There are lots of ways to start selling products on Amazon. But there are some approaches that restrict you more than others in terms of the categories you are able to sell within and the variety of products you can offer. On this episode, Scott talks with his friend Dom Sugar about what it means to build an open brand, why it is a faster way to find and launch products, and how you can approach this style of selling, on this episode.
Are you married to your product brand? What would happen if you weren’t?
The idea of selling products under an “open brand” is foreign to a lot of sellers who are trying to build a brand in a certain niche. An open brand enables you to sell products in all sorts of niches, testing as you go, learning what products are popular and which are not. This approach enables you to get products started faster and cull the ones that aren’t working while still building a business. You can even have multiple niched brands within your open brand. If it doesn’t make sense to you now, that’s OK. Listen to this episode to hear Scott and his friend Dom Sugar explain what the open brand strategy is.
How retail arbitrage can connect to an open brand sales model.
Dom Sugar has been selling products online for years. Most recently he’s been selling private label products and is doing so very successfully. But he’s not exclusively selling private label products, he still sells products under a retail arbitrage model through his open brand. He finds the opportunities, puts them on Amazon to see what will happen, and lets them sell at whatever rate they will. It’s a way that he has low-volume sales going on all the time to support his other business endeavors. It’s a great model that you can learn more about on this episode.
An open brand enables you to build brands within your brand.
As Scott and Dom talked about the concept of building an open brand on this episode, it became clear that it’s possible to build a handful of individual brands within a larger “open” brand. The open brand may be the name on the seller account – “ABC Products” for example. Then underneath that main brand may be a home brand, a pet brand, a sporting goods brand, and more. It enables you to try all kinds of products in any niche, regardless of whether you’re already doing that type of product or not. Find out how to make it happen in your business, on this episode.
The power of an open brand is that you’re able to test for beneficial, larger brand possibilities.
When you keep your brand broad and open you are able to try a variety of products without having to remain within a certain niche. When you find one that begins to sell at a rapid pace then you have the opportunity to think through the possibility of selling related products and actually building a brand from it. This is one of the tips that Dom Sugar shares with Scott on this episode. Dom’s been selling products online for years and has lots of perspective on how you can go about finding and selling products profitably.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast with Dom Sugar!
- [1:20] Dom’s experience in online sales and why he’s such a great resource.
- [4:00] What is the “open brand” concept.
- [9:10] The importance of keeping email lists segmented according to interest.
- [15:57] Should you have multiple seller account to create different brands?
- [18:26] Tips for choosing brand names.
- [26:48] Strategies Dom uses to sell more products.
- [37:14] The power of brands within a brand.
- [41:00] The kind of products Dom looks for to start another item in his product line.
- [49:20] Don’t let the barriers stop you from getting started.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 296
TAS 296 : The NEW Open Brand Concept to Test and Launch Products Faster
[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 296 and today I've got a special guest on. Pretty excited about having this guy on. You guys have heard me talk about him before.
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Maybe even heard him on those TAS Power Hours. You guessed it. Mr. Dom Sugar, the Candy Man. What's up Dom! How are you doing man?
[00:00:25] Dom: Hey, I am doing excellent. Amazing actually.
[00:00:29] Scott: Actually I did that intro just for you the way that you would have done it. “And here we are, the next amazing seller…”
[00:00:38] Dom: Scott Voelker. Well man. I'm excited to be back man. It's amazing.
[00:00:43] Scott: It's good to have you back man. People know by now, you and I talk on a pretty regular basis. We do the TAS Power Hour on Fridays and we've developed a pretty good relationship and I just want to let people know a little bit more about this open brand concept that we've been working on a little bit behind the scenes. It's something moving into 2017 that people can look at and say maybe this is something that they can do versus starting right out of the gate saying I have to be locked into a certain brand. I do want to go over this concept, this open brand concept and I know that you being in the retail space for years… What is the total years Dom? Is it 15+ years?
[00:01:29] Dom: It's been 20+ years online and retail arb since I was 14 and I’m 45 now so 30 years.
[00:01:41] Scott: That's insane. I've been saying 15+ years but it's a little bit more than that. That's pretty cool but you know a thing or two about retail arb, online arb, all of that stuff too. We're going to talk about that a little bit in 2017 so just a little teaser there for you guys. I am going to be trying to get Dom to lay something out for us so we can maybe… Especially the people that are just getting started I think it's a great way for people to get started because you don't have to feel as though you're risking a ton. You're able to learn the process and just a little teaser there. We're going to be working on something and hopefully get that out first quarter of 2017. So be on the lookout for that.
I did want to remind people though Dom before we jump into the content that we're going to be talking about here is if you guys want to download the show notes, the transcripts, any of that stuff head over to theamazingseller.com/296. Again that's theamazingseller.com/296. Usually I do this pre-roll here before we actually get on but I'm doing it here, actually to save a little bit of time Dom. The reason is because I'm supposed to be going out with my daughter, my older daughter and my younger daughter for her birthday. And I just heard the cash register. Dom, was that the cash register for real or was that your little noise that says that you got to sale.
[00:03:01] Dom: That was the eBay app on my phone. I just turned it off. Sorry about that.
[00:03:05] Scott: That was live everyone. That was live cash register on Dom's phone. I'm supposed to be heading to have dinner with my… It's funny. I told you this before we got on. My older daughter, 21 year old daughter she is still in New York and she surprised us by flying back for a day and a half to spend it with her little sister Kayla who's turning nine today. The time that we're recording this she is going to be celebrating her ninth birthday. We're going to go out to dinner and have some fun while my older daughter is here visiting for the day and a half. Yes, I wanted to save a little time, do this while we're on.
I think it's fun doing it that way. It was fun to have you throw in your little bit of comedy because you're a comic. I did want to dive into this whole open brand thing and give people a little bit of where it came from and the benefits and some of the different things that you can do with the open brand. Maybe you can explain what the open brand concept really is.
