Click Here to Download Transcript <<
…the people that are in the trenches along with me and I just love to do this. I just want to say thank you so much for submitting your questions. If I've not gotten to it please be patient. I'm going to do my best to cover most of them on an episode.
A lot of times a question will come in and maybe someone else asked a very similar question so I'll just pick one of them. It will still get answered if I feel that that question is similar to the other one if that makes sense. Hopefully it does. If you have a question and you want me to answer it on an upcoming Ask Scott session head over to theamazingseller.com/ask. Really simple, theamazingseller.com/ask. Leave your first name, maybe where you're tuning in from and then just a brief question. I would love to answer that here on an upcoming podcast. Now, I did want to give you guys my word or my phrase of the week. That is in this case, adapting to change. Adapting to change. What does that mean?
Well, it means this; you can plan all you want but when you try to plan too far ahead, it usually isn't going to work out that way and you won't know it until you actually get into the game. Now, perfect example. I'm going to give you a little story here. My daughter who is in elementary school, she's in third grade, one of my kids that is, I have three, you guys know that. If you don’t' know that you know that now. I have three kids and she's my youngest and it was a change to move from New York where we were from to South Carolina.
[00:02:00] Scott: She did it great but something really cool just happened this past weekend and this is what they do here in the school system and we never would have this opportunity if we didn't adapt or if we didn't embrace the change. That is they have this rock that sits out in front of the school and you get to rent it for 15 bucks and everybody rents it and then it donates to the school and all that stuff. But you get to paint this rock anything you want basically for your kid. It's my daughter’s birthday coming up here in December depending on when you listen to this. It would have already passed but the gist of the story is they give us this opportunity to do that.
So we spent probably an hour and a half, two hours painting this rock. Pretty huge rock and we had fun with it. My wife did all the artistic stuff. I just filled in like paint by numbers but we got a lot of compliments on it but the thing is we never have had that if we didn't take a chance and move here. We nervous about moving here. Like how are the kids going to adapt? Is it going to be what we thought it was going to be? All those things. The other thing is let's talk about adapting to the change with Amazon or with Google or any other platform. You have to adapt to the change.
And you have to also be willing to just go ahead and get started. Like make that initial thing in your head that says let's just go ahead and give this thing a shot. And I know that it’s not going to work out 100% as planned but I'm going to learn through that process and I can pivot. I can adapt as I move through this. Now, luckily we didn’t really have to adapt too much as far as now what do we do if my daughter doesn't like the school? Well then we have to figure that out. Trust me, I've got a 21 year old daughter, an 18 year old son. I've been through the whole elementary to middle school to high school thing so I know there's going to be some adapting going on through there. We adapted back home in Upstate New York where we didn't like the public school that we were in and we went to a private school. We had to pivot. We had to adapt. We had to figure out a way to make it work.
[00:04:02] Scott: My point is here is you have to be willing to adapt and also you have to embrace that change and understand that you're going to learn through that process. That's life, that's business. I just want to throw it out there and just say these things are what are going to make you who you are and if you just go back and trace your steps, you're going to see there's a lot of things that happen because you did this one thing or you took this chance or you went out there and said I don't really know about this but I want to do it but I'm not sure, it's normal but you have to also understand that there's going to be risk in anything that you do. The risk doesn’t even necessarily have to be money.
It could be risking feeling comfortable. It's going to be a little comfortable for a little while. Just want to throw that out there. I think it's important so adapting to change. Just be willing to do that and understand it's part of the process. There's my little word or phrase of the week. Hopefully that's helpful. But anyway, let's go ahead and get ready here. I did want to remind you guys if you have a question, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask. If you want to download the show notes to this episode and the transcripts, all that stuff, you can head over to theamazingseller.com/295. I can't believe we’re at 295 guys.
