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…I love doing this. I love being able to listen to your questions via voicemail and then I get to jump on here and we get to answer them together and all of us collectively in the same room in a sense because we’re all listening to this being able to gain from whatever my opinions are or other people that have helped me come up with my own opinions or my own insights. Just want to say thank you so much for showing up.
Once again if you guys are brand new and this is your first Ask Scott session, you got a bunch more to catch up on if you want to. But just want to say welcome and give you a nice little handshake and say glad to have you. Loving that you’re here. Okay, the other thing is real quick is I’m pretty excited right now because I’m recording this about a week and a half, almost two weeks before we’re going to be in Arizona, live with 30 Amazon sellers. We’re having a live event there. It’s called TAS Breakthrough Live so if you’re listening to this, on the day that it comes out, we will be there the day after. Let’s see. November 5th and 6th will be the two days that we’ll be in Arizona.
I am super excited. Now, I will say I’m getting a little overwhelmed here because it’s coming up to that point where we’re going to have to make sure everything is in line. We’ve got like I said, 30 people coming and we’re just going to make sure everything is in line. We’ve got a little bit of content that we’re creating or day two so we go to have that. Again feeling a little bit of pressure. Not too much but I do have a word of the week for you and for me is to really focus on this one thing. What that is is simplify. I love that. I’ve got a whiteboard in my office here and I write like a new word on it.
[00:02:03] Scott: Usually every single week. Then I look at that, that way I’m reminded of that and this week it’s simplify. Really simplify means like take everything that you’re doing, simplify everything and focus on the things that you have to focus on. Just really simplifying and that can be broadened out. We can talk about simplifying things like are we over complicating this whole business thing, can we simplify certain things and maybe get to those other things later. I’m sure we can. I just think in life we just need to simplify. We need to really just think a little bit differently about what we’re working on and not even just working on, just our life. What is important to us like right now and what should we be spending our time on?
That’s something I’m working on, especially this week because again I feel a little bit overwhelmed at times. You got to simplify and break it down at a little bit more focused level. That’s what I want to share with you. Again, maybe you want to write this down. Simplify, that’s the word of the week. Okay, the other thing I want to do is I want to remind you real quick too that the show notes, the transcripts for this episode and all the other episodes can be found at the show, let me see what I’m trying to say here. Well, at the show number, this one here is 277 so theamazingseller.com/277 and you’ll find all the transcripts to this episodes and the show notes and the transcripts will be there for you.
All right, I think that’s what I’m trying to say. If you want the transcripts and the show notes, head over to theamazingseller.com/277. If you have a question of your own that you want me to answer on an upcoming Ask Scott, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask. Then I will say, if you are listening to this on the day that it comes out or even the day after, which should be the 4th of November head over to Periscope. If you’re not following me on Periscope you probably going to want do that because I’m going to be broadcasting live from Arizona.
[00:04:07] Scott: You’re going to be able to get a little bit of behind the scenes or even like during a session through Periscope as long as everything connects there well. I do plan on doing that. You can find me on Periscope @ScottVoelker, you can find me there or you can just go to the Facebook page, theamazingseller.com/FB and we’ll be broadcasting Facebook Live there as well. Now, not for the entire thing. We’re just going to do a couple of sessions there, possibly just to let you guys see a little bit what’s going on and hopefully learn something in that process or maybe even something at night time when we’re doing like maybe a little roundtable there. Would love to have you guys there and I know that everyone can’t be there and we had limited seats anyway.
So this would be a way for me to at least let you get to see some of what we’re doing over there. Guys, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. I am very excited as you can tell. I’m excited for today’s questions but I’m also excited about being in Arizona and really being around like-minded people I just love, love that. Let’s get started here. What do you say? Let’s go ahead and listen to today’s first question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:05:14] April: Hey Scott. This is April from Ohio. I have a quick question for you. I’ve been selling one product for about five months and things are going well. Recently I searched on eBay for my product and saw there were six sellers selling my actual product on eBay. They are for more than what I’m selling it for. I’m selling it for $20 and they sell it from anywhere from $22 to $30. My question is should I do a listing on eBay at my normal price of $20 or should I just sell on Amazon and let those other six sellers continue to sell for me on eBay? I wonder if there’s any disadvantage to being in both places. I’ve heard returns can be a hassle if you sell on eBay, fulfilled through Amazon. I’m not sure if that’s true or not. Just wanted your perspective on this issue and thanks again for everything you do.