[00:04:06] Dom: Sure we can go through that. The open brand is basically, it's not really a new concept. There are a lot of guys out there that are using it. I was thinking to myself today, I bet if we polled your audience I bet you about 30% have an open brand versus 70% that go to the private label brand stuff. It's something we've started basically the last year. You know how we gotten on board with you Scott till we're doing it together.
It's basically, it's something to get away from the brand structure from our background we already have two to three strong brands that we have accounts and we want to start a fourth one and we thought, we don't want the stress of having to build a brand and putting four, five, six, seven things together to build that brand so we created the open brand which is basically an open market. You can basically go into Amazon and pick the products that you want and not have to worry about making it a brand at the end. In reality we have less ties to the product, more freedom, and the ability to pick it from any niche, any category. Right, Scott?
[00:05:27] Scott: I love the concept. You've heard me talk about this before where when you're getting started you are just experimenting and seeing like an opportunity and then if you can build a brand around it then you build a brand around it. I still believe that. I still believe if something sticks and you want to build a brand around, you can. This concept is a little bit looser in a sense to where like you said and we'd talked a little bit on TAS Power Hours and just privately that moving forward it's like having three or four or five maybe even six markets that you're selling products to. But not having to go out and set up a brand new seller's account for each of these, a new LLC for each of those.
Now, you can once you want to start expanding on it, making it bigger and if you want to focus in on that but the other thing is, and this is where it gets really exciting for me is because now and we've already started to do this with two of the brands inside of the open brand, is really we were able to build a list inside of that market so we can then sell products to those people but also learn to those people what we might be able to launch next and all of those different things.
I'm really excited about that because again like you've been in this business for a long time but that's a new concept for you as far as adding that to it. But now that we've talked through it and we've said this is how it could work it's exciting on what we can do with that.
[00:06:56] Dom: No, no. It’s really exciting. I guess I took it from the retail arb side of it. Retail arb you just throw anything online if it sells. I said, well let's just try to do with private label, see how it works. I'm excited because we can basically go into any category or any niche and then we can launch products in all those niches which have. I think we already have 4/5 categories already covered and then we can exploit another 4/5 other categories so we can be in sports and outdoors, we can be in home and kitchen, we can be in toys, we can be in automotive and we can cherry pick what products we want.
We can go on if we want and say, “Hey, you know what, that item is number one seller and this subcategory. I want to sell that.” And still go through the same criteria. Not a lot of feedback but high volume and that's what I love about it and when you build those brands then we can target those brands, those categories in our brands and that's what comes in with our funnels and all that. We can basically build out a Sports and Outdoor email list, as many as we want. We add one product, we got something to launch to. We add two products, now we're at 10,000 emails, then 16,000 email. Every time we launch a new product we can grab more emails times 7/8/10 categories. Now, tell me how strong that is.
[00:08:23] Scott: It's huge. People that are starting too they hear about we used to launch products by… And I don't say we personally but kind of like where we would go to a group or you may have even had your own group where you would launch products to people that wanted to receive basically free products. Then you would use that as your launch strategy but now that they've changed kind of like the whole review game where you can't give away product in exchange for a review it makes it harder so people are like, “Now what do we do?” I've been saying it all along. You should be having your own email list. Anyway, now it just seems even more like feet to the fire got to get it done, what do we do?
That's why I love this concept because like you said if we have a product that we want to launch and we want an instant boost, we know that that list is targeted for those types of products. Then when we have another product in another market that we've already built a list into, now we have that one. We don't mix those two. We don't just pile them all in. Like the big review groups, a lot of those were just people seeking free products. They didn't care what it was, we we just raised our hand, “I want free product.” “Okay. Cool.” And it worked where people would get it. But not necessarily your target market, big difference there. It’s a more just a wide open but now…
And the way that we're doing this too and I don't mind sharing this right now, we'll probably do more in the future but the way that we're building these list it's really take something of value to that market, a big value. I'd say at least a couple of $100 value and then we run a contest to win that. Then we build the email list through that but then on the back end of that we have products that supports the big thing. Does that make sense Dom?
[00:10:09] Dom: I makes 100% sense. I like it because by again what we talked about launch time and now we can do that same thing over times 7/8 niches categories instead of just one and being stuck in one. That's a big thing for us anyway because we already have five, we're in 5/6 categories already from all the products that we've launched so far.
[00:10:35] Scott: Maybe we can even touch on that right now like you, again and I was too a little bit, I have to admit a little concerned like okay pick the product before this whole review thing happened. We had in our plans to probably do like 100 unit giveaways or something. That was the typical launch and then we would get a boost in sales, we would get a few reviews coming in and then that would kickstart things. Well, we're sitting here thinking after this whole thing, “Now what do we do?” It's funny like the one that we're talking about here, that was just launched not that long ago. How long has that been since that last product launched?
[00:11:13] Dom: I think it's been about 15 days, maybe.
[00:11:17] Scott: 15 days, 20 max. And had no reviews, zero reviews. Launched it, did some pay-per-click and on that product, right out of the gate how many would say we’re starting to sell?
[00:11:34] Dom: I think the first day we did like 15 or 20 right away and now we’re maxed. I think yesterday we did 287 pieces.
[00:11:41] Scott: Which is insane.
[00:11:47] Dom: We're sold out basically.
[00:11:49] Scott: That backfired a little bit on us because number one, kept the price at $24.95 versus $19.95 because we wanted to try to keep inventory in so when we were ready to finish off our email list built which right now we've built the list in this particular market and it was really specific around this type of product or these products, built the list up over definitely over 3,000, I think we're close to 4,000 now.
[00:12:19] Dom: We're almost over 4,000. Again, even like today we're like 100 units already. 125 units because we are definitely going to run out. Like you said, we're $5 over retail, not one a review. I think finally we got one review and then unfortunately I forgot to set up an email sequence for the first 10 days of that.
