TAS 280 : Ask Scott Session #84 – Your Business Questions

Fridays are one of Scott’s favorite days of the week because it’s the day that the Ask Scott session of the podcast hits the airwaves. These episodes are designed to do nothing more than help you get your answers about Amazon private label or e-commerce sales answered. Scott’s got years of experience in both realms and is eager to help you become successful selling your products online. If you want to ask Scott a question about your particular situation you can find out exactly how to do that on this episode of the podcast. Who knows, maybe you’ll be featured on a future episode of the show!

I’m having some issues with my supplier putting my logo on my product. Can you help?

A listener called in to ask Scott about a problem he’s having with his supplier. He’s trying to get his product branded by having the logo imprinted on the product but the supplier is telling him there is not enough space to do a good job of it. He’s curious how this will impact his possibilities of getting his product in Amazon’s brand registry and if there are any other options Scott can think of to get his branding on his product. As you might expect, Scott’s got a great answer for him that includes a couple of possible solutions.

Can I get multiple manufacturers to work together to create product bundles for me?

One of the approaches to building a unique product on Amazon that Scott often suggests is through bundling your primary product with an accessory or other related product. When you do you’re able to offer something that no other Amazon seller is able to offer. It’s a great way to stand out. Today a caller asks if Scott knows of a way he could get his product suppliers (he uses more than one) to work together to bundle his products for him. That way he won't have to have the products shipped to his house and be required to do the work himself. Scott actually knows somebody who is doing that exact thing and has some suggestions for how the caller can handle the situation.

How can I discourage others from copying my product?

An Amazon seller who is just starting called Scott to ask if there is a way she can discourage others from copying her product now that it’s selling pretty well (15 units a day). Without knowing the particulars of her product and market it’s hard for Scott to give detailed answers but there are some guiding principles he has to share that might help this seller – so he shares them on this episode. If you’d like to do your best to make your product the stand-out item in your market, Scott’s answer to this question may be just what you’re looking for.

Should I work to keep ahead of my competition in terms of reviews?

Positive product reviews are important when it comes to Amazon products. They lend a sense of legitimacy to your product, telling potential customers that others have bought and enjoyed your product. But is it important to make sure that you stay ahead of your competition when it comes to the number of reviews you have on your product? On this episode, Scott dives into the issue of reviews and outlines how good reviews help a product and at what point the number of reviews begins to lose its significance. Are you interested to know what he has to say about it? You can find out by listening to this episode.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
  • [1:40] How you can submit your own questions.
  • [2:15] The word of the week: Kindness!
  • [6:34] QUESTION ONE: Problems getting my logo on a product. What are my options?
  • [11:58] QUESTION TWO: Any ideas to get manufacturers to work together for bundling?
  • [17:31] QUESTION THREE: How can I discourage others from copying my product?

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 280

TAS 280 : Ask Scott Session #84 – Your Business Questions

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 280 and session number 84 of Ask Scott. This is where I answer your questions here on the podcast and I enjoy every single minute of it. It’s really a lot of fun and it’s a highlight of my week. I’ve said this before but if you guys are brand new, well you just heard it. If you guys are tuning in again, well you guys have heard it…

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…probably well 84 times, at least. This is session 84. I just wanted to just say, welcome and hopefully your week is going well if you’re listening to this on a Friday the day that it comes out hopefully you’re ready for a great weekend, whatever you have planned. Maybe it is work on your business. I don’t know.

Hopefully you are ready to rock it and get out there and make something happen. I did want to first off say that if you guys have any questions that you want me to answer on an upcoming Ask Scott session, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that. You can ask a question there, just record a voicemail with your first name and maybe even where you’re tuning in from. That would be kind of cool. Then a brief question. I do generally try to answer all of them but there is quite a queue that I have already quite built up that we have to work through. I’m going to answer three or four today and if you guys have one, definitely submit it there. That would be awesome.

Just to let you guys know too, if you have any other questions not just related to “Amazon business” if it just has to do with business or building your external channel or sales funnels or email, list building, any of that stuff, if you guys have any questions on that submit them. Feel free to submit them as well. They don’t have to be specific towards Amazon. You guys have been hearing talk a lot lately about us building our external launch list or playing around with other social platforms to build up a launch list or an email list and if you guys have questions about that, fire away.

