overall costs I’m going to need to pay before taking the plunge?

There are many ways to make mistakes as you get started selling private label products and most of them come from not understanding the fees and costs associated with selling your products on Amazon, including shipping, Amazon fees, customs costs, and more. On this episode Scott goes into the details of assessing costs before you purchase your first set of trial products and gives some recommendations about pricing and margins as well.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:52] QUESTION ONE: Is there a good way to cover myself with suppliers?
  • [10:50] QUESTION TWO: The listing fields are a bit confusing. Which fields do I need to complete and which are not helpful?
  • [17:20] QUESTION THREE: Do you always place orders through Alibaba or just the first one?
  • [23:26] QUESTION FOUR: Is there a way to calculate general expenses before getting started?

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Direct download: TAS208.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Every single one of us is on our own journey, but much of where we wind up depends on the choices we make. Scott recently had the opportunity to speak at the Rocky Mountain Resellers conference and was able to share his story and inspire many people to take action and move forward with their business ideas.This episode is the audio version of Scott’s keynote presentation from that event and you’re going to hear his story of moving into the Amazon sales platform and all the experiences that built his determination muscles to get there. You’ll find a lot of great information to help you get going (or keep going) on your journey, so be sure to listen.

Figure out your Why, What, and How.

There are three key components of any business success. Without these three you’re going to fail at some point along the line, so be sure you pay close attention to what Scott has to share here. The “why” has to do with the reasons behind building a business. If your “why” is not strong enough you’ll give up when things get tough. Your “what” is the clear end-goal you have in mind, the thing(s) you want to accomplish. The “how” is the plan you come up with to make the “what” happen. If you don’t get all three of these clear, you won’t make it in business.

Get your WHY clear and nothing will stop you.

Simon Senek is well known now for his insightful book, “Start With Why.” It enables leaders - and those building their own business - to understand the importance of the reasons their business/organization is in existence. Scott believes in the power of understanding your why to keep you moving in your business building journey. What is your reason for building a business? It’s about more than simply making money… that’s not specific enough. Figure out your “why” and you’ll figure out the thing that will keep you going when the difficulties come (and they WILL come).

After your WHY is in place, you can move on to the WHAT.

Getting clear on WHAT you are going to do enables you to remain focused. It’s your end goal, the thing you’re trying to accomplish overall so that your WHY becomes a reality. When you work on your WHAT you need to do your homework. There’s nothing about this part that comes easy, nothing about it that will magically happen. The information is out there, you simply have to go out and find it so you can make informed decisions and smart choices. Don’t go by hunches or feelings, research it and find the WHAT that will fit you and enable your WHY to come to pass.

Take action to make it a reality.

Once you get your WHY clear and your WHAT figured out, you’re going to have to do something with it. You’ve got to have a plan that you’re going to follow to make them happen. That’s where the HOW comes in. It’s about taking action, putting in the work that makes success happen. Nobody got to any pinnacle of success by accident. There’s lots of hard work in the back story and you are going to have to pay your own dues as well. Take action. It’s one of Scott’s main mantras that you hear over and over. And there’s a reason for that. It’s vitally important.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the episode!
  • [2:09] Scott’s story: no college education but lots of business experience.
  • [5:15] Scott’s experience selling door to door as a kid.
  • [6:23] The danger of inaction from overwhelm.
  • [9:35] It all starts with taking the first step into something different.
  • [11:00] The importance of “just in time learning” from Pat Flynn.
  • [12:35] When you choose one thing and focus, amazing things happen.
  • [14:09] The power of “WHY - WHAT - HOW?”
  • [15:00] WHY: Getting clear and specific brings focus.
  • [23:10] WHAT: You have to know where you’re going.
  • [25:10] HOW: Making a plan is essential.
  • [28:11] Case study: Bob - and how it can help you build your dreams.
  • [30:30] Scott’s 10-10-1 strategy as an example of simplifying the process.
  • [35:00] Put yourself on track with 90 day sprints.
  • [41:27] Get it done, then repeat it again and again.
  • [44:43] Why “little by little, little becomes a lot.”
  • [50:12] Taking action is the main consistent ingredient in any success.
  • [51:54] Q & A from the session.

RESOURCES MENTIONED

Direct download: TAS207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Over the years Scott has gotten tons of great encouragement about the efforts he’s making to help others learn from his mistakes and the path he’s taken to build a successful private label sales business. He loves the positive feedback and would never stop doing what he does. But sometimes there are people who urge Scott to STOP giving away so much free information. They believe that he’s doing a disservice to those who are already selling on Amazon. Scott disagrees wholeheartedly and on this episode he tells you why.

