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….Man I can’t believe I just said number 99 because wow we are almost at 100 episodes or sessions of the Ask Scott sessions. That’s pretty cool, I can’t wait to hit 100. I haven’t even thought about if I’m going to do anything special. I’m not really sure what I can do special but maybe I’ll think of something. Okay what I did want to do before we jump into today’s questions is I did want to share a thought of the week. I’ve been trying to do that on a regular basis. Before I do though if you have a question that you want to ask and have it aired here on an upcoming show head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that, you can ask a question.
The other thing you can do is download the show notes or the transcripts to this episode and this one here will be in theamazingseller.com/325. Everything will be linked up over there and like I said you can always head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can ask a question. The only thing that I ask of you is to record your first name, where you are tuning in from and then a brief question and I’ll do my best to answer on an upcoming show. That would be awesome. Let me share my thought of the week and this just happened. I’m going to share a little story with you because this can happen in any part of your life whether its business, whether it’s personal.
It doesn’t really matter but what that thought is, is getting comfortable. What I want really for you to understand is that you should not become comfortable. What do I mean by that? Well, when you get comfortable you start to get, I don’t want to say lazy but we do. We just assume things are going to be working the way they’ve always worked. You’ve probably done this time and time again.
[00:02:00] Scott: I know I have and actually recently, literary just last night something happened that we just took for granted. My wife and I we were just no big deal and then all of a sudden we had a big, big, major scare and we were so fortunate that everything worked out. There were sightings around our neighborhood of coyotes. We actually had… And I’ve never heard this before. I actually had a phone call from the town with this automated message saying that, “Be on the lookout, there is coyotes, we are setting traps in these certain areas if you see them report them at once. We want to make sure that we can track them and that we can trap them and then we can remove them from the premise,” because obviously there’s cats, there’s dogs, there’s also been a couple of dogs that got injured
I think one of them had gotten killed which is terrible, hate to even say that. A cat or two so it’s really, really unfortunate. My wife and I were like, “Wow. That’s crazy, we’ve got to be more aware.” As usual in the middle of the night the dog has to go to the bathroom, you get up you let it go to the bathroom just like we’ve been doing that forever. You can see where this is going. I’m laying in bed, my wife wakes up at two o’clock in the morning, lets him out, she’s standing there watching because we do watch him, we do just want to make sure especially at night time, you don’t know.
My wife lets him go, he goes around the side a little bit, comes back, she seems him and then she just rested her head on the window. We’ve got like these side lights, side lights in window business you guys know what I’m talking about. They are like little windows on the sides of your door and she just rested her head there like she was going to put her head down because obviously it's two o’clock in the morning, you want to maybe close your eyes again real quick and then she looks up and the minute that she looks up she sees Brody my dog face to face, nose to nose with a coyote. Now, you can imagine how scared she was, literary probably the most scared she’s been in a long time.
[00:04:03] Scott: All of a sudden I hear, “Oh my gosh, aah, aah,” like screams and I’m like, “What the heck?” I fly up out of bed, I’m thinking something major happening here. I’m running out guns ablaze and I’m ready to go and I rip open the door and I’m like, “What happened?” She is like, “Brody get in here.” I seen something dart off, it was dark like I said so I see something dart off. I go “What the heck?” I thought maybe it was a deer but deer they aren’t threatening around here. If anything they are friendly. She goes, “It’s a coyote, it was a coyote, they were face to face, they were nose to nose, oh my gosh I can’t believe this.”
She was almost in tears, well she was in tears. She was shaken up and it was just crazy and I’m still worked up thinking about it because I know how bad that could have been. Brody is only like 30 pounds, that coyote could have hurt him bad and probably carried him off and had him for a late night snack. That just really, really just woke us up. So now we are like every time we go out, we got to be out there with him for now at least until they figure this whole thing out and all that. But we got comfortable and the reason why I’m telling you that story is because we got comfortable. We always get comfortable whenever we are doing things in life, when we get in routines and routines are great but we still have to be aware. Now, there’s other things that we are going to be talking about when you are getting comfortable and I’m talking about let's relate it back to our business.
There’s been times even just recently, like I just let things go. It’s like you get up, you check your stuff. Okay the numbers are fine and maybe you don’t do as much research. You don’t start thinking about the next move for your business and then all of a sudden you see that your sales start to drop and you are like, “Why are they dropping?” Well it’s because you’ve got competitors and those competitors are working harder than you are right now out because they are out there, they are hungry and you are just comfortable. Or maybe you are in a job right now that “you want to get out of” but if you really want to get out of there I think you’ll be working late nights and early morning to get out there.
