The Amazing Seller Podcast

Welcome back to The Amazing Seller Podcast and thanks for checking out the show notes page for this great episode about product sourcing. In this great conversation I’m talking with Peter Zapf, an employee of Global Sources, a company that works directly with Chinese and other Asian manufacturing companies to make their products available to retailers, ebayers, and Amazon sellers. We’re going to take a deep dive into the process that Global Sources has put in place to enable to you to skip the middle man (agents) and talk directly to the supplier of the products you want to sell.

 

How is Global Sources different than Alibaba?

 

Global Sources is a company that’s been around for many, many years and today’s guest, Peter Zapf has been working with the company for over 15 years. He tells us on this episode that the primary difference between Global Sources and other suppliers for the Asian manufacturing market is that GS works directly with the manufacturer - no agents involved at all. So if you were to search for a supplier for your product, you’d be dealing with the actual company that makes it. You can see how that could cut down on the possibility of confusion when ordering customized aspects of your products. Listen in to this episode to find out how Peter suggest you best utilize the platform.

 

How does Global Sources work with test orders?

 

Today's guest, Peter Zapf says that his company, Global Sources, is a great platform for working with manufacturers in Asia to find products that you can trust. Very much like Alibaba, Global Sources manufacturers enables you to order smaller quantities as a test order so that you can get to know the product quality and understand the process of each manufacturer that you contact. Peter suggests that you contact more than one manufacturer as you research your product ideas to make sure that you are getting the best deal and the best quality on the product. Hear about this new supplier that you may not of heard of before, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

 

What are the benefits of working directly with a product supplier?

 

Global Sources is a China based company that works directly with Asian manufacturers to provide products for retailers and independent sellers. Their connections are with the manufacturers, not independent agents or agencies. That means that when you work with a supplier through Global Sources, you are able to work directly with the people who are creating the product you want. That makes modifications and customization much easier, and the communication process more smooth. Find out more benefits of working with a company like Global Sources on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

 

Scams to watch out for when working with product suppliers.

 

For even experienced private label sellers, sending a large chunk of money to accompany across the ocean that you have never visited seems like a pretty sketchy deal. How can you be sure that you're not getting scammed? How can you be confident that you're going to receive the products that you are asking for? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Peter Zapf, of Global Sources, tells some of the most common scams that he sees when it comes to ordering products from overseas vendors. You will be helped by the things he has to share, so be sure to listen.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:05] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [2:01] Who Peter is and how he got started with Global Suppliers.
  • [3:12] The history of Global Sources.
  • [3:25] The differences between Global Sources and Alibaba.
  • [4:57] The process you’d go through on Global Sources to find a supplier.
  • [6:05] How does the communication process work, and can test orders be done?
  • [7:58] Can products be customized via Global Sources?
  • [9:58] How do test orders typically work?
  • [11:40] Minimum orders from Global Sources - the typical scenario.
  • [12:16] Payment options with Global Sources manufacturers.
  • [14:04] Wire transfer payment tips.
  • [15:40] Future credit card options with Global Sources.
  • [16:32] Walking through the process on the Global Sources site.
  • [17:00] How to find the top suppliers who are most trustworthy.
  • [20:16] How shipping is typically handled with Global Sources suppliers.
  • [22:25] Manufacturing shows that Global Sources is part of and how it benefits buyers to attend a show.
  • [23:40] Mistakes commonly seen using the Global Sources site.
  • [26:59] How to make your process more rigorous as you scale up your orders.
  • [27:50] Why paying for 3rd party inspections is like insurance.
  • [31:41] How inspection companies charge.
  • [35:52] Scams that happen with supplier’s email addresses and financial risks.
  • [42:20] Why you want to move toward purchase orders as you scale larger.
  • [47:00] The power of good communication with Chinese suppliers.
  • [49:25] Scott’s summary of the episode.
Direct download: TAS170.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

It may sound strange to you to hear that Scott likes to share his exact costs, profits, and other numbers with anyone who listens to this podcast. Isn’t that private information? It is, BUT - Scott’s more interested in helping you know the REALITY of what an Amazon private label business is like. You need to hear it all instead of just knowing the high sales numbers you might hear other places. Those can be misleading because they don’t include costs, fees, and other overhead that goes into being successful.

So today you’re going to hear Scott’s numbers for January 2016, costs, profits, losses, and new projects included. He’s also going to share the numbers for a new brand he’s been working on with a friend to show you what can happen with some brand new efforts on a very low priced product.

But more important than all of that, Scott’s going to walk you through the lessons he’s learned from the numbers and challenges he’s faced up to this point. This is a great thing for you to pay attention to because you’re able to see how an experienced private label seller thinks about the things he’s experiencing and the numbers that his business is producing.

So listen to this episode and get some seasoned insights into the private label business process.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Introduction to this episode, so you know what to expect.
  • [0:47] January recap of Scott’s business and future plans.
  • [1:22] Update on Scott’s son’s basketball journey (for those who have been following).
  • [3:13] January numbers: Higher than December (that’s odd!).
  • [6:00] Scott’s current experiments with a new brand partnership (3 years old).
  • [11:00] Lesson learned: Understanding the market.
  • [11:45] Lesson learned: Low ticket items can still make money but are riskier.
  • [12:25] Lesson learned: Once you validate a market, it’s time to build a sales channel.
  • [13:52] Future plans: launching products to customers in his current markets and building an email list using Facebook ads.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode
www.TheAmazingSeller.com/workshop - sign up for one of Scott’s free workshops.

