When was the last time that you were fired up and ready to tackle your goals as you build your ecommerce business? How do you sustain that passion and energy? If you are in need of a little boost, look no further! It’s time for another session of Ask Scott here on The Amazing Seller! On this episode, you’ll hear Scott’s encouraging and helping thought of the week, then he launches into tackling questions submitted by sellers like you. Topics covered include excess inventory problems, how to leverage YouTube channels, dealing with suspended product listings, and much more. You don’t want to miss a minute of this exciting episode!
Stand out and embrace your unique qualities!
So many messages in our culture tell people to go with the flow and just fit in. Standing out is not a quality that is often celebrated in our society. How does that logic apply to the business world? It doesn’t! As an entrepreneur, you need to stand out and embrace your unique qualities if you want to gain any traction. Why should your target audience give your brand a chance? Do you have a good answer for that? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott shares one of his “Thoughts of the week” that came from a TED Talk. The heart of the message that stuck with Scott is the importance of understanding and communicating the unique reason why your business exists in the marketplace. To hear more about this topic, make sure to listen to this episode!
How to deal with excess inventory.
Have you ever been in a place where you get so excited about a project that you get a little too far ahead of yourself? If that resonates with you, you aren’t alone! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he explains how sellers like you can deal with excess inventory and take steps that will prevent that from happening in the first place. If you’ve found yourself in this position, make sure to hear Scott’s expert opinion on this topic, it could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Don’t miss this helpful episode!
How you can leverage your social media presence to grow your brand.
Are you considering making a move to build up your brand on social media platforms? Have you been thinking about creating your very own YouTube channel to build a following? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott goes over some helpful insights about leveraging social media to build your brand. According to Scott, it all comes down to serving your audience. Are you ready to put out content that will appeal to the group you are targeting? Have you considered how you can provide value to that audience? If you are ready to start monetizing a social media platform like YouTube, consider taking baby steps by becoming an Amazon affiliate to test your influence over the following you’ve built. To hear more insights and lessons from Scott on this topic, make sure to listen to this episode!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [2:00] Scott’s thought of the week.
- [7:30] Two examples from Scott’s local community.
- [12:30] Question #1: What should I do with excess inventory?
- [18:50] Question #2: How can I leverage my growing YouTube channel? My company wants to start selling on Amazon but I don’t think it will fit the 10x10x1 strategy, what do you suggest?
- [28:30] Question #3: What do I do now that my product has been suspended?
TRANSCRIPT TAS 417
TAS 487: (Ask Scott #150) – Excess Inventory Problem – YouTuber and Products – Return Rate and Suspension
[00:00:02] Scott: Well, hey, hey, what’s up, everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 487 and session number 150 of Ask Scott. This is where I…
[read more=”Read full transcript…” less=”Read less”]
…answer your questions here on the podcast and, yes, we are going to do it again today and I cannot believe that I just said this is session number 150. That means that we have been meeting 150 times on this Ask Scott Session Friday. It’s really what we’ve been doing here for those 150 Fridays, spending a little time together, listening to your questions, trying to give you the best advice that I can especially if we were sitting down in the room together having that cup of coffee like I always like to say and that’s what we’re going to be doing again today. So, I’m fired up, pumped up to be here. Today, what we’re going to be talking just to kind of give you some of the topics that we’re going to be discussing, number one, excess inventory problems. We’re going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about a YouTuber and products and potential partnerships. And then we’re also going to talk about return rate and suspensions and, yeah, that’s what we’re going to be talking about.
So, I’m really fired up to really get this thing started here today on this Friday or depending on whenever you’re listening. If you’re listening to this on a Wednesday, happy Wednesday. It doesn’t have to be Friday to be all fired up and pumped up because you’re here, you’re alive, you’re able to go out there and make things happen if you want them to happen and I think if you've been listening for any amount of time, you know that's what I'm all about is really just getting out there and taking action and really going after the things that you want in your life and business is business like business is really our vehicle to allow us to do those things, to live the life that we want to live and that's really what I'm all about and I'm pretty sure that's kind of what you're all about or else you wouldn't be listening. So, yeah. All right. Before we jump into today's questions, you guys know I love to give you a little bit of what's been on my mind a little bit this week or just in general.
