This episode of The Amazing Seller has been brewing for some time. It’s a response to some of the most frequent myths Scott hears during the Q&A of his private label workshops (they’re free, by the way). Today Scott is not only going to tell you what these common myths are, but also WHY they are myths and what you can do to make sure that none of them happen to you. It’s a practical episode with lots of great resources you can use today to make your private label business more successful.
MYTH: Amazon is too saturated to get new products to take off.
It’s true that there are more products appearing on Amazon every single day. But it’s also true that more people are shopping on Amazon every day. The ratios of each are not the same by any stretch, but it’s clear that Amazon is still a vibrant place for businesses to be built and profit to be made. Scott’s got some very strong opinions on why people think Amazon is too saturated, and it has a lot to do with what they’re expecting as they begin to build their business. Hear the entire response to this myth, on this episode.
MYTH: It takes a lot of money to start an Amazon business?
If you had a lot of money to get started on an Amazon private label business, sure, you’d be in much better shape from the beginning. But that’s the case with any business venture. This myth is actually very foolish because it’s very easy to get started on Amazon with little to no money. In fact, Scott’s going to put you onto a case study that demonstrates that to be true. Be sure you listen to hear how Scott blows this myth right out of the water!
MYTH: The flop of a first product means Amazon private label doesn’t work.
Any product idea can flop the first time and there are a number of reasons for it. Sometimes the person didn’t follow the best practices for getting a product launched. In other words, they tried to shortcut the process. Other times the person didn’t research the depth of the market well enough to ensure that their attempts had a good chance of success. As a result, they moved into a market that was too crowded for them to get a foothold. And there are more reasons products flop on the first try, but none of that means that Amazon doesn’t work. Be sure to listen to Scott’s product launching advice so you don’t become one of the statistics.
MYTH: Amazon PPC (pay per click) is too complicated and ineffective.
It’s true that Amazon PPC is a bit complicated. But it’s not so terrible that you can’t learn it. It only takes time and experimentation to figure it out, and Scott’s confident that anyone can do it. Once you understand the system and are able to begin using it, you’ll find it to be extremely effective in helping you gain sales, which translate into a higher ranking for your product, and in turn, more organic sales coming to your listing. Find out how Scott destroys this myth, on this episode of the podcast.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:25] Scott’s introduction to this podcast episode!
- [0:50] How you can register for one of Scott’s free workshops to get a product up and running.
- [1:50] Amazon is too saturated. When is it true and when is it not?
- [6:27] It takes a lot of money to start an Amazon business. True or not?
- [10:31] Are review groups against the Amazon terms of service?
- [14:01] Does a first product launch flop mean that Amazon doesn’t work?
- [17:01] Is Amazon Pay Per Click too complicated and not profitable.
- [22:33] Summary of these myths.
- [24:55] Some helpful reminders about going back to the basics.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 168
TAS 168 : 5 Amazon Business Myths That Have People Confused
[00:00:03] SV: Hey, hey what’s up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller podcast, this is episode number 168. Today we’re going to be talking about five Amazon business myths that have people confused and I know this because, well, I get a lot of questions on the workshop especially at the end when we do the live Q&A and I get a lot of people that ask these questions. I want to go over them today and demystify these…
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…debunk them if you will. I just want to give you my thoughts on it because they are roadblocks and in a lot of cases people don’t get started or they get frustrated and give up because they either believe this or they’ve run into this they are their beliefs when I just want to, again, I want to try to get people that are at that point over these hurdles. All right.
Now, before we jump in let me just remind you that I do a live workshop, like I just mentioned, I do live Q&A on these workshops but I also cover the five phases for picking a product, for sourcing a product, for launching and promoting, everything in between we cover it on a live workshop. I would like to invite you to that if you haven’t attended one or even if you have and you want to come back and attend another one, you’re more than welcome too. You can register for an upcoming one by heading over to theamazingseller.com/workshop, once again that’s theamazingseller.com/workshop. Again, I cover everything, start to finish as far as getting a product up and running on Amazon and we do live Q&A. Again, that’s where these questions kind of came from so I want to address them here and break them down and talk about each one and also give you some resources to help you through these if you are struggling with these. All right, let’s go ahead and let’s jump in, what do you say?
