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…I love doing this, that’s what it is and I’m sitting here today with that cup of coffee that I always talk about because it’s a little chilly here today in South Carolina. We’ve had some really nice winter weather. I mean I’m talking 75 plus but today the high is only 44 degrees. I literary had a hat on just a few minutes ago coming from lunch with my wife and chilly here so I said, “You know what, I’m going to have a nice cup of coffee and I’m going to go and talk to my TAS peeps,” that’s you.
I can’t wait to jump into today’s questions that were submitted by you guys. I probably should remind you, if you are brand new and you have not listened to this type of session before or this type of show it’s something we do on Fridays called Ask Scott and it’s where you ask me a question. You can head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. Just record a short voicemail, I say short under a couple minutes and just leave your first name, where you are tuning in from and yeah I can possibly answer here on an upcoming show, would love to have you do that.
Now a couple of things before we jump into today’s Ask Scott session and that is… And I usually try to leave you guys with a little bit of a thought of the week or word of the week or whatever but one of the big things that I’m seeing with a lot of people is not staying the course. Meaning they start something, they don’t see results, they jump to something else. Something else comes across, it’s that shiny object syndrome which you guys probably all heard about. I’m guilty of that, I’ve done that in the past but I’ve really tried to over the years especially focus on one thing and stay the course for a certain amount of time to really give it my all.
[00:02:03] Scott: I think we can all agree, if you give a little bit energy over here to this and then a little bit energy over here to this and then you have family and then you have certain things, obligations you are not going to be able to give it all of your attention so how can you really say if it worked or not?
I can say this, and this is really something recent. We have a class now what we call the 1K Fast Track and it’s really all about getting people started. Like making that first sale because once that happens something happens in your mind that triggers it for you to be able to continue to do it and go out there and be motivated to continue to do this. But if you don’t stay the course you’ll never have that opportunity because you might have gave up too soon. Again, that little quote or that little saying of the week is ‘stay the course’. Give yourself a hard timeline. How long are you going to give this 100% of your energy? I like to say at least 90 days I like to say even six months.
Give something your full attention so this way here you can give it everything you have, turn everything off that’s mental distractions that is whether it's social media, whether it’s certain emails that you are subscribed to other people’s newsletters whatever that is. I want you to really give yourself the best chance to succeed at anything that you do and I’m going to give you guys a recent example of this in my own life which is really about my health and fitness.
Now some of you know that are long term listeners, I recently got back on track I got dialed back in as I call it and it was something that I said, “You know what, I’m going to give this everything I’ve got, I’m going to stay the course and we’ll see what happens after the end of sixty days.” Well I’m proud to say that after 70 days, now I think it's 73 or 74 days eating clean I got all of my health and my fitness on track. I follow the program called T25 for the 60 days, now I’m starting to get into weight training again which I was doing probably about two and a half years ago which I was really into that.
[00:04:00] Scott: Now I’m more excited about it because guess what, I got results. I stayed the course, there was a week or two that I didn’t see the results I wanted to, the scale didn’t drop maybe or I didn’t feel as though I thought I was going to feel but I just trusted in the process and I said, “I’m going to give it everything I got and then at the end of the sixty days I can reevaluate.” Guess what, after sixty days I lost just about twenty pounds which is crazy. A lot of people say, “Scott why did you lose twenty pounds? You weren’t overweight were you?”
And I was like, “Yeah I had a little bit of that sitting on the couch late at night with your arm in a bag of snack mix or the potato chips.” That was me so I put on a little bit of weight. I said, “I’ve got to get back on track, I’m not feeling that good about myself, my energy level was low.” Once I’m in it now there is not stopping. I can literary temptations right around the corner it’s not bothering. That doesn’t mean that I won’t treat myself every now and then but right now I’m so focused on what I want to accomplish and the same thing goes with business.
