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…and put a spotlight on actually one of our Tasers inside of our Facebook community which I feel is the best community out there for Amazon sellers. I'm just saying it's pretty darn awesome. Now, what I'm going to share with you is how Josh turned his side hustle into $5,000 and probably by the time this airs it will be more.
But he's got a potential big brand on his hands here and he's going to explain exactly how he got into this, kind of how we got led into this and then now he's so excited because he's already learned the process and he's already thinking about patenting the product or at least applying for that patent. And we talk all about that, we talk about how he got started really quickly to kind of validate and verify that this thing was going to work, how he figured out how to make certain changes, which he’s going to do on his next run, and we also talked a little bit about things he can do to really grow and scale this brand into something pretty big if he wants to.
And I love doing these because you just never know where it's going to end up and whenever I hop on with someone like Josh we just start to kind of go back and forth and start to dig into that person's business, and then I generally can give my thoughts and maybe some extra little advice that could hopefully help them. And you're going to hear a couple of things that I've talked to Josh about that he's definitely going to be implementing too by the way. Then from there, he's going to be able to grow this thing beyond way beyond the 5K that he's already generated.
But, the other thing that he mentioned, I think is really important to highlight as well, is that when I invited him on he's like, “You know my numbers aren’t like these major numbers like these big, big $100,000 months and stuff.”
[00:02:02] Scott: And I said that's okay because I think people like to hear what it's like in the beginning stages, and what's it like to hit your first 1,000 your first 5,000 your first 10,000 like what is that like in that journey? Because a lot of you may be starting right now and maybe you want to know what it's like to get through that first cycle of your product. And Josh had said to me, “Honestly, I like those stories myself because it's more relatable to me and where I am. Yes, I love to hear about how people made $100,000 or $1 million. It's great and eventually I want to get there. But right now, this is where I am.”
So if this is you, this is definitely going to be something you are going to want to tune into because like I said number one, it's inspiring, it's motivational but it's actionable. You're going to hear exactly how Josh did it, how we turn this little side hustle into something that can grow, into something really, really big. And I think he's going to do that because he's a pretty determined guy, by the way. And he's just a great guy and awesome to chat with. So I want to remind you guys if you guys are not connected inside of our Facebook community, please get over there right now request to join.
It's totally free, you just have to be approved and from there you'll have access to our amazing TAS Facebook group. So you can head over to theamazingseller.com/fb. And this is exactly where I found Josh because he posted this inside the group, people were giving him high fives and I jumped in and said, “Hey, what do you think? Would you mind coming on the show and sharing how you got to your first 5K?” And he said, “Absolutely.” So that's why he's here and I'm really excited to share this interview with you.
Now, before we do let me also remind you the show notes to this episode can be found at theamazingseller.com/374. All the show notes, transcripts, links that we talk about will be there as well. All right guys, so sit back, relax, enjoy this awesome interview that I did with Josh who turned his side hustle into $5,000 enjoy.
[00:04:09] Scott: Well, hey, Josh. Thank you so much for being on the podcast man, how you doing?
[00:04:13] Josh: I'm doing well Scott. I certainly appreciate having you to actually come out and chat with me for a bit.
[00:04:18] Scott: Yeah, this is awesome and I actually was brought to the attention or you brought the attention to me by posting in the group, in the TAS group that is and you kind of gave a little bit of a play by play as far as like what you've done up to this point. I thought it was interesting because you and I talked a little bit before we got on here and it was kind of like, a lot of people throw around the big numbers. It's like you know $50,000 a month $100,000 a month.
And a lot of times, for people just starting out, that can be a little intimidating. It can also be like, “Wow, men. That's just so far down the line.” Like I just want to see someone that's started and made like $3,000, $4,000, $5,000. I can see what that's like. And I think your story really kind of… And you were so open and kind of like helpful in that post. So what I really wanted to do is highlight that here and really dig a little bit more into how everything kind of came to happen. So number one, I want to thank you for coming on man.
[00:05:14] Josh: Well, no. Absolutely I appreciate it. Definitely excited. It's sound funny because the longest time I've been listening to you for months now and I've always been thinking like, “Man, I want to ask him some different questions.” And then I feel like there's so many people that probably want to ask you questions. I'm like, “What's the likelihood it's going to get answered.” So apparently, the easier thing to do is just skip right ahead and get a chance to be on your show.
[00:05:36] Scott: Yeah, there we go. There you go.
[00:05:37] Josh: Just to having to question. That works.
[00:05:39] Scott: That works. And we can definitely answer some questions today. It could be a live call here. So, yeah that will be awesome. And it's funny because you're right. I do get a lot of emails and anyone that is going to send questions I like Ask Scott, I like when you send those questions. But also if you want them quicker, a lot of times and this is little tip for anyone even if it's just not me. It's like if you're going to ask questions, ask those questions in a shorter form in an email. When I get an email and it's like it's just a big block of text, oh my gosh. I can't really do it. I’ll have to skim through and it it's hard for me to skim.
Sometimes, I'll send it over to my buddy Chris Shaffer and I'll say, “Can you just tell me what I should answer here,” because it's hard. I get hundreds of emails. But yeah, I definitely want to dig into your story a little bit and kind of unpack exactly what you did to get to where you are. So the post that I read when you posted that in the group, and we can give an update from that but you had a screenshot of like 181 units in that 30 day span. $107 in that sales that one day six units sold. So again, not like mind blowing, right?
But you wrote a nice little post. Today officially marks our one month on Amazon, currently how many units, and you kind of go through the whole process and kind of how you even got introduced to this. And then a bunch of people just jumped in and you started answering questions. So maybe you could take us back a little bit in let us know exactly how you even got the idea to get started.
[00:07:08] Josh: Yes, absolutely. So, like I said, I am 34 Midwest-based guy out of Kansas City area. So you know go Royals for anybody that’s baseball fans.
[00:07:22] Scott: Go Yankees? Sorry.
[00:07:24] Josh: That's fair enough, fine. Actually, currently I've always kind of done the entrepreneur thing at least for now. But the last five years in college I had a small side business. It was funny it was actually my first company or business I ever owned was speed dating company called, speedmingle.com. It was just like a college thing where we'd host parties at different restaurants or venues and then people would come out and sit across from each other and chat for four minutes and then they would decide if they would want to date after.
[00:07:54] Scott: And that's cool. I like that.