[00:02:03] Scott: I want to share something with you that really did change a little bit of the way I think about business. And it’s really interesting. I forget who shared it with me. Maybe it was someone in the group or maybe it was someone inside my class. I forget but I went ahead, and I watched this short video and the concept is really good and it was really all about why. Not our why necessarily like why we want to create this business or why we want to live the life that we want or spend more time with our family. None of that stuff. That’s all important. That’s a separate why but really your business why. And this here was this TED Talk was put on by Simon Sinek I believe it is or Synic, Cynic. I don’t know. I don’t know how to pronounce the last name but Simon if you’re listening, I apologize.
Maybe we could even get Simon on the podcast here and we can talk more about this because I found it fascinating and it really made me think a little bit differently. I’ve always kind of thought this but not as deep as he went and how he broke it down because there’s three components here that we’re talking about and he drew a circle so just imagine drawing a small circle and then a little bit of a bigger one that’s going around the smaller one and then another bigger one that kind of goes around those other two so just think about like a bulls-eye. And the smallest part in the center is the strongest part really and it kind of went from there to the second to the third. So, the very first one that he says you should start with, with any business is really why. Why does your business exist? Okay. Why? Now what he talks about is like a mission, a belief, a cause. Now, it doesn’t have to be like you’re going to go save the world cause but there’s got to be a reason and I’m sure all of us can think about this, why our business is unique. Forget about the products for a second. Forget about any of that stuff. What makes it different?
[00:04:03] Scott: Now, if you are the front person of your business, you could be the person that is getting these beliefs and your mission in front of people because you have been struggling to find the perfect pet products out there in the market and because of that, you went ahead and started creating your own products, you private label them, you created your own brand, you have your own content that’s educating, all of these different things that is your why. Forget about the products right now. That is your why. You are going to do it because you want to really help people that are in this market. It could be as simple as you are an avid fisherman and you have just been out there enjoying it and you just want other people to be able to enjoy fishing like you do and it could be because you want to escape the stress in your life and fishing allows you to do that and now you have really went out there and found a way to enjoy fishing like no one else.
And because of that, you just happen to also sell products that are better than everyone else’s because you are so passionate about fishing that everything you touch you really think about it as if you’re using it so it’s a better experience for you. And he kind of uses Apple as an example like Apple sells computers but Apple really started with why they are creating these different devices and this different experience. It’s not just selling computers. The computer is the product but there’s a whole bunch that goes into why they do what they do. I’m not going to go through all that here with you, but I would say definitely watch the video. What I’m going to do is I’m going to link this up in the show notes. I’ll actually either link it up or embed it inside of the podcast show notes so definitely head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/487 and you can do that and then from there, you can watch this presentation. It's not that long. It's really good.
[00:06:00] Scott: It’s something I’ll probably go back time and time again because I want a refresher, but I really want that to be part of the things that we do. And now that I’m thinking about that differently even like I’m going to give you an example here like TAS like The Amazing Seller, the whole brand that’s kind of been created from just starting a podcast and I’ll share with you kind of like the why, the how, the what. So, that is really the three parts, why the business exists, how do you get the thing? How do you get that experience? So, you have to talk about the process for creating the product maybe, maybe because it’s twice refined, maybe there are different places that you get the things made or maybe have different ingredients or maybe you have a different process for that it’s made and all of that stuff. I mean, I look at bulletproof coffee. It’s coffee but he found a way to put a spin on coffee that makes it unique to the market. So, that is kind of like the how. How is the product made? How is it better? And then the last thing is what. What is it? Well, it's the product. It's the thing. So, you see how it went from like why then how and then what. So, those are the three main things that he talks about.
Now, you can disagree with this if you want to and that’s fine. I just thought it was good kind of like information to kind of think about and it doesn’t mean you have to kind of follow everything but it’s a great way to kind of open your mind a little bit and also think about that. I know myself personally even locally like I want to know about the person that is running that business. So, example, there are two examples, I go to a deli generally every day, just about. There’s a couple of other places I go to, but I really love this deli and I love it even more now that I’ve met the owner and actually I met him and because I’m in there all the time but then also I see him put a YouTube video out on his little fan page and it talked about his story. It told why him and his wife decided to move here to South Carolina from New Jersey so I’m from upstate New York originally. He’s from New Jersey. We kind of have something in common.