[00:12:44] Scott: That was funny. Chris was busting your chops on that when you got back from Arizona. You were like, “Man I haven't gotten a review yet. It's crazy. I've sold some units and why haven't we gotten one?” Chris took a look at it and he's like, “I don’t know if you're sequence is up.” And you're like, “Oh, crap.” It's funny but… So let me ask you this Dom, why do you think that that product or any products for that matter that have launched without really any reviews has started to sell. What would you say is the reason for that? I've got a couple of ideas but I just want to hear yours.
[00:13:23] Dom: The main reason is that we actually targeted this product for fourth quarter along with some other products and that's a beauty of the open market. We can actually target products, trends, holidays, seasonal for every month in the year. I can go through every month and I can tell you the products that we're going to launch for that month because we did on purpose that way. People say seasonal products are not good and I get it but we're doing seasonal products that are actually are seasonal, can be holiday products, can be gifts but would also sell all year round. It's hard to find all those things but there are products that we've proven this product because I know for our main competitors were selling 50 to 60 already before we even got ours launched.
That's my main reason why I think it sells, it's a great product, it's a necessity, it looks nice, we've packaged it properly, we've upgraded over our competitors, we offered more variations of it that our competitors. The funny thing is that everyone talks about raising the race to the bottom. We’ve actually created a race to the top. All my competitors are at my price point now. It's still selling. Isn't that funny? Like before if I would have launched it, it would have been at $14.95 by now but everyone is like, “Oh we're selling it, they are selling it, let's raise our price”. It's created a different effect which is kind of cool. I've never seen that happen before.
[00:14:46] Scott: It's crazy too because we were hoping to have some stock so we could test our email sequence.
[00:14:54] Dom: We've got one color we've hidden on purpose, buried in a category that we didn't want to sell it just in case. We will have a little bit of stock for our contest but it won't be the top selling ones but we'll still have a little bit left and again we did that on purpose. We said, “Let's hide one just in case.” And just in case it turns into… Even for me it's our best selling product ever and I've got four brands. I’ve had some home runs and I consider this a grand slam, we were selling 150/160 a day, that was the best. I've never expected 280/290, 250 every day basically for the last couple of days.
[00:15:31] Scott: Again, I don't want people to think that's going to happen. Honestly in our minds it's still been 10 to 20 units a day we would be comfortable and happy with. That's like we're good with that but in the same breath if you put enough stuff out there, you'll probably eventually stumble on a home run or a grand slam. It's just the way it works. Now, I know the other question that people are going to be asking is, okay this sounds cool but how do I do this with seller's accounts. Do I need multiple seller's accounts? How do I do the brand? What's the structure look like? Can you cover that?
[00:16:15] Dom: Well, yeah. Like I said before, I have three to four outside brands that are all separate accounts with different people that I work with. Then this one now as I'm working with you and Chris on it, we've structured it that this is a different brand again its own identity, free from the other ones. So that means opening a new account and getting it anointed and accepted by Amazon, giving them reasons why they should give you another account. You can't sell the same products across any of the platforms, no problem we won't do that. And then signing off of that and then opening a new account.
Just the basic stuff, credit card, different bank account. That's basically how it's done and the brand stay within that so we don't cross any of them. We keep the brands inside off them and may set up as a sole. A sole buy will be our company and then our product brand is one and then sometimes we'll give it a fancy name for the title. Like we'll call it, there will be a secondary name included in that brand.
[00:17:23] Scott: Right, so just people understand if we do 5/6/7/10 different product brands we can technically do that under the main generic open brand.
[00:17:33] Dom: That's right. This is how we'll do it. It will be Dom Sugar Inc., it will be the sold by and then it will be the brand name will be Home Goods Plus. That's what it’ll be, Dom Sugar Inc by Home Goods plus and Home Goods Plus will be garlic press, stainless steel oversized by da da da, by Home Goods Plus. Then sometimes we'll pick a fancy name like Roldy Goldy’s pretzel maker maker by Home Goods plus sold by Dom Inc Sugar.
[00:18:14] Scott: Which Dom you've got a knack for that. I've got to say. You've got a pretty good knack for coming up with unique names and stuff like that. I get people that ask me all the time. They are like, “How do you come up with like a certain brand name and show much time should spend on it?” Do you have any tips for anybody on that?
[00:18:32] Dom: It's just years of marketing and doing your own guerrilla marketing and advertising for radio for our retail store when had them. It's years. It's basically you learn that stuff. It's just the role of the words. You're trying to play with your first name and your last name of your product and see if you can make them rhyme, a lot of people they'll take. Like because of my name Dominic Sugar, Dominates or Domination or Dominatrix. I get that all the time. Dominatrix, you got to be really close to that stuff. Purple Nuple, I just whatever. You just play with the words. I do have a talent for it. I will come up… If somebody asked me for a company name I could come up with one pretty fast.
[00:19:23] Scott: But you like it too. You enjoy that.
[00:19:25] Dom: I do enjoy it. I'm invested in that. It's a thing.
[00:19:30] Scott: It's a little challenge.
[00:19:32] Dom: Everybody has a thing and some will take ten years trying to pick a name and I'm just… It will take me about ten minutes and I'll throw out four names and then you'll go, “Oh my God. That's a great name.”
[00:19:42] Scott: Right. It happened to us in Arizona. We were sitting around the campfire and we're all hanging out, talking and stuff and you and I were talking about another little project with a brand name and stuff and you're coming with all these things like right off the fly. I'm like, “Man, that's good.” Then you do another one I'm like, “Oh, that's pretty good too.” That's even better. I mean heck the other day I gave you a little Skype message and I go, “Hey, I'm thinking about getting a custom license plate. What do you think about this?” And you're like, “You can do this and you can do that,” and then you showed me a video clip of like an old game show of like all of these license plates that people would get.
[00:20:22] Dom: That used to be my favorite show. Maybe that's where I got them from.
[00:20:23] Scott: You might have man. You do, you got a knack for, you enjoy it. I know my wife enjoys trying to figure out what the license plate means in front of her. I'm just too dumb to figure that stuff out. I'm like, I don't get that stuff.
