TAS 815 How to Survive and Thrive on Amazon During the COVID-19 (TIME SENSITIVE)

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted your business? Has it derailed your plans for 2020 and put your business in a state of chaos? What if there was a way to plan and prepare your business to endure this situation and come out the other end thriving? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he welcomes his guest, Jeff to sit down and discuss how sellers like you can prepare your business for this difficult time we are in. You’ll want to have pen and paper close by for this powerful episode! 

Everything is up in the air 

Let’s face it, everyone is scared and no one knows how this COVID situation will all shake out in the end. Why not face your fears and assess the situation? Just because someone grabbed the snowglobe of life and turned it upside down – it doesn’t mean that you can’t hunker down and figure out your next step. If you feel like you are out of control – you are in good company! While we don’t have the power to change the situation, we can change our approach. Tune into this episode of The Amazing Seller to learn how Scott is preparing to endure this challenging time, you don’t want to miss it. 

Put plans in place! 

While you have all of this extra time at home or just freed up time due to limited public outings, why not put this time to work for your business? Take this opportunity to study your competition and do some deep dives into what makes your target market tick. Where do you need to get started today? To get some detailed plans to help you succeed, listen to Scott and Jeff’s seasoned advice on this detailed episode of The Amazing Seller! 

Don’t let fear win! 

If you’ve been around the TAS community for very long, you know that Scott is dedicated to helping sellers like you succeed in the ecommerce industry. Over the years, Scott has built a reputation on his ability to cut through all the complexity out there and deliver clear advice that actually works. Scott won’t sell you on some get quick rich scheme and he won’t have guests that do that either! Rather than play on your fears and worries about this anxious time – Scott wants to give you tools that will help you. Use this time to put fear in its place – it’s time for you to get back in the driver’s seat. Learn more about tackling fear and moving forward with a plan for success by listening to this episode of The Amazing Seller featuring Scott and his guest, Jeff! 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [4:00] Jeff joins Scott on the podcast. 
  • [5:45] How is the COVID-19 virus impacting the marketplace? 
  • [7:15] Jeff explains how he got started in the ecommerce industry. 
  • [15:30] Why you need a third-party warehouse connection. 
  • [20:00] Is it a good idea to do Fulfilled by Merchant? 
  • [23:00] What should you do if you are dependent on China for supplies? 
  • [27:00] Should you still launch a product right now? 
  • [30:00] Raising your product prices. 
  • [35:00] Why it’s a good idea to diversify your brand. 
  • [37:45] How to connect with Jeff and his services. 

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's April, 2020 and you're an Amazon seller, you're dealing with the coven 19 the Corona virus and you are experiencing issues within your business, selling primarily on Amazon. And the question you may have is how do I survive? How do I maintain my business so I can stay afloat? Well, in this episode we're going to cover multiple ways that you can either protect your business, maintain your business, or even grow your business in a time of crisis. So if you're interested in listening to this interview that I did with someone that's going to help us stick around cause that's what we're going to cover in this episode.

Speaker 2: 00:51 Hey, what's up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of the amazing seller podcast. This is episode number eight 15 and yes, like I said, right

Speaker 1: 01:01 now for a lot of businesses, a lot of Amazon only businesses, they are experiencing some really hard times. Now there are some that are thriving and booming, but again, it's probably less of those and more of the others. Now I decided to invite on a guest, someone that is in the trenches, not just with one business but multiple businesses and he is working behind the scenes to help them either maintain or survive in their business or in some cases even thrive. So I've invited him on, his name is Jeff Lieber and he runs an agency called turnkey product management and he is going to break down exactly what he's advising his clients. So I'm going to make this really short because him and I went on for quite a while digging into certain areas of your business. Now he is going to cover some key points here and I'm not going to go into all of them right now, but he does give us a free resource that you can go through and he is going to make sure that that is kept up to date because things are changing so quickly.

Speaker 1: 02:14 I mean for a little while there we couldn't even ship an inventory. And for some of us we still can't. Some we can. And there's one tip that he gave us that I'm telling you right now, you just need to do every single day and it will help you as far as with your inventory. So definitely sit back and listen to this information and try to see where you can plug this into your business. Because right now it's all about surviving and hopefully eventually growing our business once again. But the last thing I want to say, and this is why I talk about this all the time, and he's a huge fan of it as well, how do we become less dependent on Amazon? That is the key question. Now. Yes, we are still selling products on Amazon as a lot of you are too, and it's a problem because well, a lot of people are not going to buy, especially because they're not going to be getting the products as quickly.

Speaker 1: 03:07 How do we speed that up? How do we fix that? Okay, so we're going to talk about that, but I want you to also be thinking about external channels, external traffic, email list, all of that stuff. I'm not going to get into that in this episode cause I do that in all a lot of the other episodes. But this one right here is going to give you specific to your Amazon side of your business. All right, so sit back, relax and enjoy. Well, Hey Jeff, welcome back to the podcast. What's up man? Uh, I know that there's a lot of stuff going on. That's why I wanted to get you on. How you doing man?