There is a project I’m working right now with a partner. Like we are so dialed into this thing it’s crazy and to see the results and the progress, we have three products in pre-production right now that should be landed in the next three to four weeks which we are so excited about. We’ve got all kinds of exciting things going on but we created this timeline and this course that we are going to follow and we are going to stick to it and we’ll pivot along the way but we are not going to go off to something else. We are going to stay the course. Again I just want to really throw this out to you guys and have you guys really think about that. Are you staying the course? Are you giving it 100%? I think a lot of us can say, “I might not have given it as much Scott. I did for the first week but then I lost it.”
It’s like everyone that goes to the gym January 1st and then right around February 1st it's leaned out a little bit. There is not as many people there or you go into March and it’s starting to really look like there is not a lot of people there, at least the people that had started in January 1st.
[00:06:03] Scott: You know what I mean, you can probably relate to that I know I’ve done that. Again, commit to it, give yourself a timeline, give yourself a structure to follow and then just stick to it, stick to it. You’ll be amazed at what can happen when you start to see some results and some progress. Progress definitely leads to wanting to do more of it and then when you do more of it guess what happens? You usually get more results, it’s kind of a funny thing right?
Alright before we jump into today’s first question, I did want to mention something I’ve got a little announcement. The last episode which was episode 336 we talked all about sponsored ads, pay-per-click for your Amazon listings and we did a training which we were calling the 101 training of pay-per-click. I know a lot of people need this including myself and that’s why I did it. I’m not saying that I’m the expert here at all at pay-per-click because I’m not. I’m learning all the time and I want to learn all the time and I think we always should be learning but if you did not listen to that episode and you are already up and running and launched, definitely go check out that episode.
The other thing we are doing is a workshop, actually we did it already what am I talking about? We already did the workshop and you guys can listen to that workshop or watch that workshop which is more of a visual of the training that we did on episode 336. You can find that by heading over to theamazingseller.com/ppc and that will give you that replay of that workshop and then from there we are following that up with we are calling it TAS pay-per-click week where we are doing Facebook lives every single day this week or the week that we did the workshop depending on when you are listening to this. If you want to watch or attend any of those Facebook lives again depending on when you are listening to this that will all be linked up on that link or at that link theamazingseller.com/ppc. Everything will be linked up there so definitely check that out.
[00:07:59] Scott: Now, if you are brand new and you just started you don’t even have a product launched yet don’t worry about that yet, wait on that. I’m telling you do not go there because you don’t need to understand all that until we get through what I call is the five phases and that’s where we get to that point. Right now you are not at that point if you have not launched yet so again stay the course, whatever phase that you are in stay in that phase and then from there move on and graduate to each additional phase to then eventually launch and after your launching and stuff you are going to want to learn more about the pay-per-click. Again do not overwhelm yourself. I’m here to tell you that do not overwhelm yourself.
As always you can find the show notes and the transcripts and all the links that we talk about at theamazingseller.com/337 and then that way there everything is in one location. But again if you just want to jump to the pay-per-click training theamazingseller.com/ppc and you’ll find everything there. All right guys so I’m excited. Let’s go ahead and get rocking and rolling here. Let’s go ahead and listen to today’s first question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:09:06] Vaheed: Hey Scott my name is Vaheed from Houston and I’d like to thank you for your amazing podcast. I’ve been listening for about a month now. I’m trying to catch up but I’ve learned a lot and I still I’m learning from you and I really appreciate for that. I’ve got two questions for you if you don’t mind. The first question, I’d like to sell an item on Amazon and this item has different flavors and different sizes. Let’s say for example vanilla and strawberry and small, medium, large.
When it comes to UPC or bar code do I have to have just one UPC that represents the entire product or do I have to have two times three equals six different UPCs and one for each size per flavor? How does this work? The other question is for example in similar cases on Amazon I’ve seen there is a shirt for example you click on it and then after you click on the item it says, “What size and what color do you want?” There is a radio button that you just click on it and then pick the size and the color or whatever. How can I have the same structure on my Amazon page and structure this? Should I do it on the Excel sheet that Amazon sends to the clients to fill up and return or how do I do it? Thank you very much for your help and support I really appreciate your help and keep up with the great job. I’m a real big fan so thank you very much and I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks, bye.
