One of the things Scott and his buddies have been enjoying are the Friday afternoon chats they have about Amazon private label sales, e-commerce, online business, and much more. They’ve been having so much fun they decided to start recording them so you can benefit from their experiences and insights. On this episode, the guys talk about Amazon lightning deals, yet ANOTHER change to the Amazon Terms of Service regarding product reviews, product giveaways, off Amazon sales channels, and much more. Be sure to listen to their great conversation.
What’s an Amazon lightning deal and how do they work?
One of the ways Amazon enables sellers to move products is through offering lightning deals. You’ve got to be approved to participate but once you are you can offer your products at discounted prices for a short period of time – but the bonus is that Amazon HELPS YOU promote them in a handful of ways. It’s a great opportunity to sell a lot of products quickly if you know how to use them. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and his buddies chat about some lightning deal experiences they’ve had recently and how they didn’t pan out as successfully as they had hoped.
Amazon is changing the review policies AGAIN! Get the scoop on the most recent changes.
It was just a few weeks ago that Amazon changed its terms of service regarding product reviews that prohibits discounting products in exchange for reviews. Now it seems that those rules are changing again and it’s surprising that this time it’s AMAZON that’s encouraging a certain type of discount in exchange for reviews… and it has to do with gift cards. Want to know the whole story? The guys chat about this new development on this episode.
Contests and giveaways: new ideas you can use to sell your Amazon products.
More and more creative ways of using contests and product giveaways are being devised where you can encourage people to enter your drawing – thereby building your email list – in hopes of winning one of your products. And there are ways of doing this outside of Amazon, including social media, that can really ramp up your opt-ins and sales at the same time. Find out some of the ways people are successfully using giveaways to promote their products, on this episode.
In order to move your business forward, you have to keep learning.
When it comes to setting up contests and sales channels outside of Amazon it’s easy for private label sellers to get intimidated and scared. There’s a lot to learn and it can be a bit confusing when you first start. But on this episode, Chris Shaffer makes the point that everything is at least a little bit confusing when you first start. But once you make the commitment to dive in, learn, and master the process involved in learning the new system you’re able to get it running and working for you in a relatively short period of time. If you’re interested in finding out how to build your business outside of Amazon you’re going to learn a lot from this episode.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the TAS Power Hour.
- [4:10] How you can get in on the next event in Phoenix.
- [5:02] A lightning deal FAIL story – and why it happened.
- [14:09] Yet ANOTHER change to Amazon’s review policy.
- [19:10] Giveaway ideas you can use to sell more products.
- [39:00] The learning curve issues of using new platforms.
- [43:10] TAS Canada.
- [49:20] Updates from Amazon about a variety of issues.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 282
TAS 282 : (TAS Power Hour) Amazon Promotions – Contest Strategy – Instagram – Dom's 80 Year Old Grandma
[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 282 and today I’ve got another TAS Power Hour. That’s right, my good friends, Chris Shaffer, Dom Sugar jumped on a call again and we do this pretty much…
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…Every Friday 1:00 o’clock p.m. Eastern time. We jump on and we have a conversation about business, marketing, Amazon, ecommerce, funnels, you name it. We just really dive into this stuff. We decided to start recording these, doing them on Facebook Live and Periscope and they’ve been going really well and a lot of people are saying, “Keep doing them, we love them.”
I wanted to give you guys the recording here on the podcast and I’ll be doing this every now and then, not always but every now and then I’ll put these up. The thing is Facebook Live’s been kind of letting me down because we get the feed going and then all of a sudden it quits for some reason. We are trying to channel in three different feeds so that’s part of the problem but Periscope is really stable. Periscope is where I really broadcast myself and then record and then that way there I can take that audio and I can then pipe it back into the podcast and let you guys listen in.
Now if it wasn’t for periscope I wouldn’t be able to do this right now, it wouldn’t be recorded because Facebook Live failed on us. Darn! Come on Facebook, let’s get this thing right. But anyway we talk about Amazon promotions this week, some internal promotions that is, some sweepstake type stuff, content strategies, some Instagram stuff that I’m working on, a bunch of other things. Actually Chris was reading something that came right through his news feed for… Well actually his Amazon account and there was an email that just came through.
It was kind of like, breaking news and there was a couple of things that we discussed there. We also talk about Dom’s 80 year old grandmother in a good way but we kind of relate her to marketing today, which is kind of funny. If you guys are brand new to Dom Sugar you’re in for a treat. He’s just a ball of fun.
[00:02:02] Scott: Lot of laughs and just a good guy. I think he could be a comic, I do think that he could do stand up if he wanted to. Anyway, I just wanted to say if you guys want to watch this, we do have a recording of it and there are going to be parts that I cut out of this recording because well there was banter in the beginning and then we had some shenanigans going on. I just pretty much wanted to cut to the chase and kind of let you guys cut into when we actually started the broadcast and really started to dig into some of these topics. You can watch the video or the show notes, you can look at those or the transcripts by heading over to theamazingseller.com/282.
If you want to watch this live on Facebook, hopefully, you can head over to our Facebook group page there, the TAS group that is, that’s theamazingseller.com/fb. If you go to Periscope and just search for @scottvoelker you’ll find me there, follow me and when we do a Periscope, which will be Friday afternoons, you’ll get a little whistle that goes [whistling] and then that is basically the sounds of Periscope starting. I’m going to stop talking now so you guys can actually listen to this TAS power hour which I think is filled with golden nuggets.
You never know what is going to happen on the TAS Power Hour. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
[00:03:17] Scott: Why don’t we get started then as far as what’s going on. Let’s start with Dom Sugar, what’s on your mind brother?
[00:03:25] Dom: Not too much just a normal week finally, it’s calm down a little bit but new products launching as we discussed over the week. Trying to figure out how to do that now right since it’s changed up a bit and it’s been pretty interesting. That’s it. New retail arbitrage product coming in too truck load we got in yesterday so we’re trying to dig through that. That’s been a lot of fun and that’s about it really, nothing major. It’s been quite like I said just working on Q4 stuff now so we can dump into Amazon before it gets too busy as I focus.
