Click Here to Download Transcript <<
…recording these because it’s you guys, it’s you guys asking the questions and me giving you my best answer. It’s not always going to be the answer that’s like black and white. It's going to be like my advice or what I would do in a certain situation. If you wanted to submit your question and have me answer it just head over to the blog and you can find that link by going to where you can click on … No, you can enter the link by … It’s kind of hard when you’re doing an audio and telling people to go somewhere but it’s theamazingseller.com/ask. Once again, that’s theamazingseller.com/ask and you’ll see a little record button there, you can go ahead and record your message.
Just make sure that you tell me your name because I’d love to say hi. Definitely head over and do that. You guys know I just love doing these, it’s literally right now. Just envision this for a minute, I’m sitting here in front of a microphone, in front of my computer looking at a couple of notes here that I have, little cup of coffee to my right and I’ve got Brody down to my right as well on the floor in his cuddle cup, which is a little bed that’s literally almost like a little house in a sense, that he’s just all cuddled up in there. It’s snowing outside right now and I’m just here hanging out with you guys. I love doing this and I’m really glad that you decided to come along for the day. All right.
I know a lot of you have emailed me and said, “Scott I love when you the Ask Scott sessions because they’re just very, very useful because they’re real questions.” Let me also say that if you guys don’t know, I announced this I think a couple of episodes ago, is that I’m starting to add transcripts to all of the podcasts so if you want to download, even this transcript, even the Ask Scott sessions, you can head over to the blog and do that. You can download them there or you can just read them on the blog, you can also check out the show notes and that’s all available over at theamazingseller.com/166. Again, that’s theamazingseller.com/166.
Guys, I’m going to go ahead and dive right into today. Let’s go ahead and listen to the first question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:02:30] Brandon: Hey Scott, my name is Brandon. Thanks for the podcast, the fantastic training and content. I’ve been, honestly here guzzling the podcast the last couple of months. I have taken the private label workshop which was excellent, done my research, found a niche and I’ve actually ordered two, three sets of samples. Honestly, I’ve enjoyed each step of the process and as simple as your reminder to take action is it’s really helped me just to do something every day, perhaps every week to keep my business moving forward and so thank you for that.
My question involves returns, whether it’s a product warranty or customer satisfaction. In episode 28 you talked about an acceptable return rate which was helpful but I haven’t heard an episode yet where you walk through a product return start to finish. To me, well, both product warranty and customer satisfaction issues are related for sure, they’re certainly distinct and I think they need to be addressed. Here we go, kind of a three part question, what happens when one of the products is returned? What does Amazon’s FBA system do with it? Is it repackaged? Is it resold, used as a comeback to you?
Number two, product warranties, how do you determine and set up your product warranty? Is it a lifetime warranty, a 90 day warranty? Is this determined between you and your supplier? Does Amazon have anything to say about that? Then, how do you verbalize that in the copy of your Amazon ad?
Then number three, customer satisfaction. I’m assuming that most private label businesses, though some sort of 100% customer satisfaction guarantee but what are the parameters with these, 60 days, 90 days? What’s advisable for the life of the product perhaps? Would love your take on this. Thanks again Scott for all you do.
[00:04:16] SV: Hey, Brandon, thank you so much for the questions and I love it how you said that you’re guzzling, literally you’re guzzling the podcast. It’s so awesome, I have not heard that. I’ve heard people say binging, they’re really like consuming but you’re guzzling it man, I love that, that’s awesome. All right. I love it that you’re taking action too. Right. You’re taking action, you’re listening, you’re applying, you’re not just learning you’re actually applying and that’s really, really awesome. That’s really awesome too that you attended one of the workshops so I’m glad that you got value from that and I love it.
Let’s go ahead and address some of these questions. All right. These are great questions too by the way. Now number one, when you have a return come back using FBA, now we’re not talking about fulfilled by a merchant. Now, we have two different things here, we have Fulfillment by Amazon and that’s what we all love. We don’t want to do work really, I mean, we’re working our butts off to get our businesses off the ground and all that stuff but we don’t want to have to take a return, check it in, go ahead and manually going to give them a refund and all of that stuff.