Speaker 3: 03:40 I'm good. All things considered pretty crazy times right now with the virus then all the effects. So I hope everyone's doing okay out there. But thank you for having me on the show. It's really an honor. I've been following you since 217 so it's really cool to have to be on the show.

Speaker 4: 03:53 Awesome. Yeah, no, it's a, it's been a, it's been quite a journey out there in the whole, the Amazon landscape e-commerce landscape. But this thing here, this is a, this is something I've never seen. I'm sure you haven't seen. Um, but the reason why I wanted to have you on is because you are working with multiple brands in your agency and I really wanted to get your take on number one, what does it look like? You know, out there in the wild, let's say, and what are you seeing that we can do to either minimize the damage that's happening right now? Um, and then what can we do to really make our business still be able to grow or thrive in a time of crisis like this? Um, and then also I'd like to know like, what are your, what are your predictions in a sense? Uh, you know, as far as like what you're seeing and how businesses are, are, uh, you know, reacting and, and all of that stuff. So where should we start? I know you put together a, a, a nice guide that we're going to give away as well with all of these different points that we're going to be talking about. Where do you want to kick it off? Like what is the, what's top of mind for you? Right.

Speaker 3: 05:06 Yeah. So, I guess just want to mention, we're recording this on March 31st and so everything we're saying today is as up to date as possible. So this may not air obviously for at least, you know, a little bit more time. So, um, but as of the latest, then we'll also talk about what might happen in a lot of this stuff will obviously still be applied, so. Sure. Um, so yeah, I mean right now it's pretty crazy. So some of our clients, their sales are up by 25, 50% cause they're in those niches where their goods are in high demand and they're able to replenish stock just fine in, into Amazon. And then, you know, some of our clients in different niches, they're, you know, their sales are being hit, you know, the 25% down, some, even 50% down. Um, and so it's about how quickly can you adapt to the situation, right?

Speaker 3: 05:53 I mean, you could just sit back and complain and be like, Oh, well gosh, this is, could be the end. You know, like, hope this passes or you know, as you preach, um, you know, take action and now is the time to, to really jump in and, and see, you know, what we can do about the business, right? You talk in one of your last podcasts, I heard you talk about, you know, the leaky bucket, you know, this is the time where you're going to really find out where some of those leaks are in your bucket. And you know, cause when times are great and easy and you're just selling on Amazon, like that's awesome. But when, when, when tougher times come, you know, it shows you how I was really, really just relying on Amazon on one traffic source, you know, and it wasn't quite, quite crisis proof. And so, um, so yeah, that's kind of what we're seeing and we can dive further into, um, you know, some of the specifics of what we're seeing.

Speaker 4: 06:43 Yeah. Well. Okay, so before we do that, uh, I want people to just get a little bit of your background to give us a little bit of your, your background as far as like how did you even get into this? And let me ask you this, and be honest. When this all hit the fan, are you saying to yourself, Oh, Holy crap, what did I get myself into? I got like all these businesses now like that, that are depending on you. I mean, that's a, that's gotta be some pressure as well. So give us a little bit of your background. Let us know honestly what you were thinking when the, when the crap was hitting the sand.

Speaker 3: 07:14 Yeah. So yeah, I mean it's been a wave of emotions, right? It's like Ron burgundy in a glass case emotionally. Like at first I'm like, Oh this is going to be fine. This will be good because everyone's going to be at home shopping on Amazon. So there's going to like double the amount of purchasers on Amazon. So it's going to be like the best time ever. And then all of a sudden bad stuff starts happening and you have to deal with those challenges. But yeah, I think this will make everyone stronger. But so sorry to back up to your question. So, um, I started selling on Amazon in 2014. I had a normal full time job doing consulting and, and that was a great job out of college and all that. Um, but I always wanted to start my own business and, and try something in that space.

Speaker 3: 07:56 And so, um, I just studied it and, uh, launched one product. And so the way I got started was I bought a $15,000 20 foot container of one skew, one pet product. And uh, for those that don't know, that's not the best way to get started in business. There are less risky, cheaper ways to, uh, to start, you know, I was like, wow, the MOQ is that much, huh. Hmm. All right, well let's do it. Okay. So it took me about a year to sell through that inventory, but luckily that product actually did do, do well. It was a repeat purchase product and I was able to launch additional products, build it into a brand, spun off a baby brand as well. I got into another dog toy from my friend's dad who was an inventor. So junk. All of a sudden I was jumping into different stuff and it was going well.

Speaker 3: 08:45 So I quit my job after about nine months of doing that part time. And then, um, but then along the way I had a couple of friends from college and in San Diego that started businesses, they launched them on Kickstarter, they launched them on Shopify and they wanted help on Amazon. So I was giving them advice. Then they asked you, Hey, can you just manage it for us? We'll pay you. I'm like, really? You'll pay me to do that? And I'm like, okay, well so I saw all of a sudden I had a few, you know, consulting clients or whatever you want to call them. Um, and so then, you know, it was, it was great. I was helping them, their businesses were like taking off cause they had awesome products like way cooler products than I was telling. Like they, they invented stuff, they had awesome stuff and it was just taken off and I'm like, wow, this could really, you know, be be something.