[00:08:07] Scott: And so, I’ve seen that. It made me know him. It was a little bit of his story and it made me want to go there to eat. Now, his food is really good too, but food is just the thing but why he’s doing what he’s doing to support his family, to create a nice little business here in my area and then the process is really simple too like he hires a lot of his family but a lot of people also that are people like him. So, they're going to take care of the customers the way that he would want. He wants that whole experience to be delivered the way that he wants it delivered so there's that and there are natural different types of meat that he has that other delis might not have because it's more expensive. So, all that stuff. So, he does have a premium product too, but he talks about all of those different things. He wanted to bring a little bit of New Jersey here to South Carolina because there’s not a lot of delis here. There’s not a lot of delis that, I guess, makes sandwiches like New Jersey or New York. They’re not as big or they don’t have the same kind of breads or this, that and the other thing.
So, he basically did that and then the what is the sandwich or the soup but how that was made and why he is here and doing it and all that stuff, why the business exists is really that thing. So, you can say, “Well, it’s not a mission, it’s not a cause, it’s not a belief.” No, it’s not but the reason the business exists is because he wanted to move his family here and create a business that gave people a smile, gave them a good sandwich and they knew that it was homemade like that’s what he wanted. So, that’s kind of his thing like he believes that people should be able to sit down and have a really good lunch and it sounds really funny but it’s true. And now I go there whenever I can because a few reasons. I like him. I like everyone there. They’re always happy. I’ve never had someone rude there to me. Their food is delicious, and I know every time I walked out of there that I’ve just supported someone that’s there because of their cause and their cause is to be there to live here and live a nice life with their family.
[00:10:11] Scott: He’s not getting rich. He’s not like a multimillionaire but he is living a nice life and he’s comfortable and he’s happy, but he also has some really good food and I know about him. It’s that transparency. So, whenever you can incorporate that into your business, I’m telling you, you can’t lose. You can’t. You have to be able to start with the why then you can tell people about the how it’s done and then the what. And I love that. Simon really, really did a good job in that. And the second example is very similar. It was a restaurant that I went to recently and the same thing. The owner came out, he greeted us, he talked to us, all the staff there was great, and he told us how much he appreciated us being in there.
And again, because of that connection now, I want to go back. I know a little bit about where he comes from. I know that he started another restaurant in another area here and I know all of the back stories of him so he let me in a little bit and now I know and it’s a Cajun place, so he specializes in Cajun food. We talk about markets and niching down and all that stuff. Well, he niches himself down that where he has the best Cajun place in the area and then it also comes with great customer service. It also comes with a great atmosphere because he wants people to go there and relax and have that authentic experience. So, again, why, how, what? So, if you notice the what, the product is generally the last thing that’s being talked about because the other two are really, really important.
So, again, just wanted to share this with you guys. If you want to watch that, I’ll link it up on the show notes. The other thing I’d like to mention here is if you guys have a question that you want me to ask here on an Ask Scott Session, definitely, do that, just head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/Ask and you can do that. Just record a short message and your first name, maybe where you’re tuning in from, maybe your favorite restaurant. Hey, you can even send that, and yeah, I can go ahead and try to answer that on an upcoming Ask Scott Session.
[00:12:02] Scott: All right, guys. So, I rambled a little bit there in the beginning but hopefully, you guys got value from that because I think if you think about your business differently than just the next product you’re going to launch, you will do better, and you will have a stronger brand. I honestly believe that. All right. So, let’s go ahead and get rocking and rolling here. What do you say? Let’s go ahead and listen to today’s first question and I’ll give you my answer. Let’s do this.
[00:12:29] Carol: Hey, Scott. It’s Carol at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. I have a question about surplus inventory at Amazon. I’m a new Amazon seller. I’ve only been doing this for less than a year. I sent in about a thousand of each of my products and I got a message from Amazon recently saying that I should run a sale or do something because of the excess inventory that I have. So, could you explain to me how Amazon decides when there's too much inventory and even though I ran the sale, it didn't sell a lot of products? So, I don't know if I'm going to be hit with storage fees or how those storage fees are figured or if there’s a certain time of year that that happens. So, if you could really dive into this whole thing about storage fees and excess inventory, I could really use some help in that department. Your podcast has been absolutely awesome, and I really appreciate the fact that you care so much about your listeners and that you’re helping us all in this journey. Taking action like you always say. Thanks!
