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…choosing that wrong product and at least prepare you a little bit better. I got this idea to do this podcast because a lot of people including myself still feel this fear and it’s normal, by the way.
I wanted to do this to really break it down a little bit simpler and give your some filters to kind of run it through so you can validate if a product is already selling, if maybe it’s inflated because someone’s already done a promotion. Is it a market that’s actually buying product? Can a product be built in a market or be marketed to these customers? I’ve also taken it one step further. I’ve had a lot of people that have attended one of my live workshops where I break down the five phases for launching a product and a lot of people say, “Scott I’d love it if you could just dive into how to pick that product or that market.”
Really just go deeper into that particular phase so that’s what I’ve done. I’m going to invite you to an upcoming workshop. Brand new, never done this one and I’ve prepared a brand new presentation to walk you through. I’m going to actually go through some of that here on the podcast today, really just kind of like highlight some of it but I’m going to go deeper on the workshop. The upcoming date is going to be October 13th 2016. If you’re listening to this after the fact you can still go to the link I’m going to give you and it’ll either be a replay or there will be an upcoming workshop for this product discovery phase.
[00:01:59] Scott: The link I’m going to give you right now, again you can go over there and register at theamazingseller.com/discover. Again that’s theamazingseller.com/discover and that’ll take you right to the registration page for this upcoming workshop which I’m really excited about. Like I said I’m going to kind of cover some of these key points today so you kind of understand these sticking points and these different things that you can do. Like I said, like a filter to kind of run it through to really give you a better chance of understanding if this is even a product or a market you want to go into.
Really, really excited to share this with you and again this is going to be my first time kind of presenting this to you so I’m going to kind of see how it goes on the podcast and refine it, make it even better on the workshop. Here we go. Let’s just kind of jump in. Let’s dive into these different things.
Number one, the first thing we have to ask ourselves, and I get a lot of people that still say, “Scott why do I want to sell on Amazon? Why? Why don’t I just go and start my own ecommerce store?” I think that that’s great but I’m going to give you the reasons, actually there’s five of them. There’s five reasons why I think it’s smart to start on Amazon. Again the key word there, key word, kind of like we’re talking about keywords for Amazon. The key word meaning the highlighted word there I want to say is that’s where we’re going to start.
Really here’s the five reasons that I get excited and I get excited sharing with people to get started on Amazon. Number one there’s traffic. We don’t have to find traffic. It’s a search engine for buyers. Over 244 million active credit cards or customers on file. That’s number one. Number two, you don’t need a fancy website to get started. Yes it would be nice to have a little website so you can go ahead and get brand registry but you don’t have to have it. You can immediately list your product and start getting traffic.
[00:03:59] Scott: Number three, you don’t need a shopping cart. You don’t need to figure out Shopify, you don’t need to figure out a plugin for your WordPress blog. You don’t need any of that stuff.
Number four, you don't have to worry about your warehouse. You don’t have to store your stuff at your own place, your own house if you don’t want to. You can use their warehouse.
This is number five, you don’t need employees and that’s a big one. You guys have heard me say that in the past if you guys are long time listeners. Employees can be a headache. You get to utilize all of their resources. Yes you have to abide by their rule, yes we understand that but those are the main reasons why I get excited about Amazon.
They’re the main ones, there’s a bunch more but those are the main ones. Let me also just kind of highlight here and give you some reasons why people don’t launch a product.
First of all they think I got to have experience selling online. If you’re thinking that right now I’m going to tell you right now there’s many people that thought that and once they started selling on Amazon it kind of takes that all out of the mix. You just have to learn how to launch that product on Amazon which I’ve done plenty of workshops on that, I’ve done plenty of podcast episodes. All your resources are right here, you don’t have to really go anywhere else. You don’t have to have experience selling online. You don’t have to have ecommerce experience, anything.
