TAS 502 Ask Scott #156 – Finding Face of Brand – Incentivized Reviews – Issues Using FBM vs FBA

Are you fired up and ready to advance your ecommerce business? What are some of the issues that are holding you back from reaching your full potential? Chances are you’ll hear something on this session of Ask Scott that will help you get headed in the right direction. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he shares his thought of the week and provides answers to questions from TAS followers like you. You’ll also hear how you can participate in a recent TAS contest and get an update about the new Product Discovery Bootcamp. Don’t miss this engaging episode!

Good customer service can make all the difference.

When was the last time you received really good customer service? What made it stand out to you? How much more likely are you to give that company your business in light of your experience? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he shares one his weekly thoughts on customer service. While you may never get a chance to meet your customers face to face, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a positive impact on them. Consider personalizing you're follow up emails and making them less formal. Go out of your way to make a connection and show that you care. Learn more about this important topic from Scott on this episode!

Why your brand needs a spokesperson.

Are you more or less likely to buy from a brand that makes an effort to engage with you? Seriously! Sure, some brands can be over the top and cheesy but the ones that get it make an effort to support their customer community. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott shares why he is convinced that brands have a greater chance to succeed when they have a spokesperson. You may not feel like you could pull off being the spokesperson for your brand, that’s fine! But you would be wise to take the time and connect with a social media influencer or someone you know who would be willing to partner with you and serve in that capacity. Hear more about this subject by listening to this episode!

Compensation for product reviews.

With all the recent changes at Amazon regarding reviews and how they are solicited, is it wise to provide compensation for product reviews? Is there a better way to boost your chances for reviews? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott provides his opinion on giving reviewers compensation for their product reviews. Now that Amazon has cracked down on how reviews work and who posts reviews, Scott says that it’s best to avoid any forms of compensation in exchange for reviews of your product. If you want to share a group code in a group, that’s fine as long as the group isn’t said to be a review group. Get more info on reviews and the best way to get them for your product by listening to this informative episode!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [2:30] How to enter to win a TAS contest.
  • [5:00] The power of personality customer service.
  • [11:30] Why building your own email list is so important.
  • [15:30] Scott gives an update on the Product Discover Bootcamp.
  • [17:50] Question #1: What does it take to find a face for your brand?
  • [25:00] Question #2: Can I compensate someone for a review?
  • [30:15] Question #3: Is it a good idea to move from FBA to FBM?
  • [37:00] Closing thoughts from Scott.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 502

TAS 502: Ask Scott #156 – Finding Face of Brand – Incentivized Reviews – Issues Using FBM vs FBA

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 502 and session number 156 of Ask Scott. This is where I…

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…answer your questions here on the podcast and I do it every single week, every single Friday and today we are going to do it again and I am just fired up to be here with you guys today and I really want to kick off your weekend so you guys can get a little energy and get fired up and go out there and attack whatever it is that you're working on in a nice way, in a good way, in a positive way. But I want you to go out there and get in the game and just start getting those results.

You got to get out there and do something and take action. That's what this will hopefully do for you. It's give you a little boost. But anyway, so what we're going to be talking about today… I'll give you kind of like a little heads up of what we're going to be talking about and then I got a couple of thoughts I want to share with you, a couple of reminders. A lot of cool stuff happening here. But today we're going to be talking about finding a face to your brand or for your brand. We're going to be talking about the incentivized reviews debate and we're also going to be talking about using FBM versus FBA. We're going to be discussing that. Before we jump into those questions like I said I had a couple of things that I wanted to talk about.

Number one, first before I do get started if you want to ask your own question and have it aired on an upcoming Ask Scott session just head over to theamazingseller.com/ask. Just leave your first name, where you're tuning in from maybe. That'd be nice and then just a brief question and I'll do my best to answer it. Just like these three questions I'm going to answer today. Now I did want to… Well, number one I wanted to remind everyone if you missed episode 500 definitely, definitely, definitely go check that one out because we did a little celebration there. I actually had a special guest on the first ten minutes of that episode.

[00:02:01] Scott: I'm not going to tell you who it is yet. But you'll know. Pretty excited to share her with you. You might want to go check that if you haven't heard. It was pretty cool. But we also announced that we were going to be doing a little give away. I'm going to be giving away three prizes actually about $2,000, actually a little over $2,000 in value. Probably closer to $3,000 now that I think about it. But if you missed that I'm going to give you a little update here. What we're doing is we are going to be, again celebrating the 500th episode which is crazy. Over 10 million downloads.