[00:01:53] SV: Number one, the number one thing, and these aren't in really order of like the number one, the top thing, this is a big one though, I hear this a lot. Number one is, “Amazon is saturated with sellers and there’s no room for me or new products.” Now, you may have asked yourself this and you may think this. I’m here to tell you that my personal opinion, again this is my opinion, I don’t believe that’s true. I think that there is as lot of opportunities still out there, not to mention Amazon is growing like crazy. The last I checked there was over 244 million active customers there and that’s just a great opportunity of any of us. Right.
It’s a great opportunity because they’re buyers and I can’t say this enough guys. There is buyers there with credit cards on file. In order to have an Amazon account, guess what? You have to have an Amazon, well not an Amazon … You have to have a credit card. I use an Amazon card. If you guys are not using an Amazon card yet you really need to, I love it. I’m not an affiliate for them or nothing but I just use it, I love it, I get points. If I buy on Amazon I believe I get triple points, I buy my gas, my groceries, everything, it’s just a great thing. You can even buy product you’re sourcing, if you’re sourcing product you can use it and then get points.
But anyway, I’m not talking about that. What I’m saying is people that have an Amazon account they have to have a credit card on file so they can buy stuff, one click, add the card and you can check out without even hardly doing anything. Right. You don't have to enter your credit card information. When people say that it’s too saturated, there’s already sellers, we’ve already exposed this opportunity and now it’s just over with, I believe that that’s wrong. I think that you can start the same way you could start when it first was known that you could use this model. Right.
Now, is there different challenges? Yeah, of course, any time that more come into a market there should be more competition but I think the more competition also helps us to really start thinking outside the box and then maybe do things a little bit differently, maybe creating more of a unique product, maybe better packaging, maybe better customer service, maybe that stuff. But a lot of people they, just want the quick and easy. Right. “Well, I heard that you can just take a product and launch it and set it up there and all of a sudden sales are going to start flooding in.”
Well, that doesn’t really happen like that anymore. Yeah, you might get lucky every now and then and I don’t like to use the word luck that much but you may go ahead and decide let’s roll out a product and it just takes off. That may happen. But most of the time that’s not going to happen like that and you got to put work into it and it’s possible but people out there are still saying, “Well, it’s too saturated.” Yeah, it’s saturated for people that just want to throw up a product and just say, “I’m going to sell the same thing that everyone else is selling and then I’m going to get sales.” Yeah, you’re right. the long term vision for this, and kind of the way that I’m using Amazon and I’ve, right from the beginning, I was testing Amazon to test to see if products were selling but then from there I’ve always had the vision of once we validate, once we verify then yes, we want to start building out our brand not just on Amazon but off of Amazon which we’re not going to go into that.
I do not believe that Amazon is so saturated right now with private label sellers that there’s no room for anyone else. I think that’s an excuse. I think it’s people wanting to be lazy and saying, “Well, you know what it’s just not easy.” Well, it’s not, nothing is easy, it takes work. Yes, there’s more sellers but do I believe that it’s saturated? I say no, so I believe that that’s a myth. All right. I think that it’s a myth and I think it’s an excuse sometimes for people to say I’m not going to give it a try, I’ll try something else that, technically, and I’m going to put the air quotes up, is easy. There’s a silver bullet out there and I’m going to go find it. Right. That’s not it. So number one, Amazon is saturated with sellers and there’s no room for me and new products, I say that’s a myth.
[00:05:54] SV: Number two, again guys, I’m sorry if I’m ranting here a little bit but … And I know if I was on Periscope right now people would say, “Rant baby, rant!” but I get into this because I get excited about it because … Excited in a hippy kind of way, I guess, or excited kind of way is because I do know that there’s still opportunity there. It’s just if you’re looking for easy way, anyone looking for an easy way and then it’s not there and then they say it doesn’t work that’s just kind of frustrates me because I do believe that there’s a ton of opportunity there. Anyway, little disclaimer there.
