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…submit them via voicemail. I do want to encourage you that if you have not submitted a question head over to theamazingseller.com/ask, of course if you have a question. Just want to say thanks for showing up and thanks for hanging out with me on another Friday afternoon or morning or whenever you’re listening to this or maybe it’s a Monday morning that you’re listening to the Ask Scott session.
Whatever time it is or whatever day it is, welcome and thanks for stopping by. Really excited to jump into a few of your questions that you guys submitted but I did want to address this big review thing that just happened. A lot of you may or may not have heard about it. Maybe you’re fairly new to the Amazon space right now but Amazon really came out with some major, major news and it shook up the FBA, the private label world if you will because anytime something like this happens it can really make everyone think that, “Oh my gosh, what are we going to do now?”
I’m going to be doing some upcoming episodes that will address kind of the new tweaks that we have to do or that we might need to do, sometimes you might not even do anything. I did just want to address that because we just did an episode, let’s see, it was episode 267 where I had Chris Shaffer and Dom Sugar and we talked all about it on a round table discussion. You might want to go check that one out. Then Chris Shaffer and I also did one as soon as the news kind of released.
I’m not going to sit here and talk more about that today because today I want to answer your questions. Just want to let you guys know everything’s going to be okay, it’s just again a little bit of a change and that’s okay. For some of us that aren’t really relying on reviews right out of the gate, might not be a change at all.
[00:02:03] Scott: Just understand that we’re going to have bumps on the road. Things are going to happen, we understand that or at least you should understand that because in any business you’re always going to have things that can change.
You can have a competitor that comes in down the road if you own a brick and mortar business which has happened time and time again or maybe you’re a local business and a Walmart comes in and then all of a sudden you have to pivot or you have to readjust. Things happen, it’s been happening for years. Just understand it’s just one of those times and we’ll get through it and we’ll figure this thing out.
Take a deep breath with me right now, doesn’t that feel good? Just relax, it’s okay, things happen. It’s just part of the process. Before we jump into today’s Q&A, answering your questions, I did want to remind you that we do have a TAS breakthrough live event coming up in Phoenix Arizona November 5th and 6th. We still have a handful of tickets left, I say a handful. If you have not went over there and checked out the details or seen if it’s a fit for you, head over to theamazingseller.com/live. What you’ll see there also is that on day two we’re going to be focusing primarily on how to build your business outside of Amazon.
Whenever any of these little changes happen or big changes happen we’re not going to be relying on one source of traffic or one source of our business and that’s really what we’re going to be talking about. Day two is going to be amazing for that. Day one is going to be amazing as well because we’re going to be sitting down with ten Amazon business owners and we’re going to be critiquing and really diving into their businesses and their struggles but then also collectively in the room masterminding with each other’s businesses so it’s going to be really, really awesome.
If you’re interested head over to theamazingseller.com/live and if you do head over there and you see that there’s no more seats available still go ahead and register to be on the wait list because if we have any cancellations or anything we can always let you know first. Definitely do that. Alright guys, let’s get to it. Let’s go ahead and listen to today’s first question and I will give you my answer.
[00:04:13] Dan: Hey Scott, my name is Dan. I just want to say thanks for all the breadth and depth of your podcasts and online information. It’s unbelievable, it’s fantastic, kudos, thanks for all you do man. My question, given the importance of photographs and the time and money spent producing high quality images, should we watermark our photos? I don’t know if this is allowed on Amazon, I can’t imagine that it’s not but you never know. If it is allowed, do you recommend watermarking our photos to protect our investment and prevent others from stealing? That’s my question, thanks man.
[00:04:49] Scott: Hey Dan, thank you so much for the question and thanks for the kind words. I really do appreciate it for all of you that actually reach out and say how much the podcast or the blog or anything that I put out there has helped you in one way or another. I just want to say thank you for that, I do appreciate it and it means a lot to me. To answer your question about images and watermarking them on the images, I’ve seen people do it. I don’t think it’s within the terms of service to be honest with you because some people could put a link that goes to a web URL.
Maybe if there’s just a ‘C’ that you see with a circle that represents copyright but then your name would have to be on it. They have in their terms of service, as I read it, that you can’t have any type of text graphics on there unless it’s on the product. To have it watermarked that would be kind of going against terms of service but I’ve seen people do it. To me personally I don’t do that but I would make the image unique to your product then I also would make sure that your brand is seen in that image.