[00:04:00] Scott: Got you. Before we move in here someone just wanted to know how many we got coming to Phoenix? I think as of right now on day one I think we’re at… Well not counting all of us and staff I think there’s like 22, 23. We still got 6 or 7 spots left and then we’ve got day 2 is pretty much filled. We have 2 or 3 spots left there. That’s all the attendees but then we’ve got about 10 other people coming as well like us and we’ve got a few other people coming in. Couple of surprise guests by the way. You know who that is Chris. Danny Brewer just joined us by the way on Periscope, Danny Brewer, push and profit.
[00:04:41] Dom: Whoever’s got seats you guys got to get some. This course is so good that, well worth it like when I went down the first time I was really impressed the way Scott put the show together. I’m here now man. It’s helped me a lot.
[00:04:54] Scott: It’s going to be a lot of fun and I know Chris and I have been kind of going back and forth this whole week as far as like what we’re going to talk about. Let’s talk a little bit about that Chris. I know you and I we’ve been experiencing a little bit of success with some lightening deals we’ve been playing around with. The other say though we did run a lightening deal and lightening deal didn’t do as hot. Do you have any maybe I guess reasoning why you don’t think it did as well?
[00:05:25] Chris: Yeah, I think the big one is the price point. We came in at a price where we knew we would make a good chunk of money out of it. It’s one of those products, it is a less sexy product. It’s not something that everybody would need. If you come in and they have to make a conscious choice to buy that product or not, it’s not something they necessarily have the background of them or that they know that they need right then. You have to come in at a lower price. Does that make sense? Am I making any sense?
[00:05:25] Scott: I think it’s total sense. You don’t just look at the product and go, “Oh cool, I’m going to get one of them.” It’s kind of like you have to have done a little bit of research. With that being said I would think that they would be smart enough to target the people that have already purchased something like that in their lightning deal.
[00:06:09] Chris: Yes and no. I get some of those lightning deal emails and I go I’ve never searched for anything related to this so I don’t know.
[00:06:17] Scott: But I’d say it would be smart if they did is what I’m saying.
[00:06:21] Chris: Right. The other thing is we could have committed a lower price point and sold probably 3 times as many. I’m not disappointed, I would have been if we had paid the $300 for it but I can simply I’m not disappointed for free. It gave us an extra day and a half worth of sales.
[00:06:39] Scott: Let’s hit on that real quick. Anyone right now that’s thinking about a lightning deal depending on when your lightning deal is offered that could be a $300 fee. With that $300 fee that’s the flat fee right now. That right there could be something that doesn’t make a lot of sense for you because if you’re only giving away 100 units or you’re going to do 100 units it’s going to cost you $3 a unit so you have to kind of build that in. Now when you were doing giveaways you would have been more than happy to give away your product for pretty much free so there is your 3 bucks. Morning lightning deals are the best someone just said.
[00:07:18] Chris: This was an afternoon one, which we kind of expected would do a little less. Actually I would say it’s probably early evening is probably a better classification. It was like 2:30 Pacific which would be 5:30. Typically when you get scheduled on those slots I’ve seen less uptake of those deals.
[00:07:38] Scott: Today we actually got another one going so we had almost… They’re two different products. Do you remember that Chris? There’s one that goes live today and I think it goes live… I want to say like 5:00 o’clock rush hour again I think. 4:00 or 5:00 o’clock but it goes for 3 hours, 3 to 4 hours. We’ll see how that goes. But I haven’t been seeing some success. The one I did earlier, probably now about 3 weeks ago, I think we offered 170 units, we sold all of them in less than an hour but also the price point was really low. We wanted to blow out that inventory because that was one that we wanted to just get rid of.
We wanted to liquidate that product and we did. We got our money back and then we can move on. The funny thing is though now Chris is they’re offering me to do another lightning deal for like 300 units. I’m like, “I don’t want to really go and buy more units because I’d have to sell them for that same price.” I’m not making a lot of money but they want to give it to me now because I sold out on them so fast.
[00:08:34] Chris: That’s kind of what we were touching on last week when we were talking about lightning deals and we said if you can do one, see if you can set a quantity that you think is going to sell out because they’re probably going to be more likely to offer to you again and it looks like that’s exactly what happened. You sold 170 and immediately they said, “Let’s do another. Hey Scott, would you like to do another lightning deal?” You’re like, “Yes I would however, I no longer have this product.”
[00:09:01] Scott: Dom, have you had any lightning deals go live here recently?
[00:09:07] Dom: Yeah, we’ve had a few but I thought as many as I’d like to get offered again, it kind of sucks that they have to offer to you. Again, I’m assuming the criteria is that you have to have a well selling product for a while before they kind offer to you. Unless they’re going to start offering at the base which would be kind of cool if they do that at the beginning but that’s yet to be seen.
What I’ve notice though is that the quantity that they require is going up. Now I’m not sure if that’s because they’re charging $300 now and they know that if you offer 50 pieces you’re not even going to cover $300 but we did a lightening deal of 100 and 200 of two ASINs of two variations. Now they want us to do 500 and 300 of those same variations. I’m not sure it’s because we sold through or they’re saying, “Look we’re going to charge $300 this time you need to supply this many products so you can make some money.”
I’ve noticed that over a couple of products not just one. I think they want more quantity, they don’t want the 50’s and 100’s as much now. They want once you’ve done it once they want you to… Again I don’t want to sell out so we haven’t decided what we’re going to do.
[00:10:12] Chris: What’s the window on that Dom because I know… Wasn’t that you that was saying you got offered one on black Friday or right around there?
[00:10:19] Dom: That’s right. We got offered and that one’s still set to go. I don’t know what the window is. I never really… I kind of just leave it and then I go back and forth but sometimes if you don’t say your criteria you’d be like it’s dormant like it’s not even pushed through. That’s just to make sure you always keep checking on them because I think we’re getting ready to go and then the day before it’s like they suspended it because something changed.
They even wanted to push the quality up, the quantity up or move your day or something. That’s all I’ve noticed and then again not across all our products which would be nice especially with new launch products but I don’t expect that to happen for lightening deals. But it might be for seasoned or for sellers that have lots of ASINs they might all offer it soon just to start boosting your new products.