We don’t want to have to monkey around with any of that stuff. That’s why FBA is awesome because they’re doing all of the work, they’re picking it, they’re packing it, they’re shipping it. Then if something comes back they’re collecting it, they’re processing it and then they’re going to store that item as a return or as something that’s either damaged or a return. It gets put into your unfulfillable, let’s call it bucket. They have a section there in your inventory that you can see that you have this many unfulfillable items.
Now, you can go ahead and then you can have them shipped right back to yourself if you want to or you can have them destroy them. They will not take those items and resell them for you. That is not going to happen. What they will do is they will throw them in the trash and they’ll get rid of them for you. Now, what I usually do is I have them shipped back to me. The reason is because sometimes they’re perfect, there’s nothing wrong with them, they were just returned, they weren’t even opened. Then I could just repackage them and then send them back in as new inventory or I could keep them for parts, if you have something that requires parts or if someone says there was something wrong with one you can send them one of yours that you have and you can personally send that to them on your dime, you’re going to take care of that, so you could do that.
I always have the stuff shipped to me, back to me after it’s returned. When it’s returned it’s put into a separate, let’s call it bucket that Amazon provides and then they are set there for I believe it's 30 days, maybe even 60 days but I thought it was 30 days. It may be 60, I don’t know 100% but I know it’s at least 30 days. Then from there what I always do, that was once a month, I go in there and I just go ahead and I just close that out, have it shipped back to me. All you do is you just click on that and then on the little unfulfillable where you can see the inventory and then you can create your own work order that will then ship it to whoever you want.
If you want to ship it to someone, maybe you have a virtual assistant that’s doing this type of stuff for you or anything in your Amazon business you want to have it shipped to them and then they could take it and reprocess it and all that stuff and then ship it in. The other thing you could do is if you had … Let’s say you had 20 of them come back over the period of, I don’t know, a couple of months, well you could repackage those up into 20 and then ship in another box full of 20. You just have to take off their label, sometimes they’ll put it in another plastic bag and then they have a return label on it. You may have to then take all that stuff out and then repackage it.
Again, what I do is I just keep mine for my own use as far as if I need to send out a replacement part, maybe something was missing in theirs but at least I get it back. Yes you do pay to have that shipped back to you but I want that inventory shipped back to me. It's usually not that expensive to have it shipped back to you. That’s that, you do not want to have to handle refunds. Imagine yourself starting to sell 100 units a day of something, you’re going to get returns, you’re just going to and you don’t want to have to deal with that stuff: processing and then going in manually giving someone a refund and dealing with the communications back and forth. That’s the beautiful thing with Amazon FBA. All right.
That’s that. Now, as far as what you do as far as the manufacturer warranty goes, depending on where you’re buying and sourcing you’re really not going to have that as far as that you can transfer over to your customer. Now, if you do, that’s great but for most of us we’re acting as the manufacturer because we’re buying the product, having it manufactured and then we’re the manufacturer now. So because of that we create our own warranty in a sense or our own manufactured warranty. If yours is 30 days then that’s what it is, if yours is 12 months then that’s what it is and then you have to make good on that if you will. Okay.
My thought is on this is, yes you will have some people that will return saying that there was something wrong with the item and that’s fine. The you just absorb that and then you have to eat the cost of that, no big deal, because here’s my thought, you’re going to convert higher, you’re going to convert to more sales if you have a better warranty. All right. Most people are not going to have a problem but if they do you want to offer it. It’s going to outweigh that you’re going to get more sales versus the returns. That makes sense. You’re making someone feel as though there’s less risk so because there’s less risk there’s more chance of them to buy because they know they can at least try it and then you’ll offer that warranty to them.
