TAS 299 How to Sell Products in 2017 – Changes and NEW Strategies

Anyone who is busy selling eCommerce products, either on Amazon or other places, knows that the eCommerce space is always changing for various reasons. With those changes come both challenges and incredible opportunities for those who are willing to put in the work to learn what the changes mean and how to get their products rocking in light of them. This episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and his buddy Chris are chatting about the changes that have happened over the last year, what it has meant for building online eCommerce businesses, and what can be done better moving forward to make 2017 a rocking and powerful year for you.

Why changes over the last year on Amazon have shifted the launch mindset.

For a very long time, everyone who‘s been building a business on Amazon private label products has been able to motivate people to leave reviews by offering them a discount in exchange for that review. But that’s an advantage that has gone away due to changes on Amazon. The change has forced Amazon sellers to shift their mindset about how to promote products and how to build a more successful business. You’ve got to do new things to make sales happen now, that's the long and short of it. On this episode, Scott and Chris cover some of the mindset shifts that have been forced by Amazon changes and suggest ways you can make your business fly even higher by using the advantages that come BECAUSE OF the changes.

The changes Amazon has made lately make it BETTER for serious sellers. Here’s why.

The changes that have happened on the Amazon sales platform this year in relation to reviews have made one thing very clear. Many people were building a business solely on the back of being able to offer a discount in exchange for reviews. What that has done is make an opportunity for those who are serious about building a business on Amazon and independent of it. The learning curve is high but it’s actually a BETTER opportunity for those who are serious business people who want to build a long lasting eCommerce business. Find out how you can be one of those long-lasting brands, on this episode.

The winning way to choose private label products in light of recent changes on Amazon.

As things have changed on the Amazon platform over the last year it’s become apparent that the old way of doing product selection doesn’t work anymore. Why? Because reviews are now harder to come by so if you’re going to use reviews as a way to establish social proof you’re going to have a harder road getting there. That means you’ve got to target product niches where the most successful products have fewer reviews. If you’d like to hear more about how Chris and Scott go about selecting great products to launch on Amazon you can listen to this episode and get all of their insights.

Here’s how you can leverage lightning deals to promote your products and get more sales.

The Amazon platform has always allowed you to use the “Lightning Deal” feature, but the way to use it and exactly WHO can use it has changed a lot over the years. But now, it’s much more available to everyone than in the past and it’s a way you can utilize to get more product sales in spurts through Amazon’s promotion of your products. On this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast, you’re going to hear how Scott and Chris suggest anyone can use the Lightning Deal feature to boost sales and sales rank so to get your products rolling and build momentum.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this podcast about 2017 strategies!
  • [4:53] The things that have changed in the last year.
  • [10:12] Mindset shifts due to Amazon changes this past year.
  • [15:00] Why it’s now BETTER for serious eCommerce sellers.
  • [32:03] What to consider as you launch a new product in the future.
  • [34:14] Advice for those just starting on Amazon in 2017.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 299

TAS 299 : How to Sell Products in 2017 – Changes and NEW Strategies

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 299 and today we're going to be talking about plans and strategies for 2017 as far as selling physical products on Amazon, off Amazon and all of that stuff. I'm really excited because I'm going to have my good friend back on once again Chris Schaffer and he's going to actually go through this. We're going to…

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…actually do a little brainstorming together here and you guys can kind of listen in as what we're planning on doing and what we're currently doing. But hey, Chris welcome back to the show. What's up, man?

[00:00:42] Chris: 2017 man.

[00:00:45] Scott: I know it right?

[00:00:44] Chris: That’s weird to hear.

[00:00:46] Scott: Isn't that crazy to hear?

[00:00:47] Chris: And it's funny because there's a little saying that goes around and something like, “The older you get, the longer the days and the shorter the years.” And it feels like it's… There's no way it's December 2016 almost 2017. Like I remember New Year's, last year and it wasn't that long. It was not 12 months ago, right?

[00:01:07] Scott: Yeah, now I know. It goes so quick.

[00:01:10] Chris: So much has changed in the last year and yet so much just stayed the same, which is always kind of reassuring as well. So I know I'm doing great. I'm a little thrown off that it's almost 2017 already but other than that, I'm hanging in man.

[00:01:23] Scott: Yeah, I know and I'm excited to have you back and again this show has been a little bit different than I've been doing when you're on. I've been doing the intro with you on which is a little different for me and it saves a little bit of time on the editing. But it's kind of cool to have you on the intro and not just having me do the intro solo so kind of different. But I do have to stay on track here Chris and there's one thing that I want to remind people is that if you want to download the show notes or the transcripts, you can head over to theamazingseller.com/299. Again that's theamazingseller.com/299.

Now, one of the things that we're going to be talking about here today and we're going to talking about an upcoming workshop, is really about this whole like how to build your launch list, whether it's to launch your product on Amazon or to also build an email list outside of Amazon.