What I want to do is I want to give away a scholarship to our private label classroom which is a $1,500 scholarship. We're going to do that. The other thing we're going to do is give away a 30 minute coaching call with me to one winner. Now, there's going to be two additional winners and what that will be kind of runner ups… Actually one each, a 30 minute coaching call with myself and we will jump on there. Actually I'll get Chris Shaffer to jump on them as well so you will have both of us. So again, all you have to do to enter to celebrate with us is head over to theamazingseller.com/coffee of course you guys know how much I love coffee.

But that will direct you to a YouTube video where I'll explain exactly what you need to do. It's going to be short and sweet. Here's all you have to do. I'll tell you right now. You can go watch if you want to or you can go do what I'm going to tell you here. Number one, go to that link, and then leave a comment. Number one, how long have you been a listener of the show and then number two what is the one thing you've learned so far since listening. That's it. Just drop a comment in that video and while you're there, if you won't mind go ahead and subscribe to the channel to The Amazing Seller channel on YouTube. That would be amazing. I would love to see you over there and you'd also get all the notifications when we post free training and stuff like that over there.

[00:04:04] Scott: But we're going to be doing again, three prizes. So three winners are going to walk away here. One grand prize is private label classroom and then also a 30 minute coaching call and then two runner ups will each receive a 30 minute coaching call with myself and I'm going to probably twist Chris's arm and he's going to get in there with me so you get both of us. So anyway, that's the one little reminder here I wanted to give you. Now, let's talk quickly before we jump into those questions about what's been swirling around in my mind this week and how we can apply this thing here that I'm going to talk about right here. It's how we can apply it to our own business. I'm calling this the power of personality and customer service.

I'm going to share with you a story that recently at a restaurant that I frequently dine and because we love it but we also love it because of the experience. Not just the food. Barbecue food down here or up here depending on where you're from is a big thing. I'm from Upstate New York originally and now I live in South Carolina close to North Carolina. Not that far from Charlotte but barbecue food is pretty popular here. So I like barbecue food too. So I'm going to try to get into the locals here or get in with them and start experiencing this barbecue. So we've going to this place called Midwood Tavern.

Midwood Tavern. If you ever are in Charlotte area, they have one there check it out and ask for Matt. By the way he doesn't know who I am. He knows who I am but he doesn't know I am a podcaster and stuff. He doesn't know I have a bunch of listeners but if you ever go there ask for Matt. He's a great guy and I've been having him as my waiter on and off for probably the past four to five months. And every single time I go in there, I look for him because he is just awesome. He's upbeat, he enjoys what he is doing, he represents their company very well.

[00:06:01] Scott: He's knowledgeable about the menu. He makes us feel as though he wants us to have a great experience plus he sprinkles in a little humor. He shares a little bit what's going in his life, his nephews, his nieces all that stuff. The reason why I'm sharing this with you is because when we go in there we look for him. Now, Midwood Tavern is its own business but they have him representing the business in a sense. They also have people that greet us which they are fantastic. One of the managers always comes around and asks everyone how was everything. If something is right he wants to make it right. They do these extra steps that to me your food has to be good yes but to add all this other stuff makes me want to go back again and again and again.

It's funny my wife just made reservations the other night and she said, “Can we have Matt?” And they said, “Sure as long as you're willing to sit in a high top, that's where he's going to be working tonight then fine.” We said, “Yeah, absolutely.” We went there and the lady that's sitting us, the greeter I guess, the hostess, she says, “You wanted Matt?” We're like, “Yeah.” And they are like, “God help you.” Or something like that, just making fun because they have that relationship with all of the workers there and they were kind or bursting him a little bit.

Long story short is we go back there because of the service not just because of the food. The food is great but we also go back there because of the experience. Now why am I telling you this? Because I want you to treat each customer, each transaction as though it is a person because it is. See, we get into this online space where we don't realize there's people on the other side of the sale or in this case, you guys are listening. You're listening maybe in your ear buds or maybe you're on a speaker or maybe you're broadcasting me to your workers in a warehouse which I know there's a lot of people that do that.