If you have a garlic press and it’s stamped with your brand name on it make sure that in that image you see that so it’s not just a generic looking garlic press. You want that in there. If you have packaging, play around with this stuff too. You guys have heard me talk about split testing and I had Greg Mercer on about using Splitly, their new software that actually does split test side by side. You might want to split test having the packaging in the image and then not having the package in the image. But you do want to have some type of branding in that image and the only way that you can really do it within terms of service is to have it on the product.
I would definitely say that. On your secondary images, there’s a little bit of room there, I think, that you could have not just graphics on there because I think that that could be against terms of service as well.
[00:06:51] Scott: Again, the worst that’s probably going to happen is they’re going to just tell you to remove the image, so you can play around with it if you wanted to. Me personally I have done that on the secondary images and I haven’t had a problem where I’ll have like a lifestyle picture with maybe a little bit of writing on it. I would say try to stay away from using the copyright symbol and maybe your watermark on the main image.
On the secondary images, you might get away with that. But I would say I wouldn’t really worry too much about it because if someone’s going to hijack your image or your product, you’re going to know about it. That’s going to be more of a concern than them really taking your image. But then you could then report it, if you had your branding in your image you can report it to Amazon at that point. If you have your branding on the image and they’re not selling your brand, well that’s clearly a violation and that’s going to be easy to prove.
But if they’re hijacking your listing and they’re jumping on selling your product as it was you then there’s not much you’re going to do at that point because now it’s going to be just them jumping on your listing. But if there’s clearly taking your image and then putting it over on a separate listing and creating a brand new listing, you need to have your brand name somewhere on that image. That would be on the product or on the packaging. Hopefully this helped you, again, I don’t think an image violation really will get you suspended. I think it’ll get you warned and you’re wrist slapped and then I think you’ll have to remove it and then I think you’ll be okay.
But again that’s just my opinion and you have to do what you feel is going to be right for your listing and your business. Hopefully this helped. Thank you so much for the question and thanks so much for being a listener, I appreciate you. Let’s go ahead and listen to the next question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:08:39] Rich: Hey Scott, Rich here from Cleveland, Ohio, go Cavs. Thanks for everything you do Scott, really appreciate it. I’m listening to your podcast for a while, you are the LeBron of Amazon selling so keep it going. Had a quick question for you, I heard about your podcast a few months ago, took action after a couple months, sold out on my first product in a month. I was only making five to ten sales a day but it was a pretty good start. I sold out a little bit too quickly and as a direct result I had no inventory for about a week and a half, two weeks.
I launched the next batch that I got from China and now I am not getting any sales a day. I’m getting maybe one sale every two or three days and I’ve been in stock now for about a week. I’ve only sold three products in a week when normally I would sell them before I would wake up in the morning. I still have the same campaigns running, I just did a few tweaks to see if I can maybe improve that but curious if I could do anything, if I’m doing anything wrong. I know it hurts when you kind of take a hit from running out of inventory but I don’t know if it’s supposed to hurt this bad or if there’s something that I can do. Thanks again for everything you’re doing man, you’re changing lives, I appreciate it. Thanks.
[00:10:00] Scott: Hey Rich, thank you so much for the question and thanks for the props man. I can’t wait to tell my son who’s a huge LeBron fan. He’s been following LeBron when he did the whole changing teams and that whole thing and now he’s back. He’s not technically a Cavs fan he’s a LeBron fan. He’s more of a Heat fan now but anyway that’s kind of funny to compare me to LeBron James. I don’t know about that. I can’t really shoot that well either. But anyway thank you, it’s kind of funny and you definitely put a smile on my face. That was pretty cool and I can’t wait to tell my son.
Let’s talk about this. You have a product that you launched and it was selling well and then you ran out of inventory for a couple of weeks and then you went back in, you got back in stock with the inventory and then your sales aren’t better and your campaigns are still running. Here’s what I would probably do first and I would need to also look at this, did you raise the price to try to stop yourself from going out of stock? That would be my first question.