We are going to be doing that on the 28th of December and this is the first time that we're doing this. It's going to be something that we're going to be kind of I guess doing but we're not really sure how it's going to go, so hopefully it goes well. But we have some ideas that we want to share with everyone about this moving forward. So there is a workshop that we're doing. You can register for that by heading over to theamazingsellar.com/launchlist. Again that's theamazingsellar.com/launchlist. And that will be on the show notes page as well. We plan on really going through some stuff that we went over in Arizona when we were there at our TAS breakthrough live.

Also just showing people how to put the pieces together, if you want to start building your own launch list. So definitely come check that out, it will be live and hopefully, you can make it and I can almost guarantee you that you're going to learn something. A lot of people that we've shared some of this stuff with privately they're like, “Oh my gosh, like that's awesome, and I just didn't see it laid out like that and it makes total sense,” and moving forward with launches and everything. It's going to be more important to have your own launch list so you are not depending on these review groups or anything like that, because as we know, those things have changed which we can talk about that Chris as well.

[00:03:30] Scott: But I do want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas if you celebrate Christmas, I just wanted to say happy holidays. It is the 26th that this is airing which is kind of weird but I just want to say I hope you guys are being safe, hope you guys are enjoying that family time which you should be. But Chris, how is all the holidays going for you right now? I know right now that we're recording this it’s before Christmas but how is the holidays going for you up to like I guess the shopping for presents and all that stuff? How's it going?

[00:03:58] Chris: Well, I already got the hottest toy of the year so I don’t…

[00:04:00] Scott: That's right, I remember that. That’s a funny story, we’ll have to share that another time.

[00:04:06] Chris: You'll hear a little bit about that at some point. It's been a good, I didn't really do whole a lot for Thanksgiving which was different and it was nice. I’m headed up to Pennsylvania officially for Christmas. So at this point, I should… Actually I'll still be in Pennsylvania because I'll be in Pennsylvania for the workshop as well, which will be a little bit of a change of scenery for those of you who have been on the workshops with us before.

And I know our buddy Dom always makes fun of me, because he said, “No matter where you move, you're in the same room.” Because I moved to a new house and my office looks exactly the same. So it'll be a little bit of a change of scenery but it will be nice. 10 days in with the folks and my friends that I grew up with and all of that stuff. It will have been a lot of fun. I’m future projecting a little bit but I enjoyed my Christmas, I will tell you that.

[00:04:53] Scott: Yeah, cool. All right, let's dig in here. Let's start talking a little bit about you know plans and the new kind of strategies and also let's talk a little bit about, what has changed since last year at this time and maybe you can start with that. What's the thing that comes to your head or to mind that you see has been a pretty big change?

[00:05:15] Chris: The biggest fundamental shift that happened in 2016 which you guys have heard me rant about this. I think it's a little overplayed, is the change to reviews. We've for about two and a half, three years were able to really shortcut the review process by using review groups and that has gone away. So we can no longer give away products in exchange for a review. You can still give away products for the most part. You can still get reviews and you can still ask people for reviews but you can't give away them in exchange for reviews.

So we have to change the launch strategy a little bit and quite honestly, we're kind of going back to some of the tried and true marketing methods that we were using before we found out about a whole lot of all of these giveaway services. So it's a big shift in terms of mindset for those of us who sell on Amazon. But I think it's actually a good shift because it forces us to build real “businesses,” rather than an “Amazon business.” If that makes sense.

[00:06:13] Scott: Yeah, I know it makes total sense and I had Dom on episode 296 recently, and we kind of mentioned our open brand that we're working on together and the things that we're doing there, and how we're building these email lists for each market in a sense and how we can do this and how it's just even more concentrated in a sense. Because review groups were always about like just people raising their hands that wanted to get products at a discount or for free, for the most part free or a dollar or something like that. That was great and all it did its job as far as like getting us a handful of reviews and some sales.

But it wasn't the audience necessarily that we were going to be selling our products to in the future and by us doing some of these things that we're doing now and I mean we shared everything at our TAS breakthrough live. We will be sharing a lot of that on the upcoming workshop on the 28th but really you know it is coming down to like building that email list in a market that you are selling products to.

That will be I think the strategy moving forward and it's also going to make it harder for people. So if you're thinking like Amazon is saturated with sellers and it's harder than ever to get started because there's more sellers and everyone's doing launches and all this stuff, well I look at it and I know you do too Chris. It's like things have changed. But I think that it also made it better for us, the ones that understand marketing and kind of how this whole thing works because the people that want the easy way or the way that they can just go and kind of dial up a review group and then just do a blast or continually do blasts, you're not going to do that anymore.

If you do, you're playing with fire because you can get your account banned and suspended and all that stuff. So you know I believe that this will be something that if you're doing it and you're consistently doing it properly like we will be, it's going to be a huge advantage for you. What are your thoughts on that?