Number two, another reasons what holds people back or another thing that I hear all the time, “Amazon’s oversaturated. Scott you’ve got a podcast, one of the top radio podcast in business on iTunes, everyone knows about this stuff.” The truth is, and I hate to say it but there’s a lot of people that just don’t do it or they do it and then they stop because they get frustrated that they don’t get sales or maybe they didn’t do the research that I’m going to show you right now and verifying through that whole process which I’m going to share with you today.
But they say to themselves, “It’s just too oversaturated I’m not going to go in there, I’m not going to do it.” Let me just tell you something, Google’s saturated too. There’s still people launching businesses on Google. You’ve got to have a good product, we can talk about that too. You go to have a good product and you got to understand the platform that you’re selling on and you also have to look at the numbers.
[00:06:02] Scott: Number three, “I’m afraid of picking the wrong product.” That’s a big one. “Scott I just feel like I’m just going to pick the wrong product.” That’s a fear everyone has and you’re going to still have it even after you’ve launched one, two, three, ten products you’re still going to have that ‘it may not work’. My good friend Dom Sugar, shout out to Dom Sugar, the candy man by the way. He basically says, “I’m not out there looking to hit home runs every day. I’m out there looking to hit some base hits. Heck I might even take a sacrifice fly.”
Anybody that’s not a baseball fan it just basically means that I’m not looking to go out there and just strike it rich. I’m going out there to start getting some momentum and start getting some traction. If you’re out there thinking you’re just shooting for the fences and you swing and you hit a double you might be disappointed but that double can bring in some good results.
Number four, I’m going to lose money. Who wants to lose money? No one. I don’t. If you think about it this way, you can start smaller, test some products before you actually invest a whole bunch of money into it. Yes you’re going to invest some money, yes you may lose some money but I don’t look at it as losing money I look at it that I learned a lesson or lessons going through this process. I’ve talked about the Ali Express method where you go out there, you find a product, you launch it even if it’s not even branded with your own stuff and you learn the process.
Even if you only spend 100 bucks to get a few products up there or a product up there with a few items up there just to get through the process, learning about optimization of the listing, learning about keywords, learning about how the backend works, learning about pay-per-click, learning about a launch process, all of that stuff. That’s a valuable lesson that you would pay a lot of money to learn and you’re going to learn it through this process.
[00:07:49] Scott: Number five, “I don’t have enough time.” That’s a big one. “Scott I work nine to five job. I’ve done plenty of episodes in the past on finding your ‘why’,” and if you want that episode I’ll put it in the show notes but just go ahead and just search in ‘finding your why’ in the search bar of theamazingseller.com and you’ll find a few there. It basically means you have to have your why in place in order to really drive you when times get tough.
When you feel like you don’t want to get up early in the morning or you don’t want to stay up late or you don’t want to work on your lunch hour you’re going to push yourself through this by having that. The time thing is an excuse, all of these things are excuses to me. It’s so much easier to procrastinate and not do anything and say, when I get $1,000 I’m going to do this or when I get $5,000 I’m going to do it. You’re going to do that and you’re just going to pushing it off and pushing it off.
Now I’m not saying Amazon has to be your business model but whatever business model you want to really go into you got to go into it and you go to learn and you got to really give yourself a runway. You got to say 90 days, maybe six months. Whatever it is, you got to give it your all and you can’t go in there and just kind of dabble. You got to go in there and really give it a good shot. All of these things, I don’t have enough time, I’m losing money, I’m afraid to pick the wrong product, those are all normal but they’re all things that are our own fears, our own thoughts that stop us from getting started.
Now, I am going to show you and share with you, not just here on the podcast but on that workshop, I’m going to actually show you kind of how we can make it a lot easier and a lot more fool proof. I don’t say it’s totally fool proof because anything can happen but it’s a way for you to get clarity but also to look at the numbers and to see some of these different metrics and these different things that you might not have seen before to help you pick a better product.
Now, there are some reasons that I’ve seen people fail at picking a product and let me just kind of go through them real quick.
Number one is, you’re out there and you’re selling the next garlic press.