[00:07:55] Josh: Yeah, and it was a lot of fun, from a social standpoint. But it was right about that time when Yahoo Singles and match.com and things like that were coming out, and so it’s a lot easier for people to sit at home in their boxers and Starbucks and look online for potential options than it was maybe to put themselves out there from a confidence standpoint.
I did that in college and then was always kind of working in positions where I had some level of control over my income based on effort. So call it sales, call it however, selling in the mortgage industry and things like that. And then I ended up landing in logistics for a freight brokerage for a large third party freight company in the United States and I worked for them as basically an account manager and built a book of business, and still kind of wanted to do something on my own. From there I left and kind of sidestepped to a marketing company that I did Google Ad Words management for where I was a non-compete and ultimately floated back to the freight side but through starting my own under licensing another company software.
So essentially, what we did is basically say, “Hey, I like that industry, I like the model of it but I don't work for anybody else.” So there was an opportunity to license somebody’s basically freight rates. And essentially go on there and build my own book of business. And I've done that since end of 2012, beginning of 2013. So I'm going on four years now and we do about right at seven figures a year in gross revenue. And it's just me and I have a VA overseas who kind of helps with just dispatching shipments and things like that.
And so I've done that and pretty much we've always primarily done mostly LTL and truckload throughout the US. But we did some international as well and that's kind of how the Amazon opportunity circle around and came backwards. I'm on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization in Kansa City, that kind of raises money for different children's charities called, the Baucus Foundation.
[00:09:55] Josh: One of the board members, his significant other she went through an online training program offers, kind of a popular one out there in the Amazon space and so she got to experience that and started selling online and she was moving pallets like two or three pallets at a time via Air Freight to the US. And she had a conversation with me about it and I go, “Whoa!” I was like, “Hold on a second. You're doing what? How much is this? You are talking, $6,000, $7,000 and 2,000 lbs worth of product via air. I'm like, “We can get that done by two grand if we just do it over sea shipping.” And so we obviously…
So that kind of opened the gates. And so I went through and kind of helped her navigate those waters and we got her stuff into the Amazon fulfillment center by sea freight. Then she did kind of randomly in a conversation I was actually on a trip with my girlfriend heading to Chicago to visit her family, and on the way to the airport she's like, “Why aren't you doing this?” And I was like, “Well, I've got my plate pretty full right now.” And she's like, “The program totally goes through and gives you a play by play and there's so much information on there. But it seems one thing everybody struggles with is shipping and that's just like second nature of business as usual for you.”
So I was like, “Okay.” So we got together and just started going over some of the different parameters and I just started doing some personal research online and just started going through the process of researching products and got connected to some different Chrome extensions of course, like the Jungle Scout and things like that to do some product research and kind of went into the process of niching down to a subcategory and looking for a particular product that I found interesting but then still met the parameters.
That's kind of how I got into it. I mean most people that listen I hope, sort of know the process from there, of course which is just found the product I liked and made sure I met those parameters, started reaching out to some manufacturers to get some samples in, and then started with a 500 unit test order and this was… So we’re in end of May 2017 right now and so that was basically February. End of February is when we ordered the samples, got them in March. And so our first day live on Amazon was April 25th of 2017. So we're just over a month now.
[00:12:31] Scott: Maybe you can get us caught up for people that don't know. Where you are at like right now with that 500 unit test order. How many have you moved? Take us through maybe that process.
[00:12:44] Josh: Yes. So the 500 unit test order as of to date, we are right at just under $5,000 in total sales. So grown about a five week period and we've moved approximately 260 units.
[00:13:01] Scott: So over half?
[00:13:02] Josh: So over half gone the first month and I will say that we've probably lost about 20% of that opportunity, only because our product it's one product with two SKUs. So call it you know a size large, and a size medium. That's not necessarily the variant but the problem was that we had significantly less number of say medium than large knowing that largest would sell more. Well, unfortunately, Amazon fulfillment center had a little bit of a screw up and mixed in the units together. So we basically had to shut down that other variant or that other listing option.
So we haven't even been able to sell that one all the entire time. To the point that they still haven't solved this so finally it was just easier that I just recently, last week went ahead and did a removal order of those that were listed incorrectly. So those basically those are coming back to me right now and I'll be able to sort it out. But I would say probably, because they’ll even tell you, “You're missing” On seller central, “You're missing an opportunity in the sales because of this particular variant” And I'm like, “Well, yeah. I don't want this, someone got the product.” So I think that will definitely hopefully help. But I mean so far today, a little over 250 units and then right about 5,000 in sales. I will say that I'm a big proponent of your philosophy on the one by 10 by 10, I think is how you refer you refer to it. The one product, ten units a day, $10 of profit.
So I would say, for about the last 10 days ironically enough, we've been averaging at least 10 units a day. So that's kind of on the uptrend. And honestly, as far as from a launch perspective, didn't really do anything major as far as totally discounting the price. I went online and I researched where the top seller was and where kind of the bottom sellers were and just kind of found a happy medium and put it there.
[00:15:00] Josh: I reached out to Facebook friends and just kind of said, “Hey, this is the product we're offering and if anybody is interested let us know, we’ll do some coupon codes and stuff like that.” And so necessarily close friends but even from then, I would say maybe 10 to 12 units might have gotten sold initially from that push. So we did start pay-per-click very quickly and did that as well.
[00:15:29] Scott: How aggressive were you with pay-per-click right off the bat?
[00:15:31] Josh: Right off the bat, I was… I don't know. I mean as for me I don't think is terribly aggressive but I would say I definitely started between $20 and $40 a day pretty quickly.
[00:15:41] Scott: And was that targeting like a manual campaign or auto campaign?
[00:15:45] Josh: I did the manual campaigns. So I followed your process that you promoted as far as doing the manual campaign. So there's two very obvious search terms for our particular product and we've gone through and obviously did like the manual/broad terms to get an idea of what would come out from that. We did use some of the tools that are out there to kind of generate some other possible keywords and went from there. And then from that, once we got that run for a week or so, went back in and started looking at the customer search terms and the reports tab and seller central, and then started to take those and put those an exact match pay-per-click campaigns and kept those about $25 a day towards the exact match and then kept about $10 to $15 a day on the broad match.
[00:16:47] Scott: Okay. So you're still kind of mining for those keywords but you took the ones that were doing well and you moved them over to their own… And you went right to exact you didn't even the phrase. You went right to exact.
