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…one of our latest TAS Power Hours which I feel is full of great information. And let me just give you a little background here on the TAS Power Hour and the way that that really started. Myself and Chris Shaffer and Don Sugar, we’re good friends. We’re also partners in a brand but we tend to talk about this stuff on Skype.
Like we hook up on Skype and we’ll just have a conversation and we said, “You know what, it would be really cool if we could kind of do this and also let everyone listen in.” That's where the Power Hour kind of came from. And after I got back from Seller Summit, it had a lot of people say love, love, love the TAS Power Hour. I love listening to Dom's stories because Dom has been doing this for over 15 plus years in this business all the way from just regular retail brick and mortar, to going online and starting there and eBay and then Retail Arbitrage. And over the past few years, private label.
So it's awesome for all of us to get on Chris's got a wealth of information and I've dabbled in this Amazon space as you guys know. So it's a way for us to jump on and trade notes and talk about things that are happening right now and also what we see people struggling with. So this week, just to kind of give you some of the topics that we talk about, we talk about trend products in bundles, we talk about accessory product challenges and ranking, and what that basically means is if you're building a product suite around a main product, how that can be a challenge and also how to rank.
We also talk about the open brand, again we talk about the pros and the cons because we're all dabbling in both of those. We talk about launch costs, we talk a little bit about gambling. Actually Dom gambling and how it relates to private labeling or this whole online space and we had a little disagreement there, not too much, but we disagreed a little bit.
[00:02:04] Scott: But this entire episode is really full, full of great information and that's why I'm airing it here on the podcast. If you guys want to attend one of our live TAS Power Hours, then you're definitely going to want to make sure that you are connected through Facebook, through the TAS community. If you're not part of that community, head over to theamazingseller.com/fb, and this way here you’ll never miss one of those TAS Powers Hours. Or at least you can go back and watch the replay because we do those live on Facebook and they'll be there in side of that community.
One last thing before I turn it over to the recording, is I wanted to remind you on the show notes you'll probably want to download the show notes, the transcripts to this episode and if you do, you can head over to theamazingseller.com/371. All right so I'm going to stop talking now so you can enjoy this episode, this conversation that I had with my good friends Mr. Chris Shaffer and Dom Sugar. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
[00:03:08] Scott: What's been happening with you Dom this past week? What's been going on?
[00:03:11] Dom: Same old, same old. I was working with getting some new shipments in for the open brand and there are two or three ASINs for my other brands. And then to Retail Arbitrage stuff as always. Always truckloads stuff coming in. So that basically would be it. Figure out logistics and because I would obviously would love that we talked to change a few things of doing what to direct to Amazon. So, the first couple times were not very smooth so, I'm trying to make sure that the process works good.
I've heard it's pretty fast if you used DHL kind of stuff like Chris used, maybe you guys have used. But you know it's only 20, 30 cases it’s not but I'm sending 10,000/15,000 pieces so it’s a little crazier than that. They love doing it by air and the logistics freight forward, they bringing it in bond and then it is delivered to Amazon. But when it is with port fees and duties and all that stuff, it's a lot harder. So fight through that and we heard back from a couple of products that we got Guided Imports to look into, so those are three new products that we're getting ready to work on and that's been a struggle this year.
Just because we've got so much on the go a TAS all that stuff moving on, it's just… I haven’t been able to focus on releasing more private label stuff. We are used during two or three a month you know now we're down to one a month or two every two months. So that's been the challenge for me this year. I just find that my focus isn't there right now. It is but it isn’t, you know what I am saying? Like I'll do a couple hours here, a couple hours there instead of a whole week. So now all the people that I work with are like, “Okay, let's get this done” Before I’d be after them say, “Okay, hurry up, hurry up I want to get my order.” Now they're emailing me and calling me and say, “Hey, what's going on? We haven’t got your proofs, your UPC codes or your box images.