We're almost at 300 and I'm just going to tell you right now we're going to do a little bit of a different show on the 300th episode so you're definitely want to check that one out and hopefully you'll like it but I am excited and I cannot believe that we're almost at 300 episodes. It's just insane and I have all of you to thank you for because you keep saying Scott these are so helpful, thank you for doing these and just keep them coming. Thank you for that. All right, let's go ahead and let's get started here. Let's dive in. Let's go ahead and listen to today's first question and I'll give you my answer.
[00:05:58] Speaker 1: Hey Scott. It's a pleasure to be asking you this question tonight. Maybe you can help me, I've tried to Google this and I don't know if anyone has had this issue but my Amazon FBA journey has been uphill even before I got to sell anything and by that I mean I haven't been able to be granted access to even have an account. Just briefly I tried to sign up for a seller account. I filled out all the necessary information, I click confirm registration and they say that I cannot have an account because of whatever their proprietary review process is and they can't tell me exactly why.
So sorry, you can't have one. I've been going back and forth with them for two weeks now and it hasn't been too fruitful so I'm a little concerned and I'm getting a little anxious so my question is in the case that maybe I will not be able to have an Amazon account at all, where would you recommend I go next? Would you recommend that I go the eBay route or would you recommend that I used some other platform or should I just try to start my own site all together? Yeah, thank you for any kind of input that you can give me and your podcast is awesome. Take care. Bye bye.
[00:07:39] Scott: Okay. We're going to answer that question. Before I do though, I did want to remind all of you that are asking questions please, please submit your name as well. Just tell me who you are. I know some of you get nervous or you don't want to, maybe you don't want to leave your name, I don't know. But if you would, leave your first name so this way here I can at least say, “Hey Sue, thank you so much for the question,” because that's what I would do in person. Anyway, let's go ahead and address this question which this is a unique question. I don't think I've ever had anyone ask it this way in a sense and it's funny because after I heard this question, I actually reached out to my good friend Chris Shaffer and I said, “Chris, is there anything that I am missing?
These are my thoughts as to why she could possibly not be approved for a seller's account.” He said, “No, pretty much everything you're thinking, I’m thinking.” So I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing anything because it's definitely unique. Now, here's one thing. There's a lot of different things that could be going on here. First off, I would definitely want to reach out to them say and say, “Hey, listen, can you tell me why.” I don’t know why they would not tell you. I would think that they would say “yes it's because of this.” I would reach out to them, try to get them on the phone so this way here you can speak to someone not just through email.
That would be first thing. Now, the other thing that I’m thinking here is depending on if you're living in an apartment complex or if you're living in even a house next to your neighbor and you guys share that same pod, your front yard or the same telephone pole or whatever, your IP address could be an issue here. Because believe it or not if that IP has been blacklisted if you will or if it's been shut down before on Amazon, it could affect you because it's going off the IP. That would be another thing that I would want to figure that out.
[00:09:37] Scott: Now, my first thing was like well what you could do is have someone else in your family open up an account on your behalf and then you just run that but the problem with that is if you're logging in from your place it's going to show your IP address so then you're not going to really to be able to manage that account. So that's a problem. So we really do need to figure out. Is it the IP address that is drawing the red flag? Is it your information personally which it doesn’t sound like it is but I would need to really dig into seller's support there and say, “Hey, tell me, what's going on here? How can I fix this? That's not me… Yes, the IP address has been banned but that was for John Doe and I'm Sue whoever.”
You want to definitely get clear on that. That's the only thing that I can think is there’s problem there that you're not allowed to do it as far as set up the account because the IP address is coming up as being blacklisted or banned for something that was done in the past. That's something that I would definitely look into doing. It doesn't even sound like we're talking about a category or we're not talking about like any of that stuff because you can't even get your sellers account you’re saying. You did mention, should I go ahead and maybe go on eBay and maybe do Etsy and maybe do those other channels and the answer is, yeah.