[00:06:18] Scott: Hey April. Thank you so much for the question and it’s a good one. I can’t wait to give you my thoughts on this. First off, I want to say congratulations on actually doing something and putting a product up and getting behind it and starting to sell it. So that’s awesome. Really, really proud of you. That’s awesome. It’s a great job. Okay, let me just give you my thoughts on this. First off, this can happen and I want everyone to realize this. Now, recently yes Amazon has cracked down on these review groups and giving away your product that is… Not even just giving away your product at a discount but the review groups is really what they’re saying as far as exchange for a review. That’s the keywords there that they’re saying.
You cannot give away a product in exchange for a review and that’s pretty much what they are saying right now. Now, there’s some other interpretations that we can have this but I’m not going to get into that. We have already talked about that. We’ll be talking about it again in the future, I’m sure. But what I did want say is whether you’re doing the before or you are doing them now, you are going to allow yourself to sell a product at a steep discount sometimes people are just buying these products so they can then sell them on eBay. In your case, you may be selling your item for $15 and then they’re going to buy it from you. They’ve got prime shipping so they’re going to get it for free.
Then they are going to get it to eBay and they’re going to try to make 5 or 10 bucks a unit. Now, you’re acting as like a wholesaler. Now, you’ve got a couple of different things that you can do. You can just keep doing what you’re doing because you’re still selling products. If you were selling the product at a discount on a regular basis… I mean like a giveaway discount, like if you were selling it for like under $5 well you probably don’t want to do that because then you’re just allowing your competition because that’s what they are. In turn it’s like you’re the wholesaler in a sense but they’re getting it for really, really cheap.
[00:08:22] Scott: They are getting it for what you’re getting it for then if at this case if you’re pricing it for what you’ve purchased it for, now they’re just going to compete with you on eBay. I would say, that I would not like. That I would try to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Now, if you’re selling your product on Amazon and you given an occasional 20% off or maybe if you buy 3 you get 20% off your next one or something and maybe people are starting to do this and then they’re going to sell it on eBay, it’s up to you to decide if that’s good for your sales to be… I don’t know if you guys can hear that or not but a plane is just flying by and I’m not even going to pause on that one. You’re just going to listen to the plane that just flew over. Never had planes fly over but we do today. You never what’s going to happen here.
Okay, so I would say once you’re getting those sales, even if it’s at 20% discount because you ran a coupon through your listing you’re still getting the juice of the sale. It is still helping you but you’re also now allowing someone to sell your product on eBay or another deal site or whatever that you’re giving it to them so they can sell and make a profit on your product. It really comes down to like what are you comfortable with? If you want, launch that same product, your same product on eBay and then if they want to undercut you there, they can but again, that might also eliminate anyone buying products through your listing on Amazon, not even at a discount but just at a regular price and then they’re going to try…
They are going to market up inside of eBay or whatever. It really comes down to what do you want to do? Do you want to manually fulfill items to eBay or would you rather just say yeah, buy 25 of mine every month and then you can just launch them on eBay and you’re still making your 20 bucks that you want to make and they are sell it for $25 or $27. That’s up to you. Where do you want to focus your time? Totally up to you or anyone else that’s listening right now but do understand this, if you’re running deals on a deal site, even Slick Deals or even Fat Wallet or any of these other deal sites and you are giving your product away at a steep discount you run the risk of finding your product on eBay.
[00:10:38] Scott: And then they’re going to make the money on that. Now, if it’s just a batch of 25 that you did or 50, then that’s fine. If you’re going to be doing these deals on a regular basis you’re going to also allow them to just keep buying your inventory from you. Yes you’re going to get that juice going through the listing to help you rank which is great. But do you want to continually do that so that way someone else can compete with you on eBay. That’s totally up to you or anyone else listening. Those are the different things to think about. I think you said though that they were buying at an almost regular price and then they’re just relisting them on eBay.
I would think then if you don’t have to do any work and they’re going to do that work for you, then yes buy them all day long from me at 20 bucks and you’re going to sell them for 25. I’m good with that so it’s really up to you. And sometimes people don’t want people selling their brand. They just don’t want them selling it because they aren’t wholesaling it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t buy something from a department store and then resell it on eBay. You can depending I guess on the brand.
Nowadays there’s been some bigger brands that have been cracking down on this but for the most part you can. Long winded answer, I know but hey if we were having that cup of coffee this is going to be the conversation that I’d be having right here. Hopefully that’s helped you. Good luck to you April and congratulations once again. Keep me posted on your progress. Love to hear how you’re doing. Let’s go ahead and listen to the next question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:12:10] Jim: Hey Scott, It’s Jim here from Australia. I’ve been searching a few products and quite often when I get to find one I have a look on Jungle Scout and I find there’s only about five or ten of that particular type of product that will not even fill a page. I’m looking for a depth of market. I might have only about three sellers for that particular type of product or that variation. It doesn’t give me a view of the depth. But because they’re just so few I’m just wondering if that’s still a good indication of going forward with something like that. Appreciate your time, thanks.