Number two, moving on, Scott move on, will you please? Number two, you need to have a lot of money to start. Okay. Now, I believe and I know this because there’s people that I’ve interviewed and there’s people that have emailed me that they haven’t had that much to start. Now, here’s the thing, if you think that it cost a lot of money to start, why don’t you just go ahead and go into Target, go into a big box store and go to the closeout rack, pick up something there that you think would sell on Amazon or take and look at in on Amazon and see if it’s a popular product and then from there go ahead and launch that one product. Let’s say it cost you 30 dollars to get five units of something and you could sell them each for 20 bucks or whatever, you could start like that. Right.
Now is that private labeling? No but it means you can start. Right. You can start the process, you can learn the process. Right. Do you think that everyone just starts with five grand and says, “I can start this thing with five or 10 grand?” No, that’s not the case. I have someone here I want to introduce you to if you haven’t already heard of her. Her name is Amber and I interviewed her on the podcast episode 140 and I want you to listen to that episode after you get done with this episode if you haven’t listened to that already because it’s a great story. It’s someone that started just like that, she did not … Well, number one, she didn’t know about this until her cousin was talking about it at a Christmas party and she thought he was doing something weird and she’s like, “What’s he up to now?” kind of thing. Then she started listening and started becoming interested in it because he was selling stuff.
She didn’t have a ton of money so she said, “You know what I’m going to do is I’m going try this retail arbitrage thing and I’m going to try to raise up some money.” I think she raised, I don’t know, maybe a thousand or twelve hundred bucks, actually you got to go back and listen to that episode to know the exact number but I know it wasn’t that much and I know that she saved up the money. Then when she saved up the money while she was doing the retail arbitrage she was doing research and she was finding the product that she wanted to potentially launch and then she got up enough money to place her first order. Then she did that and well, fast forward, in the fourth quarter of this past year she was doing over 150 to 175 units a day on that item, which by the way, I need to know, she was following my ten by ten by one strategy which turned into a lot more than that by doing this but she started. Right.
There’s something I’ve been doing on Periscope too. I’ve been doing #juststart because a lot of people, they get stuck because they think of these things as, “I can’t do this until I do this,” or, “I don’t have enough money to get started so I’m going to wait.” You know what? You can start today with 50 bucks by going into Target or any big box store and finding a closeout that they’re trying to get rid of because the next season’s coming in and they want to offload these set 80% off. Right. You can do that today, there’s nothing stopping you from that. If you don’t have 50 bucks then go work for someone for five hours and make 50 bucks or whatever, whatever it’s got to take. Right.
That’s what it takes to get started, it’s just excuses is what we’re really … All of us, I’m not just pointing fingers, I’ve done that myself in the past but I know a lot of people that they just keep saying, “Well, when I do this I’ll do and when I do this I’ll get this.” The thing is sometimes that never happens so you got to find a way to get there. The excuse or the myth that you need to have a lot of money to start, I say that is a myth because you could start today with barely any money, to at least get started and start learning the system. Again, Amber is a perfect example of that and I would urge you to listen to that if you have any doubts or any questions, and listen to how she did it. All right. Again, that’s episode 140. All right. Let’s move on.
[00:10:30] SV: Number three is using review groups are against terms of service. My answer is no they’re really not unless they are allowing you to buy reviews, then yes they would be against the terms of service. But a review group … This is what a review group is for those who that don’t know or an email list or anything that allows people to connect to sellers that want to give product away at a steep discount in order for that person to test and try the product and then give you unbiased review on the listing, that’s the right way.
Now, if we’re talking of yes, review groups that are black hat, that are saying like we’ve got a hundred accounts that are fictitious accounts that are set up so that way there we could just give a review on a product that we haven’t even tried or tested. That is against the terms of service 100% and there was just a huge case about that with fiverr.com and all of that. But going after people that are looking for reviews, people that have raised their hands to be in a review group, that said I would love to test Amazon products or products in general and I would love to give my unbiased review for that at a discount, yes I would do it. You guys can’t see me but I’m raising my hand, yes, me, I want to review products, yes.