[00:16:57] Josh: Yeah, I did go right to exact and the only reason why is because I did invest and it’s not like a lot of money, but I did pay for a couple of tools that would let me pull other persons, other ASINs search terms like competitors, as far as the doing the scrapes on their listings and even the PPC scrapes. So that kind of gave me an idea of what other customers were their search terms for that were coming up, as far as Amazon goes. So that gave me a real quick indicator of, “Okay, are these relevant?” So I pretty much… For most part was just the broad and exact.
[00:17:36] Scott: And how has that exact been working for you now that you've moved? How long has that been? Just a short time?
[00:17:41] Josh: Yeah, it's been probably about two weeks now. We definitely pulled in on some positive or some lower, definitely under 30% ACOS for a handful of them. But we do have some of course, that are higher which is a little bit of a struggle because it's just, particularly the ones that are higher are like the prime ones of course, stuff like the ones that are like those are pretty much right in if somebody was going to generically think of garlic press, so to speak. And they were to type that in, and of course that's the ACOS, it seems to be higher for us.
And I imagine it's probably just because of the competition level that everyone's using. So might have to try and focus more in long tail keywords and look for those opportunities because obviously, I feel like if we are able to find some profitable long tail keywords with a decent traffic amount of traffic, our cost per click will probably be quite a bit lower than some of the more popular ones as well as a higher conversion rate.
[00:18:39] Scott: Yeah. I agree. I think you're still really young in the process. So you've got a lot of stuff I think that's going to still be coming in from the search terms because number one, there's a little bit of a delay, we know that, and because you know it's only a month and a half old. So there's going to be definitely if you give that more time on the front end of the broad and allow them to keep pulling in those search terms. I know we just recently did that with our new brand, and there's actually some search terms that are coming in that is giving us ideas for the next product. Yes. It’s really helpful. That hasn't always happened that way but in this case, it did. But I just think that a little bit more time with those broad is going to help you.
The other thing is, I actually interviewed a guy yesterday. I actually met him at Seller Summit. Real nice guy, actually a young guy. He's like 23 or 24 and he's crushing it. But his whole philosophy after… I mean he's done it where he failed like his first handful of products. And then he's like, “You know what? I’m going to get serious about this. I'm just going to go ahead and really just spend as much as I can to basically get sales.” And he's done that and he's on track to do $500,000 this year.
[00:19:55] Josh: And you know I definitely agree 100% with that. The first order you know my thought process in the beginning, I think like most people is, “Hey, I am going to run this, I'm going to stay competitive and optimize my listing.” I spent money on a photographer to make sure the pictures were better than what I thought my competitors were. You could tell in our space a lot of the photos were clearly download, pasted from the manufacturer's website. So I wanted to separate ourselves with that and figured, “Okay, we will get in the middle there and if I can catch 10% of the gross sales for all of the competitors across the board, then I'll be doing okay.”
But, of course, part of that is that cost per click and thinking, “Okay, we'll I put this much money in so I'll reach you my money plus I'll double it or add that much more to it as far as profit goes.” Then now after being in for a month, it's really more stressing because you've kind of download a little bit of a design change now that we're really geared towards. Let's just recoup our money or not really losing if we can but focus on just allowing that first 500 units to be the foundation of sales history and review some mining tools to a certain extent. And then the next one we can kind of look more at optimizing for profitability over trying to do that right off the gate.
[00:21:22] Scott: Yeah and I love that. Actually, I'm kind of skimming through your post here again. I did want to talk about that because you have here you say, “We looked at some competitors reviews and read some feedback and decided to improve our product and recently secured a provisional patent regarding a change to a function of the product, which we feel will give us a leg up on the competition in regards to efficiency and functionality.” Can you talk about that a little bit?
[00:21:43] Josh: Yeah. Because I know there are some back and forth on that, and I did a little bit more research on it and actually I got the paperwork in the mail. I got the approval like I said a week or so ago. But I actually got the physical paperwork in the mail yesterday. Essentially from my understanding with talking to the company that processed the paperwork for us, there's not actually such thing as that thing called, a provisional patent like you don't have them, but you have a provisional patent application. Which is essentially the precursor to obtaining a true patent, which the easiest way to say it is a provisional patent application, to a certain extent allows you to fish off the dock without fear of getting you know basically hijacked.
Now, that being said my concern isn't so much somebody going out mimicking the design change and selling it on their Shopify side or their eBay side. I certainly don't trust the manufacturer when they tell me that, “Oh, no. we're not going to make this design change for any other customers.” That they're not going to do that. I mean they have no reason not to. My biggest thing is, is will this buying me enough time on Amazon that once it goes live I can have six months or a year to really put my foothold in that particular design model that I think, in my opinion, based off of people that are experts in the space, that I've worked with, will say that, “Yeah, this hands down is a better solution to that particular issue?”
The biggest example would be like let’s say a garlic press, a stainless steel handle but it was frustrating because you get condensation from your hand or it will kind slide off the handle. So it's just like, “Oh, how much easier would it be if we had rubber grips on the handle?” It's something that simple towards just like does that mean no one's ever going to get rubber grips on the handle again?
[00:23:44] Josh: No, but for the next six months to a year I have the ability to flex a provisional patent and if somebody does throw one up on Amazon and I can send that over and Amazon will have them take down their listing, then that's good with me. I don't care if somebody goes out and sells it on their Shopify side or something like that. Obviously, I'm still a big proponent of building a brand but I think it's easier to build the brand with a sales channel like Amazon as basically being a precursor to generate that profit and that revenue and that kind of helps you with that brand launch when you can really start to get some sales traction and all over sudden you might have a little bit of capital and invest in other channels and building out that brand. So if I can keep my competition, in that regard, eliminated on Amazon then that's good for me.
[00:24:32] Scott: I think that's huge. And actually we've done something very similar in the new brand. We have a patent pending type thing. Everything is submitted and all that stuff. And as long as you have that, from my understanding I'm not a legal advisor and I know you're not. But from what I gathered is, once you have an application submitted, technically it's your patent pending.
[00:24:53] Josh: Yap, you're good.
[00:24:54] Scott: You're good. I mean now that can or that will expire in 12 months but I've also heard you can give an extension.
