TAS 424 Ask Scott Session #131 – Seasonal Product – When to Sell on Walmart – Avoiding Hijackers

Are you running low on motivation and ideas to keep pushing your brand forward? You are in luck! It’s time for another session of Ask Scott here on The Amazing Seller Podcast! On this episode, you’ll hear from Scott as he shares his thought of the week, addresses questions from sellers like you, and more! Don’t let the weekend come until you’ve received the dose of inspiration and motivation you need so you can put these great lessons into practice. You don’t want to miss this helpful episode!

Don’t get stuck in the Comparison Trap!

What keeps you motivated on your journey? Are you looking to reach a certain income level? Do you want to be able to afford those nice toys or luxurious vacations you’ve always dreamed of? Or do you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to all the other big shot ecommerce sellers? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott breaks down why it’s so dangerous for sellers like you to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others in the industry. Scott is not against setting goals and pushing yourself, but he highlights why it’s a slippery slope when you start comparing yourself to others. Learn more on this topic from Scott on this episode!

Seasonal Products

Are you considering listing a seasonal product to capitalize on a surge of interest from consumers? What is your strategy? Is it a good idea to proceed with a product that you know won’t be profitable beyond a certain calendar date? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott jumps in and gives his opinion on whether marketing and listing a seasonal product is really worth it. Another option that Scott gives is to consider augmenting your existing product to catch onto a seasonal surge by adding something as simple as snowflakes or an image of Santa if it would be appropriate for your product. Hear more about this subject from Scott on this episode!

Selling on Walmart

As retailers try to catch up and press Amazon for its share of the ecommerce marketplace, many sellers like you are considering listing their products on Walmart’s platform when given the opportunity. Is listing on Walmart worth the effort? Does it have the potential to rival Amazon? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he opens up about his assessment of Walmart's efforts to compete with Amazon in this ecommerce space. You don’t want to miss out on Scott’s valuable insight on this crucial topic. Get Scott’s take and other helpful responses to questions from other TAS followers on this episode!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [4:30] Thought of the week!
  • [16:00] Question #1: Should I be concerned about launching a seasonal product?
  • [22:00] Question #2: Is selling on Walmart worth it?
  • [28:00] Question #3: How can I protect my listing from hijackers? 

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 424

TAS 424: Ask Scott Session #131 – Seasonal Product – When to Sell on Walmart – Avoiding Hijackers

[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 424 and session number 131 of Ask Scott. This is where I answer your questions here on the podcast and I do it every single Friday every single week. This is our way of sitting down and having that cup of coffee at the coffee shop and we’re just talking about business or life…

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…That’s what I’m going to be doing here today and you guys know that are long time listeners I really, really enjoy doing this. I like doing this in person not just like this here but this is the closest thing that we can do. This is virtual and being able to hear you guys all over the world submit your questions is pretty awesome. I’ll let you guys know in a second here how we can actually maybe meet in person here this month actually.

This is October 2017 I’ll let you guys know that. Actually let me do that right now because I don’t want to forget. We are going to be, I say we myself, Chris Shaffer we’re going to be in Dallas, Texas. That is October 26th which is a Thursday, it will be at 7o’clock at night. We’re going to do a little unofficial TAS meetup. If you want the details if you want to confirm that you’re going to be there, you’re going to be in the area and you want to stop by, you’re more than welcome.

That link to get all the details is theamazingseller.com/Dallas. Yeah, we’d love to see you there shake hands and talk a little bit of this business and really just get to meet each other and all the other TASers that are going to be attending. It’s really an awesome thing to be able to bring the TAS audience together at a small scale in person. If you’re interested definitely go check that out, theamazingseller.com/Dallas and just confirm that you’re going to be there. Again it’s an unofficial meet up so nothing fancy just a little meet and greet, little hang out.

[00:02:01] Scott: We’ll probably be hanging out for a couple of hours and just get to know each other. We’d love to see you there. Today we’re going to be talking about seasonal products. We’re going to be talking about when and should you sell on Walmart.com and then the other one is avoiding hijackers and really understanding that whole thing and we’re going to talk about all three of those.