While you're trying to figure all this other stuff out as far as going through this seller support and all that stuff, then yeah. I wouldn't be just sitting there and just yeah I sent an email and I reached and I got a phone call and they're going to get back to me, then I would just wait. I would just, okay, let's go ahead and figure out what I can do. What can I do? Can I go on eBay and can I do some retail arb? Can I go on Etsy and sell my stuff on Etsy? I would figure out a way to start generating some revenue so I can then invest into my business but also start learning the process.
[00:11:42] Scott: eBay is a great channel. There's a lot of people out there that say that eBay is just as good as Amazon for them depending on the product obviously. My good friend Dom Sugar who's a retail guy and he started on eBay when it first came to life. And he still sells on eBay and still does pretty well on eBay. There's still customers there just a different customer base so it's differently something that you should do. Like why not? I guess is the question. Like why not? If you're just doing the emails back and forth or the phone call and you're waiting to figure out how to fix this issue and this problem could… You may need to prove that you’re the person you' are and trace it all back.
This could be maybe a two, three, six month process. Who knows? But there's a way around it. Again, this is one of those barriers that someone says, I want sell on Amazon. They go on Amazon, they try to set up their account and Amazon kicks something back and they get deflated and then they just, they say, “I'm just not going to do it. I'm going to try to do something else.” It's a typical situation. So if you're out there listening and you have a similar situation.
Not just even account being banned but maybe something you planned and it didn't work out as you planned, again going back to what I said in the beginning of the episode, adapting to change and being willing to change and figuring out the process as you go, that's where it is, that's where people fail because that's where once they get hang up they stop and that's why I always talk about like the 97% to the 3%. What that basically means is there’s 97% of people that work for the 3% that never gave up kind of thing because the 3% are the ones who want to have their own business and they are willing to go through those obstacles. They are also willing to balance the roller coaster of having a business. Because honestly owning a business is like riding a roller coaster because there's ups and downs throughout the year and there's twists and turns and all that stuff.
[00:13:41] Scott: Anyway, what I would suggest is definitely keep reaching out to Amazon. You may get one person that doesn’t help you. I’d call back again maybe the next day and then the next day, and then the next day. This has happened for us in the process of getting ungated when you get one person that says one thing and then you call up two days later and then you get another thing and then that fixes it. You have to be persistent and you have to just try to figure out that problem and then fix it. Then you can start moving on to all the other things. Then you can just move on from there.
Hopefully this has been helpful. That's what I would do. I would reach out to Amazon, I would also again be, I would be asking the question maybe it's an IP address that's near you or that's in your same building depending on if you rent or not or if you own your house but then maybe the next door neighbor. You got to look at that because maybe it's a Wi-Fi connection or who knows? Who knows? Those are some things to think about. Hopefully that answers your question. Good luck to you. Keep me posted on that and let's go ahead and listen to the next question and I'll give you my answer. Let's do it.
[00:14:47] Willian: Hello Scott. My name is Willian and live in Ireland. I'm the very beginning stage of the process and I’ve been listening to your podcast which is great by the way. I found it by chance and that's what got me thinking about selling on Amazon. This is something that my wife and I plan to go together and she has always had this dream of having her own clothing boutique and for that reason we would like to start selling in the clothing category here in Europe. But I've heard that, people say that it's not a good category to start and I'd like to know your thoughts on that.
We kind of have a product, already pre-selected that we would like to start selling and there are hundreds of people selling it already. Not hundreds of people but there are hundreds of the same product in this category but we feel there is lots of room for improvement in terms of listing photos, etc., so we would like to know what you think about that and advice and that's it. Thank you very much and keep the good work, I really appreciate it. I listen to your podcast every day sometimes three or four times in a single day. Thank you very much.