[00:25:00] Josh: I can even get another year extension. The nice thing too is like I said, to my understanding correct me if I'm wrong and I'm sure you've had it researched as well, but that whole patent pending application really it's the first to file. It's kind of the winner of the race. It's not as though somebody else can jump in and do it. I certainly wouldn't suggest going out and saying, “Oh, that's a great idea on a product that somebody else is making. Let's see if there's a patent I can grab a patent real quick and go knock him out.” I’m a big fan of karma, so you’d be asking for some personal troll by trying to do something unethical but, no.
That was ours. To our particular design change. There is a similar like item but it's made from a completely different material. So that was where we specified in our patent because our competitors are not really that same material that these other competitors are using. So we really went in and said, “If you have this particular item made this material we have this particular change on the design and that's why we are filing the patent pending or whatever so we'd like to have the exclusivity of that.” I think you're right. If something does come up on the Amazon with yours or anybody else's, I would imagine if you just simply scan an email over that paperwork to Amazon, they're not you know…
[00:26:20] Scott: They don't mess around. I think that's going to give you a leg up, again, if you have filed. Now, you mentioned here also something that I found interesting, have you applied for brand registry or have you been approved in brand registry?
[00:26:36] Josh: I'm approved and our content's up. So I got really lucky only because I literally… I think I was like four or five days approved before they shut down the brand registry. Then they basically changed the terms to where you got get the Trade Marked and all that. I'm a big believer and if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. So take advantage of all the tools. So from the very beginning, it was okay build a website. I built the website for our freight company as well. So it wasn't an afterthought of well do I need this? It was just like well yeah, it doesn't take that long to do.
[00:27:21] Scott: It's a home based kind of thing.
[00:27:22] Josh: Take four hours on a Saturday and build thee website. There's plenty of drop and drag templates at 99 cents for a domain. So build that… So we have that and then you know Fiverr for a logo if you need one. And so we did that and then submitted it. And right from the get-go you know provided all the correct parameters they asked and didn't have any pushback. I sent in all the information, they came back, “Hey, you're going to go. Registered.” so there's about a couple of days later that we're able to go in and update the content and then went back in, and filled that out and followed all the parameters that they required as far as what you’re allowed to put in the content and then now it's up and going so I like it. It's funny because I know that some people will question I guess maybe the content in your brand registry is it indexed or you losing an opportunity for ranking under those keywords, I don't know, I don't know. So I really have any way of comparing it.
[00:28:23] Scott: Yeah, I've heard the same thing and I don't think we are 100% sure and again that's something the Amazon could also change. They could start indexing the enhanced content but then we don't know but I mean I think there's enough areas that will be indexed. I mean how many keywords are you really going after? We pretty much know there's a solid handful and especially when you look into your pay-per-click and stuff you can kind of see like what's the main stuff that people are going to be finding from you.
If you have that stuff somewhere I mean you've got plenty of space on the front end in your bullets, your title, your back and search terms so I think you have plenty of that's just my opinion. I think Amazon will eventually also start indexing that. And I think that you might even get some extra boost in your ranking just regardless because you are brand registered.
[00:29:12] Josh: Well I don't think that they would offer that added service.
[00:29:15] Scott: As a negative, right?
[00:29:16] Josh: No. Yeah. They weren't going to hold at higher value especially if there is talks about at some point when they decide to charge somebody for brand registry. And if that's the case, I don't think they're going to charge somebody to say, “Oh. We’re going to make you pay $30 extra a month for brand registry but we're going to make you rank lower.” Because I mean where is the value? But one thing that I did and I don't know if anybody else has done this but I kind of thought it.
I know in your listing photos, not necessarily your front photos since obviously want to stay within the terms of conditions of just being your product or somebody using the product or something. But on other photos people put content in there like, “Works great while swimming,” or something like that on the water. Well, on a couple of my photos just because I know that with the likelihood that some people scroll of the description session, I just like they put in the words in there you know, “See into the description section for more photos and details.
Two, just from a conversion standpoint the user standpoint, if I was in somebody's listings shopping for something and I saw a photo that said, “Go to this section and scroll down.” Then I would go, “Okay, I’ll scroll real quick and just see.” So I'm thinking that that might help as well, we'll see.
[00:30:25] Scott: Yeah. It gets people to actually scroll when a lot of times they won't. So I agree with that. Let me ask you, for you making these changes, was that just from you looking at reviews and feedback from your competitors in the beginning? And then also, after you kind of answer that question and kind of tell me about that, what was the process with your manufacturer to have those changes made?
[00:30:52] Josh: Okay. So right from the beginning. I'm surprised, that when somebody were to see the design change compared to what's currently available in that space, how simple of a change it is that it hasn't been done yet and how obvious the complaints were because all the reviews are generally good but there’s two very blatant and obvious negative review points that are brought up multiple times across different listings and different products in the same space. And so looking at those I just thought, “well, what's a possible solution?”
Then I was researching other competitors in the market just through a Google research looking at, “Okay, who also sells this type of product?” And then I did find one that has a similar design to our new one but as I mentioned before, they don't sell the same material product we do. So it's not really their space and in addition, that particular item that they sell is more of like it's a one-off for them. It's not their core business. Their core business is something entirely different and let's say if I'm in the sports and outdoors or would I say camping. So they sell tents as their primary form of business but they just also happen that have like you know a pop-up tent to change your clothes in. So it's not something that they generally sell bulk of, it's not really their space but I liked the design or the idea that I’m like yeah, that makes a lot more sense.
So then I went to some people that are experts in that space so call it like a survival expert or a camping expert or something or cooking expert if you're doing the garlic press situation. I went to them and said, “Here is my thought process, and correct me if I'm wrong,” I'm walking through the current one works and some of the limitations to it. And I said, “So what if we do this instead? Is this make more sense?” They’re like, “Yeah, absolutely.” And I go, okay. And so once I got confirmation looking at the negative reviews and I go, “Okay. So if we do it this way, negative review number one, did we eliminate the problem?