[00:09:56] Scott: I guarantee, I’m going to say it again right here, do not launch a garlic press please. I will say that and people will still launch a garlic press. When people go out there and they try to sell the same product because they go, “Wow look at this thing, it’s selling 100 units a day, I’m going to make one just like it and I’m going to sell the same amount.” Guess what, everyone is going to do the same thing.
If you’re just going to Alibaba or Ali Express to do that and you find that same product and then you sell that same product guess what, you’re like everyone else. Nothing is going to separate you. Nothing. It’s going to be really hard. That doesn’t mean you can’t do that and make some sales. You can but it’s going to be a lot harder and when you say I’m just not getting the sales, well because you’re competing with 100 or 200 or 1,000 people that have the exact same item. What is the difference in yours? That’s the big one.
Number one selling the same exact product everyone else is. Two, don’t understand the depth and the demand for a product. I’m going to give you an example here in a minute. If you don’t understand the depth and demand I would definitely recommend checking out episode 189, theamazingseller.com/189. I’m going to put that in the show notes as well. That right there is a podcast I did on that topic alone and I shot a video walking through looking at validation and demand.
For those of you that don’t know, demand is really just looking at let’s say the top ten. We don’t want to see just one or two sellers making sales, we want to see maybe one through five at least or maybe one through ten. The deeper the better but some people would say well if it’s deeper that means there’s more competition, yes and no. If we’re talking about we’re talking about the same thing but we can make ours better because we’ve listened to the market and we’ve made a better product and we’ve got better branding, we’ve got better packaging and all of that stuff, we’re going to stand out and we’re going to grab the attention of those buyers.
[00:12:02] Scott: That doesn’t mean again that we have to stay on Amazon, this means that we’re establishing that product and that brand but we can also move that off of Amazon, that’s a whole other conversation.
Moving on, number three, people choose a seasonal item and wonder why the sales drop after December when they’re selling a snow shovel. If you’re selling a snow shovel I’m going to tell you you’re going to have really good sales in December and January and February. You’re going to have some good sales. Summer time you’re not really going to have any sales for those snow shovels, not unless you’re up in the mountain somewhere.
Understand seasonality, you have to be aware of that. If you are aware of it and your strategy is I’m going to launch something in this season and I’m going to launch something in this season, so maybe in all four seasons you’re going to go ahead and do that that’s your strategy. Cool, do that but understand that that product is probably going to really dive and it’s going to get very little sales on those off months. You have to be aware of that. People that aren’t aware of that and they don’t know that they launch and they’re like, “Why are my sales not there?” That’s why.
I get people that email me every single day and unfortunately I can’t respond to everyone’s request to do a hot seat or anything like that but it really does always come back to a lot of these things that I’m going over right now. I’m not sitting here saying that I haven’t made these mistakes, I have. One of my second products that I did was very much like a seasonal product, not as bad as a snow shovel but it had its season and also I didn’t see the depth in the market. Depth really means again going down further to see that there’s enough demand and depth there for consistent sales even if I’m number nine as far as search results go.
[00:13:56] Scott: That’s number three, choosing a seasonal item. Then four, this is another big one that I wish that I could just peer into someone’s computer when they’re making this mistake. This mistake is they’re fooled by inflated numbers, by other private labelers doing promotions. Think about what I just said there. You might be looking at your report in Jungle Scout and you may be saying these numbers look great. “Look at this, they’ve only got six reviews and they’re getting 300 sales a month that’s ten a day, that’s awesome.” You may say, “That’s great but guess what, they just launched maybe a week ago or a month ago,” and a lot of those 300 or those 500 however many sales you’ve seen are all from promotions.
When they’re from promotions we all know that’s just the strategy to really get sales going and it’s a good strategy but you have to know that. You got to be able to go back and look at the numbers. One of the tools that I recommend you use for that is camelcamelcamel.com and if you punch in the URL for that Amazon address what’s going to happen is you’re going to see the history of that. You’re going to see when it launched and you’re going to see the ups and the downs and you’re going to see the sales. You’re going to see not just the sales, you’re going to see the price.
You can see that they started at $19.97 then they went up to $29.97, maybe they were running out of stock or maybe there was really a big time for that product. Maybe it was not a seasonal item but there was maybe more demand in a certain time of year but you still had steady sales going through, maybe fourth quarter, something like that. You have to understand those numbers and you have to see that.
You have to clearly see that if those numbers have been inflated you want to be aware of that because if not guess what, you’re going to launch and you’re going to be shocked. You’re going to be like, “wait a minute here I’m not getting sales. It said that I have 300 sales a month and I’m not even getting one a day.”
[00:15:51] Scott: I bet if you go back and look at that listing again you’ll probably see that it’s tanking because all they did was they just spiked their sales, they didn’t steadily get the sales velocity going after the fact, they let it die out. That’s the person that started and stopped and now all of a sudden you got fooled.
Don’t get fooled by inflated numbers. Do your research on what I’m telling you right now. Like I said an easy way to do that is to look at the numbers, we want to see low reviews, that’s awesome. If we see reviews like under 300 and they’re still getting 300 sales a months, that’s pretty cool. Of course if your numbers are right, if your profit margin is right, if your selling price is right, your purchasing price, all that stuff, obviously you guys need to understand that.
If the numbers are there and you’ve done that research and you go, “Oh, wow I don’t need a whole bunch of reviews. This one here is selling 300 a month but they only have 100 reviews, I want to take that now and I want to see how long they’ve been selling.” That’s a huge critical piece that people will miss and that’s why that product fails. Again those top four reasons, one, selling the same exact product as everyone else. Let’s talk about that again, I’m kind of going off on a little bit of a rant here. I apologize, it’s important.
How can we make our product different? Number one way, look and see what other people are saying they don’t like about that product and make yours better. In the workshop I’m going to show you an example that I did that. I went to a garlic press because I wanted to use the same thing that I always talk about so I’m not making everyone aware of something else and then everyone else starts to launch those things. I use that.
I went into a popular garlic press, I looked at the negative reviews and I found five things that I can improve without really doing anything special. I could just pay more attention to the detail of this product and what it claims to do. What does someone want with a garlic press? What do they want it to actually do? Press garlic.
[00:18:00] Scott: They want it to be easy cleaning. They don’t want a mess. They don’t want it to smear all over the place. They don’t want it to break. They don’t want the blades to bend or the handle to bend. They don’t want it to maybe squeak on the hinge when they’re pressing it.
There’s different things that people are going to say about the product that can make you go, “If I fix that and make ours better guess what, I’m going to have a better product and I can call those things out in my messaging on my listing. Now I can speak the language of the people that are buying my product and guess what I would put those key points on my packaging as well.” Another note on that, make your packaging better.
In the beginning you might start off with generic packaging and stuff and that’s cool but if you spend a little bit more time on packaging, my good friend again Dom Sugar believes in this, “retail ready baby”, that’s what he says all the time, retail ready. The reason he says that is because he wants his stuff to look as though it’s going on the store shelf so when you receive it it feels like you got it off the store shelf. It makes a lot of sense.
Again, those are some things to make that same exact product not be the same exact product, make it better. Two, when you don’t understand the depth and the demand for a product that can really get you setup for failure because you’re just looking at the top two and you’re going cool. There’s 3,000 sales a month for this product and only two of them are doing it so that means there’s more room for me to come in on the bottom, maybe, maybe not.
I’d rather at first especially look and see that there’s ten selling really well. As far as well I mean the ten by ten by one strategy which I talk about which is ten sales per day at $10 profit for one product. If that meets that across ten, if we took all ten listings and we totaled up the number and they were spread out amongst all ten and it totaled 3,000 or more that’s ten a day.
[00:20:00] Scott: I just need to go in there and grab 300 of those. That’s what we’re talking about depth and then the demand being deeper into that depth.