[00:20:35] Dom: She likes her Arizona plates.
[00:20:36] Scott: Yeah, right. And we won't mention that. We won't mention that. Those are for us, a little side joke there. That's for sure. That was fun but yeah, again going back to the open brand, to me it's a way for you not marry into a brand. I see so many people, they get married to a brand where they feel as though they don't want to give up on it because they've got so much invested in it.
So much time and money and I think that if you can test things without having to go ahead and get everything figured out in all of your, even your legal stuff, if you can put it underneath one big brand or open brand that covers the products that are launched under that, that's a great way to start. Now, if you see that one of those brands starts to take off then you might want to pull that out of there and start a brand new one then it's all on it's own entity especially if ever wanted to sell it or anything like that. It's a great way I think to test products faster and to validate before you invest it all in.
[00:21:52] Dom: Some of your listeners probably will think well you want to have one of everything on there. That's not what you're trying to do. It's basically you open brand naturally will build yourself a brand. If you understand, you understand Scott. We'll naturally maybe one month we’ll four products that we launch and then they will all be four will be different. Next month we'll launch another three products but two products are the same as one as the other. So now you've got three products. If you want to, if that takes off, you can take that and then build that out as your own brand if you want. Change the name or whatever. Whatever you want to do with that. You can always take in and say, “Oh my God, I never knew that we can build three, four products in the kitchen market and it just happened because that's the product that we had looked for.” Even now it's not truly building itself.
We're like, “Oh, those three go together. We didn’t even notice that.” I think that's an easy way to do it. As well if you're stuck to a brand, the reason we're stuck to a brand because that's how the concept starts two and three and a half years ago. We all talked about, “Let's build a brand and get three to four products, make millions off of it and then will sell out. We'll have an end game to it.” I’ve never really had an end game, I want to keep my accounts. I don't want to sell them to anybody right now. I'm still young and they're still making lots. We're building a brand, we're making lots of money off of it.
This one was like, there's definitely there's no end game in it really. In the end if there are if find that there’s three/four products that are selling that are together, we will take it off and we’ll rename it and we’ll sell it and we'll start a brand off that. It makes it a lot easier definitely and then you're not stuck. I find so many people that I talk to, they're too products in and they're like “man, the third and fourth one are so saturated, what do I do now, I'm already stuck, I'm invested into this” and they get disappointed and I say, “Look at it. Keep those two, pick another product. Go somewhere else. Pivot.”
[00:23:52] Dom: That’s how your build own. “Oh, that’s a good idea.” Leave that. Don't worry about getting your fourth to your third kitchen product. You’re frustrated, maybe you need a new leaf. It's the same the thing. Just like a baseball team. They pick here, one guy that does this good, two guys that have the similar skills one to back each other up but they'll grab other pieces to build the stuff. Then if you want to get back into it, you can. Don't let it frustrate you. I know lots of people that have brands inside their own brands so they have a brand for outdoors and they have a brand for Home & Kitchen and they just build 3/4 products just on that, under one ‘sold by’ company.
There's many ways to do it because I see that a lot. People get frustrated because they're like, “Oh yeah. I want to get to this,” and by the time they get to their third, fourth brand, maybe it's over saturated or there's too much competition because they picked a really tough category and that's going to happen. The open brand allows us more freedom and then we have different ways to pick our selection, a product because people are thinking, “How do you pick your product?” Basically, we have one to four ways that we do that. The first one is that we'll go after the top products in any niche.
Me and you will sit there and we'll go through using Jungle Scout or just our natural skills or old way of kind of looking it and we'll to like, okay, we'll go to kitchen and we'll pick out maybe not the top 500. We'll pick something like 1,500 or 1,000 and we'll say, “You know what that's a great product, it meets all our criteria. We're going to launch that.” Those are the top of the heap products that we'll grab. Then the second way we'll do is which I like the best is, and it's a format that even like Greg Mercer your buddy says, it’s something that I've always thought in the background even before we're using Jungle Scout, it’s a non sexy product.
[00:25:54] Dom: We talked about that. So going after that non sexy product so we're basically going into industrial or automotive or all these categories and looking for something that's number to number ten in their category that has a nice BSR but it's nobody wants it. You're going to want to look at it. It's a clip for hiking. You're like, “That's as boring as hell.” Yeah, but it's number two and it's rank BSR it's 1,200 and there's no competition and it sells 100 a day. So who cares if it's not sexy or whatever? We'll look for those nuggets and they're out there. There's lots of them. Some of our products you might be like, “I don’t want to sell that”, but they sell well. They meet the 10 by 10 so we'll do that. That's another way we'll do it.
Then we'll go after, because we're in the wholesale business myself. A lot of people know that I'm in the wholesale clearance, liquidation overstock business so I get products all the time which I would overlook for years because I'm like, we deal in branded stuff only. I don't want any of this generic stuff that I get. So now all of the stuff that comes on my lab whether it's a garlic press or a wine corker or whatever and I'll look at it and I'm like, “Hey, Scott. This ranks at 8,000. Do you want to buy them?” “Sure, how much are they.” “They are at the $0.23 and we get 3,000 of them.” “We'll for $0.23 we just throw it up.”
It's not going to sell 100 a day ever but it could sell 4/5/6/7 a day and as you add more of those, those are your cream money. Do you know what I'm saying? Those are the ones that pay the bills. Those are the ones that only giving you 1000 a month or 2,000 a month but times 20 products, times a year, you're talking $50,000/$60,000 that you're making.
[00:27:38] Scott: Right. But here is the thing that people are going to say. They are going to say, “I don't have that resource Dom. I don't have that resource.” That's why we're probably going to have to have you back on again and we'll probably have to do something exclusively on retail arb, online arb because you've got some pretty good Ninja tips there that I'd like to dig into, maybe we can do something just for that because people do want to do that but they just don't know how to do it. Now, I did have Amy Hung on and her husband and they talked a lot about using Ali Express as their wholesale engine in a sense.