[00:12:52] Scott: Hey Jim all the way from Australia what’s up man? Thank you so much for the question. I love it when I get questions from people all over the world. I really, really do. I love the questions from anyone but when I hear people tuning in from just different countries it really, really fires me up, it’s awesome. Great question by the way. You guys have heard me talk about depth and demand. You’ve talked about… I like to have products that are at least eight to ten deep selling similar products. That’s the keyword there is similar products. It doesn’t have to be the same exact product.
Because here’s the deal, if we have everyone selling the same product then it’s going to be harder for me to compete. Just to I guess clear this up a little bit I just want to know that there’s depth in that market. That the product is similar to the top selling products. If there’s three products and I think what Jim is saying here is that there’s only three products that identical or that are the same similar product, I’m saying similar like they almost look identical but there’s only three of them. And there’s not ten of them. That’s okay to me. As long as I know that deeper down that list there’s still people buying something similar to that.
It could be a bundle. It could be an accessory of the first thing. This way here I know that there’s enough depth and demand for that particular product. The other thing that you might want to do is also do a little bit of Google Trends and see maybe that’s just something starting to happen right now. Maybe you can get in before everyone else comes in on that product. That would be something too because if you get into something, I don’t like to ever get into a product that I don’t see anything being sold there yet. You guys probably heard me talk about this like Shark Tank. If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank people come in with these great ideas and they are pretty good ideas but the market hasn’t proved or tested that product will sell yet.
[00:14:57] Scott: Now this is a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is is you may be first to market, the bad thing is is it might flop. We want to at least prove that people are buying that product. Or a similar product. That’s why I would say I would have to look at the numbers. I’d have to look at the market. I’d have to look at other accessories that are being spawn off of this one product and stuff.
Look at the market overall. This way here I wasn’t just saying well it’s only got three so I’m going to abandon it. That could be an opportunity. You want to look a little bit at the history. Not even just on Amazon but maybe in Google Trends. You want to see that type of stuff. You also want to see how long those other companies have been selling those products, so you want to go to camelcamelcamel.com or keepa.com and check those out. Because that may also say that these three sellers they didn’t come in that long ago. Or maybe they have and they’ve been the only one selling it but there’s no competition for them yet.
There’s a bunch of different things that you have to look at. That doesn’t necessarily always mean that it’s a bad thing. I would say if there’s only three and there’s nothing else even close to it after that then I would be a little concerned. Doesn’t mean that you still can’t do it, it just means that when you’re first starting to have a product and you’re gambling. You’re actually increasing the risk, that’s something I would probably stay away from. With that being said, I’d have to look at the entire market and also the entire page that’s being filled for this keyword.
You might also be looking at a keyword that’s only bringing up those three but you look at a different keyword and it’ll bring up five or ten more. You got to do a little bit more keyword research too, to see if maybe you’re missing a keyword that’s bringing in other sales for other products that’s similar to that product. Hopefully that helped. Again, I know it’s not a black and white answer. It’s not like I can tell you exactly this is the way it’s going to work. It’s something that you’re going to have to look at the numbers in order to get that information.
[00:17:01] Scott: Like I said, use those tools, those free tools and it’ll give you a little bit of insight on that market. The other thing is do a Google search. Just to see if there’s demand there for this type of product. We want to make sure that there’s enough demand there as well because that will tell us are there people out there that are searching for this product. Maybe even keyword searches. Go to the Google keyword planner tool and see if people are searching for that keyword or that type of product or that solution to a problem. Look and see just by looking outside of Amazon a little bit and then you can bring that information into Amazon.
And maybe broaden out you keyword searches there to see if you can see find more depth and demand for another keyword. Hopefully this helped you. Thanks again for the question all the way from Australia. Thanks a lot Jim. Good luck to you and keep me posted on your progress. Let’s go ahead and listen to another question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:17:55] Andrew: Scott, my name’s Andrew and I have entered into FBA selling. I’m very grateful for the content that you and Greg Mercer and Steve Chou and just everybody has put online. I can’t imagine doing it without that guidance but I only have 60 more seconds so I’ll get to it. I have imported my first product from India and tried to go through all the quality controls possible you and Greg and others have talked about just short of hiring somebody to inspect the product. I have pictures and that kind of stuff but not a physical presence in the factory.