[00:16:08] Scott: Hey Willian. Thank you so much for the question and wow, international folks again. I love it and appreciate you submitting your question, I appreciate you being a listener. I want to say thank you so much for that. Okay, let’s talk about this. You're right. You're 100% right. Getting into the clothing space it can be tough. It can be very, very good as well but it can be very tough. Because there's a few different things that I think about when I hear people say that they want to get into clothing. Number one if you have one shirt, let's say just one shirt. You're going to have let's say, small, medium, large. Or maybe extra small, small, medium, large. Right off the bat, one item you've got different sizes.
You need to really then fulfill that, you need to have all of those sizes in that one style. Now, you won't really know until people start buying your product how many sizes you'll really need to keep heavy stocking. Sometimes you'll think that medium is it but really it's the small. So that's the first negative. If you want to roll out five different shirts and you want to keep stocking you're going to have to manage all of those SKUs because each one is an individual SKU. That's the one negative that I see too. You need to have more inventory when starting because you have these variations and the variations aren't necessarily like colors. They are just sizes.
Now, you can take that up another step. Now let's say we add colors to that. And now let's say we add a red, blue and a yellow but now we need small, medium, large and all of those as well. You see where we're going with this. That's what I see. If you're just starting it's hard to do that because again you need more capital to invest in that and you don't really know what is going to be the hot sellers until you get selling. Yes you can look at your competition but again if you’re going after the same exact kind of product it's going to be hard to compete with that.
[00:18:21] Scott: What makes your product different? Again, if you're thinking about going into a space, like is there anyone thinking about going into a space like this, not even just clothing but just in a space where you know it's competitive, you know you have these different variations that you have to have because it’s sizes or colors or any of that stuff. You need to ask yourself a pretty important question, number one, how is your product different? Why is someone else going to want to buy your product? Why? Is it better material? Is it a better material for people that are allergic to certain fabrics and yours is a certain fabric? You see what I'm saying there? You see where I'm going with that? Maybe yours is 100% this… I don't even know.
This certain material that is really hard to get and you're the specialty for that. Now, all of a sudden you are a specialty item when it's going to be harder for other people to do it but also you're kind of, you're claiming that. You're claiming that you're creating a product that is fit for a specific audience or a person, someone that has an irritation and it's hard for them to find this stuff. That's going to be how you would that. Now, I’m just using that as an example. It could be something else. It could be, well I'll give you an example.
The, gosh, I wish I remember the name of these guys, you guys probably know, some of you will. But it's basically like a no tuck shirt and actually I’ll find that out. I'm going to pause this for two seconds and I'm going to find it out and I’ll be right back. Okay, I'm back. That was pretty quick. Right? Yeah. The power of editing. It's called ‘Untuck It.’ This was a shirt that was created for men and it's really a tailored fit but this way here it looks good untucked.
[00:20:18] Scott: If you're a guy and you're trying to wear a shirt untucked and it's too long in the back or maybe it's too long in the front and just looks like you're swimming in it I know I face that, well I started to look for shirts that I could wear that I could wear untucked. Now, I did not buy an Untuck It shirt, I will probably in the future but before I even knew that they had that I was looking for shirts that were more custom fit in like underneath the armpits to the waist and then where the shirt didn't come out so far because I didn't want it to just come back to the down of my knees but maybe that's what I needed to fit up to. So it was hard.
That was a problem that men were facing and now a person, a company went out and fixed this problem. Again, they went after a problem specifically for men, they do have some women stuff, I'm looking at their website. They do have some women stuff but they are going after the men's market really. That's where they started because a couple of guys they had this problem and then they fixed the problem. You see where I'm going with that? You have to really figure out a way to be unique in this type of market. Again, you can probably read the reviews on other people's products and then just come up with that solution. So is it hard to get into a competitive space? Yes.
If you have a unique spin on something like Untuck It does, then it would be easier because again, you are going to be different. The other thing I would say is if you or someone else can be the face of the business or at least represent your mission of why you’re creating this unique clothing line that will also be good for you too because now you can talk about your story. Now with the enhanced content that they just rolled out, it's going to be easier for you to really demonstrated and show that in your listing by using that enhanced content which we talked about on the last episode which was 294. You might want to check that one out.