[00:13:37] Scott: Hey, Carol. Thank you so much for the question. Big Cat Rescue. Yeah, I think I actually had talked to you before a little bit or you sent me an email and I messaged you back. Love what you’re doing by the way. Pretty awesome but yeah, okay, let’s address this. And this goes for anyone right now that is running into excess inventory. So, what Amazon basically did is they go, “Hey, listen, Carol, your inventory is moving kind of slow. Why don’t we help you out and we’ll give you, we can run a sale and we can try to move this inventory because if not, we’re going to go ahead and charge you some additional fees on top of your storage fees. That’s what we’re going to do. So, here, let me help you out and run a sale.” You could've done that yourself. The bottom line is this. You sent in 1,000 units. I probably would not have sent in all 1,000 units until you could kind of see the rate of the sales that you’re going to be having.
It's not like it used to be and anyone that is brand-new right now listening and hasn't sent in their first order yet, be careful with sending in 1,000 units if you don’t think your inventory or you don’t know if your inventory is going to be selling through. Because think about this, if you get to 10 sales per day, that’s what we’re aiming for, if any of you have been listening for any period of time I always follow the 10 x 10 x 1 strategy which is 10 sales a day, $10 profit, one product so that would be let’s do some quick math here it’s 300 units per month. So, it's going to take you if you get to that level, in the beginning, it’s going to take you around three months to get rid of that inventory. You’re going to pay storage fees regardless but then you’re going to start getting into long-term storage fees and if you have a product that’s oversized, that’s going to make a difference as well. If you’re in the fourth quarter, it’s going to make a difference. And what’s going to happen is you’re going to start getting hit with these fees. So, the lesson here is definitely do not send all of your units in in the beginning. Now, if you are international and you have to then you have to.
[00:15:37] Scott: Or you could also just go to another fulfillment center and have them hold that inventory and only send in Amazon what you want. It'll be cheaper in the long run or you can even get your own warehouse. We have actually a warehouse for the new brand. It's basically just a bunch of those storage lockers and we've actually graduated to a pretty large one right now but basically, that allows us to have 3,000 units shipped here and then what we’ll do is we’ll ship out me and my team, we’ll ship out maybe 300 units or 500 units. And if we need more, we go in and we ship another 300. This way here we’re only paying $200 a month for that storage unit so it’s not that much. If you break it down, I mean, how many units you can fit in that thing? Thousands, probably 25,000 units you can probably, depending on how big they are obviously. So, break that down. It’s not as much. And it gives you a flexibility too to be able to purchase more but then not have to ship it all in.
So, my thoughts here are, number one, do that. Don’t send all your inventory unless you’ve got a proven track record or at least you’ve been kind of getting an idea of what’s going to be selling and that could be stuff could be also seasonal for you. If you have gift items then it’s going to be Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or maybe it’s a big wedding season or whatever it is, you want to be conscious of that too. But what they did is they attempted to try to help you before they went ahead and said, “Oh yeah, by the way, here’s your storage fee.” They’re trying to help you because it’s been in there for a while. So, you definitely want to keep an eye on that and generally, they will remind you on that stuff with enough time for you to make that decision. That decision might even be to pull 300 units and have them ship back to you because that’ll be cheaper maybe than your storage fees and again, if you’re not going to be able to sell through that or you might want to just go ahead and run a flash sale.
[00:17:37] Scott: If you have an email list, you can run a flash sale. Do 30% off. Heck, if you want to, because you’re going to be closing out that inventory anyway, you’re not going to be selling it again, do 50% off. But you should be able to reduce your price and run a sale whether it’s on Amazon or off Amazon to be able to liquidate that or even run some pay-per-click as long as you have the budget for it but you definitely want to get that out of there before you get hit with the long-term storage fee or even just the regular storage fees if you’re not selling through. So, that’s why it’s really important that you do keep an eye on your inventory and you can kind of see where your high points are as far as like when you’re selling the most and when you’re not selling the most and you want to plan for that.
So, that would be my advice there, Carol. Sorry I can’t give you any better news there or like maybe we’re missing something but no. They’re just trying to get rid of the inventory to help you so when they hit you with that fee you can’t say, “Well, you didn’t help me.” So, that’s what they’re doing. So, just keep that in mind and also anyone else that’s listening, keep that in mind when you’re ready to send in 1,000 units or 2,000 units. Make sure that you know that there’s a good chance you’re going to sell through that. Okay.