If we’re sitting here across the table from each other I’d be like, “Rich, did you raise your price to try to slow down sales?” If you answered yes to that then I would say, “Your conversation probably went down because that’s what you wanted and now when you get back in stock that’s going to also reflect how you’re going to get back into the ranking.” Again, these are my thoughts, my opinions it doesn’t mean that that’s 100% correct. It does depend on the market and the category and all that stuff but that would be one question that I would have for you.
Now if you said, “No Scott I didn’t do anything. I just ran out of inventory, my conversion was the same.” I’d be like, “well then we have to look at, do we have other competitors that came in in that two weeks or did one of the other competitors start boosting sales or is it something that was trending and then as you ran out of stock and you got back in that the trending went down?”
[00:12:02] Scott: These are all different questions we have to ask ourselves. But here is kind of a strategy that I would probably play around with.
First off, the pay-per-click I’d get aggressive with that. The other thing I would do probably for a couple of day is I’d lower my price. I’d lower my price and dial up the pay-per-click. Yes, I’m going to spend money and I’m not going to make as much money or money at all but I’m still trying to just get myself reseeded into the rankings. I think even moving forward with everyone now all hyped up about the big review change and all that stuff, you’re still able to give product away at a discount, you’re just not doing it in exchange for a review and that’s the big thing.
If you have a list of people that you’ve built yourself, you can send out an email and say, “Hey for the next two day I’m going to have a flash sale and we’re going to run this at 25% or 50% off regular price.” You can either do that through a coupon or you can just go ahead and just lower your price and then just drive everybody there. That’s another way that you could do it but the bottom line is you got to get sales. We have to ask ourselves, how do we get sales?
Well, you would lower your price and then ramp up the pay-per-click, that would be my first thing I would do and then I would go from there. You might have to do that and then you might have to go back to regular price see what happens for a couple of days and then go back and do it again. You might have to play around with that but that’s a couple of different things that you need to do I think to really play around with the rankings and see if that’s going to help you sales.
Again, I just want to let everyone else know that’s listening like this review change is really about the reviews in exchange for a discount or a discount in exchange for the review. That’s really what we’re talking about here. What we’re not looking at is, we can still give our product away at a discount.
[00:14:03] Scott: I wouldn’t even say give away, we can discount our items to get sales. We all know that sales spike the algorithm to rank us better. If you’re telling me that you were ranking well on one day and then you ran out of inventory so you went out of there, basically out of the eye of everyone that’s looking for that product because you’re not being found through that keyword anymore, you’re on page two or three, well we got to get you back there. How do we do that? We do it with sales, not reviews, we do it with sales.
I know some people have said, you can still go out there and use review groups, just you’re not using them as a review group, you’re using them as a deal club group. If you went to Slick Deals and you put your product up there for 50% off I bet you would sell some. That doesn’t mean you’re doing that in exchange for a review, you’re just doing it for a sales spike. I think people just have to think about it a little bit differently and I didn’t want to go on a tangent there a little bit about that but I had to because it’s relevant. It’s kind of what we’re dealing with what I’m going to be doing in the future when launching products or even spiking the algorithm inside of Amazon.
Now outside of Amazon it’s a whole another story. If you’ve got your external traffic source well then you’re going to use that to drive sales and then that’s going to help get you back. That’s how it can work hand in hand. Hopefully I didn’t confuse you or go on a huge rant here and make no sense, I think I made sense. But you have to get more sales and in order to get more sales we can do a few different things and hopefully I covered them for you. Let’s go ahead and move on. But Rich I just wanted to say thanks a lot and yes I will be watching LeBron. I’m a fan of LeBron, I have to admit it. I think overall he’s a good person. I’ll be following him. Let’s go ahead and listen to the next question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:15:58] Yang: Hello Scott, this is Yang. Awesome podcast. You’re always provide such honest and valuable information and you’re always able to go in-depth with everything. Thank you so much for that. I have an interesting question and if you don’t mind answering. My product has been live on Amazon for a month and a half now. I’ve organically ranked for several of my main keywords mostly on the second and third pages but for the keyword I wanted it most.
