The Amazing Seller Podcast

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

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