Direct download: TAS20BONUS20_20Update20January20Income202B20Lessons20Learned.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Welcome to this episode of the Ask Scott version of the Amazing Seller Podcast. This is where you can get your Amazon private label questions answered by Scott Voelker, an experienced Amazon seller. He’s had all kinds of successes and failures from which he is able to draw answers to the questions that come his way each week. If you’d like to submit a question for Scott to answer about your private label efforts on Amazon, you can submit your question by going to www.TheAmazingSeller.com/ask - and let Scott know what you’re having trouble with.

 

My manufacturer asked me a strange question about “shipping marks.”

 

A listener to the podcast was working with her supplier to get the products shipped and the supplier asked her what “shipping marks” she could supply for the packaging. She’s not sure what that really means so she turned to Scott to get his input. You’re going to be surprised at the simple advice Scott has for this listener and how easy it might be for her to get this issue resolved, so be sure you listen to this episode in case you ever run into this issue with your supplier.

 

Amazon assigns products their own barcode, so why do I need a UPC number for each product?

 

The issue of UPCs and Amazon assigned barcodes can be one of the most confusing things for new private label sellers. Why do you need a UPC if Amazon assigns its own? The simple answer is that Amazon requires you to have a unique UPC code for each of your products before you’re able to create a listing for the product on the Amazon platform. So you’ve got to do it. Period. Beyond that, Amazon does use its own barcode for internal and sales purposes. You can hear why this is the case and how it impacts your product selection and bundling of products on this episode.

 

I understand why it’s important for me to capture my customer’s emails, but I’m not sure how to do it.

 

Once you have people buying your products on Amazon you want to create a way to capture their email address. Why? So that you can market to them the next time you have a new or related product to sell. Those people who have already purchased from you are most likely to buy your new product. But how do you get those emails? What’s the best system to follow in order to make it easy, and to do it within Amazon’s terms of service? Scott’s got an in depth answer for you on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

 

I’m ready to decide on my first product. Should I select a product that has variations like size, color, or style?

 

There are so many options when it comes to selling products on Amazon through private label sales. How do you go about picking the right one with the right features. A listener to the podcast asks Scott if she should steer clear of products that have variations like size and color - and Scott recommends that she DOES steer clear of them for her first product. Do you know why he’d say that? You can find out on this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [0:20] How you can submit your own question for these Q&A episodes.
  • [1:15] A post from the TAS Facebook group that you can join!
  • [3:49] QUESTION ONE: My manufacturer has asked me for “shipping marks” - what is that?
  • [7:30] QUESTION TWO: Do I have to use my own UPC labels since Amazon has their own type that they use?
  • [11:50] QUESTION THREE: I’m a bit stuck when it comes to capturing emails from my customers. How can I do it?
  • [20:55] QUESTION FOUR: I’m setting up a new product and I’m curious if I should start with a product that has multiple sizes and/or colors? (variations)
Direct download: TAS169.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

This episode of The Amazing Seller has been brewing for some time. It’s a response to some of the most frequent myths Scott hears during the Q&A of his private label workshops (they’re free, by the way). Today Scott is not only going to tell you what these common myths are, but also WHY they are myths and what you can do to make sure that none of them happen to you. It’s a practical episode with lots of great resources you can use today to make your private label business more successful.

MYTH: Amazon is too saturated to get new products to take off.

It’s true that there are more products appearing on Amazon every single day. But it’s also true that more people are shopping on Amazon every day. The ratios of each are not the same by any stretch, but it’s clear that Amazon is still a vibrant place for businesses to be built and profit to be made. Scott’s got some very strong opinions on why people think Amazon is too saturated, and it has a lot to do with what they’re expecting as they begin to build their business. Hear the entire response to this myth, on this episode.

MYTH: It takes a lot of money to start an Amazon business?

If you had a lot of money to get started on an Amazon private label business, sure, you’d be in much better shape from the beginning. But that’s the case with any business venture. This myth is actually very foolish because it’s very easy to get started on Amazon with little to no money. In fact, Scott’s going to put you onto a case study that demonstrates that to be true. Be sure you listen to hear how Scott blows this myth right out of the water!

MYTH: The flop of a first product means Amazon private label doesn’t work.

Any product idea can flop the first time and there are a number of reasons for it. Sometimes the person didn’t follow the best practices for getting a product launched. In other words, they tried to shortcut the process. Other times the person didn’t research the depth of the market well enough to ensure that their attempts had a good chance of success. As a result, they moved into a market that was too crowded for them to get a foothold. And there are more reasons products flop on the first try, but none of that means that Amazon doesn’t work. Be sure to listen to Scott’s product launching advice so you don’t become one of the statistics.

MYTH: Amazon PPC (pay per click) is too complicated and ineffective.