Speaker 3: 09:26 And then all of a sudden, as you know, I mean cause you manage so much stuff as well. It can be dang stressful, right? When you're [inaudible] you're like opportunity here. I could make money doing that. And then all of a sudden you're like, what the hell did I quit my job for, to create an even worse job for myself, right. In five businesses. And so reality check came and I said, I need to, to get out and choose which one do I really want to do longterm. Um, and I wasn't that passionate about pet pet brand or a baby brand, but I loved working with, you know, awesome companies and people and, and helping them with, I wasn't great at product creation or product sourcing in China or suppliers and supply chain management. I just didn't love that part. And I wasn't great at it.

Speaker 3: 10:10 And so I was like, man, other people are amazing world class at that. And I love the marketing and Amazon part. So you know, there's some people out there that they, they, it's a match made in heaven. And so I decided to sell out of everything else. So I sold my pet and baby brand. I also exited that partnership with my friend's dad and now, you know, as of three years ago, solely focused on turnkey product management. And now we just focus on helping other brands to a scale on Amazon and help them build sellable, profitable assets.

Speaker 4: 10:42 I like that. I mean, you, you, uh, you know, like any entrepreneur, you're, you're kind of dabbling. You're kind of seeing what you like, you know, you're curious and then you find out, Oh my gosh, like what am I doing this all for? Like, I just created five new jobs. I only had one before. Uh, you know, and, um, but then you found out your super power too, right? It's kind of like your thing. And, um, and I think that's, you know, that's with anything, we have to go out there and test things and figure out what we enjoy and what we're good at. And, uh, you know, who knows, this probably won't be the end for you either, right? I mean, but you've built a, you know, an agency now that actually helps people turnkey, um, and basically, you know, able to help them manage their stuff.

Speaker 4: 11:19 So I think that's, cause there's a lot of people, including myself, I don't like, you know, using flat files and stuff. Right? Like I don't want to do any of that stuff. Right. That's why I have my buddy Chris Shaffer. It helps me with a lot of that stuff. But, um, yeah, I, I agree. I think that, uh, you know, you, you did good there and, uh, and now it's cool because you get to help us and share with us whether, you know, someone hires you or not, doesn't matter. You're still giving value out there in the marketplace and, uh, and trying to help people. So that's what I want to do here today. So, uh, okay. So let's kinda talk about the person right now. I don't even really want to talk the person that's doing really well right now because I think the people that are listening are like, I don't want to hear about people that are doing great cause it's just rubbing it in. You're putting salt in the wound. But before we do talk about like the ones that are struggling and what can we do to help those people? Um, the ones that aren't struggling are they in like, so what, what kind of categories, again, just refresh me. Um, are they, were they allowing to still be sending an inventory? Was it more like paper products and, um, you know, maybe baby formula and like stuff like that?

Speaker 3: 12:27 Yeah, so Amazon came out with the update, uh, around March 17th. They're limiting it to like the essential categories of who can ship additional inventory. And, and so that's the things that encompass toilet paper, the sanitizers, baby products, uh, grocery, uh, pet supplies, beauty and health care, uh, health and household. So those are some of the core ones. But there was a further update, um, more recently that, uh, around March 26 was this update. And I bet that that will continue to expand that there now Amazon is now broadening the list. It's not just limited to those and they're, but they're, they're not being super clear there. They're saying it's, it's on like a product by product basis, the case by case basis and so gotcha. Cause I mean just imagine Amazon having to manage like which products and sub niches and categories. I mean it's, it's, it's really tough and you know, but so what we're seeing is that it's changing like day by day.

Speaker 3: 13:22 So some of our clients, they are unable to ship in inventory like a week ago because they weren't in those essential categories. But now some of them that just all of a sudden it appears one day in their account that boom, you can alerts sometimes that they can now ship an inventory. So like my first recommendation, and I'm sure this will still apply, you know, whenever this episode airs, is like, if you're, if you're worried about that check every day, just a quick spot check, can I make shipments because eventually it will open back up and you want to, you know, take advantage cause it might close down. Right. So said, well, one minute check. Right. Um, so that's kind of the first update is there. They're going to be broadening it over time and hopefully it totally gets back to normal. But who knows, it might be months until this happens. And so if you get that opportunity to restock, I would say restock aggressively, you know, like, send it in as much as you can afford. Maybe two, three, even four months worth of inventory if you can. If it's letting you do that, I would say say do it.

Speaker 4: 14:20 Yeah. And I, I heard something too, uh, and I think, uh, I either read it or, uh, or I dunno, one of my, uh, one of my friends had, uh, messaged me, but I, I believe that also Amazon's also, um, doing something with Amazon or with your storage fees. Um,

Speaker 3: 14:38 yes. So they're wavings, uh, storage fees I believe for two weeks, for a two week period right now. And hopefully they'll extend that, especially if they're, you know, doing additional allow limitations. But, but yeah, so I don't think there's anything you need to do to take advantage, but, but yeah, it's good to be aware of that as you're trying to monitor your numbers.