If you guys have your own question that you want me to answer here on an upcoming Ask Scott. You can do that by heading over to theamazingseller.com/ask and then just record your first name, maybe where you’re tuning in from and then just a brief question and I’ll do my best to air it here on an upcoming Ask Scott session. Without you guys submitting questions I don’t get to do these Friday sessions which by the way I love.

As of right now I am behind a little bit because there is questions coming in all the time. I don’t think that this will ever run out but don’t let that discourage you. I want you guys to submit your questions and I’m going to do my best to answer each and every one of those I promise. All right so that’s that. Now the other thing is I always need to remind you if you’re new to the show.

We do have show notes and transcripts to all the episodes and this one here is theamazingseller.com/424. All the show notes and the transcripts can be found there. Now also what I like to do here on the Ask Scott session is really talk about my thoughts. It was funny I just had one of our listeners you sent in an email saying how much you enjoy really listening to my weekly thoughts.

At first when I started thinking about this I’m like is anybody going to really even care what I’m thinking. I guess a lot of you do so that’s why I’m going to continue to do these. A lot of you probably know I also include these thoughts into my weekly email which is on Fridays. Every Friday I write an email and it really does go through like what’s going on in my personal life whether that’s maybe that conversation that I had on the deck with my wife that morning over coffee.

[00:04:03] Scott: It usually, it really does always come back to life and what we’re doing this for and then business. Really in a nutshell it’s like I always try to tie it back to a business lesson to share but I think a lot of you like that. A lot of things that we do are they’re based off of maybe thinking about money or thinking about freedom but really coming down to those lessons and stuff that we’ve learned through these experiences.

That’s what I try to share in my weekly email. If you guys are not subscribed to that go to theamazingseller.com and subscribe. Let’s go ahead and discuss this really quickly and I have something that I want to get out off my chest just a little bit. Again it always comes down to when I start either talking business with someone or even life. I start to go through these exact same questions that I’m going to share with you right now.

The one thing that I see a lot of people that are either listeners of the podcast, or people that are just following me or anyone else for that matter online, they’re trying to compare themselves to other people and I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing. It can actually be really damaging because you’re thinking to yourself in order to be successful, I need to do similar things.

Let me give you an example, you probably see some other people in this space really bragging about these big giant numbers like we did $2.6 million last year or we did $50 million last year. You hear these numbers and again they’re eye catching. It’s like eye candy in a sense. It’s like you see these numbers, it gets you interested because who doesn’t want to have $1 million?

[00:06:00] Scott: Everyone would be like I want to go on a game show and try to win a $1 million. Everything would be fixed if I had $1 million. I don’t believe that by the way but that’s what a lot of people think or they think if I could just make enough money and get those toys that I wanted I would feel successful like those shiny cars, the Lamborghinis, the Porsches. All of these fancy cars is going to make them feel successful.

Maybe houses, you see like a house or someone running a Facebook ad and it takes you through their house and they’re showing you all of these things and you know some of the people out there. I know that these people they aren’t necessarily doing it to mislead you. In a sense they’re just trying to get your attention. Some are trying to mislead but a lot of people are trying to do it for attention.

Then hopefully once they get your attention they guide you in the right way. My thing is this, forget about all that crap. Forget about the big numbers, forget about the shiny cars, forget about all the gurus out there that are telling you that in order to be successful you need to have this number. Forget about all that crap right now. Here is what I want you to do, I want you to ask yourself a question or two.

Here is the big one, what do you want? Don’t tell me I want $1 million just like that guy over there because I’ve seen it on Facebook. Forget that. What do you want? A lot of times it comes down to I want to work less. I want to spend more time with my family.  It comes down to the, your why. Any of you that are listening that’s inside of our class in our TAS breakthrough year community you guys know I do a whole exercise on this and I really break this down seven…

There is seven steps to this exercise to really get crystal clear on the why. What do you want? If you want the car, why do you want the car so people see you as successful? Why do you do you want the big fancy house? So people look at you as successful? That’s usually what drives having those things.

[00:08:00] Scott: Sure it’s fun to have one of these things or a nice thing to feel like you’re successful. What do you want? You want a head to turn. You want someone to look at you and it’s normal. It's human nature, we want to be recognized as successful. When you break it down, you probably want something a little bit simpler than that. You just want to get out of your nine to five or you want to work less.