All right. Let’s go ahead and listen to the next question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:18:49] Jessie: Hey, Scott. How’s it going? Jessie here from New Zealand. First of all, I wanted to say a huge thank you for all the content you’re creating. It’s awesome. I have been binging hard now for a couple of weeks because I have a few things in my life that are really pushing towards getting into Amazon. The first is that I’ve got a small YouTube channel which is growing well but it is small still, but I need to find a way to make that sustainable and start making some money from it and selling products on Amazon that relate to the hobby but also, I can sell to people from the channel make sense. The problem is that the space that I’m in I cannot find any products that fit your sort of 10 x 10 idea. So, the question here is should I look at moving into a totally different market and just forget it? Separate YouTube and Amazon? Or is it worth going after something a little bit more borderline because I’m already doing the YouTube thing?
Now, the second thing is my 9-to-5 job right now I worked for a company in New Zealand who wants to sell their product on Amazon in America in an extremely competitive market, but we do already have a great product that is well-branded, and I think it has a nice point of difference. Do you see any way that I can leverage one of the other in terms of learning from my own personal stuff and also from the business? And, B, do you have any specific recommendations because I know this is different than most of your content in terms of not going after the 10 x 10 idea but instead going into market with a product that's already existing? Thanks, heaps, man. I appreciate anything that you can give me and keep on keepin’ on. I love your stuff. See you.
[00:20:44] Scott: Hey, Jessie. Thank you so much for the question all the way from New Zealand. Wow. Love it. Love hearing that. I love that we’re connecting all over the globe so really awesome. And you’ve got some interesting questions here and actually a couple that I’m really excited to dive into. The first one is YouTube. You’re on the YouTube right now. You’ve got a channel. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how many subscribers you have, if you have 500 subscribers. Do you have 5,000? Do you have 50,000? That would make it a little bit different as far as the advice that I would give. If you only have like 500 subscribers or 1,000 subscribers and you’re like and I don’t really see how I’m going to be able to monetize this other than if I was going to run YouTube ads or something like that and you can’t really find any products, that might be a time to pivot or maybe find a submarket inside that market that you’re in right now.
I love it that you’re on YouTube. I love that you know that side of it but again if you already know that then it might be just picking another niche or market that you’re in or that you’re interested in and then just going down that path. And because now you’re kind of thinking a little bit along the lines of, “Okay, what products could I offer this market?” If you guys are brand-new and again, Jessie, if you haven’t listened to this episode either or the one that I’m going to recommend, it’s the 24-hour challenge. And for you that might be a great one because you have a head start a little bit as far as like you have the knowledge of YouTube. You’ve kind of done it and you’ve kind of know it. Now, if you go ahead and you look at it differently as far as like where you can check off the boxes through this 24-hour challenge that I do, I give you guys three action steps in there and I give you a checklist, you can kind of start to uncover some things that you might be able to tap into. If you guys have not done that, you guys listening that is, definitely go do that. TheAmazingSeller.com/Challenge and I recently actually last episode did an update of the 24-hour challenge of people that have already done it that light bulbs were just going off like crazy.
[00:22:47] Scott: So, that might be something you might want to do, Jessie, and anyone else that’s listening that might be in a situation. But the other thing is now if you came to me and you go, “Scott, I got 25,000 people on this YouTube channel and they’re consuming my content and I’m getting a few thousand views every time that I post a video,” I’d be talking a little bit differently because I think that there’s always a way that you could probably find products that would serve that market. The other thing I would do is I would sign up for Amazon Associates account, so I could start to offer some affiliate offers. I would start to just throw some product reviews in my channel and see if people click through and if they buy on Amazon and I would get a small commission for that, so I would be able to start getting some income, but I would also be able to test those products before I would even think about maybe tackling them myself or even adding accessories. That’s what I would do there on the YouTube side. I love it though. I think anyone else out there right now that has a YouTube channel, they’ve been publishing content, you guys are ahead of the curve. I just want to let you guys know that right now.
