It’s time to crank up the volume and get your own personal coaching for your Amazon FBA private label business. You’re going to hear real life questions from real life private label sellers who have hit a roadblock in their business. Scott Voelker is going to answer those questions from his own experience and from the things he’s learned helping Amazon sellers get their problems addressed. If you want to ask your own question, you can do that just like the listeners on this episode by going to www.TheAmazingSeller.com/ask – state your name, and ask your question!
Once I start ordering my products, how do I get my logo and branding on the packaging?
A listener today is about ready to order his first bulk shipment of products from a supplier. He’s curious how to go about putting branding of various kinds, UPC codes, and other identifying markings on his packaging. Does the supplier do that? Does he have to do it himself? On this episode Scott’s going to answer this question by walking through the variety of ways these issues can be addressed and the pros and cons to each one. Be sure you listen so you can know the options for packaging and branding on your products.
My product lends itself to variations and individual listings. How do I choose which to do?
There are many kinds of products that could possibly be listed as a “variation” of the original product. A great example is a garlic press that can come in different colors, or styles, or materials. They are all garlic presses, but have varying qualities that make them slightly different. When you have variations in a product you can list those variations on one product listing But even in that situation, it’s possible to list those products individually in their own listings. What are the benefits of each approach? Scott’s got the answer for you on this episode.
A listener has a few negative reviews about his products. What should he do?
No matter how good the quality of your products are, you’re eventually going to run into a situation where someone leaves a negative review. Maybe something broke during shipping, or there was a cosmetic issue with that individual product that was shipped to the customer. Is there a way that you can deal with negative reviews to mitigate their effect on your sales and brand? On this episode Scott fills you in on what he does when negative reviews come in and how he uses a software solution to make it happen. You can even get a discounted version of the software by using Scott’s affiliate link – available on this episode.
Free Private Label workshop! Do you want in?
If you’d like to know the 5 step process that Scott Voelker uses every time he introduces a new product to the Amazon marketplace, you’ll want to get in on his next free private label workshop. There’s nothing for sale, just a lot of great information to share to help you get your first private label product off the ground. Scott will walk you through those 5 steps and answer your questions live during the workshop, so head to the links on this show notes page and get yourself registered for the next private label workshop!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the episode!
- [0:54] How you can submit one of your questions.
- [3:36] QUESTION ONE: When I first start working with a sourcing company, what happens next? How do my UPC codes get on the packaging?
- [10:21] QUESTION TWO: I’m trying to understand the pros and cons of using variations VS using individual listings for each.
- [17:03] QUESTION THREE: How do you deal with negative product reviews?
TRANSCRIPT TAS 202
TAS 202 : Ask Scott Session #59 – Amazon FBA Questions[INTRODUCTION]
[00:00:02] SV: Well, hey, hey what’s up everyone, welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller podcast. This is episode number 202 and session number 59 of Ask Scott. This is where I answer your questions here on the podcast, you submit them via voicemail and I go ahead and I try to answer them the best that I can and this is the first episode that I’m recording since being in Denver. We actually were in Denver, I was at a conference there called Rocky Mountain Resellers Conference which was…
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…really, really awesome. I was able to speak there and do a closing keynote. Really, really a lot of fun, I was on a private label panel, really awesome time and I’m really excited to dive back in and start recording some more episodes here.
I’ve got a lot of content that I’m going to be sharing here in the next few weeks, so yeah, I’m really, really excited. Now if you guys are brand new to the show and you want to submit one of your questions to ask or for me to answer here on the show just head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and what you’ll do is you’ll say your first name, a brief question and ask a question and I’ll go ahead and do my best to answer it, all right?
You guys that are long time listeners, you guys know I love doing these because it’s literally like us being in a room together or a coffee shop just hanging out and I was able to do that in Denver. I was able to have lot of great conversations with a lot of great people and a lot of listeners and I also was able to have my very first live event, where we actually had 30 people come to an event called TAS Breakthrough Live which was amazing by the way. We did 10 Hot Seat sessions and it was just a lot of fun, I met a lot of great people and everyone that was there if you’re listening right now, you guys rock. It was amazing and I’m really still excited and I can’t come down from that high because we had such an amazing time, just the conversations even after the event, at dinner, whether it was in the lobby, wherever, we were just hanging out, having drinks, it was an awesome, amazing time.
We actually recorded the little pre-party on Periscope. If you guys want to check that out head over to the show notes of this page which is episode 202. That would be theamazingseller.com/202, go there, I’ll have that video up there where I Periscoped it, yeah it was just us getting ready to kind of get to our live event and it was just awesome. We were just hanging out in the lobby, so really, really awesome stuff.