[00:22:16] Scott: We talked about that and that's where you can take your story and your mission and all of the benefits and the features of your product and lay them down in a really nice clean look using that enhanced content. Hopefully this has helped you. I don't think it's impossible but I think it is going to be harder but again if you can have that unique angle or a unique spin that will help you in this competitive space. Let's go ahead and listen to one more question, I give you my answer and we wrap this up and you can get on with your weekend. Let's do it.
[00:22:49] Gino: Hello Scott. My name is Gino. I'm from Miami and I want to thank you so much for your content, your focus on the details which has really empowered me to take action in this arena that I do not know much about. It's really made things pretty clear and easy especially following your process. I've attended a couple of your workshops and they've really helped me to take action. I can tell you that the process is so exciting that from the beginning stages of looking for a product all the way through to sourcing, negotiating and then finally yesterday my shipment arrived from my supplier and let me add a little late that we actually just barely missed a hurricane.
So I opened the box for my shipment so excited, it looked amazing and just really proud of the whole process and by the time I got to my seller central account to send it FBA I was advised that the cut off was yesterday due to the warehouses being full. I'm really torn and at a spot where I don’t know what to do. I know that fulfillment by merchant is an option but I'm seeing my competitors and seeing other people that are selling in my market, they are all FBA. I'm nervous that I won't have a shot during this holiday season or pretty much until I can get my product to FBA. I really need some advice and would be really grateful if you took time to address my question in one of your podcasts. Thanks again Scott. Again really appreciate your efforts. Bye, bye.
[00:24:37] Scott: Hey Gino. Thank you so much for the question and I do apologize. I wish I would have heard this about two and a half, about three weeks ago because it would have been a little more relevant but it's still relevant because we are before the holidays and this issue, this situation is just again, one of those bumps in the road. Now, here would have been my advice then, this is what my advice is now is do whatever you can do now. What can you do right now? Maybe you've already made that decision but what can you do? So many people when they were getting ready to launch and what Gino is talking about, let me just recap this so people know what we're talking about here.
Amazon came out and announced in November, I believe it was November that you are not going to be able to… Any new FBA sellers, any new sellers were not going to be able to send in inventory into FBA because their warehouses are bursting at the seams because so many people are sending in their inventory and if you already have a sellers account, they are going to allow you to do that, they are not going to penalize you. But anyone that's new they are like. “Listen, you're going to have to wait until December 19th before you send it in because by December 19th our warehouses are going to be basically getting emptied out because fourth quarter is going to be selling a lot of items.
Then we'll allow new FBA sellers to start sending in inventory.” That was a blow to a lot of people because they were waiting to get their product before they did their listing. Now, if you could have went back and if you could have said you know what, let me just go ahead take some pictures and say that we're going to get the listing all set up and all that stuff and even send in one of you inventory you would have then been able to send in the inventory but we can't go back and do that.
[00:26:32] Scott: But that could have been something that we possibly could have did because then it would have shown that you've already sent in inventory. If you did, then they would have let you send more. But, we can't do that now. In the figure if anyone's listening to this and they come out with that announcement again and you don't have an account yet, that would be my advice. Okay. You are in this phase or this stage where you're like what do I do? Like I've got this inventory coming what do with it? Well, you’re going to have it shipped to yourself or you're going to have it held somewhere but I would just get that listing set up and start fulfilling by merchant. You're going to probably get some sales just by having the listing there.
If you're setting this up in fourth quarter and if not, as soon as fourth quarter is over or December 19th, then you're going to be able to ship in your inventory. All right but it frustrates me when I hear people say, I'm not saying you Gino but some people will email me and like, “Scott I just got the notification that I can't send in my inventory, now what do I do? Is it over?” So many people think that if number one if they can't sell it on Amazon that they are done. That's just the wrong mindset. Like you shouldn't be thinking that. If you're thinking that right now, hopefully this is going to help you and say don't think that way because there is so many more places out there other than just Amazon that you can sell you product.