[00:05:02] Dom: So that's been a struggle but again, that's also because we're trying to do a product that's not really available on Amazon too. Chris and Scott knows a lot of what the products are. So it's not like we're taking something that’s already there and just making it a little better or actually trying to launch products that maybe there's one or not even one person with that product. So we have to take from two or three factories and amalgamate all those parts and stuff. So that's probably one of the reasons why it's been more difficult. But besides that, you know…
[00:05:30] Scott: I think before we move on from that because people will say, “Well, Scott, don't you think that you should launch products that are currently selling?” “Yes we are. That's what we're doing.” What we're doing though, as a side little thing here, is we're trying to see a trend that could be happening that we can then compile a few different products together and make our own little package, if that makes sense.
So, it's kind of like we have something that we know is selling maybe in other marketplaces or whatever, and then we're able to then say, maybe this is something that’s going to trend, we’ll do a test order, and then we can kind of go. And that's kind of what we did with the one product that we launched with very little promotions and just some pay-per-click and… By the way, give me an update on Dom. I haven't checked in with them. How's that been doing?
[00:06:14] Dom: It's slowed down for about a week there and I thought, “Okay, this is it.” Like we said, we’ll do 30, 40 a day and it drop down to like 15, 18, 20. And then yesterday I think we did another 40, 50 units in the open… I think we did 130, 140 units to open brand yesterday and that's with limited stock because we're still trying to get my Christmas stock back in. So it's pretty amazing that it's still going. Again, we're the only one basically in the marketplace, there's a couple of people that got into it but not the same type of product, maybe for the same main product but their accessories is a little different than ours or whatever it was. So it’s so good.
[00:06:55] Scott: You know what Dom, I'm finding a very similar situation in the new brand that we launched, which you know what that is. We have like let's see how many SKUs do we have now, Chris? What is it? One, two with variations. With variations, four? Yeah I think four with variations.
[00:07:16] Chris: There is four in Amazon right now, yes.
[00:07:17] Scott: Yeah, four and there's more coming. But, with that being said, there's not really any of those products that are being searched for. The main product is being searched for. But we have accessories that are add-ons, in a sense, and I'm finding that to be a little bit of a challenge. But, I do know that eventually we’ll start showing up as frequently bought together or ‘customers who viewed this also viewed this’. We're getting ready to launch some products that are searched for, that are very highly searched for and then that will lead people in. I'm starting to see it’s starting to pick up a little bit with a couple of those SKUs.
But, that is one of the challenges I think that when you're trying to add an accessory for something, you're going after the main product, let's say, but you're adding accessories. People might not even know that those things are accessories at this time. They're not searching for them. But if they see them, they might want them. So, I'm finding that to be a little bit of a struggle but not really too concerned because I know that once we get that cross promotion or frequently bought together, it will start to kind of take on life on its own. And then also the products that we're going to be launching or highly search for, those will get us in the game.
[00:08:36] Dom: Yeah, it's because your main keywords, just like we're on a product and we're talking about. Even when I first started three-four years ago, I had the same issue. Because your main product is a big product and people are searching that term, they already know is going to be on page 15 until you move the algorithm. Now, you might be that term plus another term you'll show up. I mean it depends how much PPC you’re going to allocate to that actual term and all that types of stuff.
And we have the same thing in my second brand, the second company that I opened, we're an accessory, strict accessory. We can never rank right away for the main keyword. Just because those companies had 100 products. Not even the same product but the same company would launch different product. So you have to sort of pass all their products until you get that. Now we’re at the top, right? Because you know all the old accessory keywords or the long tail keywords we started ranking pretty fast on it.
So I think with that probably we’re going to have it. But, again, because it's going to be a one stop shop. It's the same way when you launch… I mean that's why people like to launch a brand whether it’s your brand or where else is doing it, versus what we're doing the open brand. Again, I like both models but the brand model works because it's the same thing like a 7-Eleven now or your gas. They got gas, they got the lottery, they got cigarettes, they've got fruit, they've got pop, they’ve got everything in there.