[00:08:21] Chris: Quite honestly it's something that you've been talking about since the beginning. When is the first time you mentioned an email list?

[00:08:26] Scott: Gosh, I don't remember.

[00:08:28] Chris: It’s got to be like Episode three or two?

[00:08:31] Scott: It's probably a while ago.

[00:08:31] Chris: I’m going to click on your start here section on the site and just go back and see because I'm pretty sure you mentioned it in either step two or step three which is like episode maybe three or four. So episode six is step two. That means episode like eight maybe?

[00:08:49] Scott: Yeah.

[00:08:50] Chris: Seven or eight? You started talking about using insert cards and doing those kinds of things to gather emails. And it's kind of funny that Amazon accelerated this thought process for us because you and I had been working on some stuff in the background to say, “Okay, Amazon is great. How do we grow beyond Amazon?” Right, not forsaking Amazon not forgetting about Amazon, but how do we pick up that other 50%? Because for those you guys who don't know, Amazon.com and .co.uk and their associated sites, make up about fifty cents on every dollar spent online. So almost half of all of the money that's spent online is spent just on Amazon.

But that means there's a 50% that isn't. So how do we take advantage of that other big chunk? So we were already working on the stuff. You have a background in gathering emails, my background is in like large scale corporate ecommerce type stuff with big email lists. And so we like in May/June said, “This is probably something we should start focusing on.” Then Amazon kind of accelerated that process for us. But it is your email list as far as I'm concerned if you sell online, anything, physical products, digital products, does not matter. If you have an online presence your email list is your single biggest asset, period.

Because not only does it help you in the launch process of a product and Amazon but you can essentially send out an email, a terrible email. The worst written email on the planet, and I should know I've written some of them, and get a response. A good response or a bad response. And this is a conversation I had with Dom. I said, “Even if you get a negative response, you’ll at least get to learn something new.” You get to learn something from your audience and you get to learn it instantaneously. It's an instant feedback mechanism.

If you get a whole bunch of stop spamming me, you need to figure out how to adjust to the quality of the people on your list. If you get a whole bunch of people to buy the product that you're sending them to on Amazon or you're sending them to on your own funnel or you're sending them through on someone else's site. Walmart.com, any of those kind of places. It becomes a fire hose for you to drive people wherever you want to drive them and you get that feedback and you know what works with your audience and what doesn't.

So you can start changing your copy and your packaging and all of those kinds of things to reflect what your customers are telling you, without having to go out and hire a consultancy. You can learn a lot of those things through the emails that you sell and the response that you get to those, good or bad. So it's absolutely critical in any online business to have one of those lists.

[00:11:23] Scott: Yeah and it's funny like I said, sometimes it takes a good old kick in the butt to get you motivated. I mean, yes we've been collecting emails for insert cards and stuff like that. We've been lately doing some list building for the Amazon stuff but not as much as we should have. So we're guilty of that as well but now that it's kind of like, okay game on, well I already know what I need to do. It's not something I need to learn, it's something I already know the mechanics, I know how everything works, I've done it before. I've done it in my own photography business.

I've done in my digital products business within the photography space. I've done in other businesses that I've helped in because it's so darn important. But it's something that again I didn't really start pushing until we had this wake-up call in a sense right. It's just the way we are, we all procrastinate, we're guilty of it we all are. But once you understand it and you're willing to do that now, I believe that's going to give you an edge above your competition because your competition will still probably want to do the easy route. And now when you're looking at products you can also see what they're doing. So in that process, you may buy their product and then you may see what kind of follow-up they do. You may see if they're trying to get an email address. You may even see a Facebook ad that drives you through their funnel. And then this way here you can say, “Okay, they are doing that.”

So that may also be like, “Maybe I don't want to do that product because they're already doing all of this and I'm not going to really be able to compete as well why not go after something that's a little bit easier?” So those are some other holes that I'm going to look at that we're going to kind of try to go ahead and see what other people are doing or the competition is doing and then what we can do better. The same thing is how we look at the listing and see if it's under optimized if the pictures are good, if the heading is good, if the bullets benefits, if they're using enhanced content now.

Like all of these things are different points that we're going to be looking at that we can identify a good opportunity. And it kind of again leads into like, “Okay, so this has changed.” And you've heard us talk a lot about this even on the TAS Power Hours and all that stuff. But like the other thing, I think that has changed since you know the beginning of 2016 is really now that this other change has happened, is how to choose products. So maybe we should talk a little bit about that, Chris.

[00:13:45] Chris: We should. And again, the biggest factor in that I think is again the change in the review process. We're still looking for the same sales volume but you want to find fewer reviews, I think is kind of the biggest change and that's something that Greg Mercer has been doing for a while. He said he wants to find at least one with less than 50?

[00:14:07] Scott: Yeah, yeah.