Why Amazon is the best place you can validate and test product ideas.

If you think you have a great idea for a product, there’s no better way to test that product than to put it onto the Amazon sales platform. It doesn’t even need to be finished, tweaked exactly like you want it, or the final version… it just has to be some variety of what you have in mind. The reason Amazon is such a great place to do this is because you’re putting that product in front of people who are actual buyers - they are only ON Amazon to buy something or research a future purchase. On this episode Scott is going to tell you how you can use Amazon to validate your product idea and how you can move past Amazon when the time is right.

When people push back against generosity, it’s usually because they are scared.

Scott Voelker's been sharing his insights into the Amazon private label sales platform for many months now. He doesn't absolutely free and expecting nothing in return. Why does he do it? Because he believes he is supposed to help people get ahead in life. It's what he would want someone to do for him if he were in that place. But there are many people who don't agree with Scott's approach. They believe that his generosity is hurting everyone it was already successfully selling on Amazon. On this episode of the podcast you were going to hear why Scott doesn't agree with that and why he believes that those who are telling him to stop giving away so much free content are actually scared.

There is still PLENTY of opportunity to build a successful business on Amazon.

Scott hears it all the time: Amazon is getting too crowded, there isn't enough room left in the platform to be successful a private label sales. But Scott doesn't believe it. Yes, it is harder to be successful than it was at the beginning, but that's the way it is in every Market at every stage of its history. Those were going to be ultra successful are those who are willing to put in the hard work to figure out the best ways to be successful in that niche. Are you one of those? Or are you one of those lazy ones who won't put in the effort and will only complain that it's getting too crowded? On this episode you were going to get a great challenge from Scott about the work you're going to have to put in if you were going to be successful in private label sales.

You are the average of the 5 people you hang around with most.

If you pay attention to those who are complaining and hating on others who are doing great things, you will notice something. They typically hang out with other people who think small like they do. There's an old saying that you are the average of the 5 people you hang around with most. It is true almost every time. If you were going to be successful, you have got to put yourself around people who are successful. You've got to learn from them, you've got to grow from their interaction, you've got to ask their advice and put it into action. On this episode Scott is going to talk about what it takes to be successful in Amazon sales  and in life.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:05] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:25] Why there are always opportunities to build a business.
  • [4:15] Why Amazon is the best place to test and validate product ideas.
  • [6:49] The power of hanging out with people who bring you down (or lift you up).
  • [8:37] People are afraid of competition and how it creates “haters” out there.
  • [10:23] Why there is still a ton of opportunity to build an Amazon private label business.
  • [16:46] Why Amazon is better to get started than most places.
  • [17:22] Scott’s plans to move his business into other areas.
  • [23:00] Email list building game changers that Scott will be sharing soon.
  • [24:18] Why Scott is not sorry for sharing the content he does and how it will even make the haters better.

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Direct download: TAS206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Many people ask why Scott’s invested so much time and energy into putting out this podcast and doing his free workshops. Is it to sell his course? No, it’s not. Scott recently ran into a woman who reminded him why he’s doing all the work he is for the TAS brand. Her husband had just quit his job because their private label business, built according to Scott’s instructions and tips, had finally made it possible for him to quit and work the FBA business full time. That’s what Scott is about - helping real people get some freedom and a sense of personal control over their destiny. You can find out how Scott could help you with that, on this episode.

Different product categories have different fee structures. What fees do I pay if my product is in two categories?

If you didn’t know, you need to know that Amazon has different fee structures for products in different categories. For example, products in home and garden may have one fee and products in kitchen may have different fees. If your product is in multiple categories it can get a bit confusing as to how Amazon is going to charge you. On this episode, Scott reveals how to go about determining the fees you will pay for products in multiple categories, so be sure you listen to get his answer.

I’ve researched my product and sent them into Amazon, but I’m not getting sales? What can I do?

A listener feels that he did a pretty good job of researching his product. He got samples, tried them out on  Amazon, and felt that he’s got a good product. But now that he’s shipped his products to Amazon, it’s been a few weeks and he’s not gotten one sale. Is his product simply a bust? Should he give up and move on to something else? What would you do? Scott’s got quite a few suggestions for this seller, including an explanation of how PPC works and why it’s important to use pay per click to begin generating sales. You can hear it all on this episode of the podcast.

My product is selling well but is on page 3. What can I do to move it up?