They just basically find stuff that's like the low hanging fruit and they throw it up there and see if it sells and if it sells then they continue to sell it. If not then they just kick it off to the side, liquidate it and then move on to the next. It's similar to what you're saying. You're in a pretty good situation because you get those deals coming across your lap, you got connections and now letting people know… We're recording this. This is episode 296 and I have gotten a lot of connections now because of the podcast. Something that I never would have had if I didn't actually take action and do something.
One of those connections is Dom. I do have a connection now, I was able to meet him and now we get to work together on some projects and other connections throughout this whole journey and that's why I tell people, “Be open to meet people. You never know the ins and the outs.” We had someone… Okay, Dom. You're going to love this because you remember this. We had someone at the TAS Breakthrough Event in Arizona that works for a company that does like airplane flight… What is it?
[00:29:24] Dom: They make stuff for Cessna.
[00:29:26] Scott: It's like this huge plane parts and stuff. A lot of the stuff just basically doesn’t get used or they have to get rid of it and liquidate, whatever. So they basically took that and they just retail arb it or just wholesale it or whatever. Right. These pieces some of them are thousands of dollars, some of them are $500 and stuff but they are doing that as their, it's almost like their cream money to allow them to do the private labeling that they want to do but that's a connection and the one person has the connection on the inside in a sense but the one that's helping with it doesn't have that connection necessarily but wants to help them facilitate it. That connection just kind of happened because they had that open conversation. You just don't know.
You really do not know and I just want people to understand that they can be like, “Oh Dom, he's got connections so of course he can do that stuff.” No, you can do it too. He's got to get you there. You've talked about this before and we'll talk about that again in the future and help people out with this but just going out there and becoming the person that goes into these liquidation facilities and says I'd like to know when you get these close outs and then have them contact you first and you may need to play a little bit of a game with them in order to get them that you're a real player. But again, I don't want to get into that too deeply but just to let people know, there's ways to do it so you can start launching these other products. It's more like wholesale in a sense that might then lead you into a market. Does that makes sense what I just rambled out there.
[00:31:00] Dom: Makes 100% sense. Yeah for sure. Like I said, the first two product selection ways I told you going after top rated products if you know you want to do that in any niche, basically you can pick anything and then going after the non-sexy stuff, the stuff that's hidden back there that's still sells well but nobody cares because there’s five people selling it and they got 25 reviews and it's still selling 23 a day. I gave you what, 2 or 3 or 4 of those the other day. I showed you. Everybody else has 25, 30 feedback or reviews, same thing and they're killing it.
They're doing 30/40 a day and it's such a hideous, like hip product that I might go, “Oh my God, what a joke,” but it sells. Then if you have another way to do it like you said it, if you want partner up… I know there's a couple of guys out there, some big players in the game, they actually have their own brands but they may have somebody else’s brand like their coffee beans or tea stuff or you name it, fake flowers, dried flowers or wedding stuff. It is Amazing. They just say, “Okay, I don't want to do the Amazon, can you put it out for me, I'll share it.” All of a sudden they just built a brand inside of a brand again.
[00:32:17] Scott: That's true. You just have to be open to networking with people and digging in because you may have certain strengths that they don't have or vice versa and you support each other on that stuff and again, you have to support each other. There has to be a partnership or a match. You can't just like try to make something happen just to make it happen but again, just to let people know, again Dom, I hear it all the time. People are just like, “Well, I’m just not lucky. I don't get these opportunities,” and to me that's just because you haven't put yourself out there enough. Like you haven't networked enough.
You haven't reached out. You haven't gotten outside your comfort zone in a sense because they're out there. They're so out there, you have to go out there and you have to find them and it can be just like you said, just go to Ali Express or maybe you're just finding a product that sells well and then you finding that you can wholesale it. Then maybe you start there and you can really get a really good deal there. You can do more of the marketing on it. There's just a ton of different…
[00:33:18] Dom: There's tons of ways. I can guarantee you we can do an episode a month from now, I can get five, six people to give me their products that they've made themselves and I can open a brand just on that.
[00:33:31] Scott: Yeah. We were in Arizona and we walked into that metal shop and you and Jimmy were there having a conversation, almost working a deal.
[00:33:39] Dom: Perfect example.
[00:33:39] Scott: To basically launch their products to us, or actually sell us their product at a wholesale price and then we'd in turn sell them on Amazon and these were unique products that they do not even have a presence online, they don't want a presence online. They just want to make their stuff in their little shop. They have a good supply of what, and they have a good turnout of what they can produce but they don't want the hassle, that stuff and… She was excited about it. I don't know if that will ever go anywhere but the connection was made, we have the inside source and if we want to, we go into that. I've got a picture of you guys actually in that thing. You're like, “Hey Jimmy. Step aside for a minute.”
[00:34:24] Dom: We could have did that five times actually there because it was tons of homemade craft stuff there. Like some really cool stuff like especially like you said, where you wife got the license plate, we could have went to that guy and said, “Hey, what have you got? Can you mass produce this?” “Yeah, I can do 100 of these in a day if you want.” “Sure. No problem.” It's easy, I have no idea. You can just, there are so many people that aren’t online, lots of people, you can go to your local flea market and talk to somebody maybe she's making their own clothes or they have their own winter gear. You go to the next, maybe the guy makes his own hunting stuff. You don't have to put even one dollar out.
[00:35:04] Scott: You're right. I hear a lot of people with, “But I can't because of this or I can't because of that,” and a lot of times it's an excuse to basically escape the fear and possibly failing. I hear that time and time again and moving forward into 2017 my job and my mission is to really help as many people get started and they burst through that barrier. I know with help of you as well, hopefully in Q1 of 2017 we're going to be able to do that, some retail arb, online arb, wholesale type stuff. Hopefully so guys stay tuned for that. Again, I wanted to just have you come on to really dig into this whole open brand kind of what we've been working on. I haven't talked about it publicly until right now.