We just received the product and the box as well as the product has some issues. Even after doing the samples and the pictures the box looks a lot darker than what we expected. I was wondering how you would handle that when talking to the supplier. Any feedback on that would be great and I guess I will just look on your site for any answers and insight that you may have. Thank you again and look forward to it.
[00:19:23] Scott: Hey Andrew thank you so much for the question and thank you for being a long time listener. I appreciate it man and I appreciate everyone out there listening. I truly love doing these Ask Scott sessions. I love just being able to connect with you guys, I appreciate you guys really submitting your questions and allowing me to give you some feedback or for us to have a conversation about it. You have a quality control issue. The first thing, the very, very first thing I would say is to get a third party inspection company. That’s what I’m trying to say. I guess I have to slow down my mouth when I want to talk. Sometimes my thoughts come quicker than my mouth will allow to speak. Anyway that’s for another conversation.
[00:20:10] Scott: I would say a third party inspection company is a must for you if you’ve had problems. I think that in the beginning we can say, you know what, let’s go ahead and get a sample or two and see how they come through and then get a small batch ordered. If that’s come through okay then we might be able to take a chance and then order more. Now, with that being said, I interviewed a guy recently who did this. He actually went through the whole process. He ordered a product, it came through fine, he shipped in to Amazon, he sold through it, he did a re-order. On the re-order he goes, “Ah, I’m not going to do an inspection because everything’s been fine up to this point so I’m just going to send it through.”
He sent it through and then he had an issue, not even with the product not working. He had a problem with people saying that it wasn’t authentic. The reason why it was because the logo was very, very faint as far as being visible, legible so you can see it. It was just really, really faint. Because of that, people were saying that it was a knock off. He had like a few complaints, not even that many. Then immediately Amazon pulled that listing. Actually they did, they suppressed the listing and they were talking about banning his account if he didn’t fix it.
He ended up getting through it and actually that episode was… I should probably give you the episode on that one. You might want to listen to that episode. It was a good episode. It was actually the episode before this episode. It was 276. I don’t why I just didn’t know that. Anyway, that’s the episode, 276 and again he goes through that horror story but one of the big things he said that would have probably prevented that was a third party inspection company.
[00:22:06] Scott: I know Top Win Inspection they are really good, I’ve got people that are podcast listeners that have used them, I also have people that are in my class that have used them and they’ll swear by them. The one thing I would say is that they are very, very strict as far as what they are going to pass and what they are not going to pass. That’s a good thing because ultimately it’s going to come down to you saying yes or no. They are just going to dig through all of the different criteria of that product and doing the quality control and they are going to give you a report that says, “Eh eh,” or “Yeah it looks good.”
They are going to give you all the stuff that they think looks defective or that just doesn’t meet their standards. Then it’s up to you to say, “Yes, it’s okay. I’m going let that go through.” What happened here is if that would have came through in the picture that that Top Win Inspections would have done, it would have came through and then they would have been able to see that the logo was faint and then they wouldn’t have released them from the factory. Now that you have the product, that’s when a problem becomes even more complicated because you’re going to have to now tell your supplier that you have a problem with them. Then they’re either going to have to say we’ll ship them all back or they are going to have to say, we’re not going to give full credit because you have them now.
Because of that maybe we’ll give you a discount on your next batch but we’re not going to redo those ones or maybe they will. I think it all comes down to the relationship you have with your supplier, your manufacturer but in order not even let get to that point, it would be to have a third party inspection company do that inspection. Then this way here you won’t run into that obstacle. Again, Top Win Inspections. I have no affiliation with them. Actually I probably should because I recommend them all the time. If anyone else out there has any third party inspection companies that you guys like or you guys use, please send them to me.
[00:24:03] Scott: Scott@theamazingseller.com and I’ll look into them and if you guys have had good experience with them let me know your experience and maybe I will mention them in the future. So, let’s go ahead and listen to one more quick question, I will go ahead and give you my quick answer and we will wrap this baby up and we’ll call it a wrap. What do you say? Let’s do that. Let’s listen to the next question.
[00:24:27] Toby: Hi Scott. My name is Toby. I’m from Israel and first of all I want to thank you about the podcast and all the videos in YouTube is great. You’re really helpful and I learn a lot. My question for you is, where you the best suggestion to design the product, the logo, the branding and where do you do that and how much are you supposed to cost and where I can do it in the lowest price as I can. Thank you very much again and you’re great, bye.
[00:25:03] Scott: Hey Toby, all the way from Israel. What is up man? Again guys, all the way from around the world. This stuff just really fires me up. That is just awesome that you guys are listening. Toby you’re listening all the way from Israel. This is crazy so awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener. Really, really do appreciate it. Okay. This is a good question. I’ve touched on it before. First off, I think that having good graphics is pretty important because that will make your packaging look better. It will make your product look as though the perceived value on it is higher.