Speaker 4: 14:57 Yeah. Okay. Cool. So let's, let's get into, uh, okay. If we're looking at our account right now and number one, let's say we do have inventory in, in the warehouse, right? We know it's still not going to get shipped out as quickly as it has been. Okay. So what are you seeing? What are you advising, um, the brands that you're working with, um, in a situation like that?

Speaker 3: 15:22 Yeah. So this is a great time that if you don't have a third party warehouse that can fulfill what are called, you know, fulfilled by merchant or seller fulfilled orders. Um, if you've been putting that off cause you were like, Oh, Amazon FPA is way, way easier for me. Well now is the time to get that lined up. And I think even outside of a time of crisis, you should still have that lined up cause that opens you up to be able to fulfill Shopify orders and other retail orders that you might be able to pursue. And also you can actually save costs because oftentimes the storage fees at third party warehouses are cheaper than Amazon. So it can actually be a way to save money. Um, but now is the time, you know, to make sure that you, you have that set up. And so if you don't have one contact, um, you know, try to find warehouses.

Speaker 3: 16:11 We're vetting them for our son, for some of our clients right now, cause they don't have a third party warehouse. So I currently don't have one to recommend. We're literally interviewing like three a day right now. And so we could probably add that to the, to the report. Um, alpha by the time this air is off, we'll make sure to add that in or just reach out to us if it's not there. Um, but yeah, cause cause not, cause we're also hearing that one of our clients, their third party warehouse just closed down two days ago because of their current environments. So you also need to make sure you're choosing one that has a legit operation. So we interviewed one just yesterday that had 14 warehouses nationwide and they've got a whole plan to stay open and had been been in show business. So you want to look for those things, like not just, Oh, okay.

Speaker 3: 16:51 I found a warehouse. Great. Hope it works out. Like you need to vet them and uh, in line that up. And so that, that's step one because if you can get, uh, your inventory into a third party warehouse, um, I'm sure you guys have seen that right now. So tell me your items that were at Amazon FBA or AR that used to be, you know, free one or two day shipping with prime are now housing 30 days, ship time. No longer have the prime badge, right? Yeah, I bet that's crushing your conversion rates and hurting your advertising ROI. And so that's just a quick side note. If that's happening to you, again, monitor it daily. It's changing by day. Sometimes it'll go back to shorter timeframes. And so, but if you're seeing those 30 day, um, you know, ship times on your items, that's going to crush your conversions. And I would recommend you, you watch your PPC, uh, your Amazon PPC campaigns very carefully cause you might be bleeding there and then wasting a lot of money because you know, people click it, go and back 30 days, ship time. I'm not buying that. Right. That's what I'm doing as a shopper. Um, so now might be the time to monitor really closely your PPC. And so that's what we're doing for our clients cause it's changing by, by day. You know,

Speaker 4: 18:02 I want to talk about that here in a minute too. Some paper click stuff. Um, I know everyone would want to know that. Like a lot of people want to know, is it time to cut back, is it time to, you know, drill, you know, actually doubled down and, and uh, and even get more aggressive. Um, but the one thing that I think is interesting and you just brought that up is, and I did this just this morning. I was looking on Amazon to get a cam link for my digital SLR to go into my computer. And I was looking in those things. I think they're blown out of them because there's so many people wanting to stream now and wanting to, you know, kind of do that, whether it's gaming, whether it's whatever. And so this little, this little, have you seen them? The cam links.

Speaker 4: 18:39 It's basically a little HTMI a USB where basically it'll, it, it takes a higher resolution, um, and it, uh, you know, a video and it will more or less compressed it through this little device. So that way there, your computer doesn't have to process it as much. Um, and it's like 120, 130 bucks on eBay right now. They're going for like two 50, because they're all out on Amazon, they're all out on the website, they're all out on best buy. Wherever you can buy something electronical, it's, it's gone. They're all gone. So now on eBay, they're jacking them. They got bids going, which is terrible. But, um, I was looking at it this morning and it said, uh, the, let's see, I think they were, you know, this was a day before yesterday. They had three left in stock. I went back the next day they're gone. It said, you know, currently out of stock.

Speaker 4: 19:26 Then this morning they were back in, I think it said like six available and they would be delivered April 21st. Yeah, that's about right. Yeah. So yeah, about a month. So it's kinda like, and I'm always like, Oh man, I'm going to look somewhere else. Like, but I'm like, you know what, I'll buy it and if I can't find one then whatever, or I'll just resell the darn thing. Right. Cause they're going like hotcakes. But anyway, my point is this, um, you know, that can hurt you. So would you, would you say that switching over to FBM would be a smarter move because you can control that even if you shipped them out of your own garage?