But I did want to put it out there that… Because I get that question too. They're like a lot of people they'll be like, “Scott, this is awesome. You're sharing so much. Are you still selling on Amazon?” And I'm like, “Yeah. Actually within my own little brand that I started which is still producing but I've like pivoted outside of that. I've got another small one that we've started but then now most recent one is partnering up and doing something here with this open brand concept and it's something that I believe in and I think that there's a lot of opportunities still there but I also want to be in it.
I don't want to just talk about what other people are doing. I think it's important to be able to do that and that's why I'm really excited about the open brand because it gives, almost makes me be able to feel, like I can take a deep breath so I can breathe because if I see an opportunity we can instantly just launch into one of the brands which is exciting. It's fun.
[00:36:53] Dom: I put it this way. It gives you two different options now. I get a lot of people that know about the open brand side because they’re already doing it anyway. They don't want to start two accounts so they have their retail arb account. Even put in retail with one product it's not really an open brand, you're just taking a bunch of stuff together which is not really private label but it means the same concept but the way I look at it is, if you'll use a tool like Jungle Scout or even doing it naturally the organic way searching your stuff, how many times have you gone through like I'm going to set the parameters because I want to sell in kitchen outdoor, I want to sell in home and kitchen, I want to coffee related stuff.
Let me put my parameters, 100 reviews, more than 300 sales a month and you're going through and I always put it by dollar amount for the month and I'm going through and I'm like okay, $85,000 that's a Sony PS4. Okay I get that. Okay those are clean extra $65,000 and I'll go $35,000 I'll look at the product and go, “Oh my gosh. They are doing $35,000 on that. Then that's a little trinket, I can get that. Oh I can't do it because I already got a brand. Sorry.” Then you're going down, “Oh I found something for my brand,” and then you go down the next one you're like, “My God, they're doing $28,000 a month on that?
Oh my God, I can easily sell that. Oh yeah I can't because I'm in a brand.” Do you know what I'm saying? I've seen that so much. I do it so many times and that's what actually led me to the open brand after I’m like forget it. I might just sell. Why do I have to restrict myself to just something I built three big brands already which are doing well. I don't want to do that anymore. I just want to start and that's basically how I started it. I'm like, “Oh man. That guy took two paper clips and he's selling two paper clips and some paper and he's selling it for $9.99 and he's selling 1,000 pieces of it a month?” I'm like, I can do that. I can't put that into a brand, right because it's just… and there's a lot. There's a lot.
[00:38:53] Dom: When I'm talking about these non-sexy products, there's lots of product. I think thousands, maybe millions on Amazon that don't have a niche. Don't have anything. They are just one off. They just sell really well. Like I saw a guy yesterday. I was on there and the guys is doing like $40,000 a month and they are called Unicorn Fart Guns. I'm like, “What the heck.” I was looking for stuff, his is unicorn packaged with it's candy floss in heart shapes and they are called Unicorn Fat Candy or something. I'm like, “Oh, man.”
If you want to do something like that you can do it or like the message on a potato. It was on Shark Tank. Those guys are out there selling it now. You can't brand that but they're selling lots every week, every day. How can you build a brand around that? You're going to have a messaged banana. Like you can't. So, that's what I'm saying. You take those ones, you try to make it a little better, you don't have to build a brand around it. It's just a one off.
[00:40:07] Scott: Again, there's two things that I'd like to highlight there. There's one offs that you can do and that can added to the bottom line but then you also are able to test these markets and if one starts to take then you can decide if you want to take the brand. You know what I mean? You have two different things, one can be like just a way for the revenue to keep continue to stay even to balance it off.
Like you said, you might have some that are more seasonal or might be more for the holidays and that's fine but that's going to also keep it balanced but then also you can test out these different brands and then you might strike one and you might say, “We could spend a little bit more time on this and build a brand on this.” Then you can make that decision but you're not like, like you said you're not restricted because you’ve already committed to a brand. I think that's the key here. It’s not being committed to that brand and being able to be a little bit more free with product selection and all that stuff.
One thing I did want to address real quick because I know lot of people are probably going to be asking this, is like you said like you might go to the top products or something and you might pick one of those that's selling really well but the thing that people will be asking is okay but the competition is probably really high and the review number is probably really high. Is that true or are you looking for products that have good volume but don't have the reviews and don't have the competition. How are you filtering that out?
[00:41:35] Dom: You just said it right there. You hit it exactly. What we'll do is we'll pick product that exactly that's high ranked, low BSR and a higher ranking in the sub categories but doesn't have a lot of the reviews across the whole niche and you probably saying well, they are not out there. They are out there. We've proven that, they are out there. You just have to look. You got to get your mindset away from wanting to do all the trendy, all the iPhone stuff.
Go back to the silicone and then they are out there those brands because we have lots of them in our open brand already that we've picked and we're like okay great. I'm not going after garcinia, we're not going after yoga matts, we're not going after that type of stuff, suitcases or something like that. We’ll go something that like has to do with travel, that sells really well, that's ranked 1,200 and is number one in its category and then we'll cross reference on Amazon and there's like maybe 60 guys selling it.
20/30 of them have dropped off and there's only 10 guys that are really in the game and they only have 35 feedback, 42 feedback. I always say feedback, reviews. Feedback is such a big thing for eBay and retail arb. I always forget that. Sorry I apologize but yeah, reviews. Then we'll go after that. That's what we'll do. That could be a sexy product still because it's not a bad product and then we'll do that and then we'll go for those one, those ugly looking non-sexy products that are way off the grid like I told you.
[00:43:20] Scott: The other thing I'd like to throw out there too is and you've taught me this as far as like sometimes you might see something that's a trend and you need jump in on that trend and that can be something that you seed money to, something you fuel money to keep things running and to capitalize on that. It's funny there was one product, you know the product I’m going to be talking about here but there was a product that I was almost ready to go with and I was consulting with you about it and I was just going to do the accessory piece. I was just going to do the accessory piece but we were initially going to do the entire thing but then we said let's just do the accessory but then I backed out.