[00:11:05] Scott: Dan wanted to know on Periscope here, where do you see the fee? I think that’s what the question was. Where do you see the fee as far as not even just the fee that they’re going to charge you but I think what he’s asking is the fee for processing the order or pick and pack? I think everything is the same. Obviously you’re only going to be charged on the price that it sells for but what we’re talking about the fee, we’re talking about is depending on when… Do you guys know what the date is that they’re going to start making that? I know if it’s before like right now if it was before like November… I wasn’t…
[00:11:40] Chris: I think it’s November 21st.
[00:11:42] Scott: Something like that, because what will happen is when you look at your lightning deal options you’ll see at the bottom when you go to start to set it up it’ll say the fee and sometimes it’ll say zero, sometimes it’ll say 300. If it’s 300 it just means it’s past that November 20th, 21st-ish time. Chris how are we doing over there, we’re on Facebook yet or not?
[00:12:03] Chris: It says we are so guys if you can see us on Facebook let us know.
[00:12:06] Scott: I can see some something’s come up, Chris Shaffer is now live on The Amazing Seller Group. Let’s see how long we can keep that. If you guys are tuning in for the first time here on Facebook live welcome. We’ve been on here for about 15 minutes now. Sorry you couldn’t join us earlier but Facebook wasn’t letting us get into the group for some reason but now we are. We’re talking about lightning deals, we’re talking about just random stuff right now around lightning deals and products being able to get sold with some of the new things that are being offered to us.
The fees that are coming along with some of these lightning deals now past a certain date. But I’m also still seeing like if that lightning deal can go before that certain date it’s free. If like right now you see one and they’re saying like you can get the window of this week or whatever and then you will see that it’ll say no fee. It’ll just say no fee on the bottom, if it does you’ll have a $300 fee. Again, I just want people to remember when you’re looking at that fee you have to figure that into your budget as far as for like a promotion.
If you’re doing a promotion and you’re trying to launch that product or get that product more visibility or even if that product is tied to some variations because then it’ll naturally probably get you some more sales but you have to build that in and kind of look at it as like that’s part of the cost. The other thing I would say is if you’re going to do one you definitely want to do a good price on that as far as like a good sale price. If you don’t do that you’re probably going to get mediocre results and that’s kind of what we’ve seen.
Our product was selling for $24.95, we did it for 18 bucks. But again like Chris said if that product was something that people could just look at and not have to be really be educated on so much then it will be okay. When people are searching for the product it’s fine but if you’re just kind of like browsing along and you’re searching for something related on there but it’s not really specific to that it’s going to be hard to buy something unless it’s like something that is just so obvious. I think that’s where it really comes down too.
Let’s talk about this new review thing that Amazon has released or at least I guess the announcement in the terms of service they put in there. Chris do you want to talk a little bit about that?
[00:14:23] Chris: Yes, that’s actually what I was writing down when you were sitting there talking about lightning deals. Basically what has happened is Amazon came out this week and they announced that surprise, some of these reviews are back kind of.
[00:14:35] Scott: If we can control them.
[00:14:36] Chris: Essentially what it comes down to is they have a program now where they’re letting you as a seller pick products that you want to be able to offer a gift card in exchange for a review basically.
[00:14:50] Scott: Which is crazy to me. I know what you’re going to say but here’s the thing… I’ll let you go further but I had to jump in here. We were told we could never give away a $5 gift card in exchange for a review. We’ve never said that and we said you can’t do that. That’s buying a review but now Amazon’s flipping it on its head and saying, “You can do it if we allow you to do it in our little system here.” What’s your feedback on that Chris? I know you have something you want to say.
[00:15:26] Chris: What they’re saying there is they didn’t want you to pay for reviews upfront. This is not the same thing like when you see people that jumped on Fiverr and bought paid reviews. They were giving a free product and receiving money in exchange for the review. In this case the person buys the product first and according to what I’ve read and again it’s just the one super vague statement from Amazon on it, it sounds like they’re at random going to go out and say, “Hey would you mind leaving a yes review on this product?” Not as the seller, as Amazon and they’re going to give them a $1 to $3 gift card if they do that to Amazon to buy any other product that they want.
Yes they are going to be compensating people for reviews, that’s what it comes down to but it’s Amazon doing it and it’s not happening on the front. They’re not being paid to leave a positive or a negative review. They’re not being influenced in their purchase of the product from that money, it’s happening on the back end. Does that make sense?
[00:16:33] Scott: It makes total sense but we were never able to do that. If I was to put an insert card in my thing and say, thanks for buying our product. If you leave me a review I’ll give you a $5 gift card. You’d get banned for that Chris.
[00:16:48] Chris: I’m not arguing with you on that.
[00:16:50] Scott: Because of that it’s all of a sudden okay because Amazon’s controlling it. I just find it kind of humorous that they’re…
[00:16:58] Dom: The only way they can give it to… They can control it and give it to whomever they can want to.
[00:17:01] Scott: That’s literally saying like, “Dom I know that you’ve just bought my product, I know it’s going to take a little nudging to get you to review it because it’s kind of a pain in the butt but how about if I give you a $5 gift card, will you do it?” ‘Sure, I’ll do it.” Technically I’m paying for you to go over and leave a review. I’m not saying go over and leave me a 5 star. I just find it kind of humorous that Amazon is not allowing us to do it.
[00:17:28] Dom: Just like the reviews when I said to you guys would it be nice what you’re hoping to happen is, “Hey you want to use these product deal groups or review club?” Well these are the ones that are Amazon approved. You can only use these 4 to give away your stuff. It doesn’t matter how because Amazon is going to kick back in the back $10,000 and a percentage of something. It’s relevant topic, it’s how business grows, it’s how the bad program grows that’s why all these giveaways, that’s why they’re doing it.
[00:17:59] Scott: I’m okay with it. Honestly, Dom I’m okay with it and I think you’re kind of okay with it now but it’s a pain in the butt you got to deal with it.
[00:18:07] Dom: It is. It is when they say don’t do something and then that means… Well what are you going to do? Again, they also limit it to though. I think you can only do 30 in those anyways, it’s not like you can do hundreds and hundreds. That’s how they limit it too. They say okay we’ll let you use 30 of these a month, a year or whatever this is escalating, not 1000 a month. They still have a full control. They want to determine the outcome I guess. Again, your biggest thing we’re on their platform, we’re in their sandbox.
[00:18:36] Scott: How are they going to control that Chris? What’s your thoughts? Dan wants to know… He’s just asking the question he says, do you know yet? How are you going to be invited to that or to a select of product that you’re able to do that with. Do we know yet?