It’s kind of like you’re going into the supermarket and you see that little cart that they have out there with someone behind it who says, “Would you like to try some of our new cheese? And if you could do us a favor in fill up this survey that would be amazing.” Well, what do you think they’re doing? It’s the same thing. Right. Yes, are there ways that are against the terms and service that review groups are being used? Yes, there are, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Don’t think that, “Wow, I just heard in a forum that a bunch of people got all of their reviews wiped out or 50% of them.” Well, they probably either, A, went to a review group that had some of these fictitious names and they had a bunch of complains and then anyone that was in that group all their accounts got deleted so then all the reviews that they posted got deleted. That’s one way.
The other way is if you don’t have the ‘I received this at a discount for my unbiased review’, if that’s not in there that could get that review deleted because those are against the terms of service and Amazon is cracking down on them. Now, I would also recommend checking out episode 167, that is theamazingseller.com/167 and that’s where I talked to Danny Brewer all about this topic in depth. We talked for a while, we went back and forth at different topics as far as different discussion points during a launch or after if you’re just doing a BSR boost or if you’re doing one for just reviews.
We talk all about that in that episode so I would recommend going and checking out that episode if you are the one listening right now saying like, “I thought that review groups are bad”. Well, yes there are some out there that are bad but we give you some things to look out for and what would be some of these preventative things to help you stay on the up and up. Again, that’s number three, using review groups are against terms of service and to me the answer to that is, “No, they’re not.” There are some out there but if you play by the rules you’ll be fine and Amazon is okay with that. Let’s move on.
[00:14:01] SV: Number four, my first product flopped, this doesn’t work. You may have had that happen or you may have heard someone happen to or if you haven’t I’m telling you right now that people have had products launch that flopped. I had a product, my product number two that you could say flopped where it’s only doing about two units a day. That was my mistake. That was my bad, I didn’t do my research as good as I do it now and I’ve learned from that since then. Now if that was my first product would I have thought the same thing? Yeah, I probably would have thought maybe this thing doesn’t work but then I would have went back and try to retrace my steps. What did I do that I could have done better? What could I have done that would have prevented this from happening? Where did I go wrong
What happened there, just to let you know, and I’ve said this before but maybe if you haven’t heard me talk about it, maybe you are new, I didn’t look at the depth of the market that well, I didn’t look at the demand. Right. The other problem with this too is a lot times is if you’re looking at a market that is seasonal, that’ll happen. Maybe you think that the product flopped but then in fourth quarter it’s going to bump right back up again so you just don’t know.
I’ve heard people say that, “Scott I launched a product, I did everything, I went through the process, it just didn’t work.” It usually has to do with the product research stage and that you didn’t properly do the research. It’s either too many sellers in there and it’s too competitive. Now for you to get there you have to really be aggressive on your promotions and on your pay-per-click and all that stuff or you maybe went into a market that was really good in the fourth quarter, let’s say, and then the sales dropped off because fourth quarter was really it’s peak and then after that it’s just going to go really steady and slow but yet you’ve got 12 people on page one that are competing for all of the people that are looking for that, so then divide it up amongst 12 sellers there’s only like maybe 50 sales a month. Right.
So you didn’t look at the seasonality, you didn’t look at the depth, you didn’t look at the demand, you didn’t do the right amount of back research that you should have done. Go into Google Trends, look at that, that’ll tell you. If you want to check out an episode where I do go into this, that is episode 134. On that one there I went over seven reasons why products flop and don’t make it on Amazon and I cover those in that episode. Definitely check that out if you’re concerned with that or if you’ve had those questions or maybe that’s happened to you, go ahead and definitely check out that episode.
Also guys, I'll have all the show notes for all of these here, I’ll have links going to these episodes if you want to go over there. I’ll also have transcripts for this that you can download. You can head over to this episode in particular so you don’t have to remember all of those different links. That will be at theamazingseller.com/168, again that’s theamazingseller.com/168. All right.
[00:16:59] SV: Moving on, let’s go to number five. Number five is, “Amazon pay-per-click is too complicated and not profitable.” Well, there’s a couple of different things there. First off I hear people that say, “It’s just too complicated, I can’t use it.” Well, I say that it’s not that complicated and take it from someone that never went to college. I don’t consider myself like the brightest bulb but I do have common sense and I can figure things out and if you apply yourself I do believe that you can figure it out and if you keep it simple, you don’t have to overcomplicate it.