There was a little bit of a possibly a trademark issue and this and the other thing. Well, funny story is, one of our other mutual acquaintances we got talking and he got like, “Oh, you were going to sell that. I actually started selling that.” I'm like, “Really. Okay. Cool. That’s good. How is it doing?” He's like, “It's doing great man. It's doing like 50 a day and I didn’t do anything.” And I'm like damn. I was happy for him but I was also, it made me realize that that was a trend item. He also said, “I ordered 1500 units. I knew that I was going to probably be done in over with after the 1500 but if I have to buy another 1000 I will and he did and he sold out and all that stuff. A lot of times that’s your seed money.
[00:44:40] Dom: You'll be glad to know that that's the item of the year that we're talking about so. If it makes you feel any better, any worse it's the item of the year on Amazon or one of them. That was a big copyright stuff that you had to deal with though there. I've seen lots of people… I'm sure they are after lots of them so whatever, you gotta be careful. Yeah, the money is great upfront but if… It's not like you're getting caught, you're not doing anything illegal. You know that. We've done right from the beginning. I'm a big trend guy. I've be been with it forever. That's how I built my business from the mid-80s selling hockey and baseball cards to Beanie Babies to you name it.
Video games, whatever is hot, whatever product is hot I'd do the trends but the good thing about the brand is I kind of mentioned it before and you know what that we can focus on every month if we want to. Scott if we're already ready for January. Everybody knows what the hot thing in January is but they might not know what the February is. Okay there is Valentine’s Day, maybe we'll do some Mardigras stuff and in March all hype is… Everyone knows what the hype is. It's all March break. Then April, guess what. What happens in April? It's Easter.
Then in May it's Cinco de Mayo cleanup and June it's the same thing and July there's Weddings, it's non-stop. September it's back to school. August some back to school and then Halloween in October. Every month has something that we can… Again it's, you can think okay, I don't want to deal with a seasonal thing but sometimes it's good if it's already have other stuff and that's what the great thing. I have a guy right now. He's selling fake Santa beards. He's selling 150 of them a day.
[00:46:39] Dom: Would you like to sell Santa beards to make… Like you won't sell them in July but that will make you seed money to make your money for January and February.
[00:46:49] Scott: I think the keyword there is the seed money. If you see an opportunity like that and you want to invest a little bit of money in that to double or triple your money, then that's fine. Again, like we said you have to understand that. You're not going to go in and say I want sell these all through the year.
[00:47:05] Dom: You're not going to buy 5,000 of them.
[00:47:07] Scott: It's very similar to a retail arb in a sense where you're out there you're not going to get any more. It's very similar to that that you're going to cash in for that one batch in a sense. That makes total sense.
[00:47:21] Dom: If you're lucky enough like us to find products that's trendy, can’t sell it during the holidays, a little bit seasonal but we'll sell all year round. You got the perfect product.
[00:47:29] Scott: That's the best. That's what I like to see the most because, again, if you're putting in the efforts especially on building an email list or any of that stuff, you want to be able to try and push some product as Danny Brewer would say. We got to throw Danny in there, pushing product. If you want to be pushing product to a list and obviously have them benefit from the products that you're allowing them to purchase you want it to be worth your time and you don't want to just let that be standing still. You want it give the some content stuff. This has been good, I know we've went on here for 50 minutes, which is crazy but I did want to just have you on kind of let people know what we're up to.
Also let them know about the open brand concept maybe it's a new concept for them but like you said, there’s already people out there that are doing it but there's just different ways that you could it guys. The whole thing is there's really no excuse to not get started. You have to get out there and do something and there's tons of different ways that you can do it. Again like I said, I'll have Dom back on and we're working on something that hopefully we'll be able to let you guys know about with some retail arb, some online arb and maybe even some wholesale stuff and maybe to just get your feet wet, get started so you can start making some money so then you can re-invest that money into some private label products and stuff. Hey Dom, was that just a little sip of water there?
[00:49:04] Dom: That was.
[00:49:04] Scott: That was good. I liked to hear that. Little side note I've been getting on Dom. I want him to drink more water. Just drink more water Dom. Just flush it out baby.
[00:49:16] Dom: Yeah. I got a face for radio. That’s what people say to me.
[00:49:19] Scott: I love you bro. Let's wrap this baby up. Is there any last bit of tips that you want to give anybody that's just starting or might be thinking about like the open brand but more importantly just getting started?
[00:49:35] Dom: I mean everybody says the same type of stuff. Go for it, the take action stuff. We get that and don't let any barriers, obvious finance is always going to be a barrier. Like Scott has always said if you're in a good place then you can start it, if you need that $500 to pay your rent just stay away from it. But my concept I’ve always said to everybody that I work with and that I always help with I say, if you have $1,000 and you're going to the casino be able to think that you're going to lose that 1,000 bucks and then walk out with nothing. At the end if you do success, if you do win 800 bucks on top of that then you're like this is good.
That's the mentality to have with private label and I think by suggesting the open brand like we've done, it takes a lot of the stress out so you don't have to build your brand so you can sell it after four years for around $4 million. Let's be honest. That is out of the hundreds of thousands of brands that are doing private label. There's going to be a small percentage that are going to sell out at the end. Enjoy it, put products out there that you like and don’t give yourself any barriers. Just stop the barriers, don't pick the products that everyone else is picking and maybe it's a product that you can't fall in love with but it sells. That's how we did it. Our first product was something that we weren't really interested but sold.
We didn't caught up in all the stuff, the hype and I got to love the product or something I do every day and like we talked about. If you don't have money or… You don't even have to. You can even find people out there. You can go on Craigslist and advertise and say, “Hey, I'm looking at lots of Amazon products does anyone have any brands or food or stuff that they made themselves that they'd like to partner up with.” That's what you got to do. There's really no excuse. I think what it is everyone the biggest one you get now it's over saturated, there's no money in it. That's a hundred per cent false.