[00:02:08] Scott: Go ahead and ask them. I did want to give the word of the week. I’m starting to do this. I’m actually doing it for myself but I’m also going to do it here with you. This way here we can share this together. The word of the week for me is ‘kindness’. What that basically means to me is how can we better people? How can we make someone smile in a sense? How can we just be a little bit nicer to someone? Perfect example is I was driving through Dunkin’ Donuts. Well you guys know I love my coffee so I was driving through Dunkin’ Donuts. I didn’t go to Starbucks this day, I went to Dunkin’, hot coffee, if you guys care.

I was driving through and you guys have probably heard this too. If you guys are long time listeners. I always give people a grade on how well they did with customer service. I have to be honest like this Dunkin’ Donuts by me, their customer service is top notch. Some of the ones in New York, I’m not going to say all of them, some of the ones in New York they can probably take a few lessons here. These people are just genuinely happy like really, really excited just to take your order. Like, “Hey, how are you doing? Welcome to Dunkin’ Donuts. How can I help you today?”

Just energetic and the pitch in their voice and just when you actually talk to them, you don’t feel like they are annoyed that you’re ordering a coffee. I guess for seeing that type of stuff I like to again, kind of think about how can we do that ourselves. How can we make someone else smile? How can we make someone else feel a little bit better after they purchase something from us? This kind of all ties back to just being good to people and I believe that will come back and help you. Like I said, if it’s in business it’s just customer service. It’s follow ups. It’ like how do you deliver a better user experience? It was funny I was listening to an audio book the other day on my walk in the morning and they were talking about Dollar Shave Club.

[00:04:07] Scott: You probably heard they got bought out for a ton of money but it really comes down to them building a loyal following, a loyal brand around a razor. Who would have thought that men would want razors delivered to their house on a monthly basis, when again talking about Amazon, we can go to Amazon and I’m sure that there are blades that we can buy and have them auto shipped. I’m sure that there’s something out there but people are loyal to that particular brand so they are going to keep buying and once they start buying as long as they are happy and they still put out their brand message, which is really about having fun in a sense.

Their video that went viral was all about just funny. It’s something we all can probably do. Now, I’m not saying that you’re going to, if you’re kind of in the space where you want to just launch some products and see what sticks. Then yeah, this isn’t going to be like that model but it still means that you can still give them a good user experience, whatever product you sell. If you are going to build a brand that’s where you would take those products that you might want to start focusing on and then building that into a brand and if you did that, that’s where this customer experience really comes in. Guys, I don’t even know I went down that rabbit hole.

But it’s just how I roll. You guys know that. It’s like it’s top of mind. It came down to the word of the day which is kindness. Be kind to more people and I do truly believe that’ll always bring better things back to you. Whether that’s just someone else making your day better or whether financially. I believe that it will come back to you. I now it’s all cliché and all that but to me it’s the truth. The word of the day, the word of the week ‘kindness’. Be kind to one another and I’m sure it’ll do you well. Before we jump into today’s questions, let me remind you that the show notes for everything on this episode will be at theamazingseller.com/280.

[00:06:07] Scott: That is session 280 of course so theamazingseller.com/280, transcripts, show notes, all right there, go check them out and do me a favor. If you guys think that the podcast is valuable enough to share, then share it. If you don’t, don’t share it. All right just want to throw that out there. I’d love for you guys to let your friends and family know maybe about the podcast and then we can share a little bit of that love, a little bit of that kindness that we just talked about. Guys, let’s go ahead and listen to today’s first question and I will give you my answer. Let’s do it.

[Q&A SESSION]

[00:06:43] Lance: “I love Scott’s podcast”. Hey Scott. Lance Ewing here my four year old son, Jack and we love the show and I’ve been listening to it for a while, I’m kind of bouncing around a little bit because I’m just getting started and listened to some of the beginning and some of the new ones as well. My question is I’m testing samples from China at the moment and I have a product that’s selling really well on Amazon and I’m trying to change it just a little bit but with that, they’re saying that they cannot put the logo on the product. I’m basically putting a wrap around an existing product and there’s no room to put the logo. They say the can put it on the box and I’m concerned because I have a brand name on the product as well as the box and I’m not sure as far as the branding goes with Amazon.

I think they’ve switched maybe where you have to have both I’m not sure. That’s my first question. I’m again really… Really appreciate everything as far as the podcast goes and I’m looking to start your course here in the next couple of weeks and just thank you for everything. From Dallas, talk to you later.