It’s true that Amazon PPC is a bit complicated. But it’s not so terrible that you can’t learn it. It only takes time and experimentation to figure it out, and Scott’s confident that anyone can do it. Once you understand the system and are able to begin using it, you’ll find it to be extremely effective in helping you gain sales, which translate into a higher ranking for your product, and in turn, more organic sales coming to your listing. Find out how Scott destroys this myth, on this episode of the podcast.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to this podcast episode!
  • [0:50] How you can register for one of Scott’s free workshops to get a product up and running.
  • [1:50] Amazon is too saturated. When is it true and when is it not?
  • [6:27] It takes a lot of money to start an Amazon business. True or not?
  • [10:31] Are review groups against the Amazon terms of service?
  • [14:01] Does a first product launch flop mean that Amazon doesn’t work?
  • [17:01] Is Amazon Pay Per Click too complicated and not profitable.
  • [22:33] Summary of these myths.
  • [24:55] Some helpful reminders about going back to the basics.

 

Direct download: TAS168.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

On this episode of the Amazing Seller podcast you’re going to learn all about the power and importance of reviews on your Amazon products. Danny Brewer and Scott Voelker have a lot of experience soliciting and promoting reviews and both of them have tons to share about reviews and review groups and how they can help and hurt you when you’re trying to get your products out to the world.

 

What do reviews accomplish for your products?

 

Reviews are one of the most important parts of getting your product moved to the top of the page when someone searches for keywords related to your product. But there’s not a direct correlation. Reviews encourage potential customers to buy your product. Why? Because it appears to be more legitimate, more trustworthy. It’s THOSE sales that push your product higher in the organic search results. On this episode you’re going to hear two experienced Amazon sellers chat about the right and wrong ways to go about getting reviews for your Amazon products.

 

What’s the biggest reason reviews are deleted by the Amazon powers?

 

Amazon’s policies require reviews to be posted within certain guidelines. If your reviewers are not following those guidelines, the reviews they leave will eventually be deleted, which is of no benefit to you. The main reason for deletions is that people who receive a product for free (through one of your promotions) in exchange for a review do not say so in their review. Amazon requires that. On this episode you’re going to hear how you can encourage and even help you reviewers leave their response to your product without it being deleted.

 

Be careful of the trolls that lurk in public review groups.

 

When you post a free code for your product in an effort to promote it, you may get a great response. But consider what could happen (and often does). The people who see your free promo are not only potential customers, they could be potential competitors - and some of those competitors will do anything to hurt your sales, even buying your product using your promo, and leaving a bad review. It’s something that happens and that you should be very leary of. Today’s episode features some ideas you can put into place to make it where you don’t have to use public groups.

 

How can you find good, quality places to ask for good reviews?

 

Danny Brewer learned early on that promoting Amazon products with free or discounted coupons is problematic at best. Not only can trolls buy your product and give you bad reviews, people who are not serious about reviewing products can get in there, give you bad or lackluster reviews, and hurt your product in the end. Danny’s got a group that he’s been able to develop that is a powerful way to get quality reviews, and you can submit your products for consideration. The group doesn’t accept every product, so know that going in. Listen to this episode to get the details.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast and his guest, Danny Brewer.
  • [1:18] How you can get transcripts of the episodes.
  • [2:53] Danny’s introduction… and his expertise surrounding Amazon reviews.
  • [3:52] Why reviews are important for your products.
  • [5:58] What is an Amazon promotion and how do they work?
  • [6:31] One of the biggest reasons reviews are being deleted.
  • [10:00] Why organic sales are the biggest goal.
  • [11:41] How some review groups attract spies to your product.
  • [17:28] Why low quality, short reviews are not beneficial.
  • [23:38] The two types of promotions, including BSR boosts.
  • [26:39] How to determine the number of products to give away.
  • [31:20] What Danny does when he runs out of product: how to get his product back toward the top.
  • [37:45] How clicks on your promotions can be a bad thing.
  • [39:20] Don’t overdo the promotions.
  • [48:47] How Danny has created his own review groups to promote his product reviews… and how you can get your products considered by the group.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 

 

Direct download: TAS167.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Welcome back to the Ask Scott sessions of the Amazing Seller podcast. These Friday sessions are one of the funnest things Scott does every week - answering your questions from his own experience - about Amazon Private Label sales. This episode includes questions about handling returns through Amazon FBA, product categories as it relates to seller accounts, product selection tips, and customizable product offers. This episode is going to ramp up your ability to make your private label business rock!

 

What happens when a customer returns one of my products?

 

One of the aspects of Amazon private label sales that is seldom talked about in depth is the issue of product returns. It’s going to happen. You are going to have products returned either because they are broken in shipping or have some sort of flaw. What happens at Amazon when somebody returns one of your products and what can you do from there? Scott’s going to walk you through every step of the process so you know what to do, on this episode.

 

Should I keep all my products in the same categories?

 

A listener has noticed that some Amazon sellers have their products listed in a variety of categories. She’s wondering if there’s any advantage to this, or if it’s a waste of time. Scott’s got a definite opinion about this and it all centers around the use of keywords and how they impact what a searching customer is going to find when they are looking for a product. There is some powerful food for thought in Scott’s response to this question, so be sure you take some time to give it the thought it deserves.

 

Is there any way to make a customizable offer to an Amazon seller?