[00:14:08] Chris: Right. And I always thought he was crazy when he was looking at that stuff because we were looking at you know 400, 500 because that's a fairly easy goal to attain. But you know if you're finding products with less than 200, 300 reviews at this point, I think is probably where you want to be. The other thing that's interesting is when Amazon cleaned up all of this process, they went through and they deleted a whole bunch of reviews and as sellers, our immediate response is, “The sky is falling, they're deleting all my reviews.” But they are also deleting a lot of other people's.

[00:14:40] Scott: Let me just cut in there real quick though Chris because on the reviews if anyone goes back and listens to anything that I have ever said about the launch process and reviews, is that those reviews that you are getting through a review group, are to me, they're temporary. If you lose those do not be alarmed and do not be disappointed because in the beginning, you’re doing the blast or the product giveaway or the promos to get sales but also to get some reviews but there are a base review so that way when you start getting exposure, you are not just sitting there naked with no reviews. You have reviews.

So this way here people can start buying your products and then you can start getting the organic and the natural reviews. But for people that have lost 200, 300 reviews and they're all disappointed well, that's because that's all that you've built your listing on, is all reviews that were given out and that's what Amazon didn't want. So I just want to kind of throw that in there. I've always said that the reviews that you're getting through a group, are there as like a starting point. So this way here you can build upon them with natural reviews.

[00:15:43] Chris: Well, and that's the biggest change to that reviews process is, you have to have your reviews sequence, your follow up sequence dialed in. To kind of take this back to a bigger point, to diverge from product research here for a minute, they've rolled out some other things like enhanced brand content and some of those kinds of things. So that combined with forcing us to build their own email list, I think Amazon is really moving into the direction and for me, I view this as a really good thing of more of a marketing challenge.

[00:16:15] Scott: Yep.

[00:16:15] Chris: Three, four years ago, you could basically throw any product up on Amazon and it would sell. You could have the world's worst listing and it would sell. And quite honestly the first product I listed on Amazon had a terrible listing and we found out about this whole Amazon thing because it just started to sell in spite of us not because of us. And I would rather have a marketing challenge any day of the week than compete against somebody who can just spam the system.

Just about any product even some of the more competitive products now have become and will become in 2017 more of a marketing challenge. Can you write better copy? Can you appeal to your audience both in the listing, in the product that you've created with your manufacturer and in that follow-up sequence to secure that review? Can you talk to them the way that they want to talk to? And if you can, and you can find out who that customer is and speak to them the way they like to be spoken to, you're going to succeed overwhelmingly in 2017.

[00:17:20] Scott: Yeah, and let me just bring up another thing that happened and that we can talk about here is the Lightning Deals. That’s something brand new that wasn't here in 2016 that was in your… It's not new as far as like they…They ran them. You could run one but you had to be accepted. You had to go through this whole acceptance process and all that. Now, they have a feature built into your promotions area, your advertising area, where now you can set one of these up if your product is selected which if you have a certain number of sales you will be and it's not that many you don't have to have like thousands. Then you'll get this opportunity. Now, when they first rolled that out they did it as a free option.

Like if it showed up, you could use it and you could give as many each way as you wanted and they would do that for you and it was cool. Then after they got through their beta stage they want to head they said, “Okay, now we're going to charge $300.” That's what it is right now currently, $300 to run this. And now you have to decide is it worth it to give that away? How much are you willing to give it away? Because now you're doing a Lightning Deal you're not giving away the product at a dollar or $5, you're going to be doing maybe 25% off or a 30% off. So you're still getting more money than you would have if you would've did a hundred unit give away. But people still are, there like, “They want to charge me $300 to do a lightning deal how dare them?” I get it but you have to also look at what you were doing before, right. So what’s your thoughts on that, Chris I mean the Lightning Deals?

[00:18:51] Chris: I think I think it's worth trying. If you have one that shows up in your dashboard there's not really a reason not to run it if it's a product that you want to move units on.

[00:19:02] Scott: If you are going to do 50 units, I don't think it makes sense.

[00:19:04] Chris: Right, but that's what I was about to say, is you have to make sure that you're going to at least cover yourself. So add $300 to however many, to the unit cost of however many units you want for the maximum deal quantity and do the math and then figure out if the price makes sense, right. If they want you to sell it at 11 bucks and the product costs you $10 and you only have 200 to give away, well then you're not going to make your money back. But you then also have to consider the BSR boost, the conversion rate boosts all of those kinds of things that you're going to get along with it and decide just like you did when you were doing a free giveaway. Decide if it's worth your time or not. They are an extremely powerful thing. And on one of the Friday power hours, we talked about our friend Nick, who had one run on Black Friday.

[00:19:59] Scott: It was insane, right?

[00:20:00] Chris: He was ranking like in the top handful in the category that he is in like top, was like top 15. His BSR moved to like the top 15.