If you’re not there, you probably should go there and start to kind of get comfortable with that platform, get comfortable with YouTube. I believe YouTube will be another huge part of our brands as we’re building these because it’s a way for us to deliver content and also get in front of our audience and also set yourself up to be the expert or the authority. If not you, someone else that you would designate for your brand. But I love that. Now, the second part of this question is you’re working a 9-to-5, you’re working for a company. They have a great product but it’s very competitive and it doesn’t fall into the 10 x 10 x 1. And the 10 x 10 x 1, again, I’ll just give you guys because I rattle that up and a lot of people are like, “What’s that mean?” We talk about finding products that can sell 10 sales a day that can do $10 profit per unit with one product. So, for every product, we're going to follow that. What you're saying is yours might be 100 sales per day, $10 profit or maybe $5 profit which will be fine and that would be one product.
[00:24:48] Scott: The problem is it’s very competitive. So, for you to compete right out of the gate, you’re going to have to figure out a way to get 100 sales per day in order to rank, in order to get eyeballs. Now, the only way that I would see that this would work is if let’s say your company that you’re working for they’re already getting their own sales through their own sales channel. They’re getting emails. They’re collecting all of that stuff. They already have somewhat of an audience. The only way that that would work or that I would even attempt to do that is if that company would allow me to direct some of their traffic to Amazon. To a lot of businesses, that seems like a really crazy thing to ask because most businesses are like, “Why am I going to take my sales, push them through Amazon when I can just get them on my website? I don't have to pay the fulfillment fee. I don't have to pay any of that pick and pack. I don't pay any of that stuff. Why would I do that, Scott?”
Well, you guys all know and if you don’t you know now, we need to spike sales on Amazon. Amazon is driven by sales. Their algorithm is triggered by sales. We have to optimize the listing. We have to our keywords in there. We have to put what our product is about, any good images, all that stuff but we need to get recognized by Amazon. The only way that we get recognized is by them to acknowledge that we’re getting sales. So, we have to drive sales. If you have a company that you’re going to be doing this for, you need to be able to get them to say, “Yes, you can do that. You can do whatever you need to do in order to get that going,” because they’re going to understand that or you would educate them and say, “If I can do this and if I can get sales going and then we prove to the Amazon marketplace that we have a great product because the reviews are going to start coming automatically and all that stuff, if we can drive sales there, we can start getting organic sales. We can turn that off when we need to. We can turn it off and we can just then start directing our own traffic back to our own properties and then that will keep the flywheel kind of going that we’ve already started on Amazon. If we ever need a boost because maybe we ran out of inventory or maybe we just need a boost, we can turn that traffic and point it back over to Amazon for a week or two and get those sales coming back in and then all of a sudden we’re starting to get rank again.”
[00:27:03] Scott: So, that would be my recommendation. It’s the only way that that would kind of work, but again would that help you get some experience? Absolutely. But is that necessarily the best thing for you right now? Maybe not because that is going to require work. You might want to just start over here on your YouTube side of things and start there but I would start with a 24-hour challenge, find that market that you want to tap into but you also need to find out that that market before you go into it is a market that’s buying products like we don’t have to necessarily start with the products but we have to know that there are products that we’re going to be able to sell down the line once we do the frontend stuff and that stuff is what I talk about all in that 24-hour challenge. So, one last little call to action here, guys. If you have not attended or went through the 24-hour challenge, you don’t have to attend it. You just got to go there and do the work. TheAmazingSeller.com/challenge. That’s what I would recommend for all of you.
So, hopefully, this answered your question and I love it. I love both those questions and I think you have some choices to make here. But again, if you did want to do that for your company that you’re currently working for, go for it but they have to be aware of what it will take especially if you’re going into competitive space. All right. So, hopefully, this helped you. Let me know how you make out though. Let me know what you end up doing. I’m curious. I’d be curious to see what you do. I love to track your progress.
All right. So, let’s go ahead and listen to the last question of today. I’ll give you my answer. We’ll wrap this baby up and you guys can get on with your weekend. What do you say?