[00:18:49] Chris: I asked, I haven’t got an answer yet. Apparently no one on Facebook can hear me so the funny, you guys have to repeat that for them while I try to fix that issue.
[00:18:58] Dom: Maybe who they’re going to offer the products to? Is that what you’re saying?
[00:19:02] Chris: It very specifically says that sellers will be able to select products. I asked as soon as I saw like… Which was what? Tuesday night is when they rolled that out and I have not gotten a response yet but not really a surprise it’s kind of low on their priority.
[00:19:18] Scott: Well, I think we’re going to have to wait to see how it’s rolled out. I don’t think there’s really the set thing. It’s like anything. We’re just… Even like a lightening deal thing it was like one day you went to your promotions tab and all of sudden you see the lightning deal tab and you’re like, “What the heck happened.” It just appeared.
[00:19:37] Dom: But for the reviews though, to that review club thing they’re going to have… There’s lots of options though not just that, isn’t there? There’s giveaways on Twitter, giveaways on…
[00:19:46] Scott: Well, that’s something a little bit different and actually it’s funny because I was going to bring this up on.
[00:19:52] Dom: Aren’t they tied in together. I thought it was the same?
[00:19:56] Scott: I’m not sure if it is but here’s… I’ll start talking about that I guess. We talked about… I think it was either last week or the week before we started talking about how in your promotions tab you can also select a sweepstake or a giveaway. What that basically means is on your page you have a tab that says giveaway and then you have all your products that will come up that are able to be given away. Given away means that if someone lands on your page or you share that link you select if you’re going to give that product away how many products are you going to give away?
You would share that link and this is all within Amazon, they’re going to select the winner, they’re going to do all that stuff but the actions that have to come for entering are resided upon you. It could be ‘like us on Twitter’, ‘go to YouTube and watch this video’. I’m not sure if Facebook is on there may be ‘like us on Facebook’. I’m not sure all the options but recently it was funny I did or we did the Facebook Live that one week and we talked about it. The girl that I’m helping, the blogger that I talk about she heard it, I didn’t even tell her to do it privately and she went out and she just… She’s a take action type of person.
But she went out and she did that. But here was the problem that I said to her, at first I was like, “If you don’t have a lot of traffic coming to your page no one’s going to see the giveaway or the sweepstakes.”
[00:21:19] Chris: That’s right. If you’re new.
[00:21:19] Scott: But what she did, she’s a smart lady. What she did was she took… Because they gave you a link that you can share too and she took that link and then she shared it on her Facebook page. Well, on her Facebook she’s got about 25,000-ish fans of her page. But here’s the cool thing, there’s other groups out there that pick up on these Amazon giveaways, these legit Amazon giveaways. Not a Facebook group that’s for reviews, a giveaway. These things must be kind of like every day she goes out and finds or people email her about them.
She messaged this lady who has about… I don’t know, 100,000 or more Facebook fans and they all go there for today’s deals on Amazon kind of giveaways stuff. She shared it on there, she’s smart enough that on that particular page she drove people over to a giveaway platform it’s called Raffle Copter. Have you ever heard of that Chris? It’s a blog, a lot of bloggers use it and it’s basically a contest platform. But anyway, long story short she drove them there on that external link not the one that was internally into Amazon.
She actually kind of put that behind like a wall in a sense that if you wanted to get that link you had to opt in and then on the thank you page you would have the link, she was able to get 100 email addresses. Chris I didn’t even tell you that. She ran that contest through Amazon, they had to go over and watch her YouTube video which I already gave her some other strategies that she can use for that because on her YouTube video she can put a call to action there and say, “Thanks so much for watching our tutorial. If you want to enter into our monthly sweepstake go over to xyz.co/sweepstake and you can enter into our monthly thing.”
Now she can take the traffic coming from the Amazon listing over to that, capture the email address and not start building that VIP or that contest list every single month, month after month after month. But she did it externally too so it’s another creative way to use that sweepstake model and just share it on other Facebook pages and that’s totally within Amazon. Does that make sense? Dom, does that make sense?
[00:23:20] Dom: It makes 100% sense, I get it. It’s a lot of work but I get it.
[00:23:25] Scott: It is and it isn’t really, it’s really just setting up those components and then sharing the link. Actually she gave me the name of the Facebook page and she was more than happy for me to share it, I just don’t have it off the tip of my tongue here but I’ll share it. It was something like a mommy network something. It’s all of these moms go there and every day they check in and they see like the most recent Amazon giveaways.
I’m not talking about like the private one who like are Facebook review groups and stuff. I’m talking the ones that Amazon publicly put out there like they’re sweepstakes but the only way that you see those sweepstakes is if you will land on that page or if the link is shared. It’s another way for you to take that link and then share it with someone who has a following.
[00:24:11] Dom: I think they just make it simple or just have a group like we talked about 3rd party approved sites and make it easy for everyone. Put a level playing field, limit it to what you can, what your discount could be, how many can do a month, these are the 5 sites you can use, thank you very much.
[00:24:27] Scott: I agree with that Dom but here’s what I would disagree with that. Here’s where I think we have an advantage.
[00:24:33] Dom: You can still do what you’re doing but that’s just an option for startups or if you just want to.
[00:24:39] Scott: But my competition might not want to do that work that I just said to you so now I’m going to be able to drive more traffic to my listings and get more sales because I can do that and they are not willing to do it.
[00:24:49] Dom: I’m with you 110% again because you’re right… I’ll be the first example. I don’t have the motivation to do that. It’s not, probably another 100 people won’t do that. But you’re right, that will give me the upper edge right.
[00:25:04] Scott: That’s why you and I are buddies though because I may be able to help you with that.
[00:25:08] Dom: Of course. I’m a little lucky because I have you guys to work with and you’ve taught me all of the stuff, how to do that stuff. But the average person will just say, “Forget it.” I just want to the giveaway club. Again, that’s always been my thing. I know you reach out to that next level type stuff but again I’m always a common man. I’m thinking of the person’s that’s just overwhelmed with just the process itself let alone adding all these other stuff on top of it to get going.