[00:07:52] Scott: Well first off Lance, I absolutely love that voicemail that your son recorded. That is just awesome. I think that’s a first. I think that’s a first. Congratulations on that by the way. Just thank you so much for that and tell your son that I said hi five or… Not said. Maybe you can high five him and say, “Scott said he wants me to high five you.” That’d be cool. I think you said his name was Jack or Jackson. I couldn’t understand but anyway I just want to give him a shout out and say thank you so much for being a listener of the podcast and again I want to just say yes, bouncing around is okay because things are changing and as you go through them, you might want to start going through them through a little bit of the ones that are more current.

Anyone else that’s brand new to listening to the podcast there’s a lot of episodes that are still very, very relevant but a few things might have been changed or tweaked so then it’s always good to listen to some of the more current ones as well especially about any of these changes that might happening or that have happened. This way you can adjust towards your plan. Let me answer your question. Now, you’re saying that you have a product right now that’s selling very well. It sounds like it’s selling really well. So that’s awesome, congratulations on that. Round of applause. But now, let’s talk about the branding aspect of things. Now, I think what you’re saying is your product doesn’t really lend itself well to being branded or you’re saying that the manufacture doesn’t want to brand that product or says that they can’t brand that product.

I would want look into that further whether it’s a tag that could be put on it or if it can be engraved into it or some way to have just some type of a initialing in a sense that marks it as your product because if you are going to be branded or brand registered it will make it better if it’s on the product. Now, I don’t know 100% if it has to be on the product if it just has to be branded in the packaging or the wrapping of that product. You have to be able to show a picture of you branding on the product.

[00:10:06] Scott: That branding could be just, if it’s shrink wrapped and you have the logo on that, that could be enough. Okay. But I would work really hard to try to get them to brand the product if you can. If not, then definitely the box, definitely the wrapping that’s surrounding the product whether it’s, like we said, if it’s shrink wrapped or any other type of wrapping you would want that branded. This way here, it kind of concealed into the box and into the wrapping and it shows your brand all the way through. This way here if you had a claim that someone was trying to hijack or someone was trying to make a counterfeit of your product, well, then you’d be able to prove that, no this doesn’t have this because ours is specially branded here in the future if you ever run across a problem.

I would work on getting that done and making it, like I said as branded as possible that you’re allowed to do within your manufacturer, whatever they can do. I would definitely work on that especially if you’re telling me that the product is selling very well and you want to go ahead and do that now. I would definitely say that that would be one of my priorities. Hopefully this has helped you and like I said, I would probably make this a priority to try to get that done. One last thing is though, once you do get it brand branded on your packaging or even on the item itself I would show that in your pictures.

This way here it’s also going to show anyone that’s possibly thinking about hijacking or whatever or taking over your product or your brand they are going to know it’s not going to be that easy because you are branded within that product. Just another little side note there for you. All right. Let’s go ahead and listen to the next question and I will give you my answer.

[00:12:04] Jeremy: Hey Scott. This is Jeremy. I had a quick question about when you’re selling a product let’s say the garlic press and you offer it in multiple colors, how do you talk to this supplier and get them to ship to FBA and what is the process of setting up your account to do that? Also, pre-bundling. How would you say get a garlic press and a home storage container and bundle them together without actually having it shipped to your house, repackaging them and shipping it to FBA? Is there a way to get the manufacturers to work together to do something like that?

[00:12:43] Scott: Hey, Jeremy thank you so much for the question and it’s like a two part question. The first part of it I’ve answered quite a bit in the past but I’m going to answer it again here real quick. But really, you have to think about your listing and having variations like you have the parent and then you have the child and or the children because it’s the main listing for the one, the garlic press but then you have a red one, a blue one, a yellow one and a green one. Those are all variations underneath that same listing. Each variation will have its own SKU. Its own FNSQ or its own UPC, its own marker in a sense. Then your manufacturer will then ship into those once you give them the actual shipping details.

You’re going to create that stuff for them and then you’re just going to hand off the paperwork and then it’s going to get sent in to Amazon and then Amazon will put it in for that SKU. Now the other part of the question, it’s a good question too by the way is if I have maybe I want to put the red one in with the blue one I want to have a combo pack, it’s going to be red and the blue one, what you’re asking is can I just have either my manufacturer pre-do that or do I have to ship it to my house and do it myself? Or can I have Amazon do that?