I actually ranked on the first page for, fourth one down and it’s crazy because on that page Amazon has a shot by category and they’re using my product as one of the default pictures which is pretty awesome because I had no idea that could happen. Anyways, this product is a different design from the competitors and it’s bundled. On Jungle Scout my demand is around 5,000 total sales per month on this type of product. Each competitor has a decent amount of reviews with one competitor having low reviews but still making the double revenue on the ones with high reviews. I’ve checked camelcamelcamel and they have been selling for a while.
But besides that there’s one flaw in my product I noticed. After the research the quality it holds is using not the standard in US markets unlike the competitors’ products. I’m making only one organic sale every other day each week. The question is, should I keep sourcing this product as a slow investment or switch markets? Also do I lose rankings caused by switching markets and had to start over? I’d appreciate if you can answer this question for me, thanks.
[00:17:26] Scott: Hey Yang, thank you so much for the question, great question by the way and it sounds like you have an interesting situation here. Number one, you’ve got a product launch which is great, you’ve ranked it which is awesome, that’s amazing and it shows that you know how to rank a product. That’s great. The thing is, the problem is, I think, is that what you had said that in US markets or the US market that is, the holes in your product or the size of the holes in your product are not in US or not standard in the US.
That could be a major problem. If you’re going after a certain market and that hole doesn’t measure up with the standard size of that market that’s going to be hard. Even if you rank on page on but then after they look at your product and they go “wait a minute, this isn’t going to fit.” It’s kind of like, if I was to buy a plug that didn’t fit in the wall in the States but it fit in the UK well that’s not going to work. Even though I could rank it, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for me. I’m not going to buy it because it’s not going to work.
I think that’s a major, major flaw in the product and it’s not a flaw that can’t be corrected. I would then see how you can have yours made to be compatible with the US market if that’s where you’re going to sell it or maybe you sell that into the market place where that particular product is made for in a sense. I think that’s a major, major thing that could be making your sales not as high as they should be. Even the people that are buying it, they may buy it and then get it home and then go, “Oh crap this thing doesn’t fit,” and then you’re going to get a refund and you’re going to then get a negative review or something.
I would say that’s probably definitely the reason for the slow sales especially if you’re ranking right up there with everyone else.
[00:19:24] Scott: Would I keep that as a slow mover? Probably not. I would probably try to correct it, fix it and then go ahead and get myself to rank like you are and then start getting some sales. I think that is the answer. Does it matter if you switch categories? It could for ranking. It’s really hard to say. I think it’s amazing though that you got position there in the shot by category image. That’s pretty awesome.
Again you’ve got a lot of great things working for you. I think we just have to dial the product in. We just have to figure out how can we make the product so it works for the people that are looking for it. Again, it’s like we can get traffic to a certain product but if the product doesn’t then deliver what it is supposed to deliver or it doesn’t fit something you’re going to lose that buyer.
To me it’s a simple thing really, it’s a simple diagnosis as I would say it but it doesn’t mean that’s going to be a simple fix. You’re going to have to go to the manufacturer and say, “Can I get this thing made with this size holes for the US market?” Then you’re going to have to dial that in. That’s my personal opinion. That’s what I think will help you. Do I think that you should move completely out of this market? It’s hard for me to say that as well because I don’t know the market. But it sounds like if those other competitors are selling well and you’re not but you’re ranking right alongside them then I would just need to look at it and say, why are they buying theirs and not mine?
It seems very clear that it’s probably because of the hole size. That’s just again my first thought listening to your question and that is what I would do. I would contact the manufacturer, try to get that dialed in if I can and then I would just go ahead and then just re-launch it. Now the next question that you might ask or someone else might be thinking is like well I got this product now and I’m ranking it, do I have to create a whole completely new listing? The answer is, no. I would create a variation of that.
Now you’ve got two different variations. You’ve got one with the holes that fit a certain country and then you’ve got another set of holes that fit the US.
[00:21:32] Scott: You can just let the one variation ran out of stock, your other one will then be in stock so then now you can just change your title if you have to and everything else will still rank the same way. If you wanted to then you could also fill that other variation with that other size and give people the choice. That’s another thought there.
Hopefully this helped you. I do think that you’re probably on a good thing here, you just have to dial it in and I think that you’ve learned and figured out the ranking process, that’s key. That is key my friend. Let’s go ahead and listen to another question, the last question of today and I’ll give you my answer and then we can wrap up this thing and you can go on out there and start taking action. What do you say? Let’s go ahead and listen to the question.