 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could offer your products in a customizable format of some kinds? A listener today asks if there is a way to make a custom offer to particular Amazon customers. While Scott’s not sure exactly what will come of it, he chats a bit about a new Amazon program that’s still in beta mode, called Amazon Custom. You can find a link to the program in the resources for this episode, and hear what Scott has to say about it by listening.

 

Have you attended the FREE Private Label  Workshop?

 

One of the things Scott does most months to help you understand, start, and ramp up your private label business is a free online workshop where he walks you through the 5 phases of getting your product live and selling on Amazon. Much of the TAS community attends these workshops again and again because there’s so much helpful content - AND there’s Q&A at the very end where you can ask your specific questions. If you’d like to get in on the next workshops, check out this episode to find out exactly how you can do it!




OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:37] How you can submit your question.
  • [1:50] How you can get a transcript of these episodes.
  • [2:27] QUESTION ONE: Can you walk through a product return process for me?
  • [11:12] Going over and above on customer service.
  • [12:20] Why you don’t want to follow the “one sale and done” philosophy.
  • [13:05] QUESTION TWO: A question about seller accounts and product categories.
  • [19:35] QUESTION THREE: I’m stuck on whether to pull the trigger on particular products… what’s the baseline criteria I should use to choose?
  • [25:11] QUESTION FOUR: Is there a way to make a customized offer to an Amazon buyer from an Amazon seller?
  • [29:58] Again, how to submit your question.
  • [30:24] Your invitation to  Scott’s FREE LIVE workshop.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS166.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Welcome back to this episode of The Amazing Seller, the very BEST place for you to learn how to sell products on Amazon. This episode is all about finding product ideas. That’s really the first and most important step to a successful private label selling business. You can’t even hope to make a living doing Amazon sales if you don’t have a product that people want to buy. So take this step seriously. Scott’s got some great tips for you about how to find product ideas that you KNOW will sell. Be sure to listen. This one’s full of great value.

 

First, think about serving a market.

 

You want more than one product that sells on Amazon. You want a brand, a business. If you’re going to build a line of products like every brand does, you need to think in terms of the overall market you’re going to serve. Are they hunters? Knitters? Chefs? Parents? Athletes? Drill down even further. Is there a subset group within that market? The more specific you can get the more clearly you’ll be able to discover specialty products that niche can use and will be willing to pay for. Think about the market and the wide variety of products they need and you’ll be on your way to finding a successful product you can private label on Amazon.

 

If you want to find great products to sell, start with a daily “touch list.”

 

You may have heard Scott talk about a “touch list” before, but it bears repeating because it’s so important. Everyday you touch thousands of things that you use to make your life work. Computers, clothes, toothbrushes, and more. Spend time over the next few days looking at everything you touch. Is there an item you use that’s kind of unique? Interesting? Popular? Is there a way you could come up with a product idea centered around a product like that? Take the time to make a touch list and you won’t be short of ideas for great products.

 

Your hobbies or passions may be the very best place for you to find a product idea.

 

Think about that one for a minute. If you’re already passionate about something you’ll know it better than most people. Start digging into those hobbies that you love so much to consider what items or products other people who like it would buy. Is there any way a product could be modified or tweaked to serve the market better? Is there something everyone wants but nobody can find? Do you see how this works? The more questions you ask about your hobbies the more you’re going to be able to find product ideas that can really work. Listen to this episode to get more great ideas from Scott about how to make your hobbies and passions into a business.

 

What have you purchased in the last 7 days?

 

Asking yourself this one question - and making a list - is going to open your mind to the possibilities of things that people buy regularly, over and over, for the daily business of life. Those are the kinds of things that will help you get your mind going to find those products that can be consistent in their sales and demand. Don’t be lazy and just try to think about it, write it down. Then expand your question to the last 30 days. You’ll be amazed at all the ideas you come up with from this one simple exercise.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:39] How you can get transcripts of every episode and cheat sheets of certain episodes.
  • [1:54] The one year anniversary of TAS!
  • [3:59] An inspiration from the TAS Facebook group.
  • [6:12] When Scott first started Amazon private label sales, there were no tools.
  • [8:10] How to think about the market you’re going to be serving.
  • [9:15] Why service one particular market is vital.
  • [17:00] Do your own personal “touch list.”
  • [18:20] Consider passions or hobbies you have.
  • [21:24] Browse shopping sites and networks to get ideas.
  • [22:50] Walk through the big box stores to get ideas.
  • [24:50] Infomercials and TV shows.
  • [27:40] Listen to what people are talking about.
  • [29:27] Check out the magazine racks at the store.
  • [31:51] A Bonus question you should ask yourself.
  • [33:45] A Bonus tip using Google Keyword tool

 

 

Direct download: TAS165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Pay Per Click on Amazon is one of the most difficult and time consuming things that run behind a successful Amazon sales business. And you can’t do without it, it’s what makes your private label products pop up on the first page of Amazon before you’re able to get there through pure organic sales and recommendations. But how can you learn it and invest the time you need to in order to make it work without breaking the bank. On this episode, Scott Voelker and his guest, Ty Rooney, are talking about ways to amp up PPC campaigns on Amazon.

 

Starting your Pay per click campaigns the smart way.