I would also put that in your bullet somewhere. I would mention the type of warranty that you’re offering and that you are offering it as the manufacturer and that they would need to contact you. Now, this is where an insert card would come in handy because now if you have an insert card in there and you say, “Hey, take 5 seconds or 10 seconds and fill out your registration to make sure that you are under the 12 month warranty.” Right. Now what that does is it gets someone on your email list. To me personally and this is just me personally, I don’t think that Amazon would have a problem with that because we’re not taking that email address and immediately trying to sell them something. We’re doing it so we could follow up with them or they could follow up with us in the future and we can also verify that they’re one of our customers by them being registered through this email list. Right. We could do a search and make sure that they’re registered before we issue them the return.
Even though if someone contacts me and they say, “Hey Scott or whomever, I have an issue. One of my certain things broke or it didn’t come with something or after 12 months or even let’s say 10 months something broke.” I will personally just say, “Okay, no problem. Here’s either a refund or here’s a new one,” and I’ll send it to them. I want to go up and over of what was expected because I think that’s going to come back to you to help your business. All right.
As far as satisfaction guarantee, that’s the same thing pretty much to me as the manufacturer, I’m going to make sure that you’re satisfied as long as you’re one of my customers. You want to really, really make sure that you convey this to them and the best way to convey it is using a follow up sequence especially if you’re delivering value to them. Then you can also remind them about the PDF that you have sent them and also the insert card that they received and make sure that you fill out that registration card and that you get registered so you are covered under the warranty. You can give a little reminder there. All of that stuff will come into play.
I know I’m kind of rumbling here a little bit but again, if you and I were sitting out at that coffee shop this is what I’d be saying exactly. That is my thoughts on that. Always go beyond what people are expecting and you’ll have raving fans for your company. I want people to understand that too, you don’t just want to make one sell and be done, it’s a lot harder to go and just find new customers all the time or even have Amazon find the customers. It’s so much easier to sell to your past customers because they’ve already proven to buy and like your products so why not really nurture those people.
So many people just think about the new sales today, the new sales today. Well those new sales could be from past customers and your job could be a lot easier and your business could be even bigger. Just wanted to say that. Again, I appreciate your question, thank you so much, good luck to you and thanks for guzzling the content, hopefully you can guzzle this and keep taking action. All right.
Let’s go ahead and listen to another question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:13:02] Sydney: Hey Scott, my name is Sydney. First of all I want to thank you so much for the podcasts, it’s been an incredible resource and it’s encouraged me to finally take action myself. I have a question about my seller account. My product can fall into a couple of different categories and from what I have seen with my competitors they split about 33% across three really different categories. Let’s just take the garlic storage container, the first seller has it in home and kitchen because that makes sense, the other put it in sports and outdoors, maybe to grill in the backyard but the third it’s in a really random category like travel because maybe they want to use the garlic container to bring nuts and candy onto the airplane.
I know it doesn’t really make sense but on that first page of Amazon it’s that third random category that has the top three spots. Does this make any sense and how should I approach this? Should I pick a category that makes sense like garlic press goes into backyard and/or maybe the home and kitchen? Or do my competitors know something I don’t know? Thank you so much. Any help on this would be much appreciated. Take care.
[00:14:08] SV: Hey Sydney, thank you so much for the question, I appreciate it and it’s a really good question and I’m going to do my best to give you my thoughts and my advice on this in as far as what I would be doing. Personally, the way that I look at it is most people, most people are searching for a product by a keyword. You guys have probably heard me say that over and over and over again and I’ll continue to say it because this is the truth. If we go to Amazon and we just broke our garlic press, we’re going to go type in garlic press or maybe we’ll say stainless steel garlic press or rubber handle garlic press, right. You get the idea. We’re going to go there and we’re going to search for something as soon as we go to amazon.com.
Now, with that being said, once we do that and we come up with the top, let’s say 12, right, we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to choose one. We’re going to look at one. We’re usually going to go by an image and then we’re going to go and look at the title and make sure everything lines up, gets our attention, boom we click on it, now we’re into that listing.