Whatever it is you need to figure that out. Like I said, I said why do you want it? Why do you want the house? Why do you want the car? Why do you like so why do you want all that stuff or why do you want freedom? Why do you want to be able to create your own schedule? I know for me going back gosh now almost 19 years with my son. I wanted to free up my schedule so I can go to all of his baseball games, all of his basketball games.

My daughter who is now 22 I wanted to be able to enjoy her doing those first things as a toddler. I wanted to watch her grow. I didn’t want to miss that stuff. I wanted to be able to go to her piano recital. I didn’t want to have to put in the time. That’s what was driving me still drives me to this day. I’ve got a nine year old as well now. I’m going to go to volleyball with her tonight. I don’t have, I didn’t schedule anything around that time from 4o’clock to well that’s it.

I’m done at 4o’clock today, so anything business related is done at 4o’clock today and I’m going to be there with my daughter driving her with my wife and we’re going to hang out and we’re going to go to volleyball and then we’re going to have dinner together and maybe some homework and maybe take a ride in a golf cart. Just we’re going to just spend some time. That is why I do what I want.

I’m not looking at I got to make $1 million. If that happens it happens, what I need to do and what you need to do is you need to do the math. You need to figure out your plan and you need to focus I put capitals here for me to remind you to say to yourself you need to focus. You need to even write that down on a piece of paper and really make it dark and wide and say FOCUS.

[00:10:08] Scott: FOCUS, do the math, figure out your plan and focus and put blinders on, forget the big numbers, forget any of that crap because that doesn’t mean anything for you. All it means is that someone else has done something and you’re recognizing it and you’re like “oh my gosh, look at that. Someone said they did $1.5 million. They’re successful.”

A lot of times you’ll look into that business a little bit more and their margins are really, really small or maybe they’re not really giving you the full truth. I don’t know. Again I’m not calling anybody out but I see it all the time. Not even in just our space, but a lot of different spaces that they are trying to get the attention. I want you to forget about that. I’ve talked a lot about the 10 by 10 by 1 strategy. If you guys are brand new let me break it down for you.

I like to launch products that can sell 10 units a day, $10 profit each one product, so that’s 10 by 10 by 1 that equals $100 per day or let’s do the math and times that by 30 days that’s $3,000 a month. Now that’s a start, that’s not something that would maybe get your attention. If you’ve seen something like, “See how I make $3,000 a month,” like you’re okay, cool you make $3,000 a month.

Maybe you ought to ask yourself what would $3,000 do for you per month right now if you had that extra in your life right now. What would it do for you? A lot of people it’s the mortgage, it's car payments, it's groceries, it's electric bill. It’s all that stuff. Don’t discount those small or smaller numbers. What are your numbers? Figure that out and then once you understand your numbers you create that plan. Then from there you can go ahead and focus on that plan.

[00:12:03] Scott: Again that’s why I like to break it down for $100 per day let’s times that for five products now, that’s $15,000 a month in profit. We’re not talking gross we’re talking net. $15,000. That’s a $180,000 per year. That’s a a pretty good six figure per year little business. It’s not the multimillion dollar thing that got your attention that got you distracted with the latest hack.

These are numbers that you can achieve if you create a plan and you focus on it one thing at a time. Find your numbers and shoot for that and stop comparing yourself to the gurus with the $1 million or more screenshots. I see it all the time on our Facebook group. People will post this and I have admins in there and the minute that they see this they go, “Oh, I want to share my results, I did $600,000 in three months.”

Then they get a bunch of attention and then these people are trying to lure people away from the group and then trying to turn them on to whether it’s their coaching, whether it’s their new tool or whatever it is. We have people in our group every single day getting banned for stuff like that. Sometimes I get people that will that well that got banned and they’ll email me and go, “Scott why was I banned?”

Well, I look a little bit deeper and I’m like, “Well because you’re trying to get people’s attention so that you can bring them over and sell them your tool or your service. We’re not about that.” Now I do have people that have great services and I have them on the podcast and I’ve vetted them the best that I can and I have them on my resources page and I even do my own class.

I know what that is. I know the people that are involved there, so I’m more than happy to share that with you but I’m not here trying to show you that if you do this then the other thing you’re going to be able to make $1 million and that’s going to solve all your problems. That’s not what we are doing here.