[00:11:12] Scott: Hey Vaheed, thank you so much for the question and this is a good one, this is a really good one. What we are talking about here is variations, is what we are talking about and let’s just say we have one product but different colors or taste or sizes or maybe a combination of both of those in those. Here’s the deal, you are going to need separate UPCs for any variation. You have to think about those as their own individual product. If you have a medium t-shirt, that’s one SKU. If you have small that’s another SKU, if you have a large that’s another SKU. Now UPC codes, that’s what’s going to allow you create the listing but then again depending if you are brand registered and all that you’ll need an FNSQ number which they’ll supply. That doesn’t really matter at this point.
What matters is that you need to understand that for each separate choice in a sense that will be its own variation which will also be its own product. So you will have to go out there and get UPC codes or FNSQ numbers for these different products. Now to answer your other question how do you get those choices to come up? You are really probably going to use what they have inside of the back end. They’ll lead you through it as you are building out that product. It’s going to ask you if it has color, if it has taste, if it has sizes. You’ll be able to fill that stuff out or you can use the flat file which I’m not a huge fan of because I don’t know how to use it so that’s why I’m not a fan of it and I’ve already talked about that in the past.
My good friend Chris Schaffer he’s usually the one that helps me out with that if I need help with that so the flat file to some people it’s easy. You go ahead and it’s like a spreadsheet and then you are going to basically put in all of the different calculating fields or all of the different fields there that will help to come out with the different outcomes that you need to have per your product. If you have a strawberry then that strawberry flavor could also have different size bags maybe.
[00:13:16] Scott: So then you are going to have that stuff all inside of that file or you are going to do that in the backend of your seller’s account inside of that listing. Just imagine this for a second though because I know sometimes this can get confusing, if we have let’s say a vanilla flavor and a chocolate flavor and then out of all of those or both of those we also have different sizes; a six ounce, an eight ounce and a ten ounce, well yes we are going to have two separate products in there but technically if we had three different sizes we would have two products but we would then have six total because each one is its own thing.
Hopefully that makes sense and again I don’t want to overcomplicate this and it’s pretty self-explanatory once you go in the backend and you start setting this stuff up it’s going to ask you these questions and then you are going to be able to fill those in and then from there it will allow you to have those choices. It is going to depend on the different categories that you are in how they will display. I can’t really say for sure what it’s going to display if you are in grocery versus if you are in sports and outdoors or if you are in a different category. It will vary per category so hopefully this has been helpful, remember one step at a time, like what I said before too, keep on course like stay focused and just figure out this one piece and then move on to the next thing. All right guys let's go ahead and listen to today’s next question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:14:45] Man: Hey Scott nice to meet you. I’m really concerned about two things. One is how are we going to get reviews on Amazon now that the terms of services have changed and secondly how do you rank your product on Amazon? I think that’s one of the biggest things, if you can rank your product on Amazon then it can sell. So these are my questions I’m hoping to get an answer thank you so much.
[00:15:07] Scott: Okay well thank you so much for the question I would address by name but you did not submit your name so again a little reminder here for everyone that’s submitting questions for the show definitely put in your first name and where you are tuning in from and then this way here I can give you a shout out and I can actually maybe shake hands with you more on a personal level. This is a good question, actually a good set of questions we’ve answered them in the past I think it’s worth always bringing them back again because it’s pretty important.
Some people think that reviews help you rank and that’s not necessarily the case depending on how you think about it. Let’s cover the review thing, “Okay Scott now how do we launch products that we can’t get reviews?” Well let’s go back to when we are launching a product we are not necessarily launching it to get reviews, we are launching it so we can get sales. Everything is based off of sales even ranking inside of Amazon so our first thing that we need to understand is we just want to go out and get sales. However we can drive sales we want to do it so just be creative in how you can get sales. Now going out and saying, “I just want to go after reviews” I think that’s the wrong mindset. I also think that people that are going after very competitive markets they are more of the ones asking that question because someone else has a thousand reviews and they know in order to compete they need a thousand reviews.