 

There’s no reason the average person can’t manage their own PPC campaigns wisely. But you’ve got to get started in a smart way if you’re going to receive the benefits your products need. How do you start smart? The first thing is to set up an “auto” campaign and a few manual campaigns, then let it run for a while. Most people start tweaking things too early, before they get enough data to make some wise decisions. So be sure you don’t jump into the changes too soon. Hear how Scott Voelker and Ty Rooney think about PPC and what’s working for them.

 

What are you looking for in your PPC data?

 

When you open the Amazon PPC dashboard after a week of letting it run on an auto campaign and a couple of manual campaigns, you’re going to see a lot of numbers there. How do you know what to look for, and how do you know what those numbers mean? First, you’re going to start at the top and look at every single keyword. Your goal is to find the keywords that are getting the actual traffic to your product. Those keywords (and possible variations of them) will be the ones you’ll want to focus on as you adjust things. It’s way too complicated to explain here, so make sure you listen!

 

The new “Bid Plus” feature in Amazon PPC is here!

 

It was only a few months ago that Amazon provided some new features to the PPC dashboard that have made it a much more usable and powerful tool to drive traffic to your products. But now they’ve added another feature, called “Bid Plus.” What is it? We’re not exactly clear on that yet, but the first looks into it are promising. You can hear what Scott Voelker and Ty Rooney think about the feature and the other adjustments that Amazon is making to their platform all the time, on this episode.







OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:12] How you can get the transcripts from every episode.
  • [2:11] How Ty Rooney got started selling items online and what his business does now.
  • [6:20] How this episode came about: the backstory.
  • [7:17] The service Ty and Scott came up with to help folks with PPC.
  • [11:50] Why one bad review can hurt you.
  • [15:39] The importance of keeping on top of your PPC campaigns.
  • [17:08] What you can do to handle your PPC campaigns better.
  • [18:50] Step one: Create an auto campaign & 2 to 3 manual campaigns.
  • [21:40] Step two: Set your goals.
  • [24:10] Step three: Wait a week before you touch anything.
  • [25:01] Step four: Look at your results to determine which keywords are working best.
  • [28:45] When is it time to pause a PPC campaign?
  • [30:00] How PPC gives you real data on your actual sales and how you can use it.
  • [33:10] Step five: Keep digging in to refine your campaigns.
  • [40:00] The new “Bid Plus” feature on Amazon PPC.
  • [42:00] What Ty has created as a “done for you” service to manage your PPC.

 

www.TheAmazingSeller.com/manage - get on Ty’s list to try out his beta package.

 

www.TheAmazingSeller.com/PPC

 

www.TheAmazingSeller.com/119


www.JungleFlippers.com - sell or buy an Amazon private label company

Direct download: TAS164.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

You’re back! Welcome! We’re so glad to have you here for another episode of The Amazing Seller podcast. This is a Friday episode - an “Ask Scott” episode that answers your Amazon sales questions each week. If you want to get your questions answered, you can submit them for consideration by going to www.TheAmazingSeller.com/ask - and your question will be in the cue. So sit back, grab your pen and paper, and make sure you take good notes because you want to be sure you’re able to take action on what you learn!

 

Should I start Amazon sales with clothing as my first product?

 

Everyone needs clothes. There’s no doubt about that. But does a large demand for a product make it a good fit for you? Not necessarily. Clothing, for example, is a VERY saturated market. There are so many companies offering similar products that putting out a new product yourself will be an uphill battle at best. Besides that, there’s the issue of variations and sizing. It’s likely that clothing will be returned far more often than other items. Listen to Scott’s thoughts about whether you should choose clothing for a product line, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

 

I want to offer a product that is very similar to a patented product. Should I move ahead?

 

Patents are something you don’t want to play around with. The legal trouble you could get into is more than you are prepared to face - trust us. But it is important to understand exactly what a patent is and what it means if a product is patented. A patent says that “something” about a product is unique and that company has the rights to use that “something,” but not necessarily the entire product. The patent might cover a particular style of grip, for example. So you could offer a similar product, just not one with the same grip. Scott’s got some great insights on this episode so make sure you take the time to  hear what he’s got to say on this one.

 

I just learned about the Chinese New Year break. Is this going to keep me from getting my product restocked?

 

You heard right. New Year celebrations in China are a huge deal, so huge in fact that the working force typically takes off work for 2 weeks or more to celebrate. What does that mean for your inventory and product ordering? It means you’ve got to think ahead. You’ve got to plan ahead. You can use previous sales to estimate how many products you’ll need to last you through a time like Chinese new year, and you should. Scott tells his experience and approach to these kinds of inventory issues on this episode, so be sure to listen.

 

All these numbers: Barcodes, UPC, AISN - what are they and when do I need them?