Speaker 3: 20:01 Yeah, I mean, I think it's worth, you can have, the beautiful thing is you can have both. You can have your FBA listing and you can have your fulfilled by merchant listing up. And so I would, we actually get, always did that with our clients that had the capability, just having it at the ready. Sometimes FBA runs out of stock in normal life too. Um, and what's beautiful too is that these Amazon, you know, most people are tied to Amazon FBA and they've got 30 day ship times, like on a, on a cable cord like that. But if you, if you had planned or if you plan right now and you go do it and you get a third party warehouse that can promise, say five day shipping, right. Just something a little bit more reasonable, but way faster. And then you can find a way to make sure that you're fulfilled by merchant listing, gets the buy box on your listing.

Speaker 3: 20:46 Customers don't know the difference. They're going back, Oh suite seven day shipping, five day shipping, that's fast. And these times I'll buy that one. And so now you're beating all the Amazon FBA sellers. And so in one way to do that, so we had a client where we did that, but we still weren't buying, getting the buy box with the FBM FBA was still owning the buy box. How do we do that? And so what we tested was we just increase the FBA listings price by I think 10 cents and then boom, Oh wow. FBM won the buy box. So you can either increase the price FBA or lower the price of FBM just a little bit and just increments and then keep playing it if it's not winning it. But now we're winning the buy box for FBM and we got fast ship times. And so we're one of the few sellers for our client where they're getting, you know, super fast ship times and now FBM is crushing all the FBA competitors right now. [inaudible]

Speaker 4: 21:38 that is crazy. Um, okay, so, and I, I know people will want to know a little bit more about like each, you know, component that we're talking about. So now would probably be a good time. If you guys want to grab the, um, the report that, uh, uh, Jeff put together, uh, you can just go to the amazing seller.com forward slash turn key. Again, that's the amazing seller.com forward slash turn key. And what that'll do is that'll bring you over to a report, which also can be updated. So, um, once you download it, you'll also be able to get updates because Jeff will be doing that, um, and staying on top of that stuff. Um, and again, I, I like it when you have someone like you, Jeff, that's in the trenches with multiple brands, seeing multiple things across multiple accounts. Um, and I think right now it's, it's super important.

Speaker 4: 22:25 Um, but now what would you say or, and I'm not sure if you can say anything, but we'll see. Um, you know, I want to get products from China. It's not common. So basically my business is at a standstill. Right. So at that point, some people, and I've heard this and I want your opinion on this, that they would just go ahead and close the listing because they're not going to have inventory for a month and a half, two months, and then they're, what, what would you recommend on that? Just run out of inventory. Let it sit.

Speaker 3: 22:58 Yeah, I mean it really depends on the exact situation. Um, we are seeing with some of our clients that are sourcing from China, it is opening up not all cities and factories, but there's definitely suppliers open. So now it would be the time just to contact. I mean it's a good practice anyways. Um, and we have this in the report is to have a backup supplier even outside of a crisis. Right? Sometimes, I'm sure you've had it where you tried to place a last minute order and you're assuming it's going to be the normal 20 day lead time and they're like, Oh, sorry, it's all going to be 70 days this time. And you're like, what? You know, like sometimes that happens. And so it's a good idea to always have a backup supplier, um, in place, you know, and have that locked in. And so now if your current supplier is not shipping, I mean, yeah, you can close listening to do those things, but you also should proactively right now like go find there's probably a dozen other suppliers at a minimum that can make the same exact product and they could probably hopefully ship it to you really soon.

Speaker 3: 23:56 So, um, so yeah, that's, that's one of those things that you can do right now.

Speaker 4: 24:02 Okay, cool. All right, moving down the list here. Uh, and again, I'm following through on the, um, on the report that you put together. So scaling back your paper, click advertising, um, scaling back on promotion. So let's, let's dig in there a little bit. So some people would say, well, I, I, I want to pull all my paper, click back. I'm not going to advertise anymore. Even if you have inventory, they're gonna pull back. What are you, what are you recommending and what are you seeing with the brands that you're managing?

Speaker 3: 24:30 Yeah, so it's, you really need to watch your inventory closely. It's going to be different for everyone. So some of our clients, like I said, their sales are up 25% they were previously selling a hundred units a day. Now they're selling 125 a day. And so it's really about checking your inventory levels back. How much inventory do I have left? Can I replenish, can I restock? So just staying on top of that is sort of step one. So if you know, okay, I am on pace to sell out of stock and I'll probably be out of stock for two weeks, then yeah, then I would start taking those measures to try to slow down sales and increase your profits or save your costs. So you're getting a lot more conservative on if that's the case on your Amazon PPC campaigns, you can, you know, only target the most targeted keywords.

Speaker 3: 25:16 You can cut your budgets in half. Um, you know, you can take those, those measures cause why spend the extra, you know, thousand bucks on ads this month if you know you're going to sell out anyways, why not save that thousand? Right, right. Um, and then running less promotions as well right now. Um, because why give a, you know, just cause you set up a 30% off coupon on your page three months ago, maybe now's a good time to take that down. You know, cause you don't, you know, why, why give away that, that 30%. So if you're trying to slow down sales to help stay in top stock and help save your business to be normal operations, then those are some of the key measures that you can take. Um, and just on the topic of deals as well, I know that currently they're, they're not letting you make like certain deals that you used to be able to, to make, but they are currently accepting, uh, applications, uh, for prime day.