[00:08:03] Scott: So if that's you, like I'm connecting with you and I want you to think about how you can do that with your customers because everyone is just after getting the sale, getting the sale. They are not after what happens after the sale. That to me is where you can be different in any business that you operate. Any business that you operate you can be different by just giving them that extra touch. Now, how can you do this online. I'm going to give you a few things. Number one way to do this is follow up through your follow up sequence which you should have something.

If not, you should have someone dedicated to go through all your sales and follow up with each customer. That email does not have to be a sale email or sales email. It has to be just an email that touches them that lets them know you're there. You don't want it to be corporate. You don't want it to be here, this is a customer survey that we're going to do immediately after. No. Just ask them how everything was. Just try to get in their head and see if there's anything that was not good in their experience and you're going to learn through that as well because some things they're going to tell you what you don't want to hear maybe. That will help you make a better business and a better experience for them.

So many people think to themselves I got to come out with like the next best thing and yes you want to make your products better and unique and all that stuff and quality but a lot of people drop the ball in this part of the process. Now, I use SalesBacker to help me with this. I wrote up three emails. Those are not emails that are saying like leave me a review, leave me a feedback, leave me a review. Not that. That's not what it is. Now I do sprinkle that in but not like that. I would be more or less be like, “Hey, I noticed that you just received your stainless steel garlic press.

[00:10:00] Scott: I would love to know if there's anything else I can help you with and I want to make sure that everything was received as you had hoped. That's basically it. If not, contact me.” Then put your name or your customer representative's name. Don't use like ‘Head of Customer service' or anything like that. People don't care about that. They care that they are talking with a person. I know myself even if I call like my credit card company and I get someone that I know is just like someone that's in a call center I can hear all the noise in the background versus someone that I call and it feels as though that person is genuinely talking to me. I've had people that have said to me, “How's the weather there today?”

They will ask, “So where are you from.” “I'm from South Carolina.” “Oh so how's the weather there today?” Just small talk, little stuff makes me feel as though it's a human being. It's someone that's also interested in me. I know it's kind of weird sometimes to think of it that way but it's the truth. So many people don't realize the power of the follow up. So again, I use salesbacker, Feedback Genius works well. I've used that in the past as well but right now I have everything run through SalesBacker. I put a little shameless plug here if you want to try it out. 60 days free access to it, no credit card. Head over to theamazingseller.com/reviews. Yes I'm an affiliate for it, yes you'll earn me a cup of coffee but again I'm just sharing this with you because I use it and if you want to use it go ahead.

If not, cool. That's fine. Email manually. Just do something. The other way that you can do this is your own email list. That's why I'm big on building your own email list. If you build your email list and then we know that those people are probably buying our products, we can communicate with them not even just about the products they buy but about the experience or about the resources that we can offer or any of that stuff that we can do to educate them further on what they purchase in the past. Like I just purchased some torch lights for my pool, around my pool. My wife just bought four of them.

[00:12:00] Scott: They could have sent me a video showing me and explaining to me the best way to lay these out around the pool or the best way to maybe anchor them to the side of the house. They could have given me different ways to use them. They didn't do that but that's what they could have done. You think to yourself, “Really? Why would I need to do that? I'm selling them a torch. They know what to do with it?” But why wouldn't you shoot a video of someone that knows about design to help them design them better or a better way, because they are solar, a better way to understand the solar and where you should put them so you get the most out of them.

Simple things like that to me would have been helpful. There was nothing in there. Not even instructions telling me anything about how to set these up, any ideas, design tips, anything but they could have. So email list would allow to do that as well. Your Facebook page or group if you have that it's like an extension of your email list. Your YouTube channel if you have one, your Instagram if you have one. Now, you don't have to have all of these but these are places where you can then continually help that customer and educate them through your brand. When you do that, you're giving them back, they are feeling as though the a company. You can also start to sprinkle in some of your messaging and your mission as far as why you're doing what you're doing.

Some of the stuff may pertain to you and some of it might not. Take what does and forget about the stuff that doesn't. I'm just trying to give you ideas on how you can do this online because so many people say, “That doesn't pertain to me. I just sell this.” Figure out a way to incorporate this. At least even 5% of what I'm telling you and you'll be further along. So little bit of a rant there. Hopefully it was okay with you guys. I think it was. I know a lot of you say, you guys in person, these meet ups and Scott I live for your rants man.” I'm going to keep them coming because I do enjoy doing them.