I’m not going at it that way and I don’t think anyone should start out that way. If you want to go for it you are still going to have to go out there and get a lot of sales in order to get some reviews and hopefully you are doing it ethically because the last thing I’m going to do is give any advice that would say, “Go out there and force your way to the top by buying reviews.” I don’t believe in that, I don’t think that’s a long term strategy and I don’t think anyone should do that so let’s be very clear there. How do you get reviews? You get sales and then you follow up with those customers and get really killer bonuses and some killer customer support. You just want to take care of your customers and then you can ask them if they wouldn’t mind heading over to Amazon and letting them know how you did.
[00:17:14] Scott: That’s it, you are not saying, “Go over there and leave me a five star review,” we are not saying, “Go over there and leave us a review on Amazon and if you think that it’s less than a five star email me.”
We are not doing any of that stuff. You’ve probably seen that either in other groups or maybe you’ve seen it in packages that you purchase. I still see it right now when I get product from Amazon and I’m still blown away that people are still doing that. I don’t believe in that, I don’t think it’s good to do and I don’t think it's worth doing because you are putting your account at risk. You don’t want to do that but there is nothing wrong with saying, “Hey, Amazon wants to make sure we are taking care of you, we want to make sure we are taking care of you so can you do me a quick favor and head over there and let them know how we did?” That’s it, I’m not saying go over there and leave me a positive review, I’m not saying that.
To me it’s about following up with the customer. We use Sales Backer, that’s one I’ve talked about in the past if you guys want to check out the resources if you haven’t done so head over to theamazingseller.com/resources and everything is linked up there plus there’s some cool bonuses there if you go through my affiliate link which will buy me coffee which you guys know I love but you don’t necessarily even need that if you are just starting out. Just go out there and type an email or copy and paste a template that you create and then you just revise it per customer. If you are only getting five sales a day it’s not going to take you that long to email five people and follow up with those people. You can do that totally by just going into your seller’s account and going into that customer and then emailing them. That’s as simple as it is.
Again I’m going back to product research. If you are going after products that have a thousand reviews it’s going to be really, really hard. It’s going to be, I’m going to tell you that now it’s going to be hard. You need deep pockets and you need a really, really good way to go and blast a ton of product out there and get sales.
[00:19:10] Scott: It’s all about sales. If someone’s doing 100 sales a day guess what, you’ve got to get a hundred sales a day to compete with that seller. Don’t you think it would be easier if you went out there and you found product that was selling maybe ten units a day or maybe even fifteen units a day and you were like, “That’s something I can probably do?” and they only have twenty five reviews or maybe even a hundred reviews? Could you compete with that? Sure, actually I know you can because we are doing it right now in our open brand.
We have a product right now… I think we just got out first review but it’s been selling 15 a day. I think there’s even a couple of days that it sold over 20, 25 because again the product research says that the product has good depth and demand, people want it and they are not basing their decision on a review. Just understand the product research comes down into that as well and that’s where you can do some of your pre-planning so this way you don’t have to do this massive giveaway or review giveaway or any of that stuff. So just to be very clear there that’s what I’m talking about. Now in order to rank you need to start getting sales the same as before. It’s all about sales. So if we get sales it moves everything along. We start getting sales, we can start eventually getting reviews, we can also start getting rank as we get more sales, reviews are going to naturally come in so it feeds itself, it feeds itself through this process.
Now, if you want to rank for keywords it’s going to take sales preferably through certain keywords so your listing better be optimized. That’s the first rule. Before you even launch your product you better have that thing optimized the best that you can before you launch. How do you do that? Well, you go out there and you look at some of your competitors and you see how they are optimizing their listing. Look at the keywords that you are putting into the title, in the bullets, in the description, in your backend search terms.