Third, choosing a seasonal item and wondering why the sales drop. By us being able to understand that, “Hey, this thing could be a seasonal item, so how can I go ahead and look and see if this is a seasonal item through the past five years?” There’s a tool called Google Trends, free. Google Trends you go in there, you punch in your keyword for your product and you see how it’s been doing.
You’ll see if it’s an upward or downward or you’ll see different spikes in the year. I did an example I’m going to share on the workshop and it clearly shows this for two products. One of them being it’s a peak a little bit in the year but then it’s also steady and then you have another one that flat lines and then it spikes only during the certain time of the year. Again seasonal items you want to avoid them unless you’re aware of it and you’re going to launch other products in different seasons.
Four and the last one here, is fooled by inflated numbers. Again, that one there is a big one. A lot of private labelers out there, trying to make you go with this, most of them are doing promotions so that means that their numbers are not true, they’re not real yet. We want to give that at least, I like to see at least a six month track record. I’d like to see a year if at all possible. When I go and I see a product that’s selling 300 a month and they only have 25 reviews and I go and I see that they’ve been selling consistently for a year and the BSR, because it shows you that in camelcamelcamel.com, it shows you the BSR too.
If I see that that BSR’s been within 3,000/4,000 throughout the year that’s great and I only need 25 reviews? Now we’re talking something here. That’s what I say about not getting fooled. Don’t get fooled by the inflated numbers through promotions.
[00:22:00] Scott: The other thing that I want to address here and again it’s something I think is really, really important is a lot of people also they only look at the product. They only look at the product that’s currently selling. The other thing you have to ask yourself is, is this a product that is serving a market and does that market have other products that are being served to it? Hopefully that makes sense.
You want to think about the market. I talk about the fishing market. If I was going into the fishing market or the guitar market there’s plenty of products that I can serve up to that customer. I also talked about niching it down inside of each of those markets. If we went fishing maybe it’s a fly fisherman or maybe it’s a bass fisherman. Two different types of fishermen. They may both fish those different types but when they’re looking for fly fishing gear they’re going after that. If they’re looking for bass fishing gear they’re looking for that. Heck they make a bass fishing boat for crying out loud.
If I went into the guitar stuff we’ve got classical guitar, we’ve got jazz guitar, we’ve got rock guitar, heavy metal guitar, all these different things. We’ve different tones, there’s different pedals out there, for those of you guys that are guitarists you guys know what I mean. There’s these effects pedals that you can buy, they’re not cheap. Cords, picks, guitar strings, music books, music holders, all of these different things. We have all of these different items that can be served to the market.
I think another mistake that people make is they don’t look at the market they look at the product and I think you ought to flip that around and look at the market and then say, “What products could be served to this market?” I’m doing something similar right now where I’m going after products that are not really special, they’re not sexy but even with that you can find a non-sexy product and find other products that could relate to that same customer.
[00:23:59] Scott: It’s kind of like if you need one thing you’ll need the other thing to work with that thing and then you maybe then you need other things to support those two things. Maybe it’s going to be something that attaches to that thing. There’s a whole bunch of different things that can, I just said things a lot, but there’s a whole bunch of different items that could be strapped onto these products or additional ones that help support those other products. Again it all comes back to, what is that customer trying to achieve?
If they are a guitar player they’re trying to play guitar better or maybe it’s going to help them when they carry their guitar on tour. Maybe the fishermen it’s going to help them catch more fish. There’s always an end goal in mind and we have to know that. If we know that it’s going to make it easier for us to look at products differently. Then we can peer into Facebook groups and see how to make those products better not just by looking at the reviews which I think, If you guys are not looking at the reviews when you’re thinking about a product to make better you’re missing a ton of data. Think about that for a second.
Years ago if I was opening up a fisherman shop, that isn’t even a name, a tackle shop I guess is what the correct terminology would be. If I was going to open up that type of shop I wouldn’t really know the products that my competitor was selling, number one. Number two, I wouldn’t know what their customers were saying about the certain products to make them better. I have Amazon and I have the reviews I can really look and see what the customer likes and what they don’t like and I can also look at the sales to see what’s selling what’s not selling.
