The Amazing Seller Podcast

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

Often, the bottleneck in growth and success is mindset.

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

Beliefs TIMES strategy and execution TIMES time = results

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

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

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

Association and input determine what you believe is possible

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it harder to get started on Amazon today?

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can I discourage others from copying my product?

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

Does driving traffic to my Amazon listing help my ranking?

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

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

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

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

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

What’s the best way to create product giveaways?

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

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

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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

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