Yes, it's going to require a little bit more work but it's out there and you should be thinking about that anyway. The other thing is for anyone that' saying, is it over with because fourth quarter is over with, that's again the wrong mindset. You shouldn't be just banking on fourth quarter but fourth quarter is like a bonus. It’s a bonus to your business. It's not all of your business. You want to bank on the entire year and consistency going through so again anyone that's thinking that right now please do not feel as though your whole business is on that one shipment or that one month or two.
[00:28:36] Scott: Just don't do that to yourself. It's not even real. You shouldn't be doing that. Yes, there are a few people out there that do retail arbitrage and all they do is buy toys and then they send them in two months before fourth quarter and then they make a good chunk of change but they are banking on that. That's their whole business model. I don't like that business model. I just don't. Going back to Gino. Going back to where you are at. I would do what I can do. As yourself that question. Gino, what can you do today to basically get your Amazon business going. Well, let's see. I can create my listing, I can optimize it. I can do my keyword research, I could optimize that listing the best that I can with what I have. Maybe I need to get better pictures taken, I can spend the time to do that.
Then the listing is going to be live as fulfilled by merchant. Now I can start getting some sales maybe. Then the other thing I'd be doing is I'd be building my interest list or I'd be building my list of people in that market. We've talked a little bit about that in a few past episodes or some Facebook Lives where I'd be spending the time finding my influencers in the market place. I'd be going to Instagram, I'd be finding all of the top influencers in that space in Instagram if my market lends itself to Instagram followers. Or I would then go to YouTube. I'd find influencers on YouTube. I would go to Pinterest.
I would go wherever I can go that my market was hanging out, Facebook fan pages, I'd go there. Groups, I'd go there. I'd start running some Facebook ads to a contest to give away a product that's related to my product so then when I'm at the end of the contest I could then give them a special price on my product. There's so many things that you can do. But so many people say I can't send into Amazon right now so what do I do? You do a lot. There's a lot that we can do. I'm never sitting around wondering what I should do next. I'm wondering how I can get it all done. That's what I'm really thinking.
[00:30:34] Scott: I'm thinking that the mindset is really people are banking on just Amazon. If anyone is just thinking to themselves, again if you are and if you want to go down that road, perfect. Go for it if that works for you. But for me it doesn’t. If you're just going to go and try to build a business that is exclusively built on Amazon it's very risky, I don't like that model but if you want to do it then good luck to you. But I like to plan further down the line, I like to look at other ways to sell products, other than just being reliant on Amazon. It's the same thing as Google. If you're only getting traffic from Google to your website, your ecommerce store and that's all you're doing it's risky because if Google de-indexes your website for whatever reason then you're out of business.
Again, a little bit of a rant here guys. Didn't even plan on that. I am sorry. Gino, thank you for the question though and allowing me to rant on this a little bit but it's so important and so many people get hung up with this and they shouldn't be. Think about what can you do now? What can you do? Ask yourself those questions. I'm telling you, when you ask yourself those questions guess what, your brain wants to give it an answer and you'll find the answer. All right, hopefully this helped you. Hopefully it's helped anyone else that's in this spot. That's going to wrap up this session of Ask Scott.
If you guys have a question and you want me to answer it on an upcoming Ask Scott session head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. You can ask a question. But please, please leave your name. I want to be able to know who I'm speaking with. Let me remind you, the show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/295. Again, that's theamazingseller.com/295.
All right guys. That's it, that's going to wrap up this session of Ask Scott. I can't believe it. We're almost at episode 300. This is going to be awesome, an awesome 2017 too by the way. Guys, I’ve got a lot of stuff planned, I can't wait to share it with you so keep coming back. All right guys. That's it. That's going to wrap it up, 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, say it with action, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
Click Here to Download Transcript <<