[00:06:06] Scott: You are just comfortable, you are punching the clock, you’re complaining at lunch or maybe at dinner to your wife but are you really uncomfortable? The thing is is if you are comfortable you tend to not look at what you could be doing and then you also don’t maybe work as hard. It’s just the way it works. So again I’m trying to relate this back to everything in life we can look at and say, “We sit there and think that everything is just going to work out because we are just going through the motions.”
We don’t want to go through the motions. You don’t want to assume everything is always okay so sometimes you have to wake yourself up and be like, “Alright I’m going to pretend that maybe my business is failing really bad and I have to do something to launch two more products so I can stabilize it.” This way here you are planning something before it actually happens and this way here it always helps you to continue to grow. It’s something I learned from Tony Robbins a long time ago. It’s like if you are not growing you're dying. You always have to be striving. It’s like we always have these goals that we want to sit there and go, “Once I get here everything’s going to be great, everything will be fine.” And then you get there and you are, “Okay, now what, what do I do now?”
You are always going to be growing. I don’t ever think I’m going to reach my ultimate, ultimate goal because that goal is always changing. I’m always pushing and I’m always going for things bigger or things that I might say that are way down the line but I want to eventually get there and then as I start to go for that things change. You don’t want to sit there and just be comfortable and assume that everything is going to be okay because it was okay yesterday. And it’s the same thing going back to my dog, what just happened. We assumed that it was just going to be like the night before, we let him out, he comes back in, goes back to bed, life is good and then all of a sudden one moment changes everything.
[00:08:02] Scott: I just wanted to share that with you. Again it just happened to me and I’m thinking to myself this morning, “What am I going to talk about as far as my thought of the week?” Well, the thought of the week is don’t get comfortable, period. Do not get comfortable.
Now the other thing I did want to share with you and it goes hand in hand, find ways to stay excited. Find ways to stay excited in your business because if you don’t it will start to get stagnant, you will just be on autopilot or cruise control so find ways to stay excited and to continue to grow. Alright, that’s what I want to leave you with here for this pre-Ask Scott session and I never know how where things are going to go by the way. So I hope that you get some value from these little stories or from these little tidbits or my thoughts of the week. Hopefully you get something from that. Alright guys what do you say? Let’s go ahead and let's listen to today’s first question and I will give you my answer. Let’s do this.
[00:08:58] Jason: Hey Scott, I have a question. You guys are talking a lot about private label. Is there a way to buy stuff from Ali Express and then sell it onto Amazon without private labeling it? I don’t live in the United States. I live out in Cambodia and so to get stuff from China sent to me here in Cambodia and then send it out to America would be, I wouldn’t know how to do that so I was thinking about buying stuff from Ali Express and then just selling it onto Amazon directly. What would be a good way to go about that? Thanks.
[00:09:34] Scott: Hey Jason thank you so much for the question and you may all be asking how did I know that his name was Jason? Well, because I looked at the message that came through and you put your name in there but you just didn’t say your name. Guys another little reminder here, when you leave a question please do me a favor and leave your first name just in case I don’t read the actual email that comes through with the question. Just do that for me but Jason great question and there’s going to be a couple of different things that you can do here. Now, anyone that’s new or maybe hasn’t even thought about the strategy really what we are talking about here is taking products in Ali Express and then from there launching them on Amazon really to test the market and kind of test the product itself to see if you can get some traction.
A lot of times what you’ll do is you’ll launch the product maybe 10 units, 20 units depending and then you’ll run some pay-per-click to it and you’ll see if you get some sales. If you do then you might be onto a good product or at least a good market. It’s definitely great strategy and I think that anyone that’s doubling or that’s saying to themselves, “Well I just don’t know if I want to go out there and spend a whole bunch of money on product and inventory.” This is a great way to get your feet wet literary. You can buy ten units if you want or even less to just go ahead and test out a market. Now you will be paying a little bit more of course because you are buying stuff that’s not at a large quantity and a lot of times also they know that you are doing that so they charge you a little bit more.
Now the question is though really, what if I’m an international seller and I want to have that stuff shipped to me but then I don’t want to ship it back into Amazon? Well first off, if you are just testing the market you still can do that if you want to. I mean yes it’s going to cost you more but again we are in the test phase. We are just trying to get product landed in Amazon so we can test out this product or this market. Now again if you don’t want to do that that’s fine.