[00:28:32] Scott: Hey, Scott. My name is also Scott. I’m from Florida. I just want to thank you first for all the information you provide. I’ve been listening for over a year now. It’s been super, super helpful so thanks again. I have a quick question about return rates. I’m selling a private label product that’s similar to a lot of the major sellers on my electronics category. I know the products are made in the same factory as them. It’s exactly the same quality. I just got an email from Amazon saying that my product is suspended due to a high rate of returns, so I got eight returns in the first 103 orders. That’s a little under 8% returns. I have the option to relist my product. Originally, I was selling at a price of $32.99. I’m thinking if I drop the price to $29.99 maybe that will lower return rates and change buying behavior a little bit. So, my questions for you are, have you ever had a product suspended? Curious what you did about it and how I can move forward from this.
If I relist my product and get suspended again, will this affect my account health? I don’t have any negative feedback and no negative reviews in the product and I know none of the products were defective. Also, since I’m selling a product that’s very similar to some of the major sellers in my category, I imagine my return rate is about the same as theirs. You know how they keep from getting their products suspended? Thanks, Scott. Looking forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.
[00:29:59] Scott: Hey, Scott. Thank you so much for the question and that’s an awesome name by the way. Scott is an awesome name. I don’t hear a lot of kids being named Scott anymore. Is it an old-fashioned name now? I don’t know. I named my son Scott and he’s Scottie as I call him. I never call him Scott. I don’t think I’ve ever called him Scott. I don’t think I ever have. I’m trying to go back and think if I’ve ever said, “Hey, Scott. Get over here.” It’s always been Scottie. “Hey, Scottie, get over here.” Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s Scottie. Anyway, I’ve been called Scottie all the way through to my father. Well, my father called me Scott especially when he was mad, but a lot of my buddies were Scottie so, yeah. Anyway, you guys don’t care about that. Anyway, Scott, thank you so much for the question and, yes, this is a good one and here’s the deal. And I’ve had this happen to me. I’ve had it happen a bunch of times. I’ve had it happen in a couple of the other brands that I’ve started and then also one that I partnered with and then now our most recent one. It’s happened in all of them. People that I’ve worked with privately it’s happened to them. It happens.
But here’s the deal, and Amazon’s pretty strict like he said you had 108 sales. Let’s just call it 100 to make it easy and he had eight returns. That’s 8%. It’s too high for them. Okay. It’s too high. Even though if you look at the reasoning why, it could’ve been something that they did wrong. We had one that they were putting something that we were selling in a bubble bag when it should’ve been in a box and people were getting it they’re like, “Really? Like, why isn’t this coming – it’s coming damaged,” whatever and they just kept sending it in a bag. So, we had to go around and around with them and they still kept doing it so what we ended up doing to solve that problem is we ended up putting ours in a small box itself so that way there, they couldn’t stuff it in an envelope and they would have to ship it in a box. It was kind of a long process, but we got it fixed. But that doesn’t mean that has to happen every time.
[00:31:57] Scott: I had another issue that happened because we had a defective product. We had polybags that had insert cards and stuff and the polybag material they were using was more of the crinkly paper. It wasn’t more of a plasticky, kind of hard to explain. One was more that shiny material that almost tears real easy and then the other one is like more like stretchy material. Well, we had the stuff that was the shiny material and we had parts in it. So, if the corner got ripped, it would rip, and parts would fall out. Well, people were complaining that the product was missing parts. So, we had to recall or basically pull all those in. This is another reason why you want to do an inspection because if you caught this on inspection, you wouldn’t have sent all that in, learned this the hard way and I had to pull like 300 or 400 units, have them pull back and then I had someone go through them and repackage them in better polybags so this way here that didn’t happen again.
But what we ended up doing and this is all you have to do is you have to tell them what you’re going to do to fix the problem. And then they’ll usually reinstate it. And I’ve had mine shut down on let’s see one of the products like three different times and then we just get it reinstated. It’s no big deal. You don’t have to create a new listing or any of that stuff, but you will have to relist it and then you’ll have to contact sellers support and all that stuff and why isn’t it happening to your competitors? It could be happening to them. They’re just doing the exact same thing that you’re doing but what I would do is I would learn from what’s happening and I would try to fix that. I would really, really try to fix that. If someone’s getting something and when they get it, they’re confused because they thought they were getting round and it’s square, you need to make it very clear that they’re getting square. And I know sometimes you think you’ve been very, very clear and specific and you’re like, “How don’t people see this?” I get it. It’s frustrating but you just have to keep trying like in the picture you want to really call it out. In the bullets, you want to call it out like you want to make sure that they know they're getting what they're getting, if that's a problem.