 

Yes, there are lots of little codes and acronyms that you’ll have to learn if you’re going to do private label sales on Amazon. But once you know what each of them is and when they are used, it’s really not that hard. On this episode a listener asks Scott to explain all the codes and acronyms and in characteristic style, Scott gives a very thorough and helpful answer. You can learn this “newbie” issue too by listening to this podcast episode.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:42] Why Scott got goosebumps from one of his listeners who submitted a question on today’s show.
  • [1:51] How you can get your transcripts of Scott’s episodes.
  • [2:40] Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.
  • [4:10] QUESTION 1: A question about clothing as a product: dealing with varieties, returns, etc.
  • [11:41] QUESTION 2: A question about patents and the possibilities of violating patents.
  • [19:44] QUESTION 3: How does the Chinese New Year impact your inventory?
  • [26:48] QUESTION 4: What is the difference between a barcode, a FNSKU, and a ASIN?
Direct download: TAS163.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

 

Hey, hey! What’s up everybody! It’s wonderful to have you back on another episode of The Amazing Seller. On today’s show, Scott has invited his buddy, Chris Schaeffer to join him for a very special, first time experience. Scott and Chris are going to be doing what Scott’s come to refer to as a “hot seat.” They’re going to take a real product, sold by a real TAS community member, and are going to evaluate the strategies being used to sell the product. This is the same format Scott’s going to do at an upcoming live event in Denver, Colorado, so listen in to get a taste for how this event could benefit YOUR product sales.

 

The product is live, the listing is good, but it’s not selling very well.

 

Today’ Scott Voelker is doing a “hot seat” where he and Chris Schaeffer are evaluation a real  Amazon product to help increase sales. Ebony has submitted her product for evaluation because she’s got plenty of reviews, a good product listing, and can get to page 1 with PPC, but the minute she stops doing Pay Per Click campaigns, the product drops to page 3 or worse. What should she do? Scott and Chris have some very helpful insights for Ebony that are likely to help you do it right the first time, so be sure you take the time to listen.

 

Consider seasonal products a second time.

 

On this “hot seat” session of the Amazing Seller, Scott and his friend Chris Schaeffer are evaluating a product that isn’t selling very well in hopes that they can increase its ranking on Amazon and increase sales. As they look it over, it’s clear that this is a seasonal product, which is not entirely bad, but it’s also not a product you can expect to have consistent sales all year round, which would be very nice, wouldn’t you say? So when you’re thinking about selling a seasonal product, you might want to think again before you pull the trigger. Or, you may want to consider other products you could offer to fill in the gap during the down times.

 

Depth of market is the HUGE issue for most products that don’t sell as expected.

 

When Scott Voelker talks about product research, one of the terms you’ll hear him use over and over is “depth of market.” What does he mean? He’s talking about determining whether or not there is actually “room” in a particular product market for you to introduce another of the same type of thing and legitimately expect that you’ll be able to gain a significant foothold. If you don’t do your market research well and for a long enough period of time, you may be setting yourself up for frustration. On this episode Scott and his friend Chris Schaeffer give a good amount of time to the process of market research, so make sure you listen so you can understand how to do it the right way!

 

What kind of 2nd product should you offer?

 

Today’s “hot seat” participant has a product that isn’t selling as well as she’d hoped. One of the solutions to the issue may be to offer a second product to her offerings. That way she could either bundle it with her original product to offer a completely new product, or she could choose a product that offsets the down-time of her original product, which is seasonal. Scott’s got some good insights into how you should think about the process of choosing a second product, and he’s going to share it with you on this episode, so be sure to listen!

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OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:20] Scott’s first “Hot Seat” session, featuring a real Amazon seller and his friend,. Chris Schaeffer.
  • [2:21] How you can get in on Scott’s FREE live workshop.
  • [2:55] Introduction of Chris and Ebony, today’s participants.
  • [7:08] Ebony’s situation and product story.
  • [8:43] Chris’ first thoughts about Ebony’s approach: two things.
  • [9:20] Depth of market could be a problem.
  • [9:45] Seasonality could be an issue as well.
  • [10:44] The importance of the key product research tasks.
  • [14:50] Scott’s suggestion about adjusting the approach.
  • [15:35] Another approach from Chris regarding tweaking the PPC campaign.
  • [20:20] Why Chris would not give up on this product.
  • [24:04] What is the strategy to try to get the product to page #1?
  • [28:01] A good product, a great listing, and how to get more exposure.
  • [28:40] Choosing other products for your ideal customer to buy.
  • [32:10] How these hot seat events will work in a live setting (coming up).
  • [35:20] A new resource for you on every episode of the podcast!

RESOURCES MENTIONED

Direct download: TAS162.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

One of the things that makes for a better business is learning from people who are down that business path ahead of you. Scott loves to hear from people who have been doing Amazon private label sales for some time and one of those people he’s chatted with before is Greg Mercer, creator of Jungle Scout and Amazon seller himself. This conversation is a bit of an update to a previous episode (Episode 56), where Greg and Scott share their current tips about choosing products, launching, and the lessons they’ve learned over the years.

 

Greg Mercer’s criteria for good products to sell on Amazon

 

There are some common sense things you should be aware of when choosing products to sell on Amazon. Many people don’t think of these but would be hugely benefitted if they did. Here they are: Smaller products that weigh less than a pound - this keeps your shipping costs and fees lower. Nothing that can be easily broken in shipping or by use (that means electronics among other things). There’s really many more than we can cover in a short paragraph so be sure you take the time to listen to this value packed episode.

 

You’ve got to know how to research the depth of product markets to sell successfully.

 

You hear Scott talk about this issue quite often. It’s the role that depth of market plays in discovering if you have indeed found a true opportunity in a particular market. On this episode of the Amazing Seller Scott and his guest, Greg Mercer, go into quite a bit of detail about how each of them does market research, why it’s important, and the pitfalls you can avoid if you do this step the right way. Get ready to take some notes because these guys unpack it all the way!