On this episode of the podcast a listener calls in to describe her dilemma. She’s got a product that’s been on Amazon for 3 weeks and it’s already selling 10 to 15 units a day. But she ranks on page 3 and would like to get to page 1. What’s wrong to cause such great sales but such a low search ranking? Scott doesn’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with her listing or product. In fact, he thinks she’s got some great things to celebrate and suggests a very few minor tweaks that could push her onto page 1. Do you want to hear his answer? You can, on this episode of the podcast.

Would you like to ask your private label questions?

If you are curious about private label sales on Amazon, or if you’re new to the Amazon sales platform and would like to know more about how it works, you can do that by listening to this “Ask Scott” session of the Amazing Seller Podcast. But even more, you can ask your own questions and have Scott Voelker answer them on the podcast. It’s a great opportunity for you to get your newbie questions answered by a pro and learn how to build a successful private label business at the same time. Be sure to listen to find out how you can submit your questions.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:05] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:20] How you can get your questions answered.
  • [1:33] A story from Scott’s experience at Rocky Mountain Resellers.
  • [4:04] Shout out to the TAS community on Facebook.
  • [5:14] QUESTION ONE: How does Amazon charge its fees when a product is in multiple categories?
  • [10:27] QUESTION TWO: My products have been sent into Amazon but I’ve not started PPC yet, and am seeing no sales. What’s up?
  • [17:00] QUESTION THREE: My products are selling well but my product is only on page 3. What can I do?

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Direct download: TAS205.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

It’s always helpful to hear from someone who’s launched a private label product on Amazon from scratch - and has done so recently. Well, even though Scott Voelker has been doing private label sales on Amazon for some time, he’s still starting new products and ideas now and then to experiment and to expand his business model. On today’s episode Scott walks you through his latest product launch and hones in on the things he did differently this time. The results he’s gotten have been spectacular, including ranking his product on page 1 of Amazon’s search rankings in short order. You’ll want to be sure to listen to this one.

Why Scott aimed at a product with low reviews but good sales.

One of the ways that Scott searched for his latest private label product was to filter in Jungle Scout for products that were selling a decent amount, say 5 to 10 sales per day, but had low numbers of reviews. Why did he aim at products like that? The sales show that the product is in demand to a certain degree, but that the people selling the products are not spending a ton of time promoting their products. So Scott feels that if he’s able to sell the same product but add PPC promotions to his launch, he should be able to get higher in the rankings almost immediately - and his strategy worked. Find out exactly how Scott did it, on this episode.

A keyword optimization trick for the backend of your private label product listings.

A student in the private label workshop was having trouble getting her product to show as relevant for many keywords, even though she’d filled the keyword area of her listing with relevant keywords. Scott was curious why she wasn’t getting better results so he asked her to show him the way she’d input her keywords. She had placed a comma between every keyword and Scott suggested that she remove all the commas. Within an hour her product began ranking for those keywords and something important was discovered: commas are not only unnecessary in your keyword fields, they actually hurt your listing. Find out more tips like this on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

Why Scott launched with only 25 product giveaways.

On this product launch Scott decided to try something a bit different than he’d done before. He determined that he’d only give away 25 products to launch and that he’d drip those out at the rate of 5 per day for the first 5 days. This enabled him to monitor his organic sales a bit more easily, determining how many of his sales were organic and therefore gauging better whether he actually needed to continue giveaways in order to get his product ranked as high as he wanted. The result this time was a good amount of organic sales apart from the PPC, which is very good news. You’ll find out more about how Scott did his launch on a new product on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

If you’re new to the private label sales world, you need Scott’s free workshop.

At least once per month Scott holds a free private label workshop for anyone who is interested in private label sales. It’s an opportunity for you to learn the 5 phases of a successful product launch and to ask questions from Scott and many other experienced Amazon sellers who are hanging out during the course. You can get your free spot in the next workshop by listening to the announcement at the end of this episode, so be sure you do!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:30] The way to approach rumors and concerns you hear about techniques on Amazon.
  • [4:17] 4 things that make this product launch successful.
  • [10:17] Scott’s step by step process for launching this product.
  • [11:10] The best way to optimize keywords on the backend of your listings.
  • [13:15] 25 units given away, 5 per day and PPC from day one.
  • [14:30] Options for setting up your pay per click campaigns.
  • [18:14] Creating a promo with no keywords.
  • [22:10] How to use variations of products to create your own brand once you’ve tried a product.
  • [24:48] Why Amazon is a great place to test and verify a product before investing a lot of cash.

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

www.AliExpress.com - China sourcing in small quantities.

Direct download: TAS204.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST