Click Here to Download Transcript <<
…I'm even more excited to jump on here for our Friday sessions of Ask Scott. I need to give a little shout out here to a guy that I ran into at the event in Miami and his name is Chris Nelson.
Chris, if you're listening, “Big shout out to you brother.” You know what I'm about to say right now. I'm going to let everyone know what happened when I first met you. You came up, you shook my hand, you said, “Hey man. I'm really a huge fan of the show and say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, ‘Take action'” That told me that you're a diehard listener and Chris it was awesome talking to you and everyone else that was there at the event. I just needed to give Chris a shout out because I said, “Listen, I'm going to give you a shout out on the podcast because I really appreciate you really listening.” There's a shout out to Chris and anyone else for that matter that's listening right now. I want to give you guys all a shout out. You guys are awesome and I love doing these Ask Scott sessions and I just love hanging out with all of you.
Really just want to say, “Keep the questions coming.” If you guys have a question, go ahead and leave it by heading over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. You can go over there and ask the question. Now, I know some of you have asked a question already and I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm going to do my best to work through these questions. I try to pull the ones that this way everyone can benefit from them so if you have a question definitely leave it there and I'll do my best to get to it.
[00:02:02] Scott: I really do appreciate it. Now, before we jump into today's episode, session, whatever you want to call it, I wanted to remind you guys too that we do have show notes and transcripts to all of the podcasts now. If you want to head over and grab them all you need to do is go to the episode that you want to locate them and find them. In this one it's 214 so it would be theamazingseller.com/214. One other little announcement that I wanted to give everyone is about our live workshops. I'm going to be moving, you guys know that or if you're a long time listener you've been listening along here you know that I'm moving to South Carolina here soon. I'm going to be doing my last workshop for a little while on June 16th. Depending on when you're listening to this, you can go over and register for that last one and that is on June 16th. Again the link to that is theamazingseller.com/workshop. You can register for that. If you're tuning in after that, you can still go there and register for the next upcoming one which right now we're looking at like mid-July. It's when we'll start doing more workshops. Just wanted to kind of invite you to that and let you guys know that if you’ve missed one in the past and you wanted to attend one, definitely go register and we can hang out there live on those workshops. I do live Q&A as well. I have a lot of fun with them and I would love for you to attend.
That is it. You guys can tell I'm really excited today as usual so let's go ahead and listen to the first question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:03:34] Rakeem: Hi Scott. My name is Rakeem. I'm calling out of Richmond Virginia. I'm not a FBA seller yet. I'm still in the research phase. I've only just learned about this concept just about a month ago. I've been on your TheAmazingSeller.com, I've seen the resource page is rally great. Anyway, my question is, I haven't set my sellers account yet. I want to know what is Amazon going to be looking for me to have in place before they will allow me to set up a sellers account. Also, what are some of the legalities that Amazon might not particularly be concerned about but need to have in place before I can engage in this business. If you can go over some of those particulars and anything that might be related to it that I don't even know to ask about, if you could speak to that I really would appreciate it or point me to an episode where you've already covered it. Alright. Thanks. I appreciate it man.
[00:04:35] Scott: Hey Rakeem. Thank you so much for the question. Thanks for being a listener and yeah, getting started is the hardest part but we need to understand what is the first step? Whether you're ready to start selling or not you can always start in the product research and I think that's kind of where you're because we want to see can we find products, can we find a market that we can tap into? All of that can be done without doing anything. You don't even need a seller's account. You can just start doing that. Anyone that's listening and wants to know if this business model is right for them but they don't want to go ahead and start going through the set up process you can do that. Just go through the product research phase and just start really digging in and starting to understand markets and stuff.
As far as the legal stuff, again, I'm not a legal advisor, I don't pretend to be, all I'm going to do is give you my experience but there is an episode that I did which was episode, all the way back in episode 14 and so that's theamazingseller.com/14, we’ill leave it in the show notes as well but you can set up an account on Amazon with just your social security number and you can get started with that. Now, to do it where you're kind of protected and you're a “real business” you definitely want to get an EIN number like as soon as possible. An EIN number is really just your business number through the IRS. They are going to give you that business entity. That's the first step. The second step to that is really you should get an LLC. When you want to really make this thing legit you are going to want to get an LLC. You can use legal zoom, you can hire an attorney, all of that stuff. You will need that but you don't necessarily need that to get started selling. Amazon doesn't require that. All they require is really for you to have a credit card on file and they also want you to have a social security number. That's really all that they ask. If you're going to sell into a gated category, that's different.
[00:06:37] Scott: Then you're going to need like a business entity, you're going to need some invoices from a business to your business. You're going to need other things. Right now we're talking like really, really beginner stuff as far as like what you absolutely need. You only need like your social security number. That's what you technically need to get up and running. If you want to do retail arbitrage you can start just doing it that way. Again, I would go back listen to episode 14 and listen to that and then also we've done other episodes in the past that have talked more about the legal stuff and kind of like trademarks and all that stuff but I wouldn't really go there yet. Me personally, I would start with where you're at right now. Maybe you want to validate that you're even interested in this business model before you even start going through those legal things.
You might want to do just the product research thing and see if this is something that you want to really go into because anyone listening right now, like this is a business model. It doesn't mean that this business model is going to be the right fit for you. There's other business models out there. The other thing that I should say and you're going to hear say this more as we move forward here is that this is like the starting point. This isn't like go out there and put something up and start making money tomorrow. That's not this business model. It really isn't. If you want that type of business model I'd say retail arbitrage or go to garage sales and sell stuff on Ebay or go to Etsy and start a little shop there doing personalized goods. That's more you're going to buy something, sell something, buy something sell something.
It's not more of you're building a brand around a market and then understanding that market and then communicating with that market. I know I'm going on a little bit of a tangent or a rant here because I do feel strongly about that part of it but in the beginning we just got to get started. We just got to get started. Here's what I'm going to tell you. Do your homework, figure out what's right for you but I would say to get started for selling on Amazon, whether it's retail arbitrage or whatever you just need you social security number and get yourself a seller's account.
[00:08:41] Scott: You're going to spend 39 or 40 bucks a month for that sellers account and that's going to turn on all of the features as being a seller that you can tap into as well. Hopefully this has helped. Go ahead and check out that episode 14. I would strongly recommend that as well. Let's listen to the next question and I'll give you my answer.
[00:09:00] Speaker: Hi Scott. I stumbled across your episode number 185 in my search trying to figure out what I've done wrong here. I've been a prime member since 2007. I am a buyer not a seller. I've always written reviews. My reviews are 250+ words, always sending pictures. I started doing discount reviews roughly about five months ago. My ratings went from the high of 40,000 down to the low of 5,000. I'm getting more helpful votes than I do reviews. I got more than a hundred helpful votes last month in March. Then Amazon decides to ban me. I do not know why. I've seen in pictures. I'm now doing videos, I'm being truthful about products but nonetheless they banned me. I'm fighting that decision now. I've sent you an email explaining it just a little bit better than what I can do in these 90 seconds but I'd appreciate it any help and advice that you can give me and also to sellers out there that might send their products to a reviewer that gets banned from Amazon for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Thank you so much for your time.
[00:10:10] Scott: This is an interesting situation and I wanted to address it. Sorry I can't refer to you by your first name. You didn’t leave your first name. It sounded like you're trying to get your whole message in there in that 90 second window. I think you can go longer than 90 seconds actually but I did want to address this because it's interesting. I want everyone listening right now to understand that what she is saying is that she is a legit reviewer. What I mean by that is she's taking this reviewing process really serious. That's a type of reviewer that we want to review our products because she is doing it because she wants to get products for a discount or for free. Her payment is going to be reviewing it honestly and ethically and leaving reviews for videos or pictures and all of that stuff.
This sounds amazing. Her rank on Amazon and for those of you that don't know like these reviewers that are taking this really seriously and there's a whole community out there of just people that are like high level reviewers and Amazon really gives these people extra credits if you want call it that. Like badges and all these certain things, which is really awesome. Here's what I want you guys to understand. When we're going after reviews, like let's just say that this person here, this lady had joined a review club and in that review club she was seeing products that she could review. Now we are offering the product to that person for a discount which is great. Here's the thing that can happen. Let's say for example her account gets banned like it has, we have no idea why. Now, let's say that she's left over 250 reviews, well guess what. All of those 250 reviews are probably going to go away. If you've got ten people that have left you reviews and then Amazon investigates those ten people for whatever reason, it could be not even a legit reason to ban them, you're going to lose ten reviews.
[00:12:12] Scott: Like overnight you're going to lose those ten reviews. Here's what we need to understand. In the very beginning, we sellers we’re getting reviews to get the ball started. In the end we want to get those natural organic reviews that we're being able to get by following up with our customers, treating our customers well and allowing them to tell us if they have a problem to fix it. Like all of those things we want to happen naturally. Now, you guys know I use sales backer so you can use whatever platform you want to use; feedback genius, I’ve used that, works well. All those pretty much the same thing just some of them have different bells and whistles but that right there automates that process so this way here you get those organic review naturally and the feedback. My advice to whoever just sent this question and I’m sorry again that I can't call you by first name because I don't know it but honestly you got to reach out to Amazon and you're going to have to go head to head with them.
I have no experience in that and it really stinks and it's frustrating because you're upset because you want still review products and guess what as a seller we want you to review products because you understand how it works. You understand how important they are for having videos or pictures or just a really descriptive review like we understand that. We would love for someone like you to review our product rather than just someone who just puts a one liner in there and doesn't really give the review much value. My advice to you would be and anyone else listening that is a reviewer, it stinks but you're going to have to go through those channels through Amazon and try to fight it. If you do please come back to us and tell us what happened so maybe we can help others that this might happen to. Us as sellers listening to this story right here understand that all of the reviews that we've gotten from a review system or a review club like a reviewer that wants to review products and we've given our product out at a discount to get that review, just understand that those reviews could go away.
[00:14:20] Scott: Don't just get those and expect them to stay forever. I've always said that you can go back and listen to the ones I've talked about. I'm never getting those first few reviews that I'm saying that they have to stick. I'm saying in the beginning I want them to show social proof quicker than it would take to do it naturally because I can basically give it to people that want to review products and have them leave reviews like it's honest, it's ethical. I’m not saying I'm going out there and paying reviews because I'm not but understand that those reviews could go away. If you log in one day and you see that you lost ten reviews it could be because some of those people got banned for whatever reason.
Some people are getting banned because they are doing some shady stuff and they are going to get banned and you're going to lose those reviews. Just understand that, that that can happen. I sympathize with you that jut left the message here, I do. I think that stinks and I'd love for someone like you to be reviewing my product because sounds like you really get it and you want to review a product because you're the person that we want in the review groups but for some reason whether you're in a group that got shut down or that drew attention to it because they weren't doing some sleezy, spammy stuff and then you've got banned because of those people I don't know that but it sounds like that could be a part of it. Who knows?
Right now for us now as sellers we need to understand what I just said is that we can't bank on those reviews to stick forever. If they do great, if not we're not going to lose sleep over it. Just wanted to give my thoughts on that. I know this wasn’t really a question but I think it's a very, very valuable. Well, it was a kind of a question like “what do it do with my Amazon account if I can't leave reviews anymore?” The answer to that question you got to contact Amazon like you are and try to figure out what went wrong. They should be able to give you some type of explanation.
Hopefully this works out for you and anyone else listening. Understand about the reviews that they are there in the beginning just as a base to get you started and get that momentum moving forward. Let's go ahead and listen to another question and I'll give you my answer.
[00:16:34] Alex: Hi Scott. My name is Alex Matos. I'm calling you from Tampa Florida. First and foremost I want to thank you for creating this podcast. It has made my journey a lot simpler, let's just say but I really do appreciate you putting this together. My question for you today is I've been selling on Amazon for a couple of months now and I’ve been noticing that sometimes there's multiple sales of four, five from just one purchaser. Recently I started thinking, man, why would they need five. I don't know why but I just automatically thought too, let me go check Ebay. I checked Ebay and lo and behold, my product is being sold on Ebay by someone else of course. My question is what should I do? What could I do if something like this happens? Should I go ahead and start selling on Ebay myself, of course this other person who's buying it from me is reselling them and I’m sure they’re probably doing a drop ship type of program. I just want to find out what you would recommend I should do. Thank you.
[00:17:51] Scott: Hey Alex. Thank you so much for the question man. I really appreciate it. It’s a good one by the way. I'm not sure I've ever addressed this on an Ask Scott Session. I’m excited to dive into this. This is interesting. This is very interesting because you’re right. That is probably what's happening. For anyone that doesn't understand what's happening, let's kind of go through really quickly. Let's say for example that on Ebay there's something that's selling for $30 and let's say I can buy that same thing on Amazon for $15 so now I can take that, buy it on Amazon and then resell it on Ebay or vice versa. I've seen that happening the other way around where people are buying things on Ebay because Ebay generally things are less expensive and then they'll buy that and then they'll resell it on Amazon.
I've seen it work, I've seen it happen both ways. Here's the deal. If that's happening. Number, one they are buying your product for a price, I'm assuming. If that's the case, you're just basically wholesaling it to them and letting them sell over on Ebay. Okay. You're still making sales, you're letting them do the listing over on Ebay and all that stuff. I've had people let’s say that that's happening and they are more than happy to sell it because they are still making the profit that they'd be making normally. Now the other part of that is you may want to launch your product over there in Ebay as well because you'll get some sales naturally.
If they are selling on Ebay there's a good chance that you are and especially because you are going to probably be able to sell it for a little less. Now, there's a couple of different things here. maybe you don't want to sell on Ebay for whatever reason because it's another channel that you want to maintain but it could be a great idea But let's say that you don't want to maintain that channel then don't list over on Ebay because then you're going to undercut them and then they are not going to be able to sell as many.
[00:19:50] Scott: If you just want to be like a wholesaler in a sense with you product then that's fine. You just sell them the product when they order it and life is good. The problem with that is now you don't have two channels. We've talked about this in the past, we are going to talk about it again moving forward as we grow and make sure through this process but we don't want all our eggs in one basket. You may want to list your product over there for the exact same price that they are and maybe not undercut them. This way here you are not directly competing but then you can pick up a few extra sales too because then you're going to build out a little bit more of a sale channel over there. If you have other products that potentially you could sell to those people you can then follow up on with those people on Ebay with other offers as well. It's just another option.
I wouldn't worry too much about it as long as you are selling it at your regular price and then they are just reselling it at a little bit of a higher price over there and making a little bit of money. I don't see any problem with it. That is my answer to that question I guess. I really wouldn't worry about it. I would think of it as an advantage for two different reasons One, you can either sell directly to them at wholesale. Then you are still going to make the same amount of money or you have an opportunity to selling on Ebay as well. Alright guys, let's listen to one more quick question and I'll give you my answer.
[00:21:11] Myra: Hi Scott. My name is Myra and I sent you an email through the Facebook Amazing Seller. I just read you book and I found it really helpful. My question is if I found a great product on Amazon but it is half the price of what you recommend, I wanted to know if you will recommend that I double up. Meaning, sell two products of the same kind so that it reaches the threshold which is $19 to $45. Would you please let me know if you can… I don't know when your next podcast is, I don't know where to find them. If you can please let me know via message where to find the podcast or if you can give me the answer through The Amazing Seller Facebook page. I would appreciate. Thank you very much.
[00:22:15] Scott: Hi Myra. Thank you so much for the question. This is a good question as well. I have talked about it but you're exactly right. As far as if you find something and this is what Myra is talking about, if you can find something and I've used like if something can sell between $19 and $45 somewhere in that range and again those aren't set in stone. So many people they'll listen to what I say or what others say and they try to follow it right to the Tee, it comes down to profit, it comes down to can you sell something and make a profit on it. A good enough profit to where it's worth it. Whether there's more demand or more volume running through it. Let's just get that out of the way. The first thing that I would like to say is you can definitely take something that sells for $9.95 and then as long as you can bundle that with maybe create a multi-pack, now instead of getting one you get a three pack and then you charge $19.95 for that.
It's obviously a better deal because if you're to buy two at $9.95 it'd be 20 bucks basically. If you buy three it'd be $30 but if you buy a three pack already put together then you can sell it for $19.95 you're going to get people that are going to do that because it's a lot better deal. Then you can take it one step further and you can do a five pack. The five pack might be 29.95. Here's the great thing about that. Number one you get variations. Because you get the variations, people are going to see when they see your listing or they're starting to scroll and then they see the thumb nail, they are going to see it's a $9.95 to $29.95. The $9.95 is going to get people to click in. When people click in then they are going to see the better offer for the middle one or the five pack and then they're going to select one of those possibly. It's almost like you don't have to make as much money on that front offer. The front offer meaning the low ticket price. You’re hoping when they get in there they are going to be sold on the value from multipack that you're offering at a discount.
[00:24:17] Scott: Now, I've had people tell me what they have done as well is they'll make single pack at like $13.95 and then they'll make the multi-pack, the three pack at like $19 or $21.95 so it's like ridiculously cheap and then the five pack they'll price it accordingly as well and because of that if people want to get the single one they are going to spend $12.95 but if they buy the three pack they are going to get a lot better deal and it's like a no brainer. Like who's not going to do that. For an extra 7 bucks I can go ahead and get two extra things. That's how I would approach that. It is definitely a good strategy if your product can be sold that way. It's got to be able to be sold like that and it's where people wouldn’t want more than one.
If they are going to come back and want to buy something in six months because it either wore out or maybe they could use three or maybe they could give it away to their family or friends or wherever it really depends on the product but it is a good strategy because again, you get variations. On those variations you can add more key words to each back end of those variations. You also can show that there's different price points within those variations. Then the other cool thing is if you run out of one variation, it doesn't shut the entire listing down. Let’s say you sell out of the multipack, the three pack. Your still have the singe pack and the five pack in stock so you don't completely run out of stock. That's another advantage.
So, there is a lot of benefits to doing that but again you have to really do the product research to see if the market will want to buy more than one and if they do then that's a great idea. The other thing you can do is you could add accessories to it that if somebody buys something singly, they buy that single thing but if they buy the next variation, the variation could have the thing that's in the first variation but then also add a second bonus thing to it or maybe two things to it.
[00:26:17] Scott: It really depends but we're talking right now if we have one thing that we can the sell as a one pack or a two pack or a three pack and a five pack or even maybe a ten pack. The thing is, anyone listening whenever you do a variation like that because I get people that’ll say, “How does that work? Does Amazon take like the first item and then just give three into another package?” No, that's not how it works. If you do three variations of three different amounts so let's say you have a single pack, that's going to be its own package, its own SKU. It’s got its own FNSQ number. Your three back is going to have all be in the same package. If you are poly-bagging it or if you're putting in a box, those three items have to be in that package with its own SKU and its own FNSQ. Then the five pack the same thing. You'd have to have a whole another package with five included with one SKU.
Just understand that you're not just going to send in one and then just divvy it up however you want to be sent out to the customer. They are not going to do that for you. You have to create them as its own product. Really, it’s like you have three different products inside of that one listing and all really is quantity. That's how that works. Hopefully that's been helpful. Good luck to you on that. Anyone listening that is definitely a great strategy like I said.
Guys, that's pretty much going to wrap up this session of Ask Scott. As always it's been a lot of fun. I want to remind you guys again that have not attended one of the live workshops if you've not wanted to hang out live with me we can walk through the five phases for getting started and getting your first product launched, you're going to want to head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop and register for the upcoming one, coming up here pretty soon depending on when you're listening to this, June 16th will be the last one before we go ahead and stop doing them for about four to five weeks. If you're coming in after July 15th-ish well then just head over and register for the next upcoming one.
[00:28:12] Scott: If you want to head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop, register for the upcoming one for June 16th, that's a Thursday, it's going to be 9pm EST. Go ahead and do that. Would love to hang out with you for the evening and go through this stuff and then answer any questions that you have on that live call.
Then one last thing I want to remind you guys is if you wanted to ask your own question, have it aired here on the show head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. Just leave your first name and a brief question and I'll go ahead and do my best to get it answered on an upcoming Ask Scott session.
I want to again say thank you guys so much for listening. Everyone that I met in Miami and Denver or wherever, in Texas a year ago, wherever we were and we met I just want to say again, thank you, thank you, thank you, you guys are awesome and because I’m able to meet a lot of you in person now it makes this podcast even better for me because I can see exactly who I'm talking to and it really is awesome. Again, I just want to say thank you. Oh, wait. Once last thing. The show notes and the transcripts those are there for you as well for this episode it's 214, so that would be theamazingseller.com/214.
That's it guys. That's going to wrap it up and 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.
Click Here to Download Transcript <<