There’s so much information that’s inside of Amazon even if you never launched a product on Amazon. I just talked to a guy the other day who’s really, really focused on Amazon and he’s just got that in his head and I get it, that’s where I want you to start. But I said to him, I want you to do one thing for me, here’s a little exercise you all can do as well.
[00:26:00] Scott: Pretend Amazon doesn’t exist. Let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist as a sales channel for you. Maybe you can’t sell product on Amazon but let’s say you have the ability to look on Amazon and see what people are buying and what people are saying about the products.
You could take that information and then go over and launch your own product on your own ecommerce site and you’re still going to benefit from the benefit from the data that was given over on Amazon. Now, we get best of both worlds. We get to sell on Amazon, we get to get the information from Amazon that they’re supplying for us and we can sell on our own platform, we can build our own sales channel and all of that stuff. There’s so much that we can do just from the information that Amazon gives us.
Again, I just wanted to do this episode to really let you guys know that number one you’re not alone if you’re feeling fear. If you’re feeling like I just don’t want to pick the wrong product, I get it. I understand that. But, you can’t let that stop you because what’s going to happen is you’re going to always be thinking you’re going to make the wrong move. It doesn’t matter if you sell on Amazon or if you go and get a new job or maybe you transfer jobs. Have you ever transferred to another job or you quit your job to go work for another company and you thought to yourself “man I really hope this works out because if it doesn’t I don’t want to go crawling back to my boss?”
There’s fear there too. It could be financial fear because financially you might say I’m taking a cut in pay to go over here and I’m not going to be able to make that up if I don’t grow at the rate I want to grow with this company. There’s all of these different fears that come into our heads whenever we do something that just doesn’t feel 100%. Nothing is going to feel 100% in life in whatever we do. There’s never a sure thing.
[00:28:00] Scott: At least I haven’t found that everything is a sure thing. There’s always a risk involved. Some a little bit greater than others but there’s always a risk involved. There’s one thing that was instilled to me a long time ago and it’s kind of scared money makes no money kind of thing or if you’re not risking you’re not gaining because you’re just not putting yourself out there. I understand we want to stay safe. Our mind and our body is designed to do that. It’s to protect us. With that being said there’s a whole bunch of things that we can do that I just covered with you to really give it a clear picture or a vision for you to go down once you’re going through the product discovery stage.
Again looking at just that one alone, being fooled by inflated numbers, if you got fooled by that guess what, you’re probably going to have a product that’s a loser. That’s what’s going to happen. If you pick a seasonal item guess what, it’s going to sell probably in the season that it’s meant for but then it’s not going to sell so well. If we can look at this stuff with just a different set of eyes and a little bit of know-how that’s what I want to do here for you is at least give you the tools and really the know-how as far as what to look at especially if you’re brand spanking new.
That’s why I’m going to actually do this on a workshop. I’m going to actually show you some examples and I’m going to walk you through even more detail than I was able to cover here on the podcast. If you want to attend that, all you have to do is head over to theamazingseller.com/discover, D-I-S-C-O-V-E-R, discover. We’re going to discover how to find products, so theamazingseller.com/discover. The upcoming date is October 13th 2016 but even if you can’t attend that one and you want to attend one at a later date just go to theamazingseller.com/discover and you’ll be linked up to either a replay or an upcoming one when we do it in the future.
[00:30:00] Scott: I’m doing this for everyone that said Scott please breakdown phase one of the five phases deeper so we can get past this hurdle and that’s what I want to do for you on this workshop and hopefully in this podcast. Guys, that’s it. That is going to wrap up this episode. The show notes, the transcripts, all of that stuff can be found at theamazingseller.com/263. You can download all that over there and check out the show notes and the link even to join and register for the upcoming workshop which is totally free by the way. You can do that as well.
All right guys, that’s it. That’s going to wrap up this episode. Go out there and get them 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 or on that live workshop. See you, take care.
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