Well, Amazon is not going to do that for you. They are just not going to. The easiest way for you I say in the beginning would be for you to package for yourself and then ship it in. I say easiest meaning you don’t have to get the manufacturer involved. You just order the pieces and then you put them together in its own box, it’s going to then again have its own UPC. It’s going to have its own SKU because now when they go and pick and pack that, it’s going to get picked up with one box let’s say and it’s going to get shipped out as the red and the blue. That means again if you have a manufacturer that’s going to do this, they will then in turn have to do the same thing.

[00:14:42] Scott: If you can get your manufacturer to do it. If they manufacture both pieces it’s easy. All you have to say is, “Hey, take the red one and the blue one, put it one box and also send me singles of the red and the blue in their own box.” Now I have basically three SKUs. I have a single one for each one and then I have a two pack or maybe a three pack. That would be the perfect scenario, is having them do it. The problem with that though too is you got to remember each time that you create a new UPC code for ordering your inventory and stuff you have to fill more inventory with the same product in a sense because if you have a red one that’s going to be, let’s say you want to order 500 of the red. You order 500.

You want 500 of the blue, you order 500. Now, if you want 500 of the red and the blue combo pack, that’s a whole another SKU but a whole another set of inventory. Again, when people are doing these variations, you guys have to keep it in mind that every time you those variations it might be smart to do smaller amounts on the variations to see which one is going to start selling. This way here you’re not putting five hundred pieces out there and hoping that it’s going to sell. I would do that and I would definitely make sure that you test that before you go and say go ahead and package everything up and ship it in.

Now, going back to if the manufacturer does not manufacture the second part or the second piece of your bundle then yes, you can have them work together. I actually I know someone right now that has done that and they’ve done it successfully and you can totally do that. You just have to again, do a little bit of communications with your manufacturer, letting them know about the one that’s going to be shipping the product to them. They are going to have wait until they get that until maybe they can package it. Some will do it, some won’t. You gotta have that conversation, I think is the big thing here. You gotta have that conversation with your supplier and see if that’s something that they will do. Now if you can’t do that, there’s another option that you can do is you can is have it sent to a prepping facility and what they’ll do is they can co-pack it.

[00:16:45] Scott: That’s what they call co-packing where they’ll take the parts and then they’ll put it together in a box, they’re going to charge you for it, of course, but if you were going to ship it to your home and have maybe some friends of your kids pack it up or you want to pay them too. In the beginning you just have to validate that that bundle or the package is going to work and then if it does, then you can worry about streamlining that process. I know that was a long winded answer but it can get complicated when you’re thinking about, “Well, I’m just going to do a bundle but not realizing that the bundle is actually its own separate UPC or its own separate SKU.”

Just want to clarify that. Hopefully this has helped you. Good luck with that and let me know if you have any other questions. All right, let’s go ahead and listen to another question and I’ll give you my answer.

[00:17:36] Toba: Hi Scott. My name is Toba. I made a product that is an improvement on an existing very well selling product on Amazon. I launched on four weeks ago, I have ten reviews and I’m selling around 15 a day. How do I prevent myself from getting copied and easily surpassed being that I only have 10 reviews? Obviously 15 a day is great, I don’t need to do my giveaways to get more sales but should I do a big give away just to prevent somebody from easily surpassing me on my listing for the same product? Does it make sense to get more reviews just to prevent somebody from copying me and then surpassing my listing? Thank you so much for your podcast, it has been extremely valuable to me and I look forward to your answer. Thank you.

[00:18:29] Scott: Hi Toba, thank you much for the question and congratulations on 15 sales a day by the way. That’s really awesome and that’s worth celebrating. Definitely celebrate anyway that you think that you should celebrate, whether that’s with a nice coffee or maybe a nice mocha or whatever you do to celebrate. Go ahead and have a nice celebration drink. I think you deserve it. Okay, I mean that’s a good question. Right, you’re wondering like okay, “I’ve launched this product, I’ve got 10 reviews,” which by the way everyone that’s thinking to themselves, “Well I have to out there and do these massive giveaways,” this is proof that you don’t.

It sounds like Toba you have actually did some product research well that found a product that didn’t have to compete on reviews which is really, really awesome. To me that’s the secret ingredient, really now is finding products that are now selling with low amounts of reviews. This way here you don’t have to get into the review battle in a sense or the competition on reviews. That’s not what we want to do and this is a perfect example. 15 units a day with ten reviews. Awesome. Now, to talk like your nervousness that someone is going to come in launch the same product and then just get more reviews and they’re going to do better than you.