[00:14:02] Scott: I went on a really long little rant there but I think it was necessarily and I’m actually sweating a little bit because I have a sweat shirt on today. It’s a little chilly this morning but I think I’m warmed up now and I think you guys should be warmed up too. Avoid comparing yourself to others. It doesn’t matter. What you need to do is figure out you, figure out what you want and why you want it and then do the math and figure out a plan and focus.

It’s really, really that simple, so just do me a favor and just focus on that and I’m telling you you’ll be so much further ahead. Stop chasing the latest hack. Any time that you’re out there trying to figure out a hack or a shortcut it might work for a little while but then it can get pulled out from under you. Just be careful. With all that being said, I’m almost ready here to rock and roll.

That was a long intro but I hope you guys enjoyed that. I hope that you guys understand, I hope it helps you. I hope it serves you. Now anyone that is brand new and they just heard that hopefully you enjoyed that. I also wanted to give you guys a resource because those, a lot of episodes that I’ve done here talking about starting your own business on Amazon primarily and then from there we can talk about building it outside of Amazon.

There is a lot of information that I’ve published, well here is the deal I do a workshop where I break everything down and I condense it into a 90 minute window, a 90 minute workshop. If you’re interested in attending that you can head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop.

We’ll also answer your questions there as well, but we go through the five phases to choosing a product, sourcing a product, doing a pre-launch, launching and promoting your product and getting yourself up and running and learning the process. We do that at theamazingseller.com/workshop. We’ll have the upcoming workshops there. If you go there and you see one is upcoming go register for it and we’ll see you there on that workshop.

[00:16:05] Scott: Guys let’s get started what do you say? I am more than fired up today. I think you guys can tell. Let’s go ahead and listen to today’s first question and I’ll give you my answer. Let’s do this.

[Q&A]

[00:16:17] Laura: Hi Scott, my name is Laura and I’m checking in from Brisbane Australia. Before I get to my question I just wanted to say a great thank you for all the information that you provide us with. It’s been really valuable and you've given me the confidence to finally take action and get out there and find my first product. The problem is the product that I found could be considered quite seasonal.

Let’s say for example that is a reindeer shaped garlic press. It could be used all year around but some people might think of it as a Christmas themed item. My question is do you think it would be a mistake to launch a first product that might be considered seasonal? And if so, would a of getting around this be to have a generic version of the same product but without the reindeer and then I can sell that as a variation once the Christmas season is over.

If that would work, is it even possible to create a variation like this having the non-seasonal version because it will be a different shape? I just wanted to know what you would think and thanks again for everything.

[00:17:22] Scott: Hey Laura thank you so much for the question all the way from Australia. I love that you guys know that, so thank you so much for the question. Now this is a good question and there is a couple of different things we need to consider and I think you’ve already come up with your answer but let me just I guess talk about my thoughts on this.

Number one if you were going to launch a seasonal product and let’s say it can’t be modified and anyone else out there listening and you want to capitalize on this one holiday or this one time of year. Snow shovel for example, if you’re going to sell snow shovels you better get a lot of them in and you better market your butt off before that season so you can really, really capitalize on the snow shovel season.

That’s number one. I’m not a huge fan of doing this because again you’re depending on one season and if for some reason you have a hiccup in your business or in the system, you’re going to miss out. It’s almost like you’re banking on that season and once that season is over with you’re done. You don’t get a chance to do it again until the next season.

Now what you said was if you could take your product and then add I don’t know a Santa Claus logo to it because it’s going to be now for like let’s say cookies. You could make just a regular sugar cookie not even the shape that could be sold all year long. If you sold one that had a Santa Claus on it or maybe even happy holidays on it or whatever that could technically be positioned as a seasonal item for the holidays.

Once you put that branding on it, you’re only going to sell that item in that season but you could still take and get rid of the branding and then sell it all year long. You could even not even put the branding of the seasonal thing on the item. You could just market it as hey these are great for the holiday season when you’re doing your sugar cookies or whatever. Again I’m just throwing out a random example but you get the idea. My suggestion here is if you have a product that could be sold in a certain season and do well, that’s great but you want to also look at what your sales will be the rest of the year.

