TAS 023 : How Chris Buys And Sells Products Without Spending His Own Money (Say WHAT?)

In this episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast I interview Chris Shaffer who makes money helping other businesses sell on Amazon. He's going to explain what he does and how you can offer these same services. He also shares some great marketing strategies.

If you are still trying to launch your first product, but don't have the cash to invest…Chris shares how you can help others businesses sell on Amazon and get paid a percentage of sales.

In the episode we discuss:

  • 1. How To Look For Opportunities
  • 2. Why Some Businesses Will Pay You To List Their Products
  • 3. How To Select New Products That Will Sell
  • 4. How To Promote Your Products on Amazon
  • 5. Understanding The Market You're Targeting
  • 6. Understanding The Review Percentage To Help Conversions
  • 7. How To Look For Products That Sell 10 to 20 Sales Per day.
  • 8. How To Use Insert cards To Collect Emails

…..and so much more!

Chris and I discuss many aspects of our businesses and I promise you will learn from this conversation.

The one thing Chris and I both stress when getting started is….GETTING STARTED!

So many people get stuck at the research stage and never pull the trigger. The one thing I know, is that if you never TAKE ACTION and get started, you will never see results. It might not be a Home Run, but it will be results and you can adjust from there. You only get results by DOING.

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LINKS Discussed:

Feedback Genius (Email Delivery)

Scott's Feedback and Review Strategy and Templates

7 Steps To Launching Your Products

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If you have any questions from the episode or another topic…click ASK SCOTT HERE!

NEW To The Blog and Podcast? I created a Page Just for You called…START HERE!

21 Comments

  1. chicago pete

    hey guys. you rock! I finally have some time to look into all of this. I know things can change perty quick in this day and age. Have their been any fundamental changes from things discussed in this podcast to now? it was recorded last March. And Chris can you share the commission range you take?? I’m sure it’s different for each client?? thanks

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hey Pete, nothing has fundamentally changed since this episode aired.

      Chris says he typically takes between 5 and 10 percent of gross sales!

  2. Randy Patterson

    Hey Scott,
    I listened to all the podcast, but have listened to this particular 23 podcast three times. I have some questions more directed at Chris, but if you can answer that would be great too. When helping other companies by assisting them to build an Amazon presence, I wonder how Chris managed the financial arrangement because he didn’t get into a lot of details. Is it best to manage the sellers account yourself on behalf of the product owner? Also, when determining what you get paid, did you charge a percentage of sales, a flat fee or some other financial arrangement? Who pays for the pay per click advertising, amazon fees? I am looking at this model to build up cash to start my own product. I have 2 people I know who have really good product lines with one with no Amazon presence and another with minimal exposure. I look forward to your answers.

    Thanks,
    Randy

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hey Randy (Chris here),

      I like to manage the seller accounts myself, since the product owners most often don’t understand how to handle the Amazon account.

      The business will always cover PPC and marketing costs (like giveaways), we take a commission based on the Net profit from each sale.

      1. Erika

        Hi Chris,
        I would like to talk to you about your account management services. I am about to launch an awesome product and I believe that having a well thought out and inegrated strategy would be key. And working toghether with you guys who are the best out there is a win-win without a doubt 🙂

  3. Nathaniel

    Hi Chris,

    I have a local manufacturer that has a great product and I would love to follow your model and help bring their product to the Amazon marketplace and dominate. They have been in business since 1920 and they don’t have much of an online presence. It is a grocery item and has a few reseller listings on Amazon but I would like to help them take control of their brand and expand sales globally. My concern is I’m worried how to approach them to do business. Do you have a script or advice how to go about this. Thanks!

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hey Nathaniel (Chris Here),

      Honestly the biggest thing is getting in the door. Reach out to the director of sales and see if they are willing to let you explore the platform (or if they will wholesale directly to you) or just take the Sales director to lunch and explain the strategy! Just be sure to let them know that this is an opportunity for THEM to make money and that you only get a commission AFTER they make money.

      Chances are pretty good, that’ll they say yes, after all who says no to “free” money.

  4. John

    This question is for Chris. I’ve listened to about 45 of the podcasts and they’re excellent! I can’t wait to start selling my own products. However, right now, I recently took a job at a company who has an OLD Vendor Central account with AZ that they haven’t been using for years even though we continue to receive emails from AZ that they want to place orders with us. My company wants me to figure out the best way to sell on AZ. The Vendor Central setup has been a headache for my company in the past. I’m not sure if we should cancel our Vendor Central account and start doing FBA and possibly FBM. We already have an active business and ecommerce website. Was hoping to get a little advice/guidance from Chris if possible. Many thanks!!