[00:33:04] Josh: Yes, we did.” And then negative review number two, by doing that same change it actually eliminated two problems that people complained about. At that point, I was like, “Okay, this is really what we want to do.” And so I literally took the sample of one of the current products that they sent us of our product and I basically just made it myself. I cut off pieces the needed to be cut off and sewed pieces on that needed to be sewed on and said, “Okay. This is what we want it to look like in a rough sketch. Took pictures of it, emailed the manufacturer and said, ‘Hey, listen, we're going to do a new run of 500 or 1,000, whatever real soon and we're looking at going ahead and making a change to the way this part of the item is made. Can you guys go ahead and do that?’” And they went ahead and looked at the pictures and they go, okay, and they just said, “Can you verify exact measurements and stuff like that but it shouldn't be a problem.” So we really weren't asking them. Thankfully we didn't have to necessarily ask him to add new parts to the product itself, it was just rearranging how the parts were put together.
[00:34:14] Scott: Got you. Okay, so just different positioning maybe or…?
[00:34:17] Josh: Exactly, exactly. So basically be something. If a baseball mitt has the catcher's pocket sewn on the outside of the mitt it would be like, “It would have made more sense if we sewed it on the inside because the ball is not going to get stuck on the backside of between the fingers or something. I know that's kind of a random….
[00:34:40] Scott: No, no, no. That makes sense.
[00:34:43] Josh: So basically we'd say, “Can you just switch this for us and make it a little bit like this?” And they said, “Yes.” And so then they go, “We'll go ahead make a sample of that and send it to you and they sent it to me and tried it out and tested it, and I was like, “Okay, this is great.”
[00:34:55] Scott: Awesome. That's awesome. That's how it happens like you said I mean a lot of people think they have to like create a new mold from scratch, whatever or if you're using material, you have to have like a whole new like design but those are components that are already there and you're just kind of like saying, doesn't it make more sense if you just put this here? And for them, all this is like relocating it and doing it differently. Now, that doesn't mean it's going to happen for every product but in this case it did.
[00:35:20] Josh: And honestly it probably made it cheaper because there was actually a metal piece on the item that we just got rid of. We didn't know why this is here. If you change the product to the way we want it, this eliminates this metal called a clip or something. So we don't need that anymore because we're doing it a different way. And so honestly they're using less material to make a new one. Which once we get the new one and having everything mailed to my house or my office depending on when truck delivers, and then we'll go and mail out from a portion of the boxes to the fulfillment center.
But I'll have an opportunity kind of like make sure everything looks good. They sent the sample to us and my opinion there's looking at the product space there is two very clear front runners one's been online basically look at Camel Camel Camel. One's been on there for a little over a year and they do, of course, $72,000 to $90,000 a month in gross revenue. Which really put me on to the other one was that when I first started researching there was another who's now, essentially the second product runner and they're doing upwards of $25,000 to $40,000 a month in revenue but they've only been live since January of this year.
So they literally got about a 45 day start on me. Maybe a 60 day start but they're about half the price of the other guy. And let's say the number one guy's got 1,400 reviews and the number two guy has got 100 just passed a hundred. The number one is selling for about $39 dollars, the number two selling for $19 or $18. We've kind of kept that same $18 price point and we landed at $5.60 a unit in Amazon after shipping. Then you figure you throwing $6 or $7 for Amazon fees, puts you at $12 or $13, throw another a couple dollars on for a assume pay-per-click cost per unit based off of how many you sell per day and then that at least get those breaking even on that lower price point. But this next round we'll absolutely be raising the price.
[00:37:41] Scott: Got you.
[00:37:44] Josh: And honestly, from a buyer perspective, if it was me… I think like we won't necessarily go up to $39 but I think that we’ll definitely hit between $28 and $32 which I think will give us the $14 net profit after pay-per-click in fees. Because if it was me buying something online and I see the number one seller is selling for almost $40 and everybody else or the lower sellers are selling you know under $20 it's kind of like because we can't physically touch it. I'm looking and go “God, I don't want to spend $40 but why is this $18 or why is this $15?” So if you come in and you're the $27 seller, it's like, “Okay, I'll pay $27.” Because I'm like, “Well, is this really worth $40? But there are only selling it for 18, maybe it's just crap.” If I can get in the middle there then I’m like, “Well, I'm willing to pay $25,” or, “I am willing to pay $28.” So I look at it from that perspective as a…
[00:38:41] Scott: I think that makes total sense and a lot of people they think that it is that you got to go on price. I do that all the time, I'm like, “This is 40 bucks and this one here is $20 like why is this one that much more? It's got to be better. Right? It's got to have a better material, better stitching whatever.” So it's one of those things that you… I think at that point too if you see those you're going to start looking at the reviews at the $20 one more and seeing if people are saying it's a piece of junk. Or you’re going to look at the $40 one and see if people are saying that that's awesome. So by you having that such thing in the in the middle maybe at 30 bucks and you have good reviews, I think people would definitely probably go for that. Now, is the product, the new version…? So your first version didn't have all these changes or did it?
[00:39:32] Josh: No it didn't. So the first version basically we found the manufacturer… I'm a little disappointed in myself on this side because we there are several manufacturers and we vetted a handful and though we also didn't necessarily get all the samples. And so got a couple in and then basically placed the order and they were in the process of manufacturing and everything looked really good and then I went to have the photos done. And in the photos I wanted, because it's a unisex product, so I wanted the female and the male both using the item at the same time, so people could see just like the versatility of if that hey, both people can use it regardless of like their size or so on and so forth.
So I didn't have another one I just had my sample. So actually had to go out and get a generic one from the same manufacturer of somebody else was selling it online that was maybe not branding it, just so I'd have a second product to compare it to. Then when I got that product, then I go, “Whoa, it looks a little different than mine.” I was like, “huh?” Then the couple samples that I got…
Ultimately I felt that the product I got was good quality and was a good product but I found the new manufacturer has done the new sample for us is just a better quality product. So a better quality material, so if it's a cotton, it's just a better cotton or a more higher end cotton maybe like a soft cotton. So if you're buying like a fitted… You are the teacher it's like I'm a big fan of cool T-shirts and stuff but I hate somebody has a cool design and it's just like a heavy cotton shirt that's going just going to go shrink and it's going to up and it's going to stay wide. It's awful. I'd rather spend the extra five bucks or ten bucks on getting the shirt and I'm like, “I'm going to wear this all the time for the next 10 years.” So when I saw that, we went to the new manufacturer and so I think it's just a better quality product but the design changes as well will be.