[00:20:03] Scott: I’m a big fan of having steady sales throughout the rest of the year but having a nice bump in a certain season or in the fourth quarter. If you’re selling exercise stuff it will be the first quarter generally. There is different times of the year if you’re selling beach items or pool accessories. It will be primarily in the spring and summer. You’re still probably going to sell some of them in the winter or in the fall.

I think you have to look at your exact situation and just try to figure out what the sales are going to be after the season is over. That’s what I would base my decision on. I would not go into a seasonal product unless, and here is the side note unless you have products that you are serving to a market that is buying in different seasons but you have products that serve each season.

If you have if there if four seasons and you have four different products that serve they are different products though and they serve the market differently for that season with a different item. Then maybe you get away with it because now you have new products every season that’s going to push that particular holiday or season. Hopefully that makes sense and hopefully that helps anyone else out there thinking about seasonal products.

I’m generally not a fan of seasonal products because you’re limited to only that season or those few months and after that you’re done and if your inventory doesn’t sell guess what. You’ve got to either remove it from Amazon or you got to pay the long term storage fees. We don’t want to do that. I would try to work around it. If you can do it in a way that we talked about and you talked about is making it seasonal.

That it could be sold during that season but then also outside of the season, then I’m okay with that. Hopefully this helps you, good luck, keep me posted. Let’s go ahead and listen to the next question and I’ll give you my answer.

[00:22:03] Shannon: Hey Scott, this is Shannon from Utah and I’m a huge fan of your show, a long time listener I’m listening for about a year now and I really appreciate all your great tips. I’m calling because my husband and I have a brand that’s doing really well on Amazon and we’re basically invited to also sell on Walmart.com in the Walmart market place and I’m curious about your opinion about Walmart.com.

I’ve heard some mixed reviews about selling on Walmart and I want to know your opinion and also what you hear from other sellers about it. Also if you could recommend any resources for selling on Walmart on the web. I found very little information from actual sellers about Walmart.com. Anyway thanks for your help and keep doing what you do, thanks, bye.

[00:22:57] Scott: Hey Shannon thank you so much for the question and this is a good one and I just want again to say thank you for being a listener. Thanks so much for putting up with me for all of these episodes. Hopefully it’s been helpful. It sounds like you’re rocking and rolling, you’re selling, you’re doing pretty well and now you want to expand and that’s a great idea.

Here is the one thing that I want you to consider and anyone else out there I want you to consider this. When you’re thinking about going to another platform number one, are you already optimizing what you currently have to it's fullest? Have you already did most of what you can do to increase sales or even get a bigger market share of your products or your market?

Have you done that? If the answer is yes, then maybe it’s time to look into Walmart, Jet, even eBay any of those other platforms. The next question I would ask is how hard is it going to be for you to be able to make this happen?

I just actually got off with an interview with a gentleman who basically looked into Walmart and it was going to take a huge deal to get himself on there. He was looking at the other people that were selling on there and it didn’t look like it was it just didn’t look like there was a lot of product moving and it just seemed like a lot of work. He put that on pause for right now.

He’s got other things to work on but if you think that your product will do well… Not every product is going to do good on Walmart. It’s just a different customer. It’s just a different buyer, but it is an opportunity. The other thing to consider is now we need to fulfill those items on Walmart. Depending on how you’re going to do that that’s another thing that you have to consider. That’s going to be another thing that you have to consider. Are you going to fulfill them yourself or are you going to have another fulfillment company do that?

[00:25:02] Scott: How are you going to make that happen? I mean in this case you might have to have inventory that is in a whole another location and now you have two different lines of inventory that you have to keep a handle on.

Just a lot of things to consider but I always go back to are like the basics are you already doing what you can do to get the most potential out of Amazon? Also have you built your own email list? Have you built your own sales channel? Have you thought about maybe going out there and finding your audience and running Facebook ads and driving traffic to your own website? Have you done any of that yet?

I think you’re probably going to get more bang for your buck on doing something like that than on Walmart.com right now. I honestly out of the thousands of listeners and sellers that I have contact with I don’t find many of them saying, “You got to go to Walmart it’s just the sales are just crazy.”

It’s just, it’s not like it’s like maybe a small percentage. I think even actually said the guy that I just was talking to like he, I think it was he knows someone or someone else that’s selling on Walmart in his space. It’s like not even 1% of the sales from Amazon and other channels. I’m not sold yet on Walmart. I’m sold on Amazon not Walmart.