Speaker 3: 26:11 And so now is the time to register for those prime day deals. I mean, hopefully prime day will still happen, you know, I mean, who knows. I mean, uh, you know, but you might as well put it in now and get locked in early when no one's really thinking about it and hopefully you get a really good time slot so that come July, hopefully things will be back to normal or close to it and you'll be set up with a great prime day deal. Um, and again, that comes with inventory planning. You gotta plan your inventory ahead, right. And so it's hard to think about all these things, but you know, it's a action to go apply for your prime day deals. See if you can get a good one right now.

Speaker 4: 26:47 Yeah. And you know, as far as, okay, let's say someone's listening right now and they already have, well either they already have their, their products up and running. Um, they have some inventory, but they have a new skew that they're going to be launching and they have the inventory. Uh, what's your thoughts on launching a product right now?

Speaker 3: 27:07 Yeah, it's a not the most ideal time to, to launch a product right now. I'm just being honest, but, but it is what it is. I mean, you, you, you know, if you've ordered product and it's getting to your warehouse tomorrow or getting to Amazon in two weeks, you know, you just gotta you gotta adapt and deal with it and turn it into the best that you can. And so, um, so yeah.

Speaker 4: 27:31 Would you, would you think that there's any advantage to actually launching now if you, I'm just trying to think on the fly here, but if I had, if I had inventory that was already in there and then this whole thing happened and I was scheduled to launch this, um, and I was able to have some on hand myself fulfilled by merchant and also FBA, whatever. Would it be smart and I don't know, maybe I'm just throwing it out there. Would it be, would it be worth doing because there's going to be less competition in a sense that can make it readily available? It's kind of what I'm thinking, which I thought to me.

Speaker 3: 28:09 Yeah, I think so in that particular scenario. I mean it sounds like that would be, um, you know, a good idea and then it's about thinking ahead as well. Okay. If I blow through a thousand units in the first week for the launch, you know, do you have enough to, to keep that going? So I would write, you know, because your supply chain on the back end might be a little bit slower. And so just trying to plan that ahead so that you don't do this big successful launch and then boom, you're out of stock for a month and a half and you're like, shoot, maybe maybe should have slowed that down a tad.

Speaker 4: 28:36 Hmm. Okay. Okay. Yeah, that's good. I just again, thinking on the fly here, cause I know there's a lot of different situations out there and we can't cover them all. Um, but um, I did want to cover as many as we could here in this episode and I think we're doing a good job. And guys, if you want to grab, um, all the details here, I mean everything is detailed out to to give you not just the, the idea of what to do. Um, but actually how, um, and so, um, you can go in and grab a download copy of this by heading over to the amazing seller.com forward slash turn key. Again, that's the amazing seller.com or slash turn key. Um, and so

Speaker 3: 29:12 he made a great point, Scott. Like, so if this, you know, if this area's like there's going to be some changes that happened by the time this air, so we'll, we'll make sure and set a reminder to like that report will be the most up to date. Like tell us what the air date is and like we will update their report to have everything in there. So, um, cause I don't want you, I don't want you use any outdated information so we will have it in there for sure.

Speaker 4: 29:33 Perfect. Um, okay. So the other thing I want to cover here real quick is you have on here, and I want to know what you mean by this. Increasing product prices. So what are, what are we talking about there? We are, we talking about, because if we can increase our prices, we can make more because some people aren't gonna be able to get it. And I know there's like price gouging and all that stuff. We're not talking about that, but so what are we talking about as far as increasing product prices? Is that the reason why [inaudible]

Speaker 3: 29:59 yeah, it's just one possible other Avenue to use. It's not my fate favorite one, but, um, but you know, but like for example, sometimes some people launch their products, they say a month ago or two at a low price point, right? They, they launched it at 10 bucks because that's, they wanted to start it low and they had planned to raise it to 20 bucks or 15 anyways. And so, um, you know, especially in those sorts of situations, it's like, you know, it's okay to raise it a little bit, but there are price gouging laws and don't do it out of the sense that Hey, I can make some more money right during this time. It's like if you need to slow down sales and maybe you're offering super discounted pricing and you know, you need the cashflow to stay afloat as a business and plan ahead, you know, then do it within, within reason, if that makes sense. But yeah, but if you can afford to keep the prices the same and just be totally transparent and fair and you know, you'll be okay, then I would recommend doing that.

Speaker 4: 30:52 Okay. And then the other thing is here, um, is asking customers to cancel orders. Now what's the purpose of doing that?