[00:20:10] Scott: Which is great?

[00:20:11] Chris: And he actually had a whole bunch scheduled between Thanksgiving and Christmas and had to cancel some because he ran out of inventory. That to me is worth $300. If you're making fifty cents a unit, that to me is worth $300. Because it lets you place a bigger order, it lets you recoup your cash faster, lets you do all of those kinds of things. Yes, it's not your $10 margin that you like to see. But the associated benefits of that are very much worth your time, energy and effort and quite honestly it's very easy to set up. So I would at least test it as long as it makes sense for your product. Again just add $300 or whatever the fee is at whatever time you're listening to this, currently it's $300, to whatever your product costs are and see if it makes sense. If you’re not at a break even you are cool with that then run with it. If you're not, then don't.

[00:20:59] Scott: I think we always tend to look at all of the things that Amazon is taking away or as people think they're taking away and they don't look at the things that they're allowing us to do. You got to remember, it's their platform, it's their traffic. It's their merchant services, it's their workers doing the fulfilling. It's them, it's their service. If you want to control everything, then you need to set up your Amazon, write your own platform that does all that you can through your own website, your fulfillment center and you can do all that stuff. But if you want to take advantage of the tools that they give you inside, then go for it and it's pretty powerful when you can.

But a lot of people that, “Oh I can't believe it now they're going to charge us for a Lightning Deal, they used to give it to us for free.” And I get it but it's still they are allowing us to get in front of their eyeballs or their customers. So Lightning Deals, I mean that's a pretty powerful thing that we're able to use now. The most recent one is the enhanced content that they're rolling out. So enhanced content for brand registered brand owners. And again something that they're saying like, “We are only going to allow this to be with brand registered businesses.” And that may change. It may be a certain number of or how much volume you do in the future who knows? But they're doing it to reward the ones that are selling and the ones that they feel that can do better.

I look at like everyone always looks at like doom and gloom and they're like, “Oh, now what are we going to do.” But these are actually some pretty cool things and some features that they're allowing us to do. Are they still going to you know make changes that restrict us from doing this, that or the other thing? And the answer is, “Yes. But you have to be willing to adapt and you also have to, you have to also start building your own external traffic in your own external way of collecting money and all that stuff. But right now understand that you're still able to use this amazing platform and you get to use all the tools and all that stuff. And yes, there's going to be some restrictions but there's some pretty cool perks and I think the enhanced content is a great perk that we're getting access to and I think people again tend to always look at the doom and gloom. What's your thoughts on all that Chris?

[00:23:08] Chris: Which by the way, the enhanced brand content is again guys something they will be charging for in the future. But if you do it as of the time that we’re recording this, it's free, so take advantage of it while you can. I have to agree, Scott everybody and it's not just Amazon sellers that have this mindset, it's everyone. It's because the easy human response. You've been around in the internet marketing world long enough to know what a Google slap is and every time Google changes one of the things in their algorithm people get affected by it and internet marketers go, “Oh no it's the end of SEO.” No, you just have to do it a little differently. It doesn't mean that you don't do it. And the same thing here. I'm actually a fan of them charging for Lightning Deals and I know that a lot of you are thinking, “Chris, that's because you already have products that are selling.”

[00:24:02] Scott: You can get hate mail by the way.

[00:24:04] Chris: I already do. No, I’m just kidding. I get a lot of love from the TAS community and I got to shout out because you guys rock. But you know I'm a fan of it and the reason they did it is it's a mechanism to slow it down. Because if they didn't charge for it, everybody would just run Lighting Deals all the time. And it doesn't cost you anything to sell through 300 of your units at a little bit of a discount, you're just going to do it all day every day, you're going to think about it. The $300 that's a substantial fee if you don't sell through that Lightning Deal. So what they want is they want you to sell through the Lightning Deal.

And I honestly think one just from the anecdotal stuff that we've seen, like if you say you put up 100 units and you sell through that, it seems like they immediately offer you another one at 200. I honestly and this is just you know me kind pinpointing here, I think it's them trying to create scarcity. They want those Lighting Deals to sell out. And so if you're not going to sell through it, they you know at least then they're getting the $300.

So they know how much it costs them to process all of those things they want to create a little bit of scarcity around the Lighting Deals both for the buyers and for the sellers and so they added that $300 fee. But they have added so much stuff this year. They changed the way that we do back-end search terms. They've significantly improved reporting. It's still not to where I would want it to be. We don't get to see organic search terms, we can only see paid search terms so we can’t optimize. And honestly you know I know why Amazon doesn't give us that information but if they did we could improve our listings and sell even more which would help them and if anybody from Amazon is listening. You know basic search engine optimization type stuff.

But they've improved a ton in the platform, and the newest one is the enhanced brand content like you just said. I mentioned it a few minutes ago. I honestly think it turns Amazon into much more of a marketing challenge than anything else. And I like marketing challenges because my team and I are of the mindset that we can out market anybody.