[00:14:03] Scott: So that's what I wanted to share with you so each customer is a person and they can keep telling other people to come to you as well and they can keep coming back. So don't forget that and I know myself I'm a fan of Midwood. I've been to other barbecue places in my area. I was going to another place called Jimmy Nicks which is a little bit of a bigger chain and they dropped the ball. I got to be honest. I was kind of liking it when I first started going there and then I don't know if it was management that changed, something changed. I haven't been back in probably six months. No joke. I will go farther. I will travel farther to go to Midwood than one that is maybe 10 minutes from me. I will go 25 minutes the other way.

Because of the customer service, the food is good. The food at the other place was okay. The service stunk. Terrible. It's funny. My daughter, my youngest right now. All my kids do but my youngest right now whenever we go through a drive through or whenever we have any type of interaction with someone in business we always kind of give them a score and she'll beat me to it sometimes she'll be like, “Dad I think they were like maybe an eight and a half.” So I'm like teaching by doing stuff in my own life and you guys can do the same. But anyway, if you listen to episode 500 you'll get a little taste of that as well.

So if you ever listen to that, go check that one out. So one last reminder I wanted to mention here, we have officially went public with product discovery boot camp. Now you guys know I don't really pitch or talk a lot about our own training that we have. We have private label classroom and we have products discovery boot camp and also we have TAS Breakthrough You which is an extension of our training. But right now I am really, really excited about Product Discovery Boot camp, how it turned out. We had a beta group go through it and just the feedback has been amazing and I am just so excited now that it is available to the public.

[00:16:05] Scott: If you have not checked that out, definitely check it out. ProductDiscoveryBootcamp.com. It's our new training for finding your market and expanding your current one or expanding your current one or really getting clarity on what you are going into as far as the market. So this way here we can find submarkets and then from there we can build a brand inside of that market and everything I just talked about. All that follow up, all that stuff will work so much better once you get focused on the market, on your products and again something we talk about in Product Discovery Boot Camp is really how to find three to five products that support each other so you can build a brand inside of a market or a submarket or a sub, sub, submarket.

But you actually get to watch myself and Chris Shaffer go through this entire process. We started from scratch in this training and through the four modules that we go through you actually watch us go through the process without a market, without an idea to at the end of the training we have a market selected, we have three to five products selected, we have a sample in hand, we've already did our outreach and we basically recorded the entire thing. So you get access to really watching us go through this entire process and we've got a lot of great feedback from it so far.

Definitely if you're interested check it out, productdiscoverybootcamp.com and you get all the details there. All right guys, that was a long intro but you guys know how I roll here on Fridays or on the Ask Scott session. It's really about just really sharing something that I think is so important in your business and I think this one today was worth spending the time. So, let's go ahead and let's listen to today's first question and I will give you my answer. What do you say? Let's do it.

[Q&A SESSION]

[00:17:50] John: Hey Scott. My name is John. I live in Los Angeles. I just started a brand like six months ago. I've two products, about to get a third. Sales are going pretty well. I'm starting to look into getting a face for the brand. I need a little help with the social media side of things especially in the niche I'm in. It would be very helpful. But I'm kind of stuck on how you would even go about brokering a deal like that. I'm going to be using all my own money on the investments of the products, of inventory. I'm putting up all the capital so I'm thinking, okay, how do you even put monetary value on that partnership? Do you look at it in an equity sense? Do you offer that up? A little bit confused but I'm excited I'm at this point but any advice or any direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

[00:19:12] Scott: Hey John. Thank you so much for the question and it is a good one. Finding a face for your brand. Well if you're not the face of your brand then yes I do believe that even if you are going to have someone that's just going to maybe guest post in a sense or kind of like be that someone that comes to the front or is the Face I think is really important and you don't have to go all in where someone is like part of your business which I think that would be the best case but I think definitely having someone that represents the brand is huge and it's a huge advantage even going back to what I just shared in the beginning here with customer service but really like someone hearing from someone that is so passionate about a market or at least an expert in the market or has expertise in the market I think is huge.

Because then it lends itself to why someone would want to buy from your company. So let's talk about like where you would start. Number one, an easy way to do this easier way to do this, would be to just reach out to influencers in your market and then see if they would do like a review of your product and stuff like that. That way there you're not needing to find the face yet but you're also seeing who might be a good fit because I think right now you want to number one, you want someone that can push your product obviously, why not get in front of their audience.