    1. Scott Voelker

      hey John,

      (Chris here)

      IF it were me, I would take a look at reverting back to Seller Central and fulfilling the products via FBA. Since it sounds like you will have some staff time (yours) to dedicate to the agreement of the account, you will be able to get a bigger chunk of the categories you’re in by managing it yourself (for a variety of reasons). Just make sure that you take full advantage of things like PPC and all of the optimization opportuntites you will have once you reclaim your listings. I would start by reaching out to seller support and asking how the transition process would go down (since they still have some of your inventory by the sound of it)

      1. John

        Thanks Chris! That’s what I was thinking. They actually don’t have any of our inventory since we haven’t filled any of their POs for 3 years! We still show up when you search for our product, but they just have a link to our website now. I guess they have transitioned us to FBM? I think at this point, I’ll assume we’re starting from scratch. I’ll ignore the VC account we have and open a new Seller Central account and proceed with all the great FBA advice you and Scott have given! Thanks again Chris and Scott – you are enabling and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in others which is a good thing!

        1. Scott Voelker

          That’s exactly why we do what we do John. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

  5. Dave

    HI Scott, I really like the podcast. I am just getting started and you and your guest offer incredible insight into the whole process. My question, I apologize if you mentioned this, but what are some sourcing websites for US products that you and Chris mention.
    Thank you for any help and keep up the great work.
    Dave

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hi Dave,

      I’m not sure we discussed any specific ones. Chris reached out to local businesses that sell products locally or even online, but not on Amazon. Then he offered to sell their products for them.

      Hope this makes sense.

    2. Chris Shaffer

      Hey Dave,

      I would take a look at both Thomasnet.com and Makersrow.com if you’re interested in US Sources. They are by no means comprehensive, but are a great place to start

  6. Jesper

    Hi Scott!

    I have a question that confuses me.
    I am going to do a giveaway with around 100 units. And i want to play by the rules. As i am from Sweden amazon.com is not as popular site to buy from as in US. So if I do a giveaway to friends and family, they will probably all have to make new accounts first and probably buy an free ebook or something to be able to review my product. What are the rules here? Ate they not allowed to give reviews if they did not pay or vice versa? Would appreciate it so much 🙂

    1. Scott Voelker

      I’m pretty sure they would need to be in the states. If they were then they would just need Amazon accounts.

  7. Rich Kibble

    My favorite podcast to date. I’ll have to give this another listen or two to absorb it all. Both of you seem to be on the same page and I really resonate with your approach.

    This isn’t the only source I listen to on the subject but it’s by far the best. While other people might add something interesting or thought provoking now and then, yours consistently gives the most actionable information and value.

    Question: You mentioned gaining reviews at a rate that does not raise eyebrows and I was nodding my head in agreement. Meaning a fresh product with 200+ reviews overnight is not in my plans. What would you say is a good rate though? I was thinking maybe 5-10 from friends/family from the beginning, then another 20-30ish from give aways (Tomoson etc) spread out over a couple of weeks? This seems fair to me for a launch phase and then just grow organically from there with a few give aways as needed. Too much? Not enough? Assume a moderately competitive market. e.g. not Supplements. Maybe under 300 reviews for top 3 competitors.

    1. Scott Voelker

      Hey Rich,

      Glad you liked it.

      Sounds like you understand it correctly. Slow and steady wins the race. It needs to be natural.

      You answered your own question 🙂

    2. Chris Shaffer

      Hey Rich,

      I’d have to agree with Scott here (and you, based on yoru comment) You most certainly don’t want to front load those reviews just to get to that 300 mark. When I launch a product, much like Scott, I like to do a small “friends and family” round of around 5 reviews. It gives me a base to start pushing on PPC. I will then drip out units for review (the number depends on how competitive the market it is but 20 is usually enough to get started). Keep in mind that the reviews are really there to help boost conversion rate (through social proof) and won’t push your product forward by themselves (contrary to popular belief…). PPC is really the best way to start the sales snowball and when it starts rolling…the organic sales will quickly start to follow.

      1. Scott Voelker

        Chris is in the HOUSE!!!!

        Right on my Man

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