[00:26:04] Chris: Previously you couldn't really market on Amazon. It was you had to show up for search. And that was the only way to do it and you got five bullets, a title and some photos and then like this giant block of text at the bottom that no one really read and even if you wrote the world's greatest description, it didn't really help anybody because it was a giant block of text. And now with their enhanced brand content, you can tell a story and it's created what… What's it called in the internet marketing world or the marketing world in general, more of a long form like sales letter or a sales page.

So people like you and I who like glancing through content reading headlines, reading bullets, we can actually see bullets in the product description. We can see bold in a way that's meaningful to us not just a bold sentence in the middle of a giant lot of text. You can tell additional stories with images and actually talk about what makes your product better and then show it to somebody. Before you kind of had to put that in an image and it wasn't always readily apparent. Now if somebody makes it to the description you can say my garlic press has silicone on the handle and here's why. You can put a picture of it, show them what it is and then tell them why it matters. That can significantly improve conversion rate for the people who care about that kind of stuff.

[00:27:24] Scott: I think it's easier on the eyes for people that like to scan like you or I. It also…  like someone had asked the other day about putting video in there, in their listing and currently right now you're not able to at least, were not able to but…

[00:27:40] Chris: You can on the Vendor central site.

[00:27:41] Scott: Exactly. Yes, the vendor express site. You can but I'm not sure if they're still allowing you when you open up the account. I'm not sure I haven't looked into that. And there we go. This is live by the way. Chris. So yes, so let me get back to it. So what this means though for me is like you know, what they might not allow you to put video in right now but with the enhanced content, they may make that feature available to people that have brand registered and they have this enhanced content.

We don't know but I have a hunch that they will and it might be a certain type of video or maybe a certain length of video. But right now, I believe that having those nice images with some nice text going down through it, it almost presents itself as a video word where you can put all of these key features and their benefits and kind of tell the story even if you want to about your branding and your mission, and all that stuff or how the product is better. So all that stuff is to me easier to describe through that enhanced content.

[00:28:47] Chris: Right because you can write and show the same way you would if you were standing there selling a person right. I've said on here a couple times my first job was selling in a selling home theater. You could never really sell someone a TV without showing them the features and the benefits of the television. You had to flip through the different menus and show them the different things that it could do. Now you can do that in a constructive way. You can walk them through what makes the product better than your competitor or than a generic product or what you've done to improve it.

And you get to tell a little bit about your story as well. And quite honestly, there are people who connect with brands. There are a lot of people who connect with brands and so if you can hook them with that, they'll buy your stuff no matter what else you say. And you could never do that before on Amazon because Amazon was specifically about the product itself. Now, if you’re brand registered it is a key benefit now in my opinion to being brand registered.

To me that would become more of a priority if I were a brand new seller, that would become more of a priority for me in 2017, than it was up until the middle of November 2016. The other big benefit that’s come out of the brand registry and it's probably where you were going to go was the listing lockdown. There are a lot of brand registered sellers now who have control over anybody that wants to list on their listing.

[00:30:05] Scott: Yeah, you can’t just list…

[00:30:06] Chris: And I’ve seen it on some of my products, our friend Dom said it finally rolled out to him as well where before, you know you heard us talk in the past about hijackers and people who would buy a bunch of your product when it was on sale, and then to list it in a retail arb type fashion or just sell a completely different product you know and unbranded generic version of yours on your listing if you are a top selling product. And now if you're brand registered in a lot of cases you're listing as a lock down so that you can approve anyone else. So if you're the only reseller you cannot, you can go ahead and not allow them to sell in your listing. Which again is extremely powerful because then don't have the worry about hijackers either.

[00:30:41] Scott: Yeah, I love that and again we just keep kind of like pulling out these new things that have been rolled out. The review one was a big hit for a lot of people. For us, we kind of pivoted really quickly to that but we never really relied on the review game as much as a lot of people did. People that wanted to get into competitive niches, those are the ones that are really I think affected by that. But as you can hear everything that we just kind of covered and there's other ones too, other small little ones that happened but like you said, like these are these are pretty big changes but for the most part they are better for us sellers and for sellers that actually want to put in the work. And they want to look at these as like different tools that we can now use.

Just like eBay has done in the past. Like if you ever sold on eBay in the past you've seen they would have updates every six months or something and it would be a change to the marketplace and you know you have to deal with it. But it was usually to benefit the customers right is going to give them and also for marketers that are abusing it you know however they were back when I was selling on eBay like I talked about before, you had people that you could basically do digital products there or you could do like a digital book and people were doing penny books. Then they would get their email address by doing that well, that's abusing the system. So they immediately fixed that you know after they seen it was being you know kind of taken advantage of.