[00:51:38] Dom: There's a guy every day in your Facebook page saying how successful they have had and they've launched a product and they’ve made strides and again, you don't need to make $100,000 a month to make you stride. I am really happy for guys that's doing $5,000/$8,000/$10,000 a month because what did you have last month Scott? Zero. You had zero. You put $1,000 investment, to $8,000. You're not going to get that back in a bank, You're not getting any. Not even close. Don't let everything be a barrier. Go in there, launch a product and move forward and you'll learn and once you start getting your fourth, fifth, sixth product you'll understand the concept.
You'll be like, “Okay, here's where the money. I get it now. The more products the more money.” Obviously. You walk into a store, can you imagine if you walked into a 3,000 square foot store, there's only one thing in the center of the store or the whole store is filled with one thing. You'd say, “Okay, what’s going on here? I'm going to leave.” But if you had 1,000 things or 4,000 or 400,000 SKUs like Walmart there's where the money is. You got to look at it that way. Everyone is so hyped about launching their first product. I get it.
It’s exciting, it's cool to sell to somebody in the USA or Canada, the world has got your product on the kitchen table or out there on their board but you gotta go through the first product so you can get to the fifth and the sixth and then you'll see it. Even now with the open brand I'm like okay, the first ten products are like, okay it's good, it's good. But now that we've launched more we're like, “Oh man, this is working. This is some pretty serious stuff going on here now.” Different scales than the beginners and newbies but you understand what I’m saying?
[00:53:27] Scott: I think people can still with that open brand concept if they want to test. Amy and her husband did the same thing and they proved it's well. And that's what they continue to do. I think they got five more products launching here and they only buy 100 or 200 items to start with and then they launch it. A thirty day supply, something like that.
[00:53:45] Dom: That's what we're doing. We’re just sorting it up. We're buying 400/500 maybe and seeing if it sticks. If you put PPC on or if you sell 10/12/14 the first day, you know you've got a nice product. That's the way I do it. Now don't say that after one day I'm just using as do PPC for a while. Even if you do 3/4/5 a day for the next couple of days, you still know you've got a good product. After a week, if PPC doesn’t sell anything then you just know that it's just a… It's going to be a bad product. Not a dud, a bad product.
[00:54:18] Scott: You can probably still liquidate but…
[00:54:22] Dom: Yeah, you can liquidate but again you’re not going to have that many pieces. A dud is 3 to 4 pieces a day in our minds. That's equals $30,000 a year times one product. I'd love to make $30,000 clear. On ten product that's $300,000 so there's no way. That's my statement. The same thing. Take action or press on and all that stuff that Mr. Scott Voelker talks about and just believe in yourself and push through it. Just like I remember the first day that we launched our stuff we were scared as heck to go from a retail arb to private label but now that we've launched all these brands we're like we have the freedom now.
If I want to obviously I can go out at 2 o'clock in the afternoon with my daughter and hang out. Take out my dog out for a walk and have my weekends free and not have to sign in, punch a clock in or any of that stuff. It is all because you know I started selling online 20 years ago on eBay. Where nobody thought what’s this eBay? This is no good. You have got to put stuff online and somebody is going to send you money, I doubt you that. I'm like, hey let me try. Let me sell this $20 card I hope they send me my money and then especially from Canada they sent me $20 in dollar bills and eight of it is change and who would have thought it would have taken off. And guess where it is now.
[00:55:52] Scott: You've proven the concept. That's basically you've done and I've said this before we can all sit here and consume but we actually have to get out there and do and you have to do something in place and put it in motion to get it to even have a chance of working. Dom, I’m going to wrap this up like I said, we’re going to definitely have you back on the show. If anyone is in Canada and wants to connect with Dom, Dom does have a meet up that he does and if you want more information on that you can head over to theamazingseller.com/canada and you'll find a Facebook group there just for Canadians and Dom is there.
You can definitely hang out there, ask questions and I believe you have a few meet ups that you're doing there. If anyone wants more information on that definitely do that. I'm going to wrap this up by doing what I normally do and I'm going to remind you guys that we have the show notes to this episode which is 296 so you can find those and all the transcripts over at theamazingseller.com/296 and you can grab all that stuff over there. Dom I want to thank you again brother for hanging out with us.
[00:57:06] Dom: You don’t have to thank me man. I appreciate it man. It's awesome and we're going to have a good journey together here. We're really excited for 2017. I just want to also thank Chris ‘money maker’ Shaffer for helping us out man and Jimmy the Shark Krill for all his help and Bill ‘let’s get it going’ Strutwall for all the help that they provided in especially Arizona for taking care of me and my wife for a couple of days before the start up. Those guys were essential part of our team and I want to make sure that they get some shout outs.
[00:57:42] Scott: I appreciate it and I'm feeling the same love brother. I just want to say that we appreciate you, you're always sharing your knowledge, you're not afraid to share and I love that about you. There's so many people that want to guard their knowledge. I just want to say I appreciate that. You wife as well and everyone that's been hanging out… And Joel, we can’t leave out. Joel is actually going to be coming on the show. Maybe I think he's going be the episode after you so we'll see here. As long as my schedule here in front of me looks like it's going to be but it looks like Joel is going to be coming next. Joel is another great guy. You guys will learn more about him and he's got some really cool stuff to talk to us about.
[00:58:27] Dom: The wife for sure. We couldn't do this without the wives support. Without them I'd be selling celery sticks outside of the carnival.
[00:58:38] Scott: Probably true. All right guys. That's it. That is going to wrap up this episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. I did want to remind you guys though that I am here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud. Dom on the count of three, you're going to do it with me. Ready? Are you ready?
[00:58:56] Dom: Yeah. I'm ready.
[00:58:58] Scott: Here we go. One, two, three, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day guys and I'll see you right back here on the next episode. And that's a wrap.
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