[00:21:07] Scott: What can you do to let Amazon know that is what your product is and that is when people search for that product that will come up? That doesn’t mean that you are automatically going to rank but it means that if you start getting sales it’s also going to allow Amazon to look at all of your keywords that are based around your listing and start to raise you in the ranks. Of course naturally people are going to type in stainless steel garlic press they are going to find your listing and then they are going to now buy and when they buy that helps you rank for that keyword. Now another step in this would be then running Amazon pay-per-click sponsored ads which we just talked about in the beginning here and if you guys skipped the beginning for whatever reason you can check out the training that we are doing on sponsored ads especially in the launch phase and that is theamazingseller.com/ppc and it’s totally free.
It’s where you can set up campaigns to start getting sales but also get data of what your customers are really searching for. We have a keyword which is that’s what we think they are searching for but then that keyword allows us, we call that our seed keyword, that keyword will then attract all of the search terms that people are actually typing in. Again it’s a little complicated to explain here like a five minutes section that’s why we did a whole podcast on it which was actually episode 336, the one before here but definitely check that out, check out that training we are going to be adding more to that as well because that right there is a really big part of getting launched and then starting to get ranked for some of these keywords but also allowing you to see some keywords that you might have missed that you can start to put into your listing.
All right so I know that was a short question on your end and a long answer on mine but I think it needs to because there’s a lot of different things here that go into this and I think that a lot of people either overthink it or they go after products that they have to do this stuff and then they are up against the wall and they don’t know how to get it ranked and how to start getting sales.
[00:23:07] Scott: It’s going to be hard so I think it all starts in the prep, in the beginning and that’s why we do this in our pre-launch but we also do it in our product research. Hopefully this has been helpful and give me an update when you get launched or even if you are launched and if this has helped you. Just let me know I’d really like to know how you are making out. All right, let’s go ahead and listen to one more question, I’ll give you my answer, we’ll wrap this up and you guys can get on with your weekend. What do you say? Let’s do this.
[00:23:34] Dennis: Hi Scott, my name is Dennis. I’ve listened to your podcast for a little while and I do appreciate all the information that you’ve given me. My question is now that Amazon is stopping people from selling under brand names is retail arbitrage dead? I can’t go into a store and pickup say a Lego to try and sell it on Amazon anymore because of all the changes. My thought had been to originally do retail arbitrage until I brought in some money so I could then do private label. Again my question is, is retail arbitrage dead? Thank you.
[00:24:05] Scott: Hey Dennis thank you so much for the question, thanks so much for being a listener too I appreciate that and this is a great question and I needed to answer this actually. When I heard it I’m like, “Okay cool, I have to answer that.” The funny thing is retail arbitrage for anyone that doesn’t know, what that is is basically you are buying retail product, like product in stores or liquidation centers or whatever but they are brand named. They are like brands that you would find in Target or Walmart or Lowe’s or Home Depot or any of the big box stores. It doesn’t have to be a major, major brand it’s retail or they are already in the Amazon catalogue.
What we are talking about now is if you can find those products and then you can sell them on Amazon, now we can flip that product, it’s like we are product flipping. We buy something low we sell it high. The funny thing is we actually created a beta group called the 1K Fast Track and what it is is really based around this whole concept. To answer your question, is it dead? Well ask the 50 people that just went through it. We generated just about over $15,000 in revenue from doing this exact model in five weeks so from having nothing week one and then week five we did the totals and it was over $15,000 in revenue.
Now we had some students that participated more than others that’s just the nature of the game but it proved that this business model is still thriving. Now my good friend Dom Sugar who runs the 1K Fast Track who actually I asked him to teach this because he’s been doing it for over 20 years and he’ll sit here and tell you right to your face, right to my face it is still thriving. But, are there some categories or are there some major brands that are gated that you can’t sell under? Absolutely but what he would say is if you found something like let’s say Lego, everyone knows Legos, that’s one that you can’t sell necessarily on Amazon.
[00:26:10] Scott: It’s restricted you can’t sell on there unless your grandfather did years ago so what would you do? You found a really good deal. I found a Lego set for a $1.50 and it sells for $29 on Amazon, I can’t do it so what would I do? I’d go to eBay, that’s what I would do.