[00:33:59] Scott: If the problem is when they get it, the Velcro it doesn’t stay or it’s too long or whatever, you got to fix that problem. So, you got to listen to what they’re saying because if eight people said it out of 100, then obviously there’s not just one person that’s having that problem and if it’s an Amazon problem you got to contact Amazon and say, “Listen, I’m getting these complaints and my listing is getting shut down because you keep insisting on putting it in an envelope when it should be put in a box. How do we make this work? How do we fix this problem?” So, you have to go head-to-head with those guys and they’ll work with you. They’ll work with you but there are so many different people that are touching the product that you got to kind of see where it is in the chain that it's getting broke. So, there’s really not like one answer that I can give you other than try to fix the reason why you’re getting those returns like listen to what they are saying very, very closely and fix the problem like that’s my advice.
Like, do whatever you can to fix the problem. I don’t know your problems so I can’t help you with that, but I can say you can get it reinstated. You won’t get banned for life or any of that stuff as long as you’re continuing to try to fix it. And then maybe you might have to pull. That’s again, I talked about not shipping in 1,000 units. Imagine shipping at 1,000 units, you get them there and you found out that you had bad polybags because it was used with that other material and they were ripping, and when they were packaging them they were ripping, and people are getting them, and parts were falling out of the box. Like, now what do you do? You got to ship all them back to you, have them repackaged, and then kind of hope that it doesn’t happen again. But you would’ve caught that if it was done on an inspection even on China side. If you’re having this stuff in China or India, wherever you’re having it made, Mexico, it doesn’t matter, the US even, you need that stuff inspected and if you’re not going to inspect it yourself, personally have it shipped to you then you need someone, a third-party that will do that for you.
[00:35:53] Scott: Guided Imports has a service that they do it. It’s $199. I’ll link that up in the show notes. I believe they have a discount there for TASers that go through my link which, yes, I am an affiliate for those guys. I’m affiliated with them, but they do a good job with that inspection side of things over there at Guided Imports. So, anyway, just want to kind of throw that out there but definitely, definitely have it inspected so this way you make sure before you ship in 1,000 units you’re going to be able to make sure that the product is at least in the shape that it needs to be and there are no problems there. If it's a product problem, then you got another issue and you got to deal with that. So, you really are the only one that can answer that question but if eight people said it, you need to listen to those eight people and figure out how to fix it. And they’ll tell you in their report the eight people that complained and it’ll tell you exactly what they’re complaining about. “Came missing two parts. Bag was ripped. Missing pieces.” When you start to see three or four of those, you got a problem. So, you just want to fix it.
So, hopefully, this answered your question or at least gave you some things that you can do and definitely reach out to Seller Support. They will help you with this and again, don't worry about it being like suspended for life. It's just they do this so this way here they can catch it, they can have you look at it and let them know how you're going to fix it and then they reinstate you and you start again. If you have it happen again, same thing. You got to go through that whole process but eventually, they could say, “Listen, until you show us or prove to us that you’re going to fix this problem, we won’t let you sell that until you prove that to us.” So, it could get a little bit harder as you continue to get shut down. So, just learn from it. Learn from it.
[00:37:40] Scott: All right. So, that’s going to pretty much wrap up this session, guys. It went a little bit longer today. Let me just remind you if you want to grab the show notes, you can head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/487. As usual, show notes, transcripts, all the links, I’ll even embed that video that I talked about in the beginning start with your why, not your why for your family why or your reasoning why you’re starting a business, really the business as far as why does it exist for your brand and to the people that you’re serving and all of that stuff. That’s really what it’s about. Love it. I think everyone should just go watch that. Check it out. It’ll give you some things to think about at least and, yeah, if you want to ask a question, head over to TheAmazingSeller.com/Ask and you can do that. Just ask me a question. Leave your first name, where you’re tuning in from, and a brief question and I’d love to answer here on an upcoming Ask Scott session. Yeah. We’re at 150 sessions already, Ask Scott sessions. That’s pretty awesome. That’s a milestone. So pretty awesome. So, keep them coming.
So, all right, guys. That’s it. That’s going to wrap it up. As always, 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, say it with a little energy today. Would you? Come on. Take action! Have an awesome amazing day, weekend, whatever it is, and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Simon Sinek TED Talk
- Bulletproof Coffee
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