[00:41:34] Josh: And I'll be able to very clearly show the benefits of the new design versus the current in the market through a story and pictures as well as some text. Which I think will be a good thing because… We're doing a little marking thing as far as making it like a special edition. So I'm going to market it is like, “Oh, this has the such and such addition.” At the initial launch and kind of making the logo, we changed the logo slightly a little bit and so…
If it was a garlic press and we'll say you're looking at the logo on the garlic press and it says, Silverstein Garlic Press. That’s great. Nothing special, whatever. But if you had one that was Emeralds. Emeralds Garlic Press and it's got a little bit more weight behind it because of the person in that category, not that we're using a famous person or anything like that but we're using something that is very in line with the in the industry that people will connect with. So when they see that I'm like, “Wouldn’t I rather have this?.” That there are two products that this logo is cooler than this logo, I'm going to choose that logo.
[00:42:52] Scott: Of course, it's almost like the packaging. The packaging is going to sell you a little bit and we like to have a good brand that represents the product especially if it's a product that warrants that. So I'm a big fan in packaging the logo, all that stuff. So it sounds like you're building a brand.
[00:43:11] Josh: Definitely that's the goal. I have the Shopify site, I run some Facebook ads to build an audience. I have not yet but I'm in the process of doing the giveaway idea or whatever and start to get a list that way. I've done some other stuff to just like do some cool videos that highlight the product, and then just pitching that to our market to kind of the top end of the funnel to just create a lookalike audience before I start to retarget them. I have listed it on some other sites as well. So obviously eBay, Etsy, things like that just because I mean why not? I've had a couple sales from eBay, I've have had quite a few from Etsy honestly, which is a little surprising because honestly I feel like the target market for the product seems to be 80% guys.
I review my Facebook ads and I see like who's looking at the ad and things like that, I see some 80% male demographic. But every single order on Etsy has been females and it's listed higher cost on Etsy too. So I'm definitely a big fan of putting in as many channels as you can because it doesn't hurt you. First round we sent directly into Amazon. This one I'm bringing the to me first and I'm going to hold back a box or two of them and then go through the process of seeing if I can get approved for like a walmart.com or sears.com as well, and then go that route and see what happens.
[00:44:51] Scott: Sure, why not? Why not do that? Exactly. The one thing I would say for sure and again, I'm kind of piggybacking off of what I actually talked to a guy yesterday like I said I interviewed him and he's blown it up. He said I mean a huge thing for him was and this happened by accident at first but now it's kind of brought attention to him, I think you could definitely do the same thing. He had an influencer on YouTube start using his product and he didn't even know it.
All of a sudden he started seeing the sales go up and then someone brought it to his attention. Then he looked at his numbers and his sessions went from like 400 sessions a day to like to 2,000/2,500 and it was all just from that particular person doing that. So that's something that you may even want to do in the future. You know I mean? Like reach out to an influencer in your space and be able to reach out to them and say, “Hey, would you mind using that?”
[00:46:00] Josh: I'm 100% onboard with you in that regard and actually, totally I have plans to do that because what I would like to do is because our product has other products within that in that niche and we’ll go back to baseball mitts. So there's catchers mitts, there is the outfielders, pitchers and so on and so forth. So there's a ton of different mitts in that niche. Ours is a particular style. Basically because it fits multiple uses in that sense. But because of our competitors with this new style, I've definitely been kind of keeping my eyes out for people that are big influencers especially on YouTube in that space, and I want to see reach out to them and basically say, “Hey, if I were to send you my product and then my top three competitors, would you do a comparison video?”
And I think that blatantly if they said, I will pay them whatever it costs whatever. But to go in and say, “Hey, we're going to compare this style baseball mitt compared to other makers of the same style and which one do we think the best and why.” Obviously I don't know whose they are comparing. From the talking to professionals in the space and stuff like that, I think it would be a really great opportunity for people to see that and obviously too to kind of help highlight the benefit of that design change and see where it goes from there. So I'm definitely on board with you in that sense. I mean that's really…
[00:47:35] Scott: His plans now are like just to reach out to 25 or 50 different influencers and try to get them to do it because it's driving all that external traffic. My only tip to him was because he was sending them directly to his to his Amazon store through their affiliate link, because obviously, they're going to affiliate, I would send them through a pretty link. So now for example… Anyone that doesn't know what a pretty link is, it's basically on your website you can add a little a little plug in your WordPress or whatever where you create this little short link. So for us like you know it'll be theamazingseller.com/ppc. That directs to our resources for pay-per-click. But what you would do is create that little pretty link and then if for some reason Amazon decides to shut you down or whatever, you can then redirect that link to your own website.
[00:48:21] Josh: And then the pretty link you would say that that would get directed initially from your website, it would get directed onto the Amazon listing?
[00:48:27] Scott: Exactly. You just keep pushing it to the Amazon listing for now. But if for some reason Amazon took your listing and suspended it or whatever, you just don't know. Then from there, you can intercept it in a sense and then push that link over to your own page.
[00:48:44] Josh: Directly to your sales page on Shopify.
[00:48:47] Scott: Exactly.
[00:48:48] Josh: I agree 100%. So we're definitely looking at that and then… I really feel like with the new one I mean when we built the website we had some other products in the space that once this hits, we're going to look at adding a couple more that are similar to this one but obviously same category but just different product within that category, and then trying to additional some additional ones. So I think the goal for myself is to have at least three to four products live and selling before the end of the year.
So it'd be nice to kind of roll into the holiday season and do three or four products for that season. On this particular one so we've been averaging 10 to 12 a day. I think the last three days we did 11 or 12 each day which was good. So I think my hope is that when the new one lands, I'd like to see us at 30 units a day within the first 90 days is kind of the goal. And looking at what the others are doing in that space are based off of the estimates on the different Chrome extensions that you can get they're dealing easily 50 to 70 a day or 100 a day.
So it might take a little bit of time for people to grasp the concept of why the product looks slightly different in regards to that particular piece of it but I think once they're in it it will be pretty obvious as to why and like I said, finding some of those influencers and things like that, if there are shoppers that look on Amazon, then decide to jump off and research the product name of the brand or something like that to be able to highlight those as well.
[00:50:36] Scott: Now, is your competitors using pay-per-click pretty much?
[00:50:40] Josh: Yeah so one of them who's been… The number one seller who's been on for quite some time, I don't really see much pay-per-click when I go there and do different search terms, and I'll open up separate browsers so just try to get a little bit of variation of what might show up based of like Chrome or Internet Explorer or Firefox or whatever. But then the number two is just doing a ton I mean they're everywhere on PPC. Which makes me wonder when I look at them and I'm like, okay, well they're doing $30,000 for $40,000 a month in gross revenue. But are they making you know are they spending $27,000 between product fees and pay-per-click?