Speaker 3: 30:59 That's really only if you're really getting into, in the case where you get all the way down that rabbit hole where you're, you're actually out of stock. And that's like, if you can't fulfill your seller fulfilled versus you actually canceling them yourself, then it's actually better to try to request to the customer like, Hey, I'm so sorry, like we just ran out of stock. Would you mind canceling your order just so that way it doesn't hurt your metrics as bad as if they did that. Um, but again, like I wouldn't recommend doing that. I mean, it's really in a particular,

Speaker 4: 31:28 okay. So, and again, it's case by case. Yeah. Okay. Okay. No, this, I mean, this is, this has been good and I think, you know, a lot of times it's, it's hard to kind of put, you know, everyone in the same pool, right? It's like everyone's gonna have their own situation. Everyone's gonna have their own limited amount of inventory or their supplier isn't gonna be able to get it here in time or they can't, they can't, uh, you know, they can't switch their, uh, their account over from, you know, FBA to FBM because there's a glitch or, and then you've got to contact seller support. And that's busier than ever because of everything that's going on. So there's so many different variables here. But what I did want to do is at least give people, um, you know, the, not just the basics but the simple things that they can do to help keep the account running. Cause the last thing we want to do is have the account stall because number one, you'll lose the momentum you had, but also, um, you just don't want your listings and your account to get dinged if at all possible. Um, so is there anything else that you wanted to add here before we wrap this up? Jeff? Uh,

Speaker 3: 32:35 I mean, I just want to reiterate like, yeah, we're talking about a lot of like super detailed scenarios, but, um, you know, right now this is a shining light on a lot of businesses that wow, I really shouldn't have been reliant on only Amazon or only Amazon FBA. And so, um, so that's why we put in the report as well, like some of the things to like make your, your business crisis proof is what it is, but it's actually the, but they're all things that should apply even outside of a crisis. It will help you sleep better at night. And so I just wanted to like, highlight some of the main ones and we've already kind of covered them. Like you should have backup fulfillment option where you can fulfill orders from your website or have a backup source. Do you want to be able to have fast ship times on that?

Speaker 3: 33:18 Uh, do you sell on multiple sales channels? If you're solely reliant on Amazon, 100% of your sales are, 99% are on Amazon. That's just really risky, you know? Um, and then do you have a backup supplier? We covered that one. And then what you talked about all the time, Scott, do you have an external audience? Are you building that audience off of Amazon that you control? Right? Those are, that's something that will help help you through these times if you have it. And then do you have multiple traffic sources or were you solely relying on Amazon and Amazon PPC? You know, and I know those are a lot of things. You know, those are some of the main ones. And those are hard. Don't, don't try to implement all those if you're missing them right away. But it's about prioritizing which ones do you need to survive right now in your business and making sure you get to those other ones as well. And so, you know, right now, yeah, you do need to scramble to survive on Amazon and do what you can to adapt, but you also need to get those pillars in place. Do you have a sound sellable business that can survive and adapt times? It's like this.

Speaker 4: 34:18 Yeah. No, I, I couldn't agree more. And, uh, you know, I've been preaching this for a long time. Um, that you know, what, you know, whether it's a crisis or not, the crisis could be Amazon decides to ding your account and you get suppressed or you get under a patent infringement claim. And I had a, I had a uh, one of our students that, um, while before he became a student, he had, um, he had purchased a over like 60 grand worth of inventory found out there was a patent infringement after he got his, his shipment in, couldn't sell it anymore. So then he had a recall at all and he modified it so it didn't infringe on the patent and then have to ship it off and ship it all back in and hope that he could build momentum again. That's a $60,000 like, Oh my gosh, I didn't plan on this.

Speaker 4: 34:59 So there's always, you know, there's always things that we can be looking at as far as like just relying on one channel, just relying on one product, all of that stuff. And this year, to me, what it did for me is it really, it solidified that even just selling physical products only is not to me the way that I want to go. I'm not saying there's not companies that are doing it, they're doing great at it, but me personally, I want to have other, other, it's a digital asset, whether it's maybe affiliate deals that I don't have to worry about inventory or maybe it is traffic that's coming in. I'm using that as sponsorship. I'm renting out my website in a sense. So there's all of those things that I look at. Like right now, there's still money running into my brand with, even though I don't have product, well I do have product selling, but not as much as it was, you know, we're, we're probably down in this one brand, probably about 25 30%.

Speaker 4: 35:51 You know what I mean? That's a hit, you know what I mean? And then if you're going to sell the business, this is going to also reflect that. And you know, yes, you can say, well, it was a Corona virus. It was this. Yes it was. But it still shows it is what it is that the business was dinged. Um, so anyway, that's uh, that's my take on it. But yeah, I, I know that you, you totally agree with all of that and that's why you also, and let's just speak to this really quickly, um, you know, your, your, uh, your agency isn't just for basically selling on Amazon, right? I mean, you also do like Facebook ads stuff and building a list and help people with, you know, running a launch campaign and stuff like that. Is this, is this correct? I mean, I'm pretty sure that's what you do, right?

Speaker 3: 36:31 Yeah. I mean, so we try to, all the things that we preach today, we try to help make sure that we give you the resources and whether we're doing it for you or we're giving you the tools to do it because we want you to set up a sound business and that's in our best interest to, to do that. So, you know, some of it is fully done for you and some of it is, you know, here's exactly where you are. Here's the template, you know, go, go plug this in. And um, cause yeah, it can be tough when you're drowning in Amazon and it feels like, you know, you're spending so much time and you're stuck in it, but sales aren't growing. And you know, sometimes you just need an outside set of eyes like, Hey, this is what you're missing. Just go do these two things or we'll do them for you.