So again it's happening but I look at all of these as like these are definitely features to help us as sellers but it also makes us think differently as to how we pick products so things are changing. Like I will look at products differently, the criteria differently, not a ton but like you said the reviews is a big one. We still want to kind of follow the 10 by 10 by 1 if we can, we still want to find products that can sell you know $20 to $45 to $50 somewhere in that range.

[00:32:40] Scott: We're still looking at all those things just to review thing is like we want to find items that are selling well, you know what we say well, 300 a month or more and is still only having like you know 100 reviews or maybe 200 reviews at the most and then this way here, we know that we can launch the product without having to do a huge massive promotion or giveaway.

And then we're going to also see if it's a market that we can build a list into. So like you know we talked about it on episode, let's see here it was I did it with Dom, it was a 296. So we talked all about the open brand that we're working on together and how we're building like email lists for these certain markets and niches and that's really for us. That's a new way of doing it moving into the new year we've already started it but that's really what's going to be our main focus and finding those products that fit into those and it almost gives us a little bit more freedom to pick products. Like Dom was saying, he was saying like you know before it was like once you created that brand you felt like if you seen something that was a good opportunity, you really couldn't launch because it didn't fit in the brand. So you're kind of restricted. Being with the open brand mindset now, we're able to just plug it into a brand and then or even just start a brand new one underneath the main brand. If that makes sense.

So you know as far as us going forward and Chris I want to just maybe give a little bit of I guess, your thoughts on this and what your feelings are, and I kind of know what they are but I want you to let everyone else know. But I want to wrap this up but I want to just let people know like so for 2017 especially people that are just starting, like what would you say? Would you say like, you know what it's still a good opportunity but this is what you should do, like what would you give that advice to someone just starting?

[00:34:28] Chris: Well I would still say #juststart. By any stretch of the imagination and it's funny, again we talked about the changes to reviews and the process. The thing that’s funny to me, and I keep saying it, is three years ago we didn't use review groups. We built our own lists or we used somebody else's. And so that's kind of the biggest change for new sellers, is they have to go back to what we had to do three years ago and find somebody else's list or build their own. I think it's an excellent opportunity still and I'm not just saying that because I sell on Amazon and I see the opportunities on a day to day basis.

I'm saying that because of all the people that we talk to, that say you know I… Somebody like a Bill who had looked at six or eight different products and then had his wife do the touch list thing and found a product that sells you know high dozens to hundreds a day depending on the time of year right.

We hear these stories all the time. It's an excellent opportunity there's still a ton of room for new sellers. And I think with the review change it actually opened up a lot of spaces that I would have considered to be too competitive before based on just the total number of reviews. And it's something that I noticed even with some of my products is, I am doing a little better because a lot of my competitors got their reviews knocked down and you know the real “reviews” that they had, weren't so great.

The promo reviews that they got were great so their stars disappeared, they went from four stars to three stars or five stars to three stars. That really opened up a lot of opportunity. And now looking at new products that we're sourcing and some stuff in the open brand, we're selling with no reviews right. And we didn't even have a follow-up sequence on.

[00:36:13] Scott: That was a mistake, that was a mistake, we missed that.

[00:36:16] Chris: We had dozens a day of one of the products on the open brand that you were just talking about with no reviews. So it's still absolutely is an opportunity and if it's something that you're interested in and you haven't taken that leap of faith yet, try it. Even if it's the Aliexpress method, right try it and see what happens. If you don't have you know $5,000, don't worry about it. Sell some of the stuff that's lying around under your house, get a couple hundred bucks together and just pretend and I think you've heard me, you've heard me tell this story before, my mom's going to kill me.

But she always swears that Las Vegas security people are still laughing at her right. Because when she and my dad were in Vegas a few years ago and they decided they were going to gamble and they put you know, they said we're going to spend $20 on the slot machine. They are not big spenders right. So the first the first time my mom paused the lever she wins 80 bucks. And this was when Las Vegas they sold the quarters now they do like tickets. She counted out $20 worth of quarters put I'm back in her purse and then they played on they played on the 60 bucks.

But they were looking at that $20 just kind of throw away money. It's fun it's the try it out see what happens. Then whatever happens on the backend it's 20 bucks. Same thing here. Everybody has some stuff around their house that they could sell. You can get a couple hundred bucks together the Aliexpress method for 400, 500 bucks. What do you have to lose if it was money you didn't have to start with?

If it's you know you sell the old printer you have, an old TV and you know a chair that you're not using for a couple of hundred bucks and you go buy products on Aliexpress, if it works great if it doesn't. It was money you didn't have two months ago. So try it and you will be shocked at what happens.