I’m just not sold on that platform yet until I have someone tell me like “man sales are just cranking right now” and I know Walmart is doing whatever they can to really try to get some of that market share because they’re losing to Amazon really. If you want to be honest I mean Amazon is the big giant right now. That’s what I would probably do. Again I’m, our first move really… There is a couple of different moves. Right now us personally in our new brand we’re looking to double down on what we have already going inside of Amazon.

[00:27:04] Scott: That’s number one, number two is we are looking at our own sales channel. We’re going to take two or three of our products, we’re going to find our audience where they’re hanging out we’re going to run Facebook ads to those people drive them through some content, from that content we’re going to lead them to products that support the content.

We’re going to try to make that profitable, that’s our goal. Then and the third thing is we’re probably going to expand into international markets. That’s what we’re looking at. Walmart it’s not really there for us right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for everyone.

Again I think you just have to look and see your situation, where you are and really see what you need to focus on rather than just taking up time trying to get on a platform that you might sell one extra unit a week. You just got to look at that stuff. Hopefully this helped you, keep me posted. Let’s go ahead and listen to one more quick question and we’ll wrap this baby up and you guys can get on with your day. What do you say? Let’s do it.

[00:28:00] Randy: Hey Scott, my name is Randy I am pretty close to you actually. I’m just outside of Charlotte in Belmont. Two part question here. Actually so with the hijackers really I want to fully comprehend this is to exactly how they’re doing this so I can avoid this in the future. Help me think like a hijacker here. How do they attack my product and overtake it? I don’t fully grasp that concept.

Then there is number two here I see a lot of FBA sellers that are selling things that way below the margin of profit here that we’re looking at where they’re still selling things that are $6 and $7 and there is a ton of them. Are these people in China? What’s going on here? Let me know, okay thanks a lot for your help here and love the show, keep it up.

[00:29:05] Scott: Hey Randy, thank you so much for the questions and you actually have two questions right. One of them is hijackers. How can they do this and maybe anyone that’s brand new listening, and you’re asking yourself what is a hijacker? Hijacker is basically someone that comes in and they basically list on your listing saying that they have your product for sale.

Some would think that a hijacker could be someone that purchased your product at a discount. Maybe you ran a discount on one of those discount deal sites. Let’s say that you gave 50% off and let’s say someone bought five of them. They can technically list that product on your listing as new because it’s your product, it’s your brand. That’s not necessarily a hijacker.

That’s someone that’s selling a product that is yours on your listing because it’s the same product. You’re the manufacture, they just happen to have them and they’re sealed and they’re in a factory box. A hijacker would be someone that basically went out and created your product found your supplier, had the same packaging and then just had a bunch of that made.

Then said I’m the same as the seller I have a bunch of their products that I’m going to sell them. That’s a hijacker they’re taking your property, your product and they’re acting as though they are the manufacture by them ripping off in a sense your supplier with your product. Now how do you prevent this from happening? Number one, differentiate your product so it’s not just something that you can easily make or create going to Alibaba.

If you go to Alibaba or any other site that you’re finding products and you find your product there, and you even just do a slight maybe a logo on it it’s too easy for them.

[00:31:06] Scott: I mean that’s one step to help because now that you at least you have your branding on there but to take it a step further I would do my own custom packaging. The other thing that will definitely help you and it hasn’t been confirmed that it will lock your listing, but some have said it will and some say it hasn’t been in effect yet is if you do what we call brand registry.

To be brand registered you need to have a trademark. Again there is some more steps that you have to do but once you get your brand registered or trademarked you’re going to be able to now have what they call their brand registry 2.0 because now you’ve proven that you are a trademarked brand. If someone tries to sell and you make a claim against that they’ll take you a little bit more serious. That doesn’t mean that it will be easy, it still have to go through the routine of buying your product, offer your listing that they’re saying that is yours and confirming that they are in fact copying your product.

Then they’re not supposed to be doing this. That’s one way to number one make it harder for them. If they see that you’re brand registered it will most likely deter them. The other thing is if you don’t have custom packaging you are making it easier for them to hijack you because it’s easier for them to replicate your product.