[00:25:33] Scott: But I think again being creative is the key in this. I’ll give you guys another example, Dom I haven’t even told you this yet because we haven’t had time to talk but basically we’re kind of working on a little case study here within Instagram. We took Instagram and we started doing some outreach. We’ve got our own page being built but now what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to get some outreach so this way here we can piggyback off of other pages that have 100,000 followers. I’ve already found 2 in the matter of literally less than a day. Only reached out to 2. I’ve still got to reach out… Again, we’re working on this.
I reached out to 2, right in their bio it says, “Contact us for advertising.” Literally I’ve got 2 quotes back. I can post an image and a link in their bio and directions inside of the description on what to do which would be perfect for sending people to that giveaway link. I can do one for $6 a post and it stays up for 5 days or I can do another one for I think it’s 25 bucks for 5 posts over 5 days and that one there I think takes… I think that one gets taken down after 12 hours. I’m sorry, the second one was $25 for one post.
But they’ve 155,000 followers and all of their stuff when they post it within 10 hours they have like 1,500 or 2,500 likes on that picture. That means I can get eyeballs on that contest giveaway if I’m targeting the page that is related to that product. Right now Chris and I are already writing a case study right now which is amazing and we’re building an email list and hopefully by the time we get to Arizona we’re going to be able to reveal the emails. We’re building a pretty good size email list from Instagram.
[00:27:23] Dom: I was talking to my wife about this. I think you have a real competitive edge in the private label, you can even do a retail arb if you have that social media knowledge and how to do that stuff. If you bring in some SEO background or some marketing and if you do exactly how about stuff where… Although I’ve got lots of years of retail marketing, sales and pushing product like Danny would say…
[00:27:47] Scott: Pushing products.
[00:27:48] Dom: Pushing products. The evolution of private label is at that next stage I think and a lot of these guys that do very well that are doing big numbers they all have that background. If you were to interview everybody or even do a survey on the Facebook page, I just got into a I’m a single mom or a single dad or I just came up, I used to sell clothing at a retail store versus the people that have SEO or have Facebook I think that’s definitely where the next level is. Again, I’m kind of envious that I can’t do that myself that’s why I’m teamed up with you guys because you’re really good at it.
But again it’s something you have to learn, you have to basically make it part of your plan, it has to be like a daily ritual. For me once I learn it once, I can keep going. This is great, it works let me just do it over and over again but because I don’t roll that realm, I wish I knew social media. I know the platforms but to do like you guys are saying, how to do this, how to do that, how to capture this, how to flip it back, how to bring it back.
I think you have a competitive advantage and I think that’s going to be very important going into the space now. But if you know that stuff you can definitely because I don’t know what the advantage is 50-50. 50% of people that know that versus 50 that don’t or it’s only 10%. But I find a lot of the successful people already have that background in them, which is a huge edge. If I had it then you know that I have both of both worlds. The years of sales and flipping and…
[00:29:10] Scott: Someone just wanted to know on… That’s a great point Dom. Again, to a lot of people it’s overwhelming but really I think if you visualize it and you see it it can be simpler and you can create systems that actually help do the work. Me personally I like to… I come from the construction world. I want to know how to build the house before I let someone else build the house for me.
[00:29:35] Dom: For sure.
[00:29:36] Scott: I want to know all the inner workings and I’m not the guy that’s going to sit up there and say, “This is how you do it but I’ve never done it before.” I need to actually do it and see it and understand it.
[00:29:45] Dom: Same with me.
[00:29:46] Scott: I’m a visual guy. But someone just asked right now, “Scott since you started ecommerce and Amazon and all of that stuff and even just the online business, do you still do everything yourself or do you hire someone to do it?” The answer is I do it first and then I hire. Right now we’re doing the Instagram stuff but I also have a VA that’s starting to come in and starting to help us with that stuff. That’s going to be systematized and that’s going to be done without me to having to touch it; the outreach, the build of the pages. I actually even reached out… Chris I don’t know if I told you this but I offered to buy one of those Instagram pages. I tried to throw some money in because I thought it might have been a kid.
[00:30:20] Chris: We talked about it.
[00:30:21] Scott: I thought it was a kid. It has 150,000 followers and just the way that the… Maybe it was just broken English because maybe they’re not from here, from the US but it was broken a little bit and it just sounded like a kid was typing back. I’m like, kids have pages of 100,000+ and they don’t even know what they’re sitting on. I asked my son I’m like, “If you had a page of 100,000 on Instagram and if I offered you 1,000 bucks would you take it?” And he’s like, “Heck yeah.’
I’m thinking to myself I can throw 1,000 bucks to this kid, maybe buy the Instagram page and have it myself and I won’t even have to rent space. That’s a shortcut to doing it. I think that having yourself be able to build this stuff and then systematize it and hiring a VA, hiring a VA for this would be super easy and then you’ve got the systems in place. Anyway I’m pretty excited about that little case study we go going too because it’s almost like you’re… We talked about this again. Dom I wanted to talk to you about it even a little bit further. But it’s kind of almost like you’re reversing the FBA process.
It’s almost like you’re building a little bit of an audience, you’re getting them in… We’re getting them in because we’re running a contest for a really… It’s like $160 value. Actually I’m going to share the actual market that we’re looking at and the page and everything. I’m doing that at the Phoenix event, I’m actually going to share that. We’re going to actually break it down once we kind of get through it.
But I just think it’s cool because we’re using a product that’s not even ours and then we’re getting people to opt in to enter the contest and then we have a way for them to also share it with other people so that if they share it they get more credits for the entries. But then we’re going to figure out what’s the product that we can build on the back end that we can launch on Amazon and then we can offer to basically the runner ups, maybe a discount or maybe even give it to them for a dollar and then we can drive sales over to the FBA listing and boost our ranking. It’s kind of a Walmart now.
[00:32:20] Dom: The traditional model was the private label model or the retail model, you put the product on there, you use the consumer that’s already on that marketplace to buy your product. You guys are just doing… Get that market to buy your product and let’s go inside the market and bring them new customers that are specifically into that market to go buy your product. You’re trying to hit both exactly. My easiest explanation is I hear my 80 year old grandma can put her stuff up for a yard sale and say she won’t know at 80 years old that she wants a dollar for this cup.