Again, that’s something that I see a lot of people doing guys, is they overcomplicate the process. They’re trying to do it all versus just starting and then working in small steps to each different section of that particular area that they are working in. Example, if you’re going to be setting up your Amazon pay-per-click, the very first thing that you’re going to do is set up an auto campaign, the very first thing that you’re going to do. Then let the data tell you what to do next, that’s my strategy, that’s how I move forward. Yes, I’ll probably throw a manual campaign together, right off the back of the top five or 10 keywords that I know are the main keywords because I’ve looked at my competition, I’ve done on some research on my keywords and those are the ones that I know are pretty popular.
Then I’m going to let the data start to dictate what I do next. All right. Again, I've another episode that I did with Chris Schieffer on this and that was episode 119, where I share, him and I both share how to use the new Amazon pay-per-click to receive more sales. We give a step by step plan in that and if you want to check that out go over to episode 119. Again, that’s theamazingseller.com/119 or just go to the show notes to this page, everything will be there for you, linked up, so you can just go ahead and go right to that episode.
Again, people over complicate it. In that episode in 119, him and I discuss, we really give like three campaigns to start with and then how to break those down. Then also the new features that Amazon recently rolled out to make it even more powerful and that is your broad search, you have your phrase search and then you have your exact search and you also have negative keywords now. Again, you don’t have to really think about that stuff right off the bat. The very first thing you’re going to do is just run broad campaign so you can start pulling in the data because Amazon is going to give you all that data and once they start giving you that data that’s when they can go ahead and really … You can go ahead and start seeing what you want to focus on.
What the data’s telling you is that you need to start focusing on these certain keywords or maybe you then want to take those keywords and start running them into a phrase match because they’re becoming more concentrated. Again, not to over complicate it, but you want to look and see the ones that are getting the impressions, getting the clicks and getting the sales. People saying that it’s not profitable, well it’s not profitable because you’re probably running keywords too long before you end up pausing them and understanding that those that are doing poor are also contributing to your not being profitable.
The other thing that I should mention is people also look at that in itself as if it’s profitable. For an example, if you’re looking at just the data there and saying, “I spent $10 and I made $10.” That’s not really good, that’s like, not even a break even because you charge $10 but you didn’t make $10 so you lost some money there but let’s say that you did that in … Again, that’s a very, very small example but if you did that let’s say on a larger scale, you did that over time, let’s say you did that over a month, 30 days, what you might not realize is because you’re running traffic to those keywords and those keywords are converting, at least they’re converting, they might only be breaking even or even losing a little bit of money. What that’s starting to do is it’s starting to allow you to rank for those keywords.
Now when you start to show up organically for those keywords it was because you drove traffic to those keywords in pay-per-click in the first place. That’s what people don’t look at either, they look at the profitability inside of the Amazon pay-per-click platform but they don’t look at it as a whole. You have to be able to do that because if you start ranking organically for keywords, especially the ones that you are paying for, well then you start getting, let’s say, 10 sales a day because now you’re ranking on page one but because you ran the pay-per-click and that helped you get to page one.
I hope you can follow that. The profitability doesn’t just come from the Amazon pay-per-click campaigns that you’re running, it comes from the organic and the organic is really where it matters the most because you’re going to get more sale organically if you’re on page one, if you have a product that you’ve done the research and you have the demand and you know that if you get to page one you’re going to start getting some sales, then you’ll be willing to sacrifice some of that profit on the pay-per-click side because you know it’s going to drive sales to the organic side.
Just wanted to really, really make that clear and that’s how I look at it. If my campaigns aren’t 100% profitable, especially in the beginning, I’m okay with that. Am I able to get myself to rank for those keywords and can pay-per-click help me do that? In most cases it can. All right.
[00:22:32] SV: Let’s go ahead and go through these five myths really quick again and I’m just going to read through these and then I have two additional things that I want to talk about. Number one, Amazon is saturated with sellers and there’s no room for me or new products. I believe that that’s a myth and I think that you just need to be a little bit more creative. Yes, you need to do a little bit more work because yeah, there’s more sellers, there’s more competition and that’s okay.