[00:11:33] Scott: Then you’ll probably want to contact that supplier and let them know that you are going to need them to ship into a certain address and then you would just tell them that they would need to print the PDF that you give them. You would create the work order for them or the label and then you would send the PDF. Some people would be, “Why would I do that? Then you are going to let them know that I’m shipping it in Amazon and then they might go shipping it themselves.”
This is a fear that a lot of people have. I personally wouldn’t worry about it because honestly a lot of these places they just want to do the transaction like this. They just want to be able to have the product on their shelf, sell it you, wipe their hands off it, be done, make that money. Some may go out there, I think very few but there may be some that are going to say, “You know what, we should probably get someone that does this for us and launches these on Amazon.” That’s the risk that you are going to take but again we are just in the test phase. Eventually you probably want to do some more stuff to this product to make it more unique and better. But I would reach out to them. A lot of people don’t realize that but you can reach out to them and converse back and forth. You can talk about design stuff even on it.
You can say, “Listen if I wanted to put my logo on this, could you do that?” Nine out of ten times they can you are just going to have to buy more. Or maybe you have a custom box that they use, it’s going to slow down the process but usually they can do that because there are inner links. Alibaba, Ali Express they are really the same company it’s just different division in a sense but a lot of them will still private label anything that you want, you just have to ask. Again that’s why communicating, getting that relationship started is really, really important but that’s probably the first thing that I would do. Now if that doesn’t work then you would have to figure out if you could find someone in the States that you could ship it to and then they would ship it in for you.
There’s fulfilment services that will do that but you are going to usually be paying more for that as well so why not just ship it directly to yourself? There are options there for you. I don’t have one set thing for you to do but it sounds like you don’t want to spend the money to send in the inventory if you have it shipped to yourself or to pay a third party to do that. That may be an issue. Again anyone that’s just starting you’ve got to understand, you are going to have to free up a little bit of cash in order to do this. It doesn’t have to be a ton but you can’t look at it, “Well they are charging me $4 for this unit and now it’s going to cost me $1.50 to get it shipped to me and now I’ve got to spend another $1.50 to get it to Amazon.
[00:13:58] Scott: That’s way too much.” In the beginning we are just trying to validate before we go ahead and we spend a ton of money sending in inventory. In this case I would just figure out a way and I just gave you a few ideas that you could use so hopefully that helped, good luck to you, keep me posted and let’s go ahead and listen to the next question and I’ll give you my answer.
[00:14:16] John: Hey Scott my name is John from San Diego. I’ve been listening to your podcast about nine months. I’ve launched my first product which is going pretty nicely. It was Q4, so it’s probably a little bit inflated but so far so good so thank you very much. I’m looking at launching my second and third products and this is where my question comes from. Let’s just say I’m launching a new garlic press, it comes in red and blue and it’s super-hot powered and it's recommended that you wear protective eye wear with the garlic press. The problem is the eye wear come in three sizes; small, medium and large. Ideally I don’t have to package them together and then have to sell a red garlic press in small, medium, large and a blue garlic press in small, medium, large. I’d sell a garlic press separately and highly recommend purchasing the glasses with the garlic press.
I was wondering if you knew an easy way of doing this other than the related product on the listing for product liability it’s probably very highly recommended that the glasses go with the garlic press. I’m happy to give them away for free if there’s some way of you buying the garlic press and then being taken to the glasses page that I can say that’s it's small, medium and large. I’m just not sure how best to do that and wondering if you would help me with that. Looking forward to hearing your answer and again thank you for everything.
[00:15:47] Scott: Hey John thank you so much for the question all the way from San Diego. Actually I was just in San Diego not that long ago, beautiful place sorry I missed you but thank you so much for the question. This is a really, really interesting question. I don’t think I’ve ever answered something like this before so I’m excited to dive into my thoughts here. First off it sounds like, and I’m trying to work through what you are explaining but it sounds like you have this device, you don’t have to have the safety thing but it’s really recommended. You would hope that everyone would have these whether they wear them or not.
Even on a liability stand point you probably want to make sure that they have them so you can say, “Well we even gave them the safety device and the safety glasses or gloves or whatever and they got hurt. Well they didn’t wear them.” There’s another reason why you probably want to include them so this way here any liability doesn’t come back to you or at least it makes it harder for it to come back to you. I definitely think that you have to figure out a way to put that safety thing inside of the package. I think you said it comes in different sizes or the glasses might or the gloves might. You are going to have to figure out a way to make them universal or at least fit most people because again, even if they don’t fit that person 100% they were issued with it as a standard safety precaution. I would say figure out a way to put them inside of that package.