At this event, we talked about some really advanced stuff as well, not just the basic how to get started stuff, we talked more high level stuff in some cases, not in all cases but in some cases and it was just awesome. People’s heads were spinning in a good way. I had a lot of people say, “Scott, I didn’t know what to expect coming here but after coming here, my head is spinning in a good way. It means that I have things that I can still learn and that I can still grow upon.” Just wanted to say we had an amazing time, wish you all could have been there but I am going to be bringing you some highlights in the next few weeks and I’ll be sharing those with you.
Again, I just want to give a shout out to everyone that attended and just say really nice meeting you guys and even people that were at the Rocky Mountain Reseller’s Conference. I want to say thank you to Travis for putting that on, amazing show, a lot of work went into that but again, I want to give a little shout out to him and his team because they did an amazing job there as well.
All right guys, so I am going to stop talking here because I’m so excited. What I want to do here is go ahead and listen to today’s first question and then I’ll go ahead and do my best and I’ll give you my answer. So let’s go ahead and listen to that.
[00:03:46] HERSEY: Hey Scott, how is it going? My name is Hersey and I’ve been listening to you for about two weeks now. Just want to tell you, I am very appreciative of what you’re doing, listening to you every day during my commute back and forth and I have really learned a lot, it’s almost like you’re my private mentor that has all the answers literally. I feel like I’m getting new answers for every episode that you write, so just thank you very much for that. I’m sure everybody else is very much appreciative of it.
There’s just one thing that I’ve been kind of unclear about as I’m starting my FBA journey. Let’s say I pick a product and I’ve contacted the supplier, I got the samples, I really like what I’m seeing and I reply back to them saying, “Okay, we can go ahead and go through with our first order.” Now how does that work as far as packaging or with my UPC code and branding, how does all of that work, am I emailing this stuff to them and do they have to print out my logo and whatever the case might be and stick it on the package? Like I said, I’m new at this so I’m not sure how it all works out. If you can answer that for me I’d really appreciate it and keep doing what you’re doing, thank you.
[00:04:59] SV: Hey Hersey thank you so much for the question and we’ve talked about this before and I know that there’s a lot of stuff that we already covered on the podcast but I’m going to answer this briefly here on this episode but I would urge anyone that does have questions to even go over to the blog and use the search field and just type in like your question. Like in your case it would be UPC codes or FNSQ or packaging and you’ll get anything that was discussed in these blog posts.
We are also, I should have probably mentioned this earlier, we are also including transcripts to all of the episodes now, so you can even search the blog and if it’s something that was said in the show notes, it will come up. It makes it easier to search the stuff as well. Again, I just want to say that if you guys wanted to check out the show notes, this episode is 202. That will be theamazingseller.com/202 and then the transcripts are there for you as well.
Okay, but let’s go ahead and answer this question because I do get this question quite often especially from people that are just getting started. The quick answer is this, it’s like, if you’re just testing a product, you don’t necessarily have to brand it okay? Because if you’re doing a test order, you don’t necessarily have to do that. Now, you will need a UPC code in order to create your listing that you will need. Amazon will only allow you to create a listing if you have a UPC code, you’ll need that but you don’t necessarily need it on the package.
I believe that you should have it on your package because this way here, if you ever wanted to go retail you could but also it identifies your product better from a hijacker, so if you have a hijacker it’s another mark on your package that you could claim as yours okay? You can even have it printed on the inside of the box, all right, so the UPC code, you need to create the listing, Amazon requires that but you don’t need it on your box but it’s a good idea.
Now, if you are going to directly ship it to Amazon or even just ship it in, without directly shipping it but you’re going to ship it yourself or whatever, you’re going to have an FNSQ number on there. That’s a number that Amazon gives you for that product. That’s their UPC code in a sense, that’s their identifier. Now you can have them label it, it will be 20 cents they’ll label it for you, they’ll label it right over top of your UPC code so that they don’t get confused. If you have a UPC code it’s going to be covered up by this label.
Or if you know your FNSQ number which you can find in the back end of your listing once you create it, you can then just print that bar code on your package from your supplier and then you’re off to the races. They’re going to go ahead and be able to scan that. Okay. To simplify things, you might just want to have them do it at first. To answer your question though as far as branding goes, those are things that you’re going to have to create, okay. You can have them print it, right on the box, right on the packaging, and it is a good idea to do that because now again, it creates your unique package to your brand. This way here, if someone is going to jump on your listing as far as a hijacker or something like that, you’ll be able to prove easier, not always easy, but it’s easier if you have a mark on your packaging or if your packaging is unique.