So it's hard to know what if they're just saying, “Hey, we're just going to sink ourselves into this until you know we lose enough money.” And I definitely I'm a tactician when it comes to Googling. So I will Google the heck out of it and figure out, okay who is this person? Where are they selling? Are they anywhere else online? Is that a Chinese manufacturer or is an actual individual or? And kind of see where my where my competition is in that regard.
[00:51:54] Scott: And the reason I was asking so I was wondering like when you get ready to wrap things up, is it going to be very competitive for pay-per-click? Because you can start getting your sales increasing just by increasing the amount that you're willing to spend if you have the impressions.
[00:52:12] Josh: Yeah and we do. Like right now like if I look at my last search term report, I want to say that as far as the ACOS, we've got as far as customer search terms there's currently 60 that show that they have gone through and resulted in a sale, and then it ramps from anywhere from 1% ACOS up to 108. So I'm trying to look for anything under 50 or under 40 as far as focusing in and looking at do I have a thousand or more impressions or a couple thousands, or more impressions on that listing that I can then put those maybe in a separate campaign.
I'm always wondering, because the PPC thing, is so crazy. So I look at it, I'm like, well I'm doing the exact search terms so should I just do a campaign for one customer search term by itself or just multiple exact search terms in a single campaign? And so I've had different opinions on the matter. I guess I'm just…
[00:53:10] Scott: I think it's more about managing it is really what it comes down to. It's how you're going to manage that because if you put all of your keywords like all your exacts into one campaign, that's fine but at the top level you're seeing you're ACOS across all of those. But if you only went and put that into one campaign then you're able to see that. I tend to like to put them into one and then I can manage it easier and then I can dig in and see which ones are the losers which ones are the winners.
[00:53:39] Josh: So in that, to clarify that for myself and hopefully anybody else that's going to be. If we saw a customer a search term that was running right now at a 27% ACOS and it said green garlic press. What you're saying is start an exact match campaign for the search term green garlic press by itself and put a $5 a day budget on just the one exact search term or $10 or whatever and then just see what results in that essentially?
[00:54:14] Scott: Yeah, I mean that's one way to do it. The way that we've kind of recently started doing it is kind of where you have buckets. So you have like your main campaign which is let's just say it's stainless steel garlic or just garlic press. And then underneath that, we'd have three buckets. One would be broad, one would be phrase, want to be exact, and then I would just move out of the broad into an exact underneath that same campaign. And then I would just stack all of my exact keywords into that campaign. The difference though is when you're looking at that exact campaign bucket that has 10 different exact matches in there your overall ACOS is going to be all 10 of those collectively.
You see what I'm saying? So then what you've got to do is, if let's say that you're at a 60% ACOS, you might open that up and see the exact and then say, “Holy cow.” You know what I mean? There's two of them in there that are at 10% ACOS and the rest of them are you know higher than that. So then that's where you would say, I got to start lowering the bid on those exact matches to bring down my ACOS.
[00:55:17] Josh: Got you. So you can have your exact… So you can have your campaign and then have a broad, a phrase and an exact and then under the exact, you might have multiple exact search terms?
[00:55:30] Scott: Yep. Exactly. In that way there you're able to manage all those exacts underneath that one umbrella kind of thing.
[00:55:37] Josh: Got you. And that's what I wasn't sure if it was that or it was going to create campaign, click that yellow button and say green garlic press.
[00:55:45] Scott: I mean you can. You're just going to have a lot of campaigns. You are going to have 10, 12, 20 different separate campaigns for one keyword.
[00:55:53] Josh: But instead just create almost an ad set or group.
[00:55:56] Scott: Exactly. I mean you're from that world. So, yeah. It's like having an ad set of some kind.
[00:56:01] Josh: You know that's awesome. That's good advice. Because I think that is going to be… I would say the pay-per-click in my opinion and obviously only having dug into the space a little bit, I would say the pay-per-click is going to be top three indicators of what's going to make somebody successful on Amazon, aside from the product research and so on and so forth.
That other key component is definitely the understanding and making a profitable campaign. because as Amazon changes their terms of service and their conditions and we know the whole review thing and all that, they're going to… If you can figure out a way… What's going to separate the winners and the losers of the people that figure out a way to have a profitable pay-per-click campaign. Because otherwise, you are going to bleed.
[00:56:55] Scott: I think that but I think the other thing is external traffic. Because if I can push external traffic, then my competitors aren't even going to know how the heck it's happening. You know what I mean?
[00:57:03] Josh: Yep. I agree completely.
[00:57:04] Scott: So I think you're right. Pay-per-click and it's funny I've got a good friend of mine Dom Sugar who I've had on the show plenty of times. He's a big fan of, “I'm going to just bid really high I lose a ton of money in the beginning and then my competitors are going to get frustrated and stop bidding because I'm basically going to basically push them out. And then once…
[00:57:25] Josh: He is a mafia of PPC.
[00:57:28] Scott: What's that?
[00:57:30] Josh: He like the mafia of PPC.
[00:57:31] Scott: He really is.
[00:57:32] Josh: You are going come in and go like, “Listen if you want to stay around, you are going to pay for protection of your ad words.”
[00:57:38] Scott: It's pretty much his philosophy. He's like, “Listen I'm going to keep aggressively going. I'm willing to lose money, I don't care.” And then once you decide that you can't afford to stay in the game any longer, then I'll just come in and I'll lower in my bid, and I'll take over. It works for him. But you gotta have that mentality. It's kind of like you're gambling in a sense. But you know in a way that you kind of know that eventually you're going to win as long as you can keep going.
[00:58:07] Josh: Right. And I agree with you the outside traffic. And you've mentioned that before because I made a mistake until I heard you mention it on a podcast was, I was literally running some cold traffic stuff just to test it to see what kind of audience would have and say, okay, if you run this quick little video showcasing the product and then say, “Oh, click here now on amazon.com running a 60% off sale because we list we our manufacturers price on Amazon and you have your sales price or whatever.” You know I was driving traffic straight to there but when I heard where you had mentioned that probably not the best idea because if you're just getting a bunch of people to click and look and walk away like window shoppers, you could see a really low conversion which can hurt your Amazon ranking.