Moving on to number two, you need to have a lot of money to start. I think you heard me say that you can start with very little money. If you want to do retail arb to get started, yes it’s not private labeling but you can work yourself to that if you’re on a limited budget. Again, I shared Amber with you, who started with almost nothing and then did retail arbitrage, built that up to a $1000 so she can invest in her first private label product and then the rest is history. Again, that’s on the episode that I’m going to share with you in the show notes.
Number three, using review groups are against terms of service. Again, I want to go back to episode I just did with Danny Brewer and we talk all about this. Yes there are review groups out there that are on the shady side and they’re out her where you can buy reviews and I’m not saying that, I don’t think anyone should do that, but there are a lot of good review groups out there as well and it is part of the process. Like I said, Amazon is okay with it as long as you are disclosing that you or that they received it at a discount for an unbiased review.
Number four, my first product flopped, this doesn’t work. Well again, I have a podcast that I did on this exact thing with seven reasons why products flop and don’t make it on Amazon. A lot of the times the reason is the product research right in the beginning. Then from there sometimes it goes into where it’s just not marketed properly and it’s not giving enough attention, enough love to allow it to get legs. Again, that there I talk about in episode 134.
Then number five is Amazon pay-per-click is too complicated and it’s not profitable. Again, I just covered that, episode 119 goes through a really good strategy to start with especially. Again just following the data, seeing what the data says to do next and then also understanding that the profitability doesn’t just … It’s just not inside of the Amazon pay-per-click, it’s also in the organic so you need to look at both of those numbers.
Before we wrap up here, I wanted to kind of just remind you because a lot of these things that I just went over has to do with the basics. Whether you’re picking a product, whether you’re launching, whether you’re running pay-per-click, just go back to basics, follow the basic launch process. I’ve laid it all out for you, nothing has really changed and I want to give you the two resources that I said I wanted to give you were two podcast episodes that I recorded. I did that because I wanted to share with you this process, from start to finish.
Now, episode 101 is an episode and I called it the updated launch process to where I give you what I’ve changed, which isn’t much and what I’m doing now and this way here you can follow that and see how it all goes together. If you’re brand new or if you’re struggling, you might want to go back and check that one out, that is episode 101 and again I’m going to leave these in the show notes.
The other thing I want to leave you with is another podcast episode I did with Jamie V and it was a really, really popular episode because we broke it down step by step, how he went with nothing, no product, no idea and how he went through the daily touch list, how I recommended to do and how he went through the product research and how he launched and all that stuff and now how he’s doing over $10,000 per month and that was actually when we did that episode which was all the way back on 114. He’s doing more now because he’s launched additional products. But he did that in 30 days from when he launched and it’s all shared in that episode.
It's a great episode to give you the play by play, if you will, so I want to share that link with you as well. If you head over to this page, the show notes page, you’ll have all of these links there for you and you could also download the transcripts as well. That is episode 168 so head over to theamazingseller.com/168, once again, theamazingseller.com/168. Again, there’s a lot of links that I’m including here that go back to other episodes because they address these certain concerns and these certain myths and this way here you can hear how to get through them and that’s what I wanted to do in this episode.
That’s it guys, that‘s going to wrap it up. Once again I want to say thank you so much for taking time out of your day to listen to the podcast. I know there’s a lot of choices out there and I am very, very honored that you’ve picked mine and hopefully that you’ve gotten a lot of value from this episode today as well. Just remember that I’m here for you and I believe in you and I’m rooting for you, but you have to, you have to do something for me, and what is that? Let’s say it together, let’s say it loud and let’s say it proud, take action. Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you on the next episode.
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LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/workshop – get in on the free private label workshop.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/140 – Hear Amber’s story about starting small.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/167 – Episode with Danny Brewer about review groups
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/134 – Episode on why products flop.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/119 – How to use Amazon PPC the right way.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/101 – Scott’s updated launch process for products.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/114 – Episode of Jaime’s step by step process from square one.
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