Moving forward, you’re probably going to want to have some type of unique packaging or insert card or something that identifies your product to make it more unique. Now, again, you don’t have to have this, Amazon doesn’t require it at this time. I was talking to a few people at the event that we were at and some people were saying like, “I think eventually Amazon is going to start cracking down on people just submitting stuff in a poly bag and that maybe the case.
Probably, sooner than later you’re going to want to go ahead and have some type of unique packaging. Okay. For you if you’re just starting, you want to get some product in there and you want to get it tested and you want to see if this thing is going to move at all. Then simplify that process, use one of their stock boxes, one of their stock packaging and then just dress it up with your logo, with your branding. This way here, you at least have it marked with your stuff.
In the beginning, if you ordering samples and stuff, they’re going to charge you an additional fee to put your mark on it even in a sample. That may not need to be, you may just have them send you a sample, so you can see the quality of the product and not necessarily have to go through and have them spend the extra time and the money to brand your logo on there.
[00:09:20] SV: If you have something that you’re afraid that if you mark it, like let’s say like you put your brand name on the plastic, let’s say on a handle and you’re afraid that it’ going to rub off, then yeah, you might want to have them do that so you can see the quality of it when they print it, that may be something. If you’re just printing something on a box, you don’t necessarily have to have your stuff on there. It may be a good idea if you’re going through some custom boxing and stuff like that at that stage but right now, again we’re trying to get product to market so we can get it there to see if we can get some traction. All right.
Hopefully that’s answered your question, again on the blog, there’s a ton of information that we’ve talked about this in the past, just go there and search for whatever you are asking questions about or whatever, write there in the search field and I’m sure that there will definitely be some blog posts or podcasts that we’ve talked about certain topics that you might be interested in at this time. That goes for anyone listening right now not just this one question but again, thank you so much for the question, hopefully that’s helped you. Let’s go ahead and listen to another question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:10:24] ADAM: Hey Scott this is Adam, I had a question I’ve never heard you answer before. The nature of my product lets me add SKUs almost indefinitely and I can very easily do them all as separate listings, all as variations of one listing or I could try to categorize them a little bit and have a variety of the listings with multiple variations and because I could so easily do this any of the three ways, I’m trying to decide what the pros and cons of each option are.
I have one listing already on the front page so obviously adding a variation to that puts it on the front page but I also feel like doing a number of different listings with different keywords and different images that are all on the first one to four pages might also get more eyeballs. I just thought I get your perspective on individual listings versus variations for a product that could go either way, thanks.
[00:11:28] SV: Hey Adam, thank you so much for the question and you’re in a good situation man because you’ve got like you said, a ton of options here with SKUs because what you’re talking about is taking a product, having it as a parent and then having multiple child's underneath that parent right off that listing. The beautiful thing with that is like you said, if you’re already ranking on page one that’s where I would start, right. You’re already ranking there, so now add those variations to the mix so this way here, people that are already coming to that listing are going to see those other options.
Now you bring up another good point, if you have a way that you can categorize these in different ways so you can come up on page one for two or three different listings, I wouldn’t go crazy, I wouldn’t say like, “Okay, I can do 12, so I’m going to go ahead and do all 12.” Unless it makes sense. I would probably stop and try to shoot for two or three and then be able to put those variations underneath each one of those. It’s easier for you to focus on getting those three listings to rank, also the reviews and to manage right?
It’s going to be that much easier. The nice thing I like about this though I have to say Adam is you’re able to create these different SKUs underneath different listings but also on their own listing and it also makes it almost like you’re independent, right? As far as each product goes, so what I mean is, let’s say for example you had a problem with refunds on variation number one on product one or listing one, well it’s only going to interrupt that one variation, not the entire listing.
Even at this, let’s say you have three listings created and you have one of your listings get taken down for whatever reason or maybe it gets hijacked, well the other two are still there independently on their own, they’re not dependent on that one, so you have a lot of different options. My personal opinion if it was me, I would take that one that’s already ranking and I would try to optimize that one right now because it’s the easiest thing. We want to do the easiest thing that we can do right now the quickest, and that would be probably step one.