But if you say, “Grandma you need to start funneling people to the yard sales’ signs and do this and get them to go to Craigslist and link it there and get your emails and tell them that you have a yard sale.” More people could come that wouldn’t come that are not yard sellers she’d be like, “Huh?” No I think I’ll just setup at 6:00 in the morning and sell. That’s what I’m trying to get at, that’s the thing. But I think you need that… Eventually that’s not going even going to be an advantage because more people are going to know that and that’s how you’re going to have to survive.
You’re going to need to have to do it. If you don’t do that you’ll be selling 8 things a day for ever instead of right. My goal is exactly that’s why I want to work with you guys for a while is I can’t wait to see a product that I’m doing 30, 40 a day. Once I do that is that going to be a 70 a day product or else? Even from 50 to 60, even if it add 10 then the process works for me. But I’m just like you though, I need to see it visually and then I can say, “Here you do all the Facebook media, all our social media. This is how we want it done, you take care of it I’ll pay you guys. Here’s is our ASINs, just keep pumping it out every time you put a new product.”
[00:33:55] Scott: It’ll become part of your system. Someone wanted to know if we can have Dom’s grandma on the podcast. I bet you we can teach grandma how to market her yard sale a little bit better just by using maybe some different coloring on the yard sales signs.
[00:34:13] Dom: You could but again old school ways. No advertising.
[00:34:19] Scott: You want to hear something funny? Chris we haven’t heard from you just because I don’t know if your audio is working on Facebook Live, is it?
[00:34:26] Chris: All of our audio stuff’s working on Facebook Live. I’m restarting that feed. Facebook Live is killing me this week. I don’t know what the deal is with that so I’m just going to… I think we can just post this on Facebook and let people interact that way.
[00:34:38] Scott: I think we might want to do the ghetto version in the future though. You might want to grab your phone and a tripod and a speaker and we’ll go with that.
[00:34:45] Chris: I’m just going to bring my speakers in here and then we’re going to be done and then that’s not a problem.
[00:34:49] Scott: Okay, cool.
[00:34:50] Chris: Let’s just focus on your guys at Periscope because you love us and we love you more than we love Facebook Live and that’s why we’re saying this right now.
[00:34:59] Chris: Dom’s grandma we’re bringing Dom’s grandma to Denver? Scott to go to where you were going with the outside content, Dom I think it's not as overwhelming, we're not inventing a new way to hold a yard sale. We're just adding things on… Yes, you don't have to do them but they're very helpful. Does that makes sense? If your grandma holds a yard sale and she's never put up a yard sale signs, the next step for her to drive more traffic would be to put up those arrow signs that people put on the stuff signs. You grandma can do that and she would understand that.
She knows that that will get her more traffic. It's not taking her from selling stuff in the yard sale to taking out classified ads on Craigslist and selling on eBay. It's all the small steps in between. What Scott and I have been doing and you know this, through things like this Instagram case study and the other stuff that we're working on. We're baby stepping everything through so that we don't lose people in that transition because it is something that's going be increasingly important in the future and you know that and that's why we started to work together on some stuff. Scott I don't know what you're showing on Periscope.
[00:36:16] Scott: I'm not, it's all on the share. I'm like, “Hey, come on guys. Share it, some happy face.” You want to know what name that came to my head really quick when I heard grandma, I heard “Grandma got ran over by a reindeer.” That's all I could think of when you were saying grandma. Someone said, “We need Papa V and grandma on the show.” Here, a little update on Papa V. Papa V is in the hospital today and he's got a brand new hip and he said it's been probably almost ten years since he's had no pain and he said today he brushed his teeth and shaved and on his two feet and two legs and he didn't have any pain. If Papa V is in his bed right now or maybe he's doing some exercise, he might be watching, Papa V great job man. Let's give Papa V a quad tap.
[00:37:11] Dom: We'll have to bring him live Scott before Arizona. He’s not coming to Phoenix, is he?
[00:37:14] Scott: No, he's not. He’s going to be doing some exercises in his house.
[00:37:18] Dom: Oh man, I was looking forward to seeing him.
[00:37:19] Scott: No, Papa V is going to be recovering, maybe the next one. I got a lot of taps for Papa V. Lot of taps. Lot of hearts.
[00:37:28] Dom: What I would say Chris was, for me this is how hard, just for me to link and launch to Lead Pages, and sign in and figure how to get a lead page to the website, to email capture our warranties, for me was like, “Oh my God, how do I do this?” It wasn't plug it in and it will work, backlink, do this, do that. And I'm like, okay, I’ll just let my graphic guy do it. That's what I ended up doing. My web designer guy just did everything for us. Even me I was overwhelmed just with that and that’s just a lead page. For you guys it's nothing. That’s a two second, lead page here, email capture. That's what I was saying. It's like when you’re overwhelmed with just a small thing like that to go that next level…
[00:38:11] Chris: I'm going to yell at you again about this. The first time you set up an eBay listing it didn't go smoothly, you didn't know everything that you were doing. It's a new thing. If you went in and you set up a lead page today, would you suck at it? Probably. If you set up another one tomorrow, you know all the things that you did wrong at the first time. It might take two or three times but once you’ve done it a couple of times you feel for it. None of the off site Amazon stuff is really all that different from what we've already done. It's just different in terms of the things that you have to click on. It's not that it's a more complicated process. It's just a different and new process. We have to put ourselves through it. Does that make sense as well. Here’s a hot enough cookie to be able to use Lead Pages. Lead pages is fairly easy to use, once you've been in it. If you've never looked at any… If you've never looked at Microsoft Word, you wouldn't know how to use it.
[00:39:07] Scott: It's all about again, even like product research, people are all like, “Oh my Gosh, I don't know where to go, I don't know…” Chris and I did a workshop last night all about product research because so many people struggle with that part. Then when you struggle, what do you do? You just back out of it. You just say, I'm not going to do it or it doesn't work or whatever. I think if you, it's like you said. Like me personally I still remember saying that I would never own a computer. Here I am. Phone, that's a computer, broadcasting. I've got the big computer here. I've got another one over there. I've got a laptop out there. I've got another one upstairs in the bonus room.