So we kind of went through and basically created a landing page to essentially say, “Hey, send your email address.” Once you send your email address, we will display a coupon code and then the sell action out of that is this, “Oh by the way, if you go ahead and use the coupon code today we will also pay the shipping.” And just trying to get them maybe jump on board a little bit faster. But at least I'm catching that audience and those who are and if they do get retargeted, if they do get redirected after they opt in to Amazon, they are one more step closer to be more of a serious…
[00:59:32] Scot: They are a warmer target now. All right men. We got to wrap this up. We could go on for another hour I think. We got a lot of things we could dig into. But I want to thank you again, Josh, for coming on and sharing your story. I just love coming on and being able to dig in and unpack where you started, where you're going and then also some of those things that is part of the process that sometimes things are good and some things aren't as good. And as you thought but you're learning through that process and I think as we walked through this you can see just by us having this conversation that you definitely have room that you want to grow, and you want to improve and you want to build this thing out and I think that that's awesome. So I want to thank you. Is there any way that people can get in touch with you if they have any questions or anything like that?
[01:00:19] Josh: Yeah. If anybody wants to touch base on Facebook, is probably the easiest way, and there's always ways to get a hold of me through Facebook to other platforms that am on but to not bombarding anybody just Facebook.com\joshbellis82. And so that's probably the easiest way to get hold of me for any questions. The only I'll say, Scott, your stuff that you put out, fantastic, amazing, definitely valuable in that sense. My only recommendation for somebody that’s new and getting in the game is, you have one of two choices and that's either going to be time or money.
Because I used to be like, “Oh, do you want to pay for a program, you want to pay for somebody to teach you.” And I have a girlfriend that would attest to the amount of time that I've spent till three or four o'clock in the morning trying to figure everything out. And so if somebody wants to do it that way, they're more than welcome to. And there's definitely ways to figure on your own. But there is a lot of legitimacy to people that are willing to say, “Okay, maybe if I go to this program or if I take this course,” or whatever to where your time might be more spent other places if you're willing to just take a training course.
And you didn't say anything to me about promoting your… Anything like that. But I understand like in I think about it and I used almost to be like, “Man, why are these guys, are just trying to get you to spend a bunch of money when you can just get it on for yourself.” And the more I think about I'm like, “I've learned so much but it's been at the cost of hours, and hours, and hours,” where I look back in like, “Man, would I have been able to pay somebody a few hundred dollars. Can you just give me the rundown real quick?”
So, I would was that would be my biggest advice to people and then just to know that it's 2017, and you're seeing other outliers, the other is outliers but there's plenty of room at the top for people that are willing to have the diligence to go in and do the work and don't expect it overnight, but it truly will grow if you put in time and I'd seen it happen now. And so probably I wouldn't have done it if I hadn’t had the advice of this guy that I listen to saying, “Take action.”
[01:02:25] Scott: Well, a little bit. So, I mean it's true. Everything you said I agree on 100% with and you know I've put out a podcast, we're over 360 plus episodes probably depending on this era 370-ish. But it there's all the information that I've put out there. But the problem with all that information is a lot of times people just are like, “Give me the roadmap.” That's why we do free workshops and we have a class. But you know the class isn't for everyone and I always tell people. If you want to go through and just go through all of the information we put out there kind of piece your way through, you can. You totally can.
But if you want to program, we do have a class but again, I'm not here pitching my class I've barely mention my class. But I agree. And the reason why people had reached out to me, in the beginning, was kind of like, “Scott, can you show me step by step.” Like what's the steps. And I think though as you're learning, no matter if I give you steps or not, you're going to learn through your own journey. So I can't stress that enough.
But again Josh, I want to thank you so much for coming on spending some time out of your day. Keep me posted on what's happening within your brand. I think you're going to do great and it sounds like you got a great plan and you've got all the pieces. I mean you've got all the pieces that you just got to go out there and you keep executing, man.
[01:03:38] Josh: You threw a lot of those pieces out there, so I appreciate it.
[01:03:41] Scott: Yeah, no problem man.
[01:03:42] Josh: I'll pick them up.
[01:03:43] Scott: Yeah, right. Pick them up and use them.
[01:03:45] Josh: Absolutely.
[01:03:46] Scott: All right man. Hey, thank you so much and have an awesome day and we'll talk to you soon.
[01:03:51] Josh: All right, fantastic. Take care.
[01:03:53] Scott: Okay, so there you have it. Another great conversation with one of our TASers. Josh, I just want to thank him once again because man, oh man, it's just really awesome to be able to dig into someone's story and really unpack how they got to where they are. You heard him explain how he got started in this whole thing in kind of like how it led him to where he is now, and he's so excited about this opportunity, and he's so like driven to make this thing work and he's excited about it. I think that's the key. You got to be excited about what you're working on and he's out to build a brand.
And I've talked to you guys about the open brand and I talked about building a regular brand like a brand with a product line, and all that stuff. That's what he's doing. But I also want to say, he's building it off of something that he's had experience with in the past. So with that being said, think about the brand that you want to build whether it's an open brand so you can dabble a little bit or if it's a brand that you're going to have a face to. Whether that's you or whether that's partnering with someone, that's a couple of things you need to think about. And if you can if you can really understand that, then that can give you a little bit more direction moving forward.
So again guys want to remind you the Facebook group theamazingseller.com/fb. Head over there, see what we've got to offer over there, totally free by the way, and an awesome community of TASers. And then the show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/374. And the last little announcement that I want to make here, depending on when you're listening to this, we are having an unofficial meet up in North Carolina and that's going to be June 23rd, 2017. It's going to be at four o'clock PM, Eastern in the afternoon. This is going to be an in person meet up we are just going to which is going to be there, having some coffee having some great conversation. Meeting other TASers and you are invited if you are local or if you want to travel a couple hours depending on where you're located. But I just wanted to let you guys know they're going to doing that and you can head over to theamazingseller.com/nc for North Carolina. And that will. Much take you to the event page of all the information about that little local meet up that we're having in North Carolina.
[01:06:07] Scott: So if you're in the area would love to meet you, and if you're listening to this later well, maybe, next time. All right guys. So that is it. That's going to wrap up this episode. Remember as always, I'm here for you, I believe in you, and I am 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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