It’s a good concern but I wouldn’t more or less be thinking about how can I continually get sales, currently how you’re doing it, maybe it’s dialing up the pay-per-click some. Making sure that you’re following up on your customers to get those reviews or to make sure that they’re happy as in the beginning here kindness. Being kind to them and making sure that they got what they wanted and then those will naturally start to happen and you’re going to be building your rank. You’re going to start to rank.

[00:20:29] Scott: Once you get seeded in your rank, it’s going to be hard for someone to just come in and knock you off now because you’ve got that history in a sense. I would be really be focusing on that. I wouldn’t necessarily be wondering to myself like how can I get 100 reviews right now so I can make sure no one can compete with me? I would just continue doing what you’re doing. I would also try to make your product have something additional to it that no one else is going to be offering or that is going to make it harder for someone to just piggyback on what you’re doing. That would be one of my next things now that you see that this thing is selling.

How can you improve it? How can you make it better? How can you make it something that is going to be harder for them to be able to go out and find. A perfect example of this is like if you already got something that’s selling well and then for you to go ahead and find something else small that could be added to that, that doesn’t cost you all that much but you can put it in there at a very, very low cost, that’s going to be something that again they would have to find the source for the second part of that. Kind of what we just talked about like with the co-packing and finding that other thing that you’re going to bundle. This would be one of those scenarios where I would say, that would be good or again just really, really focusing on keeping the sales going and getting yourself ranked for so many keywords that it’s going to be hard for someone to just come in and compete with a handful of keywords.

I wouldn’t be worrying too much about someone knocking me off because they get more reviews than you then all of a sudden they’re going to be able to overtake your product and your listing. I wouldn’t be too concerned with that. Again, sales. That’s what I’d be thinking about and working on and then from there the reviews should follow. As of right now that I’m recording this, we’re still able to reach out to our customers and make sure that they received everything that was promised. You get to connect with them on a personal level which I think a lot of people don’t do. The reason why I say we can now, because who knows what can happen in the future.

[00:22:32] Scott: Amazon could take that privilege away from us maybe. The way that would happen is just people abusing it. I’m saying for you to connect with your customers, with that word of the week ‘kindness’ and make sure that they got everything that they were promised and if they have any questions to be right there, fast like customer service, be just over responsive and getting them to really know, like and trust you through some of those emails. I know it sounds like really basic like it's good old fashioned 101 business marketing. It’s like be good to your customers, give them a good user experience. Those good reviews will follow.

I know some people say, “Well most people don’t like to leave a review.” That may be true but there’s going to be a handful that do so why don’t you just connect with all of them and then that messaging that you do will allow them to be reminded that you’re a small business and that you really want to make sure that they’re happy and you want to also have them let Amazon know that you’re doing a good job. That’s how I would phrase it. Hopefully that’s helped you. Good luck. Keep it going, and it sounds like you have found the winning formula for picking a product. I’d go out there and I would do it again. Definitely keep at it. Keep me posted on that.

All right. Guys, I think that’s going to wrap it up for his session of Ask Scott. This has been awesome. I really enjoy doing these as you guys know. Like I’ve said before, if you guys have a question that you want aired on an upcoming session, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask. If you want to download the show notes, the transcripts or leave a comment even, you can head over to the blot at theamazingseller.com/280 and you’ll find all of the goodies over there and one last thing again could you guys do me a quick favor. If you guys have found this episode or any other episode for that matter valuable, share them with someone that you think that would enjoy it or if you think there’s someone out there like us. Go ahead and share it with them. That would be awesome.

[00:24:45] Scott: Guys, that’s pretty much going to wrap it up. If you guys are listening to this on Friday, have an awesome amazing weekend. If you guys are listening to this during the week or whatever time, have an awesome rest of your day and keep at it. 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 so very proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.

[END]

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One Comment

  1. Michael Wilkes

    Scottie V, you make me laugh! I love your sudden stop at the end of the rabbit trails, like today’s sidebar on Dunkin Donuts and how kindness and great customer service go together. 🙂 Here’s a quote in the same vein I have long cherished: “A generous person will prosper and one who refreshes others will themselves be refreshed.” ~ Solomon

    Keep up the great, and most generous work you do.

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