 

Once you start ranking on Amazon you’ve got to keep your products near the top.

 

It’s one thing to enter a new market with your brand new product. It’s an exciting thing when you start to see your product sell. It’s even more exciting when you find your sales pushing your product toward the top of the search rankings. But how can you keep it there? That’s one of the many things Scott Voelker and Greg Mercer talk about on this episode of the Amazing Seller. They’re going to cover reviews, PPC (pay per click), and product sales, in depth. You won’t want to miss this one.

 

Jungle Scout: One of the best Amazon Private Label research tools out there!

 

When Scott first started selling on Amazon there was no software available to help with product and market research. He literally created a spreadsheet and tracked things day after day after day to find out what he needed to know. Now there are amazing software solutions that make that same research happen in seconds rather than months, and one of those is Jungle Scout, created by Greg Mercer. On this episode Greg unpacks the details of what Jungle Scout can do and how it works to help you optimize your product selection process - and he gives a discount on the software that listeners to this episode can get. Be sure you listen to find out how you can get that price break!

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:40] An upcoming resource Scott is creating out of this episode and how you can get it!
  • [2:38] Scott’s introduction of Greg Mercer.
  • [3:57] The 10 X 10 X 1 approach - a review… and Greg’s criteria for good products.
  • [5:30] Greg’s newer approaches to product selection.
  • [8:00] How products and accessories can go together beautifully.
  • [9:32] What does it mean when you say, “Depth of Market?”
  • [12:10] Things to watch out for when doing market research.
  • [15:17] Greg’s process when looking at his results in Jungle Scout.
  • [19:21] Assessing what type of sellers you’d be competing against.
  • [22:33] Greg’s current launch strategy for new products: more aggressive.
  • [24:41] How both guys do Pay Per Click for new products.
  • [27:12] The power of the new options in the Amazon pay per click engine.
  • [31:41] Diversifying products: How it makes you different from the competition.
  • [33:53] The issues to be aware of with more expensive products.
  • [35:00] Information about Jungle Scout - Greg’s product.
  • [43:70] Drilling into competitive niches with Jungle Scout.
  • [44:30] New features coming to Jungle Scout soon.
  • [46:53] Why Amazon private label is still a very good opportunity.
  • [47:10] Why the product research phase is truly critical to your success.
  • [50:40] Greg and Scott will be appearing in Miami together at an event.

 

LINKS MENTIONED

Direct download: TAS161.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This is the episode of the Amazing Seller podcast where you get to ask your own questions and Scott will respond! That’s what you’re going to hear on this episode… real Amazon sellers or potential private label sellers who are just like you, asking questions about the way forward into Amazon sales. Scott answers them honestly, from his experience and from what he’s learned relating to other successful Amazon sellers and running his own business. If you want to ask your own question, you can do that by going to www.TheAmazingSeller.com/ask

I’ve only got $1,000 to get started with. How would you stretch that money as far as possible if you were beginning again?

There are many ways you can get started with building your own business by selling on Amazon. Scott’s not so arrogant as to think that there’s only one answer to the question. But some of the things he recommends are these: retail arbitrage as a way in and a way to get started - and you can do it today! From there you could move toward finding lower priced products on Alibaba or Ali Express to head toward private label sales. In all of this there are a variety of things you can do to trim costs, so be sure you listen to this episode to get the full picture of what Scott advises.

My products are running out of stock. What should I do to address this?

It’s a great problem to have when your products are selling at such a rate that you’re running out of stock before you can get more products in from your supplier. What should you do? Well the first issue you need to look at is your price. Is it possible that your product is prices way too low for the market? In response to this question Scott’s not only going to share a smart way to start increasing your price to discover your ideal price point, he’s also going to give you some other strategies for managing your inventory and keeping products in stock at all times.

You used to use Feedback Genius but have switched to Salesbacker. Can you tell me why you switched and what the differences are?

This listener is correct. Scott used to use and promote Feedback Genius in the early days of his Amazon private label sales business, but he’s made the switch to a different piece of software, Salesbacker. On today’s episode a listener asks what the differences are between the two and why Scott made the switch. Scott’s answer has more detail than we can cover here (so you should listen to his response), but the main reason is that Salesbacker was created for specific use with Amazon private label sales. The features and functions are specifically designed to give sellers exactly what they need in a variety of ways. Check out Scott’s entire explanation on this episode. .

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

[0:25] Scott’s introduction to the podcast! [0:40] A voicemail Scott loves and wants to share to pump you up! [1:24] How you can submit your own questions [4:05] Proof that you can get started with a relatively low amount of cash. [5:43] QUESTION ONE: Is there any way to know the shipping costs ahead of time? I only have $1000 to play with, how can I stretch it as much as possible? [15:10] QUESTION TWO: How should I address the issue of running out of stock? [18:48] QUESTION THREE: Can you tell me the benefits between Feedback Genius and Salesbacker?

Direct download: TAS160.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Keywords are the tracks upon which your Amazon Sales engine runs. It’s how Amazon knows what you have to sell. It’s now customers find your products. It’s how you drive traffic through PPC and organic search. Knowing that, it should be clear how important keywords are to the product listings you place on the Amazon platform. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott is going to share 7 tips to find and use the best keywords for your product, and he’s also going to share some bonus tips for you regarding exactly what you should do with those keywords once you find them.