I would say definitely invest in a good graphic or logos so this way here you have it. This is like another part of your asset. I always talk about building your email list and your external channel and stuff like that. That’s an asset. I believe that your branding and your… That’s going to go into your marketing. That is an asset as well. I wouldn’t go cheap on this. You can get it done cheaper but what I’m trying to say here is don’t cut corners just to save a few bucks because this is something that’s going to branded or branding your products in the future. I wouldn’t skimp on this. Now, you can try Fivver.com. I’ve tried them for numerous tasks.
I would say though, I would probably use Fivver for something like if you’re doing social media posts and stuff like that, something that’s a little bit more basic but then again you’re not really looking at being like your finished product on your box or something like that. I would say Fivver. Again, you might find your designer on Fivver because Fivver for those of you that don’t know and I’ll leave a link in the show notes.
[00:27:00] Scott: Fivver is basically a place where people are putting up a gig they call it. A Fivver Gig for five bucks so they are saying like I’ll design you a graphic for five bucks but then usually it gets more expensive because you want more revisions or you want it to be saved at a higher resolution or you want it done in less than two days. All of that stuff can then add up to where you’re spending 30/40 bucks which is still, that’s cheap. The thing is, are you going to be able to find that special design or that graphic designer that you really want there. You’re not really able to see a bunch of different designers unless you hire each one. I guess a test would be hire four different designers, give them the same exact task and see which one comes out on top.
It might cost you 40/50 bucks to find that one and once you find that one, you can continually use them. That’s one technique that you can use to find a graphic designer or you can head over to 99Designs. 99Designs that’s probably one of the better ones out there. What it does is it allows you to post your job and then graphic designers come in and they create a design for you. Then they post it in this little private area and then you get to look at them and see which ones you like, which ones you don’t. I think they have like five or seven days in order to complete these different designs.
Then at the end you get to pick a winner. During that contest you can tell them what you like, what you don’t like and then they can come back with another revision and then at the end you can basically say I want that one design. Now it will cost you I think the start it’s like 300 bucks, it’s like 299 bucks but again, you don’t have to pay unless you’re happy. You’re not really risking anything unless you come out with a graphic that graphic design that you like. Again, it’s going to vary. That could go up in price if you’re doing a full box design.
[00:29:00] Scott: If you’re doing like a full packaging design. If we’re talking about logo or a graphic, that’s where the starting palace is but you can go up to $400 or $1,000 for a full box design or packaging. Just keep that in mind. I’m not affiliated with 99Designs. I probably should be because I’ve referred them quite a bit and I know a lot of podcasts have them as their sponsor even but I’m not affiliated with them as of right now but who knows. In the future they can start sending me some coffee money as well. We’ll see. I would try those two places or if you know someone in your town or if you know someone even maybe a friend of a friend knows of a graphic designer, maybe go down that road.
It is really important I think to find a designer that’s willing to work with you with multiple revisions. This way here you can really find the one that’s going to suit your needs. I think it’s really important. That’s a huge asset to have by the way. The asset is the graphic or the design but also the graphic designer that you have. That’s an asset that can be on your team in a sense. That’s the one that can be able to help you do all of your packaging in the future as well. Hopefully this has helped you.
Hopefully all of these suggestions, opinions, insights. Whatever you guys want to call it of me sitting around here talking about this stuff with you guys, hopefully it’s been helpful. I do love to do this so keep them coming themazingseller.com/ask and I’ll keep coming back and doing my best to answer them as long as you guys keep submitting them. Now, if you do have a question and it doesn’t get answered right away, that’s just because there’s other questions in front of you and I apologize for that but I only do about three to four questions an episode so just hang tight. If you have any other questions that you want answered like right away, I’d head over to the Facebook Page theamazingseller.com/FB.
[00:30:56] Scott: Go there, submit your question there and 90% of the time it’s already been answered so just go up in the little search box there and just type in your question and I’m sure it’s probably already been answered and you can look through the past threads. Then if it hasn’t then just go ahead and post the question and I’m sure that you’ll get a lot of feedback there.
All right guys so theamazingseller.com/ask, that’s where you can ask your own question there. The show notes, theamazingseller.com/277 and that will take you to the show notes page where you can grab all of the links and the show notes and the transcripts, all that will be there for you and yeah, you can go ahead and check all that stuff out.
All right guys. That’s it, that’s going to wrap up this episode, this session of Ask Scott and I just want to remind you that I’m here for you and 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. Now go get em!
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