Now you said well you don’t mind giving them away for free. You are telling me already you are already willing to absorb that cost, not get anything in return. You just gotta figure out a way to get them inside of that package and so they fit the people that are buying it. You have to figure out a way to give them this thing, this safety thing in every single one of your packages unless you are saying like, “Well I’d like it but it’s not a must I’m not really concerned with liability because I’ve already got my stuff set up or I’ve got directions or whatever. I don’t know the product,” so I can’t tell you that but if you are saying that you want to make sure that every single customer gets those things or those glasses or the gloves or whatever this safety thing is then you have to put it inside the package as part of the product. Has to happen.
[00:18:05] Scott: Now another way that you could do it, and again I’m tittering on the line of is this within Amazon’s guidelines, would they be okay with it, I can’t say for sure but this is just another thought that popped into my head is on your follow up sequence whether it's Sales Backer or Feedback Genius, whatever you are using, you could then direct them over to those glasses or gloves, whatever the safety thing is and give them a discount on those. The thing is though you are going to have to ship those into Amazon so they can fulfil them for you because I definitely would not, I absolutely would not say, “Here, send us $1.95 for shipping and then we’ll ship you these glasses out for free.” I would not do that because again then we are taking out Amazon’s traffic and we’re bringing over to another site and then we are doing a transaction.
I wouldn’t do that but if you have a coupon code there that says, “Here they are on our site for $10.95 and we are going to give them to you guys for $1.95 so here is a code for 90% off or whatever, here it is,” then you can do that but again it’s going to break up your inventory, it’s going to be harder to do. If you do do sizes small, medium and large and you got to throw in small, medium and large in separate SKUs it sounds logistically like a mess. I would try to figure out a way to get those glasses, the gloves whatever and I would try to get them to be included inside of the packaging. That’s what I would do but again it’s going to be your call.
Like I said this is an interesting question but a good one so again hopefully this has helped you. Keep me posted, let me know what you do, let me know how it works out for you and hopefully anyone else that’s in a situation like this, this helped you as well. Let’s go ahead and listen to one more question for today I’ll give you my answer, we’ll wrap this baby out and we’ll get on with our weekend. What do you say? Let’s do this.
[00:19:56] Renee: Hi Scott this is Renee from Germany. Thanks for your show, it’s really very cool. My question is related to hijackers but from a different perspective. I am new to private labeling and I am now searching for a niche that is working well that I could get into. And I heard you can protect your product from hijackers. Hijackers are guys as I understood who are selling the same stuff like you do and you can prevent this by, as I heard as well as in one of your last podcasts, when you offer your product in a bundle in some kind of special bundles and you are protected by Amazon.
My question is now, when I choose a niche where I want to get into and buy samples, when I buy a product for let’s say $500 – $1,000 dollars and get into this could I tell that some established private labeling guys come to me and tell me, “Hey, this niche and this product what you are selling there is protected please stop this.” Then this would mean I wasted a lot of money for nothing. How can I prevent this? How can I see what I cannot sell so I want to avoid this problem? Would be cool if you could elaborate a little bit on that. Thank you.
[00:21:19] Scott: Hey Renee all the way from Germany, man I love that, I love it that we are again getting some international listeners which we have a ton I know, globally. TAS is in Germany now which is pretty cool so Renee thank you again I appreciate it and congratulations on getting started. This is a good question. Again you are a little bit down the road now. I mean I don’t know that you’ve really gotten the products picked or anything and I get it that you want to figure this out a little bit before you go down that path. First off when you are going through the product research stage you do want to start looking at possible trademarks and patents and stuff like that.
There are some ways that you can do it but you are never really going to know for sure unless number one, you can buy the product, you can look at the product. If they have a patent pending it’s going to say patent pending most of the times or if you are at all concerned then you are going to want to contact an attorney, like plain and simple. I think that’s a risk that we all run. We know about patents, you can do a patent search on Google and stuff too. I probably think on starting you should do that probably first and you just search for the patent. Patents are so tricky because it could be patented on a certain woven pattern on your material not necessarily the device so then you would have to tweak that and then you wouldn’t be in violation but you definitely want to do your homework there.