I said I would never own a computer because I was more or less, I didn't see the value in it and this is going back to see my father on the computer doing stuff and this is back years ago and I'm like, “You spend way too much time on a computer.” That's before they even had good internet. He was actually just working on the business stuff like maybe like spreadsheets or whatever, really boring stuff. The dial up, it was slow as heck. But then I found a need for it and then I started to learn it and here's a guy that never went to college. I don't have any type of like major education, other than the stuff that I've learned. I bought a book, I should find that book. I still have it, it's a Photoshop book. It's about that thick. It's literally about 6 inches thick and it was called ‘The Photoshop Bible'.
I learned that program and I can run it pretty darn good today and I actually taught people and I still teach people in my photography space that I still teach in because I wanted to learn it, I learned it, I knew the value in it but I didn't know the first thing in it, when I first started I remember saying, “I'm never going to get this. Never going to get this.” Actually I’m going to go back to my good friend Jim Krill who's going to be at the event. When I was training him to work at our construction company and we used to do these metal bends, we used to bend metal to put around the casings, the wood casings that’s around the windows and there's a break. They call it a window bending break.
[00:41:07] Scott: You bend different shapes and stuff and you got to figure out how to use the tool and you got to, all the stuff. I can whip out windows in like… I can do a whole house full of windows in a day, like I got good at it. When I first started learning, I never thought I was going to get to where I was going to be able to do it. Same thing with Jimmy. I was teaching him how to do this stuff and he was like, “I'm never going to learn this.” Then all of a sudden he's doing a whole house by himself and teaching other people how to do it. You got to learn it.
But it's when you pull back because of the fear of, “I don't want to learn it,” but once you see the value in it and then you see how it all connects, then it's like, “Okay, now all of a sudden someone says build a landing page and boom, okay I know that part. Now what's the next connecting piece? Oh I got connect the linked in side of Amazon that they are going to give us. I take that link and that's on my thank you page.” How do I create ‘Thank you' page? I've already done that before. Now, I got to connect those two. It's like, right now it sounds like a lot but really it's simple when you start to break down when you learn how to build these little components. Then you can farm it out.
[00:42:07] Chris: I think it's going to be, like you said, an essential part now. I think that's how you and I have to grow. You can add new products to grow different price points but I think in order to move all your products to that next level, you're going to have to do stuff like that because people are already doing that. The guys that are already ahead of you, they’ getting further ahead. I'm looking forward to the second day, right? Obviously it's going to be more really exciting so, for me that's going to be our heads update. Anybody that's coming to that is definitely going to learn that process, ins and out. You're going to tear it apart right from ground one and I think that's the best way to do it for sure.
[00:42:44] Scott: I know. I'm excited about day two. I'm excited about day one too. We're going to have a lot of fun on day one. Last time we had a really, a good day we got ten hot seats coming in so we're going to be going through ten people's businesses basically giving them 30 minutes in the hot seat and then everyone collectively will be diving in. It's going to be over 30 people in that room and they are all selling which is key. Then day two we're going to kick it up a notch and that's when we're going to really tear some things down and show actually how to build some stuff.
We actually got someone coming in actually, who's on Chris's team and his partner, Joel and he's also on our team here at TAS and he's going to be showing us some Facebook ads strategy stuff. That's going to be fun. We've got some really cool stuff going on. I'm excited about getting there and meeting everyone but let's talk a little bit about TAS Canada really quick Dom. How's that going? What was the last meet up like?
[00:43:37] Dom: The last meetup we had scheduled for 21, I think like actually 23/24 people showed up so I was pretty amazed and my whole warehouse, my show room where you can see behind me was pretty well full. Actually, that's the maximum. If my warehouse wasn’t so full behind I could actually fit 50/60/100 people but hopefully for the next meet up we'll get just as much but it was literally good. Lot of good turnout, lot of repeat turn out for the first time so that's good. Actually to the point that…
[00:44:06] Scott: What are people…? Where are they at? Are they all over the place? I'm trying to gauge.
[00:44:11] Dom: Yeah, just standard. A lot of guys doing retail arb, wanting to get into private label. A lot of guys doing salvage or palette stuff, buying palettes for business or Staples, from Walmart and trying to savage stuff but yeah, it's a lot of work. You pay $400 for a palette you might be able to scrape $1500 which is great but you got keep doing that, doing that, lots of rinse and repeat. Some people that straight out of private label want to get into private label have never touched retail arb and know nothing about it, just want to know the strategy and if it's not good for them and then a few that had already two to three products, some people in the beauty and space, hair care stuff or supplements type stuff and it's kind of a mixture. Actually, there's going to be a couple coming, you already know that, going to be someone coming from Canada from the group so that's pretty cool.
We told them about it and they came so I'm actually excited to see them come down there because I think they are going to get a lot out of it. Then the standard practice is that how do we get across for bringing it here and how do we get it across the border, what about taxes, can we do LLC and all that stuff, same thing. Let's get your products sourced, let's go through that and that's the same type thing. People are afraid what the product and pulling the trigger like I said there's a couple of guys only got a few products out there. Some guys have varying ways of validating their products and some people are going to say, “Okay, I just don't know what to sell yet.” Now, we hadn't had a meeting since I… I think the last meeting we had was just before the terms of service change. People are wanting to, two of them already got products coming from China so they are like, “What do we do now?” We went through the process just manually fulfill it for now or bring it to fulfillment center or let them hold it for a while and then bring it in or… It's really good.
[00:46:05] Scott: Someone, I was going to give them the link. Someone wanted to just know, is there a Facebook fan page for the TAS group.
[00:46:11] Dom: The Amazing Seller, you'll see your group and then type in Canada beside it and you’ll see all the same thing. It's nowhere near your group because it’s starting but we started with nothing and now we’ve got a couple hundred now. We are getting five to ten people a day joining because of the live broadcasts and talking about it in some of your podcasts. So, it's been good. A lot of people are asking questions already how to do LLC, I'll be there responding as much as I can. There's a couple of guys, Bill's in there as well. You guys are more than welcome too. I think Danny is in it too as well, Brewer. There some guys that can help you. It's international too. It's not a recommendation that you’re Canadian to go in there so even if you're from other parts of the world you can help in because it’s international, it's the same kind of thing, how to bring yourself directly from China to Amazon and so it's pretty good.
[00:46:59] Scott: The link actually, I made a pretty link for that, a nice little easy link and that is theamazingseller.com/canada. We'll make it really easy for you guys.