Now that we're into that listing, we're also into a category. Okay. Now that we're in a category depending on what category that's in, if I do another search I'm technically going to be searching inside of that category. Okay. In the very beginning I was searching out all the categories. When I still believe that if you have a keyword that you're being ranked for, no matter what category you're in you're going to show up in whatever category you're searching in. Okay. Yes, you can find products by going searching through categories but ultimately if you're ranking for keywords you're going to come in keywords. That's why you're finding on that front page that they're showing for three different categories. Right.
Actually that proves what I'm saying is true. If you go there and you just search a base search. You go to Amazon.com, you haven't started searching yet and you search a keyword and you come up to that first page and you're like you're saying like there's three different categories that are coming up when you look at the listings when you drop down into those listings that's proof that on the first page, there's multiple different categories. To me personally, I don't think it makes that much of a difference. Now, here's where it does make a difference. If you're going after a best seller badge, if you're going after a bestseller badge and you want that badge to be on there that says, “Bestseller in” whatever, a sub category, because that's really what you're going to be going after, then what you're going to do is you're going to look at these subcategories and then you're going to see what ones are ranking and how they're ranking.
If your BSR is better than the top one in that category, in that sub sub sub category then you will get a bestseller badge. I have seen people do that where they'll find a sub sub sub category and that'll be their second category. Okay. Just a little reminder here. You can list your product in most categories, you can list them in multiple categories, at least two. All right. By finding that secondary one that you might want to list in, then just go ahead and then just contact sellers support. Tell them that you want to keep your current category but you then also want to add a second category. Usually they'll approve that within a few hours and you'll be listed in there. I would again, probably test this. I would start with the one that makes the most sense. Okay. The one that makes the most sense.
Then from there I would play around with that see how that goes for a month, let's say. Then if you see that you're not getting traction or that you think that if you're in another category it might make a difference then I would try that. I don't think that that's the case. I think that that person that did it might not just have known any better. That's personally, I've seen that a lot because Amazon will also help you pick that category when you submit it because sometimes the category that you go after is not even the category that you're going to be listed in. You just kind of tell them what you think it should be in and then they will place you. Then from there, it's up to you to say, “I really didn't want to be in that category.” Then you can contact them and say, “I'd rather be in this category,” and then they'll usually move you.
I don't necessarily think that your competitors are doing it for any type of advantage and if they're, then just pay attention to it and try it in the main category that you think is going to be the one that you should be listed in. That makes the most sense. Then from there you can always go to those sub categories as well. It's all going to come down to keywords. It really is. It comes down to keywords, your title is your most important spot. Then from there your back end of your sellers account would be the second and then the third would probably be the bullets.
Then from there would be the description. Then obviously your image is going to be another important part for getting the attention. Being found by the words that are in your listing all starts with your title. It doesn't matter what category you're in. If someone's doing a search from the very beginning, they are going to search at a broad where now you'll show up no matter what and even if you're in a category and you do a search you will also, if you have a keyword that's ranking, you will show up there as well. It may take some testing but that's what I'd recommend and hopefully this has been helpful to you. Good luck and keep me posted on that as well. Just test it, play around with it but I'd go with the one that makes the most sense right now.
All right guys. Let's go ahead and listen to another question and I'll give you my answer.
[00:19:39] Clint: Hey Scott. My name is Clint. I am plowing through your material. I've been at least for a couple of weeks, I'm on episode 19. Awesome stuff, really appreciate you … This is awesome. My question is this. I am stuck on whether or not to pull the trigger on products. I find a lot of products that I think I could compete with. You do a lot on product selection in the first 20 episodes. Anyway but if you could respond back, I wonder what are the baseline criteria, what are the baseline criteria, what do I need to know? I already know how to make it marketable, I guess I just need you to tell me to go. What do you think? Thanks.