I always like to look at products that I know just by looking at them that is not a major brand or it’s not a brand that is ripping off the main brand. You’ve got to use your head there a little bit, do a little deep dive there and say, “You know what, this garlic press it’s got a unique shape and everything. Did this company manufacture this? Are they claiming that it’s a certain unique design that is custom-made for them and then they have patent pending.” Those are the things that I’m going to look for but let’s just say though that you find your product and then you want to add another product. What you’ve been hearing as far as whether it’s here or anywhere else, by bundling a product it’s going to make it harder for someone to hijack a listing.
[00:23:30] Scott: Now we’ve also talked about brand registry if you brand register it’s going to be, I can’t say that it’s going to be a definite but there’s a good chance that it will but help you if you get hijacked then you can go ahead and create that claim. Also we’ve also seen in some cases if you are brand registered then what will happen is people that want to try to list your product, your exact same product, it will say, “You need to request permission to sell this product.” It doesn’t happen all the time but it’s another way for you to be able to protect your listing if they enforce it on your product. There is a lot of different factors that I’ve been hearing of why that would happen. It may not happen to you maybe you are too new of a seller, you just got brand registered like who knows?
We don’t know all the ins and outs of that just yet and if I hear that or if you guys listening know of that or a little bit more criteria then let me know for sure. But going back to being hijacked, really by bundling your product you are going to be able to reduce that. It makes it a little bit harder for someone to find those two elements or those three elements and putting them into a package and then branding it with your branding. All of those different steps that someone would have to take it’s going to make it harder for them to take over your listing or to take your product and then jump on your listing. Just think about that for a second, if you had to go out and find a supplier over on the left and a supplier over on the right to make those two come together with two different products in one package it’s going to be harder for them to do it and they are just going to move on to the next because there’s easier ones out there for them to go and hijack.
Because they are going to go after one that’s not branded well or a single unit that it doesn’t have good cost of packaging, that’s not branded on the product. Again if you have your branding on the product they have to make that product to be totally exactly the same thing because then we have a product that is not identical to the one that they are selling and they can’t do that.
[00:25:31] Scott: Then that would be enforced by Amazon and that would be almost immediate because you could totally prove that. You’d have to just buy a test order and then send it in and then you’d have to prove that yours has that. The other little side note here I’d like to mention is if you are ever having a mold created for a product, we talked about this on one of our Facebook lives, our Power Hour with my good friend Dom Sugar and Chris Schaffer and we were talking about this and Dom says that he does this on all molds that he ever does. I’m actually in the process right now where we are looking to create a mold.
What you are going to want to do here is have your brand name right inside the mold so this way here if someone was to copy yours they would have to, they would have the same mold to be identical because yours is going to be printed inside, embedded, embossed inside of your product somewhere, some type of marking so this way here it’s authentic to you. Then this is another reason you’d want to do it is because if your supplier has that mold and they start making it for someone else you are going to be able say, “Wait, in our agreement we said that that mold was exclusively available to us and I know that you’ve used it on others because they are selling it on our listing and that’s not me I haven’t sold to them, I’ve only sold to…” You are going to be able to go back and show that history.
Again you’d want to have something written up here and preferably an attorney and again it probably isn’t going to cost that much to have an attorney draw something up like that and then this way it’s done and this way here once you have it you have it you can always tailor it to the next supplier if you need to. That’s definitely something you want to do and I know this isn’t directly on answering your question but it does have to do with how to protect your product so I wanted to address this as well. But Renee what I would do is I would say definitely do your research on the products that you are selecting and then secondly if you are going to bundle them that will help you when it comes to people jumping on your listing. It’s going to make it harder for them to do so.
[00:27:31] Scott: Hopefully that helped you, good luck, keep me posted and guys if you have a question that you want me to answer on an upcoming Ask Scott session head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and yeah you can ask a question. And then of course if you want to download the show notes or the transcripts you can head over to theamazingseller.com/325 and you can grab everything there and then just to remind you guys on the thought of the week don’t get comfortable. Go out there, get a little uncomfortable and being uncomfortable is good sometimes but also be aware and again if you hear that there’s coyotes in your area and you have a dog, make sure that you watch your dog even if you let him out or her out numerous times and everything was cool, you just never know. At least that’s what I’m going to be doing.
Guys that’s it, that’s going to wrap up this episode of Ask Scott. Again keep those questions coming and remember I’m here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you buy you have to, you have to, come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud… Let’s do it together now, “Take Action.” Have an awesome amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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