[00:22:18] Michael: Hey Scott, how are you man. This is Michael all the way from Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Thanks for everything that you do and for answering some of my questions on your website of course. My question concerns building an email list. I had my product shipped yesterday and almost everything is in place to launch my first product. I would like to give the people a free manual of what kind of technique to use for my product. I want to build an email list with that. Do you have any suggestions on how to do that legally with Amazon and stuff? I appreciate the help man, thanks.
[00:22:56] Scott: Hey Michael, thank you so much for the question, all the way from Amsterdam. That’s crazy. Thank you so much. It’s awesome to be able to reach so far with the podcast and you’re proof of that. I want to thank you and everyone else that’s listening from all over the globe. Thank you, it’s really awesome to hear that. This is a great question, I’ve answered it kind of in a few other episodes. There’s been a couple of episodes where I actually dive into it a little bit deeper in like sales funnels and email list building and stuff like that which again with this new update, with this new Amazon review update this is going to become even more of a priority for myself but I think everyone or at least it should be.
Now, does this require extra work? Yes. Does that mean that other people are probably not going to do this? Yes. Does that mean it’s going to weed out people that are selling on Amazon? Yes. All signs to go on this for me personally. There are two episodes that I would like to mention here that we can link to in the show notes as well but that’s going to be episode 237 where in interviewed a guy that actually built a launch list and reached out to bloggers and other influencers and also press, like traditional press.
I’m talking like newspapers and stuff. He had a really unique way of doing it, built a nice little launch list and that’s how he launched his product. He didn’t use a review group or anything like that. The other one is episode 230 where I break down sales funnels and I kind of give you the three that I like and that I’m going to be using internally and externally. But I also think that you’re thinking about, how do you get someone that’s a customer from Amazon after they buy and get them into an email list? I think that’s another part of that strategy.
[00:24:52] Scott: That strategy is going to be a little bit slower because you have to get the sale in order to be able to even introduce an offer for them to want to enter their email address. There’s a few different ways that you can do that. Number one, put an insert card in there and have them join your VIP club. That VIP club is just going to be like, we’re going to let you know when we have special in sales. You can do that. The other one is a warranty depending on if they can register for the warranty and extra bonuses. That’s another way of doing it or just a straight up information packet or additional videos. You can do that as well.
Those are a couple of different things or actually a few things that you can do if you’re having an insert flyer put into your product packaging. I know some people have put in there like, leave us a review or in exchange for your review we’ll give you a coupon. You can’t do that. Anyone that’s already kind of created that stuff which I’ve never said to put in there like, give a discount on your product in exchange for a review. I would not want to do that because again if this happened, which it did, now all of a sudden you’ve got packaging that really goes against terms of service.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a discount club and in that discount club once they go through and they buy something they’re going to be brought through your feedback and your review funnel in a sense or your sequence. Basically they buy the product, they can register after they register they’re going to get that free bonus or whatever. But on the back end of that after they buy they’re going also get the email sequence that you set up in Sales Backer or Feedback Genius or whatever you’re using. That’s going to also help to get that review.
But right now we’re talking about, how do you build that launch list? Again, like I said the slower way of doing it but to me the long term play and building an asset, and I want to put that, really just highlight that, I really want to kind of put parenthesis around that. The asset that you’re building is in that email list because again if you want to run a flash sale and then drive sales to your listing or to your product you can. That’s going to spike the algorithm it’s also going to spike sales which means that Amazon is going to take notice and then they’re going to rank you better. Period.
[00:27:16] Scott: Going into, how do you do it like if you weren’t going to do it through your product sales? Well, you would go to Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest or wherever your audience is hanging out. I would pick one. I would probably start with Facebook because I think everyone has an audience on Facebook somewhere, you can target those people. You can build your own fan page and then retarget those people. But what I would do is come up with either a discount on your product and then build it that way.
If you’re going to do a giveaway of some kind anyway what you’re going to want to do then is give them, let’s say 30% or something like that and then you’re going to build the email list with people getting the 30% off discount or maybe 50% off discount. At this point all we’re doing is we’re giving them a discount on our product in exchange for the email address. That’s what we’re doing. We’re not asking for a review. We’re not doing any of that stuff.