If you do not have branding on your product, you’re making it easier for them to rip off your product. Those are some things that you can do to help prevent this and I’ve heard other people saying even inside your box, put something that’s unique in there that they would have to have printed to be a counterfeit but to be an exact match. Most hijackers are not going to want to go through those extra steps because it’s harder.

There is more people out there that are not doing these things so easier prey out there if you will. That’s what a hijacker is, that’s what they look for.

[00:33:07] Scott: They’re looking for easy rip offs, easy businesses that they can just go out there and just say, “Hey, print me 1,000. I’m going to list on that person’s listing.” Then in fact they will do that. They’ll actually take that exact same product and then list it on your listing.

Then you’re going to say, “Well, why am I sharing a buy box with someone?” That’s because they’re acting as though they are someone that has your product or that there may be a wholesaler of your product who knows because the thing is we can sell on most other people’s brands or manufacturers if we have that exact product.

If we found a close out it’s the same thing as retail arbitrage. I can go in to Walmart or Target or any big box store and I can find a discount or a clearance shelf with some name brand stuff. I can go list that on Amazon on their listings.

I don’t create a new listing it’s already there. That’s how it works and I do have some resources and we’ve talked about this a bunch in the past. Episode 201 was how to protect your listing from hijackers and fight back with my good friend Jon Haver. Then episode 152 I talked with Ted Limus an attorney and how he removes hijackers and also protects Amazon sellers.

Then there is 147 was important steps to prevent hijackers from your listing or from an ex Amazon employee and he reveals actually how he advises to do this. I’ll link all those up in the show notes to this episode. Again that’s the basic stuff that you need to understand and let me just say this if you have a product that you have custom packaging you have something that has been modified on the product that makes it unique to you, and to your brand.

If you go through the trademarking process and that’s going to take eight months or a year, if you do all that stuff it’s going to make it a lot harder for people to actually do that.

[00:35:08] Scott: You’ll actually have more amo if you will to go at them and really deter them to doing that. That would be my recommendation. Now the other question and the last question you had was what’s the deal with these sellers selling stuff at six bucks? How are they making any money?

Well, number one some people are doing it and they’re making some money but they’re fulfilling it by Merchant. They’re not fulfilling it by Amazon. That’s one way, if they’re selling something for $9 and it will only cost them a $1 and they’re fulfilling it themselves they’re not paying to pick and pack. They’re making $4, $5, so they’re actually making some money.

In most cases that’s usually a lead in offer. I’m a fan of this it’s where you have something that’s a low price. I’ve always said this too. If you have a low priced item, but you have variations where you upsell them inside of the listing ones they get there because it’s a better value, that’s a good strategy.

For the most part they’ll probably either making a little bit of money but then bringing people into their business or their brand or they’re bringing people into their listing. Again an example would be let’s say that you sold towels. You had one towel that was $8.99 and you barely make any money on that. You have a three pack for $19.95 and five pack for $29.95.

Most people are going to go in there and probably buy the three pack because if they bought them individually it would be $27 at three pack but they’re going to get it for $19.99 and now you’ve just increased the size of the order. That’s how that works. Anyway Randy, I hope this makes sense. Hope this helps you and anyone else out there listening.

Again hijackers is a big thing in a sense but I also think that as we’ve evolved as sellers, we also know that we can’t just go out there and slap our logo on something and call it our own anymore.

[00:37:07] Scott: It’s got to be differentiated, there has to be better packaging and you just have to make a better listing and you have to also go after brand registry. Hopefully this helped you guys, all right.

I just want to thank everyone for listening and for submitting your questions. If you have a question that you want me to answer on an upcoming Ask Scott session, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask. You can do that, the show notes, the transcripts can be found at theamazingseller.com/424. Then the last thing if you guys are brand spanking new I know there is over 400 episodes and it’s a lot to digest.

If you’re just getting started and you want the compressed version where I actually take you through the five phases for picking a product, sourcing, pre-launch, the launch everything in between you’re going to want to register for an upcoming workshop where I break it down in 90 minutes.

I answer live Q&A there as well. That can be found at theamazingseller.com/workshop and register for an upcoming one there. I love to see you there live. All right guys so that is going to wrap up this episode of Ask Scott. It went a little bit longer today because of my rant in the beginning.

Hopefully you’re cool with that. As always guys remember I’m 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, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day guys and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.

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