[00:37:58] Scott: Well you'll learn, I mean the big thing is here you’ll learn and I just want to I want to mention this and I mentioned a little bit on the open brand that we were talking about with Dom and his episode on 296. Dom is, he's pretty confident that he can pretty much help anyone make like a $500 to $1,000 just by cleaning out their garage, their artic, their office, their house. And we're going to actually do something here in the near future. I don't know an exact date yet so I can't say it but we are working with Dom on something to help people that are just getting started that want to just get their feet wet and maybe do a little bit of retail arb online arb even just some thrifting to make their first $1,000.

And again #juststart, that's what we're doing. We are going to do an episode here. Maybe after the first of the year talk a little bit about TAS mission 2017 kind of like what we plan on doing there, how we can help more people. Because the hardest thing for people is to really just get started and sometimes they think they have to just start in the private label and they don't. They have to just get started in learn the process and you'll be amazed at what you learn by just doing it. Like listing your first product or even just listing something on eBay right like just listing something and understanding the process.

So I just want to put a little teaser out there. We are going to be doing something with Dom so look for that in an email or a podcast. So we'll be definitely mentioning that. I'm pretty excited about that we're going to be able to help a lot of people do that and that is just start. So, Chris, I think we're going to wrap this up. This has been good. Again I just wanted to kind of go through and kind of flush out some of the new things that have come about since 2016, last year because we are approaching 2017 and I know that next year at this time, we'll probably be doing something similar to this and we'll be talking about the changes in 2017, so there's always changes. But right now, I'm just going to kind of go through real quickly our plans.

[00:40:00] Scott: I say we, that's you, me, Dom, the people that we're working with is really to find products that are serving a market but they follow those rules of yes they meet the 10 by 10 by 1, but they also have a low number of reviews so we don't have to do a huge promotion. We're going to be building email lists inside of these markets and these brands, and then we're going to be doing our own launches when we need to when we launch a product. We're also going to be working on doing some external funnel stuff so we can also drive Facebook ads to our offers and build an email list that way and all that stuff.

So that's what we're going to be talking about again. We'll talk more about that on an upcoming episode but that's really what we're planning to do and I'm excited about it because again it's something new in a sense to where we can kind of get in there and figure stuff out and then I can share it with you guys. So Chris is right the else you want to wrap up with that you're excited about or things that you wanted to mention before we wrap this up?

[00:40:54] Chris: I think I just wanted to recap real quick. Long story short if you guys are not currently selling or you're looking to launch new products in 2017 which you should be, biggest difference, it's just going to be a little bit more work. You have to go find a list rather than the giveaway groups but it's not all that different. The rest of the process stays the same, you can still find all those products that meet the 10 by 10 by 1 and then you can start to look at some of the external stuff that we're talking about doing, like building your own funnels, building your own sales list. But get up, get selling on Amazon and then give pivot to that stuff.

[00:41:26] Scott: Yeah, now that's awesome. All right so here's what we're going to do guys. I'm going to remind you guys if you want to know a little bit more about how to do this external list building for your launches and for you know getting your product kind of up and going, we are doing to be doing a workshop on December 28th. This is going to be brand new something that we haven't even shared yet other than at our TAS breakthrough live. So we'll be sharing some of that on this workshop.

If you want to attend that head over to theamazingseller.com/launchlist. Again, that's theamazingseller.com/launchlist. You can also find that link on the show notes page which you'll find the transcripts and all that stuff there as well. theamazingseller.com/299. And I think that is all that I needed to remind you guys on I did want to just say have a happy, happy New Year and I will be doing one episode before we actually head into the new year, that’ll be December 30th so I'll be an Ask Scott session.

So if I don't talk to you before then have a Happy Holidays, be safe. Chris, I want to thank you once again. And let's go ahead and close this out the way that we always do. I want you guys to remember as always 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… Chris you're going to do it with me on the count of three. One, Two, Three.

[00:42:48] Scott and Chris: “Take action.”

[00:42:51] Scott: Have awesome amazing day guys, and I'll see you right back here on the next episode.

[END]

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7 comments
  • Hi Scott,
    Do you know how some sellers with a high BSR and sometimes under 10 reviews (I even seen lots of reviews) can all of a sudden jump to page one out of no where? Did I miss this in one of the course teachings?

    • Hey V, Amazon has a variety of factors that play into search term rank. What is likely happening here is that you saw a sponsored product ad OR that they are converting really well for a particular term

  • Hi Scott
    Am loving the podcast I listen to them everyday. I was wondering if the workshop for the list building will be recorded as I am in the UK and it’s in the middle of the night? Am about 4 weeks away from launching my first product so this would be a great help. Thanks keep up the good work…

    • Hey Mahima, Amazon appears to slowly be rolling out seller restrictions on listings that are protected by brand registry. Essentially it doesn’t allow anyone not authorized by the listing owner (in this case, you) to put products up for sale on that listing. If you don’t currently have it, you can always reach out to SC support and ask!

  • I tried to sign up for the 12/28 Launch List webinar but it says that all webinars are done for the winter. Is there a 12/28 webinar?

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