Amazon has clearly said it’s okay to give discounts on your product, you can do that. The other thing that you can do is maybe, if you don’t want to do the discount code and you just want to give them 50% off, your regular price is going to be $20 you’re going to just lower the price to $10 and then just tell people on Facebook. You’re going to have an ad basically explaining that you’re going to get 50% off for the next two days, click here to get the offer. They’re going to click on the offer, they’re going to go to a landing page and that landing page is basically just a page from a website or Lead Pages which is what I would use.
Then from there all you have to do is connect an email service like Aweber or Mail Chimp or Constant Contact or any of those and that’s going to deliver on the back end some emails that can go out after the fact if you’re going to run other sales.
But a really easy way is landing page. You’re going to drive traffic to that landing page with the offer again like receive 50% off, they’re going to enter their name and email address and then immediately a thank you page is going to appear and you set this up in Lead Pages.
[00:29:08] Scott: Then from there it just comes up to a thank you page and says here’s the link to the listing. This way here you’re not just sending direct traffic to the listing, we don’t want to do that. We want to intercept it with an email so we know that those people are targeted and they’re going to go there because they’re going to want to get that coupon.
They’re hot right now because they’ve clicked and they’ve entered their email address so they’re in that click mode. That’s what I would do and then you can follow up with an email after the fact saying, “Hey just want to remind you the sale’s good through tomorrow here’s the link again.” You could do that. This way here you’re driving sales there and you’re building the email list at the same time. Again, a little bit of a slower process than if you were to go out and launch your product to a review group, I don’t even want to call it a review group anymore, kind of like a deal club.
If you were able to go out there and find a deal club and do the same exact thing but then drive them to a landing page you’re doing the same thing. It’s just when you’re building your own list you’re going to be able to do that yourself in the future and that’s really where I think the long term play is going to be. There’s so much that we can’t even get into today that you can do with that email list as far as like retargeting and making look alike audiences and all of that stuff which is pretty awesome. Then we can drive sales and can spike the algorithm, we can do all that fun stuff.
That’s what I would say and I know I just threw a bunch at you guys but really just go listen to episode 230 ad that will kind of break it down. 237 again is another great episode, it talks about doing this as well. You can find that at the resources on this episode which will be theamazingseller.com/268. The other thing that you’ll find there is the transcripts. There’s going to be transcripts to this episode. If you guys want to download the transcripts or the show notes or the links that I’ve mentioned head over to this episode which will be theamazingseller.com/268.
[00:31:03] Scott: I just want to say that what I just kind of went over I know I kind of just threw it out there, it doesn’t have to be complicated guys, it really doesn’t. It could be as simple as just finding the traffic outside of Amazon and then just driving them to a landing page, collecting the email address, deliver the link to the product that you’re promoting. Even if you didn’t want to use a coupon code like I said just do a flash sale and then that way there you can do that. You can also do contest and I talk about that in that one episode that I mentioned, we talk about contests. Building an email list by running a contest by coming up with a bundle of products, not just yours but you have yours and then you add two, three, four other ones. Make it a good size offer and then you drive traffic there for a week and collect a bunch of emails that way too.
There’s a bunch of different ways you can do it but that’s just a couple and we will be definitely discussing this more as we move on because this is where my focus is. This is where I think that the long term play in whatever business you’re in, this will be an asset that you’ll be able to have in that market. That’s the way I look at it. It’s an asset. Again, let’s highlight that. Let’s put asterisks around it or an asterisk near it or quotations around it. It’s an asset and I think if you understand that you’ll see that moving forward you don’t have to worry so much of relying on one channel.
Guys, that’s it. That’s going to wrap up this episode, this session of the Ask Scott session where I answer your questions. If you have a question you want me to answer on an upcoming session, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. If you want to attend this live event that’s coming up if there’s still tickets available, head over to theamazingseller.com/live. I would love to meet you in person and hangout with you for a couple of days and we can help each other grow our businesses. That’s really what I want to do here. Definitely would love you to attend that if you’re available.
Guys, remember, I’m here for you, I believe in you and I’m rooting for you. But you have to, you have to… Come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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