By doing this research in a sense because what I think you should do is probably just start creating a list of all of the YouTube channels, all the Instagram channels, even Facebook pages, groups. Find all of the ones that if you could have them share your product or talk about your product make that list. That's where I would start. Then from there I would start to see like who is the face of those channels or Instagram or YouTube?

[00:21:19] Scott: Who is the face? Then from there you could say okay, they are already comfortable in front of video or they are already regularly posting. For them to then really start talking more about our product or even ways to use the product or things around it like if we're talking about garlic press as well, would be someone that likes to cook or has a good cooking following. That would be the person that you would probably reach out for. So that's where I would start. Now, how would you structure the deal? That's a great question. There's a bunch of different ways that you can do it. Number one you could just say, “Hey, create content for me monthly and be the face kind of,” and you pay them so much a month.

A better way, so they are more vested is to probably give them some type of equity in the company. So yes you're going to give away some of your business but they are going to be also obligated in a sense and they are going to want to do it. They've got skin in the game in a sense and they've got a reason to get out of bed and push your product and really do content around your product. You're going to probably want to figure out some type of equity stake in there. So either monthly or you do an equity stake of some kind. You can even have that on a temporary thing. You can say listen, as long as the terms are agreed upon like you will post content that talks about the brand and the product or it might not even where you're pushing the product.

It could be like… Maybe yours is ultimate cooking gear or something. So you could be like, “Hey this is Scott with ultimate cooking gear and today I want to share with you five ways that you can crush garlic and make amazing meals.” I don't know, that was kind of silly but you get what I'm saying. So that's what they would do. They would announce who they are from. Now if they are part of your business there, that's who they are from.

[00:23:20] Scott: Then this meal was created kind of using some of the tools so that's how I would do that. Again, that's going to take some time to find the right person if you don't already have someone in your life. Now, if you have someone in your life that you know is someone that is a chef and they have no idea about online stuff but they just love being a chef and they love talking about it every time you're at a party or talking about like the meals that they are creating and all this stuff. That might be something you can say, “Hey, have you ever thought about going online and having like a YouTube channel?” And they'd be like, “No. I haven't.” Well, then maybe you could get them to come on board and get them involved and they would probably be thrilled.

So there's not like one set formula but there's definitely steps you can do to start moving in that direction and then I think someone will actually appear in a sense to you and be visible by you going through this process. So that's what I would do. So hopefully that helped you. I would also say that I think it's important that you do try to figure out someone that could be the face also for content in the future because that stuff will be out there and that will reside on the internet, online and people will be finding that stuff now and in the future and then it will always lead back to your brand. It's pretty powerful stuff if you can do it.

Then also if you have an email list you can then write emails as that person and then from there point to the piece of content that you just created as the person so then the face of the brand starts to become known. So let's go ahead and move on to the next question. Hopefully that helped you. Keep me posted though on that. Let's go ahead and listen to that next question.

[00:25:02] Shibu: Hello Scott I'm Shibu. I'm calling from London United Kingdom. I'm a PLC member. I have learned a lot from the PLC and from your podcast. Thank you so much for what you're doing for us. I have the confidence now that I can do it. Scott I have a question. The other day someone contacted me through the Amazon messaging system asking me to contact her on her personal email. And she said she can review my product. I found this person to be a top review contributor in the profile, in the Amazon profile. I contacted her through on her personal mail and I said Thank you and I also offered her a group discount code for her Facebook group if she has one.

Now she has replied to me on my personal mail and asking me to send me an ecard so that she can buy the product and she will review the product within four days. She said she will check out with her how own personal credit card. My question to you is, are we allowed to do this? Are we allowed to give away our product or compensate for in return of a review? Or will I be in trouble for doing this? I just want to make sure before I am doing anything. Thank you Scott. Thank you so much. You have a great day. Bye.

[00:26:22] Scott: Hey Shibu. Thank you so much for the question. Again I love it that we are reaching people from all over the world. So there you go. Great, thanks so much for the question. Appreciate it. Let's talk about this real quick and we don't have to spend too much time here because it's pretty cut and dry. I would not ever compensate for a review and what this sounds like is a top reviewer is now trying to go around the rules that are in place which means that top reviewers cannot review a product for compensation.