[00:47:09] Dom: That's for the Facebook page and then if you're local, if you’re in Toronto or Ontario area, we've had people come from as far as two hours away, we're just outside of Toronto. That is at meetup.com. Just type TAS Canada, TAS Toronto, FBA seller and we’re the main group there. The other one actually shut down once we started. I have lifted the gap, I was stuck at 50 because I was too cheap, but it's been so overwhelming. People kept emailing through, I can't get in the group so we've been adding people every day so if you want to be a part of that…
[00:47:47] Scott: What I would suggest here, I'll suggest this on the fly for you. I would suggest you can create an event inside of there. Just create an event and then people can go in that event and you can put the link to the meet up to the most current one. I would say, this way people don't have to go to meetup.com and try to search. Just go to theamazingseller.com/canada and send a request to join, you'll get approved, when you get approved go in there, look at the upcoming event and then Dom you should just put that event in the events tab right there. Then people can just click on that and it will give you the date, make it super easy.
[00:48:21] Dom: Yeah, we want try and make it… If you’re going to fly out for those meet ups, we want to come out though. That's our goal. That's why we want to get this process started in Canada. Definitely you've helped a lot of people here in Canada, you and Chris. It's a movement starting. The main thing too is if you ever come to Canada Scott, we want to have a following. We want to have people interested so you guys can come and see us, we already have things in place if we have a TAS Canada meet up, which we will eventually.
[00:48:54] Scott: I'm definitely going to come out and have to stay at the cottage or something.
[00:48:59] Dom: Whoever who comes in there, we want you guys to be part of it. You guys were here from the ground level, once it starts to get to 700/800 people, then you're not in the ground level as much. Anyway, thanks man for sure. Anybody out there come and join us, we love it.
[00:49:13] Scott: Chris, do we have any questions? I know that, are you still on Facebook or are you now off of Facebook?
[00:49:17] Chris: We now apparently have audio on Facebook. There are some people on there with us but before we jump into that Scott, I just want to run through a couple of the news notifications from Amazon from this week.
[00:49:26] Scott: Sure.
[00:49:27] Chris: The first thing is that Amazon earlier reviewers, which we talked about at the beginning. The second is the manual processing fees starts November 1st so if you guys are shipping in inventory make sure you ship a manifest with it. Amazon has a template for it, we've always done it but you can double check, make sure there's a manifest and it should be part of the shipping process now I believe. If not, they'll charge you 15 cents a unit. I think it is what it is, starting on Tuesday. The other thing, they also launched a new manage inventory page so they just made that pretty and the holiday return policy starts on Tuesday as well. Basically gives people a 60 day window from November first, through January… The end of January.
Then the last one was the catalog files so Scott you might have enjoyed this. Amazon is actually going to make it easier to do some book uploads of stuff. They launched this week, a catalog file to make it easier for people to import from their ecommerce stores if they have it. Creates kind of a bare bones listing for you and appears you still have to pick a category and some of those other kinds of things but it's like 4 columns instead of 80. That may be an interesting way for some people in the TAS community if you have a few products that you're trying to list it may be a little bit of an easier way than going through the traditional flat file which I know Dom is laughing at and I know the flat file gives Scott a heart attack as well.
[00:51:00] Dom: Don't forget to mention that the fees for storage fees changed too next month.
[00:51:05] Chris: Starting on Tuesday?
[00:51:08] Dom: I don't know if it's a couple of days or weeks but that's big one so the storage fees are going to be less, but the processing fees are going to be higher, no the processing fees are going to be eliminated but the storage fees are going to be higher, something like that. Basically if you have big bulky stuff that doesn't sell you're going to be getting some big fees too. Just pay attention to that.
[00:51:29] Scott: With that they usually always have, not always… But a lot of times they'll do some type of free pull so if you have inventory that you want to get out of there they’ll offer like a short or limited time where you can pull your inventory for no cost.
[00:51:50] Dom: Yah but Oct 31st to do that. The email should have been sent out to everybody.
[00:51:53] Scott: A lot of times they'll do that when they implement something like that because they want to give you the chance to get it out of there, if you want to. Last thing here. Someone wanted to know Chris, what's a manifest?
[00:52:06] Chris: It's a list of what's in your shipment. Actually, breaking news… I'm just going to read you the mail I got from Amazon about the earlier review service that just came in, “Thank you for your interest in the earlier review program. The program is only available to select few sellers who are beta currently. The goal of the beta is to learn and get early feedback from participating sellers. Once the program rolls out to everybody else, will be able to select it from inside of your seller central dashboard.” That answers the question we had earlier about…
[00:52:36] Scott: Breaking news.
[00:52:41] Chris: It's almost like Amazon is listening to this live broadcast, because it's been three days since I sent them an email and it just so happened…
[00:53:26] Scott: All right guys, I think that's going to wrap it up for this Power Hour on Periscope and on Facebook Live. That is going to be it, here's what we're going to do though. That's going to be it for this segment. Then what we're going to do is we're going to open up the lines for a couple of questions.
Okay, so there you have it. A lot of fun. We have a lot of fun on those calls. Would love to have you attend like I said Facebook Live kind of let us down a little bit but you can always catch it on Periscope or occasionally I will put them up here on the podcast. A lot of you have been listening. I know that because I can see my downloads and I can see you guys are enjoying them and I also get a lot of emails and comments on Facebook or on the blog. You guys are liking them so we will continue to do them as long as we have stuff to talk about which we always have stuff to talk about.
If you guys want to watch some of the shenanigans and the banter back and forth and the pre-show and some of those questions at the end as well that we answered after we went off of the script, I guess you can say, you can head over to theamazingseler.com/282. That will be the show notes page and we'll embed the live broadcast there or the recording and you can watch all of it unedited as far as cutting out the pre-show and stuff like that. You can always find us on Facebook if you want to over to theamazingseller.com/fb. That will take you to our Facebook page, you'll have to be approved. Once you're approved and we go live, you will see that in the news feed. You can also head over to Periscope, theamazingseller.com…. Wait a minute. I don't have a Periscope feed on that.
Just go to Periscope and search for @ScottVoelker and you'll find me and you can go ahead and tune in there. Guys, that's pretty much going to wrap it up. Hopefully, you got value from this and if you did, go out there and take action on whatever it is that you think you can do right now. That's it, that's going to wrap it up. 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.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
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