Step two is I’d pick the next one that I felt that I could rank and that would also be independent and it would make sense, again, that’s the key word here It needs to make sense. You can’t just throw up these listings to try to take up real estate, it needs to make sense. Right. But you could bring up another good point, you could have multiple images now. For anyone listening and this is a little bit over your head don’t worry about this stuff just try to understand that a listing that has a product or a parent-child that’s how it works, underneath that you can have multiple variations, whether it’s sizes, whether it's colors, bundles, any of that stuff.
The beautiful thing with this here like I said, is you’re able to have multiple ones show up on page one possibly and then you also get to have different images like you said. You wouldn’t want to have the same garlic press show up three different times, right? That just would be kind of redundant but if you had one that was red and one that was yellow and maybe one that had a black handle that was a certain style. Right. You’ve got three different ones that could attract three different buyers or types of buyers and that’s what that image does. You guys have heard me talk about this before. Your title gets you found because that’s what helps you rank and that’s also what people search for, they see that right?
[00:14:57] SV: That’s what gets you found, that’s what gets you on page one, that and the back end and there’s other factors. Your image gets attention. Well when you get attention guess what? People click on it, and then guess what happens? When they get in there, now the listing has to sell them in a few different ways, price, that might be one, so if you have variations, you might be able to have different price variations.
It could be a low price up to a higher price. The other thing is you’ve got reviews, your reviews are then going to help convert that to a sale because people look at that as “Oh, people are already buying this, they’re already happy with it, they’re giving me the pros and the cons okay good, they convinced me, the other people that bought it have convinced me to actually buy this thing.” The other thing is, you’ve got the benefits and the features in the bullets, you’ve got the benefits and features in the description.
Our goal is to get found, get on page one and then once I get on the listing you want to then convert them and how do we convert them? A lot of times it’s by the reviews saying if the product is good or bad. All right. I know that’s a little bit off-topic there but I just need people to understand that those images like you’re talking about Adam, that you can show up for multiple images on page one, that could be a huge driver for different people. It can catch people’s eyes differently and it can definitely, definitely get you more click-ins or click-throughs.
I think you’re on the right track, I think you kind of already know what you’ve got to do, just by what you were kind of telling me but I think you just kind of needed validation on that. I personally think you’re on the right track, I would go with the one that’s already ranking on page one, I would really try to get that one honed in and then I would move to product two, do the same thing, try to rank it, try to spread out the variations a little bit and then I would do one more and then I would try with three and see what happens.
I’d give myself those guidelines as far as, “Okay, I got to get to page one before I move on to the next one.” I wouldn’t want to try with all three of these all at once. Okay. Hopefully that helps, I think that’s a great, great thing that you brought up and you’re right we didn’t really talk about that a lot on the podcast but we did now, so thanks for that Adam and good luck to you and keep me posted on how that works for you, I’d really, really like to keep in touch with you and see how it’s working. All right, so let’s go ahead and listen to another question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:17:09] SPEAKER: Hi Scott loving the podcast. The question is how do you handle negative product reviews? Do you try and contact the customer that left it? Are you able to ever get Amazon to remove them? Do you comment on the negative review? Thanks and I look forward to hearing your answer.
[00:17:28] SV: Okay, well that’s a great question, I wish I could call you out by name but you didn’t give me your name and I didn’t see it in the email, so I apologize but thanks for the question and thanks for being a listener of the podcast. This is another great question and I do have some thoughts on this. Okay. We’re talking about product reviews, we’re not talking about feedback, I’ve talked about feedback in the past and the way that I feel about feedback and again we talked a lot about this at the event that I was just at TAS Breakthrough Live event and a lot of the people there that are selling, all agreed that your seller feedback is really, really important for a few different reasons.
The one big reason that your feedback… And we’ll talk about review thing here in a second and answer that question but I did want to highlight this right here because everyone there was saying the same thing, that your feedback score on your account does have something to do with the health of your account. Meaning if your feedback score is low or if you don’t have a lot of feedback but you have a ton of reviews, it’s out of balance and when it’s out of balance, it could actually draw a red flag meaning like you have tons and tons of reviews but why isn’t anybody leaving feedback. That’s part of their system in a sense right?
If you’re selling products you should naturally be getting feedback, so my strategy all along has been really getting the feedback and then from the feedback I get the review, that’s just the way I’ve done it and it’s a slower process in a sense but it’s been working and I’m getting steady feedback and steady reviews. All right, so let’s move on to the next part of this. The next part is, what should you do if you get a negative review?