Now, before you were able… They weren't enforcing it now they are a lot more and it's totally looked down on as far as doing that. To answer your question in a nutshell, no. It's not within terms of service I would not recommend doing it. You were fine up until you said that she wanted you to send an ecard and then be compensated. So that's a no, no. Now if you want to share a group code, in a group, that's fine as long as the group is not being said to be a review group where people that are joining this group are under the impression that they are going to receive products at a huge discount in exchange for a review.

That would be wrong. I would recommend staying away from those groups because here's the other thing that can happen. Let's say for example you get 25 people that do it and they are from that group. Let's say a month from now Amazon comes through and they clean up people that have left reviews that have been known to leave reviews at a discount in compensation for it and then their account gets flagged and then all of their reviews get removed. So now you've got in product basically purchased yes but you were going there to get reviews in a sense. Then all those reviews are gone.

[00:28:22] Scott: So to me I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't do a group code in a review group type atmosphere and group that was designed for that. I would stay away from that. I would even probably stay away from deal sites that were only Amazon focused. Now if you wanted to go to a place like Slick Deals that's different because it's a variety of platforms but I also say that whenever you're doing these giveaways or discounts or whatever you're not doing them necessarily or I'm not doing them necessarily to get a review. That's a bi-product. I'm doing it really to get sales and if I get sales I will rank organically and then I will start to get organic sales and then that will rank me get organic reviews.

So yes it is against terms of service. It is not legal to do that. I think that was your question. Is this legal to do? No, it's not. Not within terms of service and I would not do it. So anyone else out there that tells you that you can and you should I would not trust them to be honest with you because to me it's not legit, it's not what we're supposed to be doing, it's not what Amazon wants. It's manipulating the system. And any time you're doing that it's a no no. I would stop doing that if you're doing it and just go out there, build yourself an email list or go out there and run Facebook ads to a discount exchange for an email address.

Then from there if they buy it, great. If they leave a review that's even better but if they don't it's okay and it will be a verified review and all that good stuff because you're doing it the right way. That will wrap up that question. Hopefully that helped you or anyone else listening. Let's listen to one more quick question, we'll answer that, we'll wrap this up and you guys can get on with your day and get on there and take some action. What do you say, let's do it.

[00:30:15] Speaker: Hey Scott. A long time listener of your show, good stuff. Just wanted to know, what is your opinion of moving off FBA into FBM and 3PL. What do you think are the problems that sellers might face once they move off FBA into their own customer warehouses or 3PL warehouses? Cheers.

[00:30:38] Scott: Well hey, thank you so much for the question. I don't have your first name or I would call you out by your first name. So again, a little side note here guys. If you're going to leave a question please leave your first name and where you're turning in from. I would really appreciate it because then I can address you by first name if I met you in person, you would introduce yourself so do it here. So all right, let's answer this question.

Here's the deal and I know a lot of people they are like, “Man I'm paying so much money to Amazon. I'm paying so much to FBA, like man is it really worth it?” My answer to them usually is, “Yeah, it is worth it. And if you aren't figuring out into your margins then you're actually not doing it properly because you're not figuring out the power of FBA.” There's a lot of different things that happen when you go FBA, fulfilled by Amazon versus fulfilled by merchant. Number one is when you do FBA they have control as far as when stuff is shipped. So because of that prime members know that they can get it in a day or same day sometimes or maybe two days. And it's always free shipping. So sometimes people search for only buyers that are prime. That's a big one.

Now if you're FBM you're not going to be able do that because you can't say when you're going to ship it out. Yeah, you say you're going to ship within a day but they can't say for certain that you're going to do that. So to me you could lose some traffic, you can lose some organic rankings from that. Number one you'll probably have less sales so that will hurt you rankings. But then also I believe in their algorithm. It hurts you. I can't prove that but I believe it. It makes sense. They want to have a customer buy where they can really control as much of the process as possible. Now, are they charging us a lot for that? Yeah. Kind of.

[00:32:40] Scott: But to me it's worth it. To me it's definitely worth it. So like I said, if you're going to go FBM, fulfilled by merchant, you need to weigh that stuff out. Like what are you gaining from it? Are you only doing it only because of price? If that's the case then you might want to re-evaluate your margins. And if you've maybe not done your product research properly in the beginning and you didn't figure that stuff, well then you need to figure out do I keep this product, do I try to just fulfill it by merchant just because I can't afford to have them fulfill it? And then maybe liquidate or just I do that one product oh your other product you should try to do FBA.