[00:20:22] SV: Hey Clint. Thank you so much for the question and I love it. You're plowing through the content and we've got someone else that's guzzling the content. I love it. I love it guys. This is awesome. Yeah, let me go ahead and give you two resources. Okay. You said that you just started listening to the podcasts. You're plowing through the podcasts. You're at episode twenty. You can go to episode 56 and episode 161. Those are the two resources that I would tell anyone if they're thinking to themselves how do I pick a product, what should I be thinking about. Those are two that come to mind for me right away and those two are with Greg Mercer. That's episode 56 so theamazingseller.com/56 and then also theamazingseller.com/161. If you listen to them it's going to be myself and Greg Mercer talking all about picking products. We talk about criteria and I'll just run through them really quickly for you but currently I look for products that are between $19 and $45. Okay. That's retail.
The reason is is because number one I can find them where they are small in size, they're able to be shipped by air because of that and they're lighter and also they cost less because now just for starting we want to be able to find a product that we could test and validate without spending a ton of money. Right. That allows me to do it at the 19 to $45 price point. Now, let me just say that now that I've been at this little while I am starting to, this is like phase two of, or round two let's call it, of where now I'm starting to consider more expensive products because now I have some cash flow running through the business and now I want to re-invest that back into a maybe a little more of expensive products where it could also make it easier because now it will have as much competition but I still would start … If I was starting fresh today I would start with the 19 to $45 price point. I think there are still plenty of products out there and there's plenty of opportunity there. That's where I would start.
Again, I would go ahead and I would dig into those two episodes that we went over and covered that criteria. You want to look at and make sure that it's got good depth, you want to make sure that it has good demand. Basically you want to make sure that people are buying it. All right. You don't just want to make sure that there's two people out there that are selling it better are having sales. You want to make sure that there's a bunch. I say a bunch, at least ten. Eight to ten sellers that are showing depth all the way through. If you do a search for a garlic press and you come up on page one and let's say that you look at the top ten and throughout those top ten you see that everyone of those is selling at least three hundred units a month. That would be three thousand units a month collectively.
Now I only have to comment and say I need to figure out a way to get in somewhere in that top ten. It doesn't matter if I'm number eight, number five, if I can get in there somewhere, then I can probably grab some of those sales and I would like to just get 10%, that's the three thousand number. Right. If we get, 10% of that well we can go ahead and get three hundred sales a month. That's ten units per day. If we can go and get a product that we can profit $10 per unit well for one product that's 100 bucks a day profit. That's kind of like, again, the base level and kind of like the overview of just staring out picking products. All right. It really has not changed. It's depth of market, demand of market and then finding a product that you can find and you can source where you can sell it between 19 and $45 retail and you can make that retail $10 profit.
Again let me just say this because I've said this before, it's not that you have to make that $10 profit radar day one. It just means that you can eventually get to that $10 profit. If you work your butt off and you get there and you're like I'm only making $7.70 profit on that thing. Well, you know what, it's okay. You're still making $70. That's $70 a day. Then you're going to go out and find another product and you're going to learn from that first product. Then you're going to learn what you want to do differently. Then you're going to roll out another product that might do better than that product. Okay. Then you just keep going at it that way. That would be my advic to you and anyone else listening. Again, episode 56 and 161. Again I'll give you the links. Theamazingseller.com/56 and theamazingseller.com/161. Again all of this will be in the show notes and it will also be in the transcripts so you guys can download that at this episode which is 166.
All right. Let's go ahead and listen to one more question and I'll give you my answer.
[00:25:12] Aaron: Hey Scott. Aaron here. I had a good question for you but first I just want to say thank you for all the great information you're putting out into the world. For someone who's really doing this whole thing essentially by them self it's great to have you and the podcasts they're sort of a partner or someone to go to for questions that … I don't know. Yeah one of the questions I have is, is there a way to make a customizable option to an Amazon's buyer from an Amazon seller? My initial instinct is it may not be possible seeing as you can't redirect off Amazon and you can't get an Amazon buyer's email information to get a back and forth going. My real question is, is there any way to do a customizable option for an Amazon buyer, from an Amazon seller? Looking forward to hearing your answer and thank you again for all the great information. Have a good day.