Why are we thinking to ourselves we can only sell a product on Amazon, why? You can literally go out there… And actually it’s funny we did a pre-challenge in our 1K Fast track before we even started the class the week before and I said to everyone I said, “Listen, here is what I want you to do, I want you to go in your house right now or into a room or into your basement or attic or whatever, I want you to clear out, I want you to get a bunch of stuff together and I want you to sell it on eBay and I want to see what we can generate in seven days.” We generated over $3,500 in seven days from stuff that was laying around the house just on eBay. If you find something that you can’t sell on Amazon look to eBay. eBay you can sell it all pretty much so that’s what I would say to that.
To answer your question is retail arbitrage dead the answer is no I just interviewed a couple not that long ago they generated over $1,000,000 in revenue. They did about a 10% margin on that which again they were working the kinks out so they made a little over $100,000 in their first year but it’s still a viable business model. It does require work but it does allow you to start really, really quickly. We actually did an episode it was episode 312 where I walk you through like a weekend challenge definitely check that out. If you are stuck and you don’t know where to start definitely check that out or head over to 1kfasttrack.com depending on when you are listening to this that may be closed. We only opened it up to a small group of students so that Dom can actually walk people through the entire process and then every week he does a coaching call. If you are interested in that definitely go check that out 1kfasttrack.com and you can see all the details there.
[00:28:07] Scott: You can probably even see some updates that we’ve done and some of the students and what they’ve done as far as totals and all that fun stuff. To answer your question, no it’s not. Some people may think it is and that’s fine, gets rid of some of the competition but really honestly I think retail arbitrage is here. I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. Again even if it does go away somewhat on Amazon does that mean you can’t do it on eBay or another platform? The answer is no, you can do it there. I think that people just want to think that even like Amazon, like private labeling like, “Oh private labeling is dead.” “Yeah it is you better go away.” Come on, like seriously?
Is it becoming harder? Maybe but are there still ways to get round it? Yes but if it becomes harder for other people that makes it easier for you that want to actually stay the course as we talked about in the beginning. See how it’s all coming full circle? I didn’t even plan that but a lot of people like to make excuses because, “Amazon just changed the rules again. We can’t get reviews, how do we get reviews, how do we launch products? I might as well leave.” That’s what we think and we don’t want to think like that we shouldn’t think like that. The opportunities are out there, they are still out there. Things change, we have to adapt and then from there we just keep moving on through this journey. People will always be buying products, people will always be selling products. It’s just a matter of what platform we are going to use to leverage the traffic and maybe the fulfilment and all that stuff.
All right so don’t over complicate things guys, don’t think that the sky is falling on everything and understand that you have to stay the course and you have to start getting results however that is and again that’s why we did the 1K Fast Track. The whole goal there is to have you make your first sale and eventually get to $1,000 in revenue so this way here you can prove to yourself that it works and guess what? When you see it works it’s going to motivate you to get out there and continue to do it and continue to push okay? Just like losing weight, if you go to the gym for two weeks and you start seeing results you are going to want to go back to the gym.
[00:30:08] Scott: You have to find a way to get results so this way here you can prove to yourself that it works and then you can keep moving on and growing and expanding and pivoting and doing whatever else you need to do because you are learning through this entire process.
All right, so guys that’s pretty much going to wrap up this episode. I want to remind you guys if you want to ask a question on an upcoming show head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and also a little reminder on the show notes, the transcripts that can be all found at theamazingseller.com/337 and the last thing is can you do me a favor? If you are not subscribed to this podcast on iTunes could you do that? Could you go subscribe to this so this way here you’ll always get the updates in the app in your phone whatever device you are using? And then the other thing is if you feel as though you want to go leave a review, do that, that would be awesome and I’m not telling you to go leave me a positive review or anything like that. Just like I say in Amazon you tell me what you think it’s worth to you by heading over and leaving a review. That would be awesome.
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, “Take Action!” Have an awesome amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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