That's just in my opinion. Now, if you're struggling with long term storage fees then what you might want to do is have another company warehouse it for you. It will be a lot less expensive and then only ship in what you're selling. Just know your numbers there too. How many are you selling in 30 days? Is fourth quarter coming up, let's send in a bunch more. This way here you could probably more as well, have it directly shipped to your warehouse and then from there ship in what you want. Now are you going to add a little bit extra cost from shipping it into Amazon? Yes. But we all know UPS charges them a lot less, a lot of times it's pennies to get it there.

So to me that's not even a thought for me. The only way that I will even consider FBM is if it was something oversized and really heavy. I might say, “You know what, I'm already noticing that other people are selling FBM and they are selling quite a few a month, then maybe I'll try it and I'll see if I can make it work like they did. But I can almost guarantee that if you have someone that's selling pretty well FBM and you come in and have that same product FBA, you're probably going to get a little bit of a bump versus the one that's FBM. It's just a hunch, I can't prove it.

[00:34:41] Scott: But that would be my thought. So again I would ask that question. Why? Why do you want to do FBM versus FBA. There's so many advantages with FBA and again you don't have to touch a product. I know you can do that too with warehouses and stuff that are directly linked and all that stuff. I get it. But it's another connection point. It's another thing that has to be built into your system. FBA to me, fulfilled by Amazon gives us those extra leverage points. It also helps them make sure that people are getting it shipped on time. If I get negative feedback on shipping, guess who it goes on.

Them, not me. It doesn't hurt my score. If I'm fulfilling by merchant it's going on my feedback score. Just some things to think about when you're considering that. And I would always say, and this is what we talk a lot about in Product Discovery Boot Camp, you need to make sure your numbers are correct and that's a final validation piece when you're doing this. Don't sit there and think to yourself, “Man if I can sell this for $30 I'm going to make it work.” But then you find out you can only sell it for $22.95. You're in trouble because now you don't have the margins and now you're thinking to yourself man I might be able to say pick and pack and just ship it myself and I can save that. That will get me more profitable.

But you're also going to probably lose rankings and traffic so then you're going to ask yourself is it really worth it. So hopefully that helped you or anyone else thinking FBM versus FBA. Again, I'm not opposed to it I'm just looking at the facts. I'm looking at what I know Amazon wants for their customers. Always about what they want for their customer. Let me tell you, there's a lot more people jumping on Prime right now because they are making it very attractive. And I mean, who doesn't want to order something and have it here the same day? My wife just ordered those torches for our pool, these torch lights, these solar torch lights the other day, we had them the next day and it was free.

[00:36:43] Scott: It didn't cost anything extra. It was just because it was in a location near us, in a warehouse near us, boom! We ordered them 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The next day at like 5 o'clock we got them. Like boom! There they are. Didn't cost us a penny extra. Free shipping. So to me there's a huge advantage to FBA. So all right, guys, that is going to wrap up this episode. Man I've said in the past that I've always wanted these Ask Scott sessions to be a little bit shorter but it just seems like they never are and I'm going to work on that. Well, what are you going to do?

Guys, little reminder here. Definitely go to theamazingseller.com/502. You can grab the transcripts, the show notes, all the goodies will be there and then also I want to remind you about our little give away here. If you want full access to our private label classroom, that's $1,497 is what that is currently right now to get access to that training also Product Discovery Boot Camp will be part of that and yeah, you will have the opportunity to win that scholarship. So all you have to do is head over to theamazingseller.com/coffee.

Follow the instructions. There's two things that you got to do, really easy. How long have you been a listener and then what was the one thing so far that you've learned since listening? Just drop that in the comment there and you will be entered. We will be picking the winner in a couple of weeks and we will be announcing that so really excited about that and then also two runner ups will receive 30 minute coaching call with myself and Chris Shaffer. We'll have some virtual coffee together and we'll talk about anything business or life, whatever you want to talk about. We will be on that call for you. Guys, that's it, that's going to wrap up this episode of Ask Scott.

As always remember I'm here for you, I believe in you and I'm rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.

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1 comment
  • Scott,
    Love the Podcast I listen as much as I can! You mention today you are still using a feedback sequence. I was using one of the ones you mentioned but now it seams to me that all (most anyways) of my emails are getting rejected in Amazon’s system since customers are now allowed to opt out of none essential emails from sellers. Should I continue to send these emails that are getting rejected? Are there other options?

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