[00:26:05] SV: Hey Aaron. Thank you so much for the question. Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm so glad that you're getting the podcast it does mean a lot to me when I hear from you guys calling in in your own voice that you're listening and then you're guzzling or plowing through the content. I want to thank you all of you but again, I just want to say Aaron thank you so much for the question and I appreciate it.
To answer your question, actually there's something out there right now called Amazon custom and it's in beta right now. Not everyone is invited to this but it's probably worth reaching out to Amazon and asking them if you can be approved because this is a custom option now where you can create a customized, a personalized product per customer and it's called Amazon custom. Again it's in beta but I'm going to leave the link to that so anyone that is interested in that can check that out. Again, I'll leave it in the show notes to this episode. Again that's Amazon Custom and it's in beta right now. I'm at the screen as we're looking at this, it looks like in home, in kitchen, it looks like even electronics, sports and outdoors, pet supplies, office products, I'm seeing that, those are actually 24 additional departments.
That's what’s it showing the results for for this, but I don't know a ton about it, but I do know that it's there. I was actually invited to it, that's how I knew of it but then I just did a little bit of a quick search before I answered this question because I wanted to have the link and I wanted to know exactly what it was called but it's called Amazon Custom and it is in beta right now. It's kind of like the Etsy for Amazon and that's kind of what my take is. It's like where you are able to have in a sense, almost like hand-done products and customized products for people so you can do one off type stuff if you wanted to.
This is a little bit different, as far as fulfilling by Amazon where you can go ahead and send in a thousand units. I'm not really sure logistically how that would work but I just wanted to let anyone that's thinking about this or even adding this as another option. It's probably a great place, especially because there's not a lot of people in there right now. A lot of businesses, at least it's not as many as there is selling on just the main site. It's another division of Amazon just like they've done the kindle and now they've got the marketplace and they are always adding these new things.
You could get in while it's still new and as long as it gets out of beta, then you could be one of the founders in there or one of the founding members, I should say, to be able to use the service. It seems like a pretty interesting service, it's probably definitely worth checking out if you have a personalized product and you wanted to take advantage of the Amazon platform. Again, I don't have a ton of knowledge on it, I don't use it, I haven't used it and I don't really know anybody that has, I know it's fairly new so definitely check that out because I think what you were saying was not just to have a variation of something, you were like saying, If someone says, “I want to have something personalized with someone's name or with maybe a certain design,” that there would definitely need to be on a platform that would allow you to do that and in this case Etsy allows you to do that. If you are not selling on Etsy I would probably look into Etsy as well, but then also Amazon Custom would be the one that I would look into.
Hopefully this has been helpful to you, I appreciate the question, sorry I couldn't help you more but I could hopefully give you the resources that you can go check out for yourself and if you learn more about that, please let me know, you can email me and let me know on that, maybe I can do an update on the show for anyone that is interested in using Amazon custom and maybe what it takes to get approved and all of that fun stuff.
Thanks for the question. Everyone else, I want to thank you guys for the questions, everybody that submitted them. If you guys have submitted a question and it hasn't been answered yet, be patient, I am working through them and I'll try to get to as many as I can and as always, submit your question, if you have one, submit it, go over the blog at theamazingseller.com/ask and submit your question over there. Just leave your first name and your question and I'll do my best to answer it here on an upcoming show.
Before we do jump off, I wanted to invite anyone that has not attended one of my live workshops. I wanted to invite you where I cover the five phases from picking a product, sourcing a product, all the way up to launching and promoting the product. I go through all five phases, and I do this on a free live workshop. I would love to invite you to this live event and you can register for that over at theamazingseller.com/workshop, again that's theamazingseller.com/workshop and you can see the upcoming date on that and then you can register there as well.
Alright guys, that is it. That is going to wrap up this episode of the Amazing Seller Podcast and Ask Scott session number 47. Again if you guys want to check out the show notes, the transcripts and all of the goodies over there, head over to theamazingseller.com/166. Alright guys that's going to wrap it up, have an awesome amazing day and remember, I'm here for you, I believe in you, I'm rooting for you but you have to … Come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, take action. Will see you in the next episode.
Click Here to Download Transcript <<