Speaker 3: 37:10 And then that will free you up to, you know, go do those other things. Like find that fulfillment warehouse. Or maybe we'll go, we'll help you find the warehouse for you. But you gotta just do a couple of steps to set it up. And so we really try to meet our companies where they're at. Everyone has a different problem that they have in their business. They have multiple problems, but we try to help identify what is your biggest right problem that if we just helped you solve that, whether we do it for you or we tell you what you need to do, then that will have a breakthrough in your business and help you get to the next level. And hopefully free up your time to do what you left.

Speaker 4: 37:42 Yeah, I love it. All right, so how would people get a hold of you for any of that stuff? Can they go through the report and find, is there going to be a link in there that they can go over and check that stuff out? How would they get in touch with you about that stuff?

Speaker 3: 37:54 Yeah, so on that page you mentioned the amazing seller.com/turnkey we'll just put, we'll put that for your report there and we'll have it, make sure it's up to date and we'll put some other stuff too. Like if you guys want to have a free breakthrough call with us, like if you want more than help with just Corona and you want to see like, Hey, what can you help me identify what my, my thing is that I need to break through. Um, you know, we'd be happy to do that for your audience so we can put that on there as well. Yeah, well we'll just put some good resources. They have the playbook for Amazon podcast, which you were one of my best episodes I've ever had. One that got the interview that you on there. So, uh, yeah, just reach out to it. Just go to Scott's page there and we'll, we'll put everything you need there to get you help on Amazon.

Speaker 4: 38:35 All right, awesome. No, that's,

Speaker 3: 38:35 that's good. And I'm probably going to have you come back once the dust settles here and what we'll do is we'll have you back on and we'll do a little bit more, uh, strategic, uh, you know, tactical episode where we can kind of drill into one area, maybe, you know, launching at the current time that we do that. What does that look like? What does it look like for maybe driving Facebook traffic? Um, and, and you know, maybe we can dig into a different topic, not just like this, uh, Corona virus, a crisis thing that we're dealing with, but I think it is important to do so. Um, but yeah, we'll have you back on to do that for sure. Yeah. And unfortunately, this is what we got to talk about now. This is what I need help with, you know, and so we didn't talk about it, but yeah, it's not the, it is a little emotionally draining. It's like, man, yeah, it is a tough topic, but, uh, we'll all get through this together, you know.

Speaker 4: 39:20 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. All right Jeff. Well, Hey, thank you so much guys. Grab the report. Uh, you know, go to that page. There'll be some resources there for you, the amazing seller.com forward slash turn key and uh, you can, uh, you can go there, grab the free resources. Also if you want to get that breakthrough call. Um, I would recommend that just to get another set of eyes on your business. And it's, it's so hard to zoom out of your business a lot of times and to get someone to zoom out and then look at it from like a 10,000 foot view instead of it being like you're in the weeds. Um, so I recommend doing that anyway. Um, if you think that you could benefit from, from that, so definitely do that. But Jeff just want to say thank you man and stay safe in San Diego, right? San Diego. Yeah, San Diego. Um, and uh, we're going to be here in South Carolina holding the Fort down, so, um, yeah, but um, guys just go grab that. And Jeff, I just want to say thank you for coming on and taking time out of your day. I know we don't have anything else to do but sit in our offices, right. We can't leave, but why not get on here and try to help some people. Right.

Speaker 3: 40:20 Yeah, it was really fun. I appreciate you having me on and uh, yeah, I appreciate all that you do, Scott. Yeah, no problem. Thank you man. Have a good one. Bye.

Speaker 1: 40:28 All right guys. Well, like I said, a lot of information there. Definitely make sure that you grab that download. I'll link everything up as well in the show notes. You can find them by heading over to the amazing seller.com forward slash eight 15. And like I said, make sure that you go through that. Even if it's one small thing that you can do right now to try to maintain that side of your business. But I will say this in closing, you do need to make sure that you're looking at this as what is your business exposed to as far as holes in the bucket. As you know, Jeff and I were talking about, we need to see where the holes are and if this is a major hole that you've experienced because of your inventory either being cut off or slowed down or you can't receive it from your suppliers or any of that stuff and your business pretty much went away or really lessened because of this, you need to let this be a wake up call. Let this be a wake up call. And where I would definitely direct you to go is make sure that you grab our brand growth validation checklist so you can see where you can add traffic assets and also sales channels outside of just that one platform. So you can find that by heading over to brand creators.com

Speaker 2: 41:46 alright, so guys, that's it. That's gonna wrap it up. As always. I'm here for you. I believe in you and I am rooting for you. You have to. You have to. Come on, say it with me. Say it loud. Say it proud. Take action. Have an awesome, amazing game. I'll see you right back here. Next episode. Now.

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