 

How would YOU search for your product?

 

Too often Amazon sellers forget that the reason keywords are important is because it’s the main things searchers use to find the products they are looking for. That means that the best way to approach keyword research is to get inside the heads of your ideal customer. What would THEY be searching for if they were looking for your product? You can start answering that question by asking YOURSELF what you’d search for if you were trying to find it. Then expand your question to your spouse, your friends, your coworkers. There’s no better way to find relevant search terms and keywords than to ask real live people. Get more great tips like this, on this episode.

 

Did you know that Amazon will GIVE you the keywords you should pursue?

 

Most people don’t think of it in those terms, but really, Amazon will give you its most searched keywords. How? Begin typing your primary keywords into the Amazon search field as if you were a customer searching for that product. You’ll notice that once you complete the word and hit the spacebar (like you were going to add another word), a list of search terms will be suggested to you. THOSE are additional keyword ideas that Amazon is telling you are commonly searched for surrounding your primary keyword. You’d be foolish not to use those in your PPC and listing optimization. Scott’s got lots more tips like this to share, on this episode.

 

Google search is still a great place to get keyword ideas.

 

When you search for anything on Google, you’ll notice two things if you pay attention. #1 - Google fills in your search box with suggestions as you search. Those suggestions are searches that other people have made using the same words you’re using. Write those down. #2 - Once you enter your search terms and hit “return,” you’ll notice that there is a list of “related” searches at the bottom of the first page. You should write those down as well. All of the things listed there are actual searches that have been done for the keywords you’re targeting. Take a few minutes to listen to this episode and learn even more simple ways you can find the keywords you need to include in your Amazon product listings and PPC campaigns.

 

Do you know HOW you should use the keywords you discover?

 

It’s one thing to find a bunch of great and unique keywords for your product. But do you know what to do with them once you have them? It’s not as simple as cramming your product title and listing full of them. There are certain ways to use them, particular places to put them that bring you the most bang for your buck. That’s what you want to do rather than waste the space you have on your listing with unneeded keywords. On this episode, Scott walks through some “bonus” tips about using keywords in the right places and at the right frequency. That section alone is worth the time it takes you to listen to this episode.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [2:03] Shout out to the TAS Facebook community.
  • [3:50] How would you search for your product?
  • [6:17] Looking at your competitor’s listings to see what they are using for keywords?
  • [8:32] Use Amazon’s suggested keyword suggestions.
  • [11:00] How to use Google search and Google’s keyword planner.
  • [15:14] Use Merchant Words software.
  • [17:29] Using Google Trends.
  • [19:57] You should use Simple Keyword Inspector
  • [22:31] Summary of the 7 tips.
  • [26:24] A few bonus tips from Scott’s experience.
  • [27:50] Basic ranking tips for using keywords/search terms.
  • [30:16] The importance of a well optimized listing.

 

LINKS MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE

Direct download: TAS159.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Many new private label sellers feel overwhelmed right from the start. There truly IS a lot to learn and a lot to do in order to build an Amazon sales business that truly thrives. For that reason, Scott wants you to know that the topic for this episode is one you DON’T have to do right away. This is for down the line, when you’re products are already on Amazon, your brand is already solid, and your sales are going well. THEN, you may want to consider building an authority website for your brand. What IS an authority website? You’ll learn all the details in answer to that question on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

  • [0:04] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [0:25] What IS an authority website and when should you consider building one?
  • [2:18] The TAS Breakthrough is SOLD OUT! Watch for future events!
  • [4:00] How Scott and Jon got connected with each other.
  • [5:08] Building a website for the sake of Amazon’s brand registry.
  • [6:16] What is Amazon’s brand registry?
  • [8:30] What it takes to build a website that’s professional enough for brand registry.
  • [11:52] The foundational strategy behind the website build.
  • [12:46] What is an authority website or blog and why do you want one?
  • [14:38] Transitioning a niche website into a channel for private label sales.
  • [18:21] The biggest downside to building an authority site first.
  • [18:53] Scott’s efforts to build an authority site around his private label products.
  • [19:54] The DIY approach to building an authority site - what’s needed?
  • [23:30] The benefits of an authority site in terms of email capture.
  • [24:13] Jon’s response from his own authority site’s email list.
  • [27:16] The importance of keyword research for your authority site.
  • [28:49] Best practices for writing blog articles.
  • [29:25] What are comparison keywords and how do they help?
  • [31:14] Promoting an authority site: What are the best ways to do it?
  • [33:27] Jon’s unique approach to creating a blog network.
  • [35:18] Reaching out to bloggers in your space.
  • [36:02] How Amazon products are listed in Google itself.
  • [37:00] Ensuring your keyword is in your Amazon product URL.
  • [40:45] The key to success is consistency and quality links.
  • [42:47] How Jon’s team works with Amazon sellers to create niche websites.
  • [44:20] The advantage an authority site brings to your desire to sell your Amazon business.
  • [46:29] How to connect with Jon’s business for help.
  • [48:00] When to begin aiming toward a website for your product.
  • [53:24] Scott’s summary of the episode.

 

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 

Direct download: TAS158.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

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