The first thing that you should do is respond to it. You can directly, which I think is important that you directly go into that review and then you say, “Hey listen, I’m sorry that you had an issue, send us an email, we’d love to take care of it for you.” Some people have said that in that review, they’ve said stuff like, “Notify us and we’ll give you a refund.” I don’t think that you should do that and actually a couple of people at the event said the same, exact thing because then it opens you up to having people say, “Oh, this company is easy to give refunds, I’m just going to contact them and get a refund.” Then your refund rate will go up, you don’t want that either.
Just basically reach out to them and let them know that you want to make them happy and then to contact you and you can make it right, I think that’s the best thing. The other thing it does is the social proof of this thing is when other people reading that review and maybe it’s a negative review, and it’s a negative review, let’s say it’s a two-star review well you’re showing them that you’re there, like you’re the company that you can even say there, “We’re a small family business and we take care of our customers and you are our number one concern, please contact us. We want to make sure that you’re happy that we get you the part that was missing or the piece that was missing,” and then behind the scenes if you want to give them a refund and then tell them to just keep it, then that’s fine.
Then you could possibly get that two-star converted into a four or five-star. Now I wouldn’t ask them directly to do that, number one it’s against the terms of service as far as I’m concerned but I would still do everything I can to make them happy and just reach out. A lot of the times, that right there will take them from a two to a four or five star, they’ll do it automatically, but if they don’t, they don’t. Don’t worry about trying to convert that over 100%, if you can’t, that’s fine but just publicly it’s almost, I don’t want to say as good but it’s better than nothing to have you publicly saying like, “Listen, we’re so sorry that your product didn’t come with this part, we’re going to make sure that you get that, send us a support email and we'll be glad to take care of you.
[00:21:34] SV: Our customers are number one to us and as a small,” I always say this guys, you always hear me say this, “as a small family-owned business we want to make sure that our customers are treated right.” It just makes you more real and communicate that in that email as well. That’s what I would do, again, you guys have heard me say I use Salesbacker to automate this process kind of because what it does is it notifies me if I’ve got that negative review. It will email me and I can directly email them through… or not email them, I can go directly to that review other than try to go sift through, especially if you have multiple SKUs.
If you guys want to check that out you can always head over to theamazingseller.com/resources and then go down to the section there that talks about feedback and reviews and you’ll see my affiliate link there and you’ll also get a 60-day free trial with no credit card and you’ll also get a few extra bonuses there as well if you go through my affiliate link and you’ll buy me a cup of coffee. If you want to just go do that, if not just go directly to Salesbacker, awesome. All right.
That’s pretty much going to wrap up that question. I think that’s going to be all the time we have today on the show. I do have a bunch more and keep them coming in guys, you guys are awesome that are submitting these questions. Just head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that, ask a question there and just leave your name so I can go ahead and give you a callout, keep the questions like they’ve been, kind of short, to the point. This way here we can kind of knock these out relatively quickly and you guys can get the answers that you need and I can do my best to get them to you.
All right, so again, that is pretty much going to wrap up this session of Ask Scott. I did want to remind you guys again about Periscope. I’ve been hanging out on Periscope, if you guys want a little bit behind the scenes like if I'm at, like that event that I was at I did a little pre-party. You can head over to Periscope.tv and just search for me, @ScottVoelker, you’ll find me there. Just subscribe to my channel or my whatever they call it there I don’t know if it’s a channel, whatever it is, my account and then any time that I fire a Periscope or do a live broadcast you’ll be notified, or you can watch the replay and I believe it’s like for 24 hours so definitely check it out over there.
I want to remind you guys too that all of the transcripts and downloads or links, anything that was discussed in today’s episode or any of the other episodes is now located in the show notes. You can head over to this episode, theamazingseller.com/202 and you’ll get all of the transcripts, the downloads, links, anything that we mentioned is in there for you guys to take advantage of.
One last thing, if you guys are brand new, brand spanking new to the podcast, you guys have never attended one of my live workshops, I actually break down the five phases to picking a product, sourcing a product, doing a prelaunch, doing a launch and then doing a promotion for that product. Actually taking the product from start to finish, to bringing it to market and we do that on a workshop, a live workshop where we get on there and we teach that stuff there.
Where you can actually do something, it’s not just theory it’s actually doing stuff, I just said actually a lot but it’s actually a lot. All right. Head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop we also do live Q&A there, so any questions you have, we’ll answer them there live on that workshop. Yeah, come on over, hang out with us, we have a blast over there, again that link is theamazingseller.com/workshop.
All right guys, that is it, that is going to wrap up this episode of Ask Scott. 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 and 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.[END]
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/live – get in on the next event!
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/resources – find SalesBacker
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/workshop – get in on the free workshop
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