The Amazing Seller Podcast

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

What does it mean to liquidate your products?

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

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

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

Is retail arbitrage success still possible on Amazon?

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

Do you know about the Amazon Giveaways feature?

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

Can Amazon re-sell your products they have damaged?

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

Is there such a thing as automated product discount codes?

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Private Label sales on Amazon are far from over.

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying an existing business can be a very good investment.

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

Private Label will never die. Here’s why.

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

Should I switch my product into a different market?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why did Amazon make its change to the review policies?

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

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

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

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

How content overload can lead to content paralysis.

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

The impact of variations in product sales.

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

Why an email list is your most valuable asset.

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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


 

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

 

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

 

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

 

There are reasons people fail at Amazon private label sales.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

 

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

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 

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

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