You just go in and buy one thing. That's why Walmart sells now because they you know because they have so much food. And that's why Amazon got in groceries, the same reason, one stop. You don’t have to go anywhere else. You can go buy all your Amazon except for perishables, which I think is going to start eventually. So once you have perishables…
So why would you go anywhere else? It’s the same concept. For your product, you can launch 25 things even if you're not the most competitively priced. You can be $2 higher or $5 higher and someone’s still going to buy it because they’re just going to add it on to their cart and get to that $35 threshold. So that's one good thing about having a brand.
[00:10:36] Dom: The bad thing about it is if it's especially a trend brand if that trend dies, your whole brand dies with it. If you built your whole brand around an iPhone 4 you're pretty well finished or if you did nothing but Blackberry accessories, good luck. You wouldn’t make any money now. So that's the problem with that doing it that way.
[00:11:00] Scott: You would have to almost then plan the next move in that brand.
[00:11:04] Dom: Yeah, you’d have to pivot it. You have a generic name. It's not like you're calling that product accessory, you could just turn into whatever the next item is. There's always… Especially the space you're in it’s always turning every two to three months there’s new stuff coming out. So you could just say, “Okay, I'm done with this type of stuff and then we're going to move into this. And that’s it. That’s the beauty part. And the best thing is you don’t lose your feedback and all your history and all that.
[00:11:32] Scott: No, I agree. And, again, there's pros and cons and it was funny at that Seller Summit. I had a pretty packed room actually, which was pretty… I was surprised because I was going up against each of Steve Chou of his own event. And there was two trucks going in and I was talking about how to launch a product on Amazon without needing incentivized reviews. I talked a little bit about the open brand product and also the most recent launch that we did using an email list and all that stuff.
And it was funny I had a full packed room which was amazing. And anyone that's watching, there is some people that say they watch the TAS Power Hour. I want to thank you guys for showing up, supporting my presentation. And a lot of you said they got a ton of value from that. I got a lot of people that said, “What do you mean to feel like the Open Brand? What does that mean?”
Again guys, if you guys are just tuning in and you don't know what we're talking about, an open brand is really having the flexibility under one main brand. Like a mean brand of XYZ wholesale or XYZ deals, and then you launch kitchen accessories and sporting, outdoors or sporting goods, or maybe it's fishing, or maybe it's camping or maybe it's, I don't know, toys or whatever. You're able to do that under that open brand umbrella. And then from there you can, it's kind of like a retail arb account in a sense, to where you can have miscellaneous things, it's just you're going to call yourself like XYZ deals or whatever and that gives you the flexibility.
And someone asked me like, “Scott if you were to start from scratch, what would you do? If I didn't have any type of direction or brand in mind, I would do the open brand without any question. Because it gives you that freedom of testing really quickly, like rapidly. And then you can move and say, “Okay, you know what, that didn’t really take off, so I'm going to go ahead and try something else.” And then you can keep playing with that.
But, if you had something, some direction or maybe you already have a brick and mortar store and you’re into some type of accessory for camping or maybe you are a sports and outdoor store or whatever then your natural next move is to put it on Amazon.
[00:13:34] Scott: And if you do that… I mean we met a company, Chris, we met a company there. They're doing like millions of dollars on their own site and now they’ve graduated and went over to Amazon and they're just scratching the surface and they actually, they’d run out of inventory in the Amazon and it tells you like how much are how much money you lost because you didn't actually get to sell that. Their screenshot, Dom, was $980,000 that they lost when they ran out of inventory.
[00:14:02] Dom: That’s a lot of money and that’s crazy.
[00:14:06] Scott: No, no. Actually, their not. They are actually selling like little tricky type stuff that's like probably what Chris? $20 to $30.
[00:14:15] Chris: It’s anywhere 20 to 100 bucks.
[00:14:17] Scott: All right. So, $20 to $100 part. But I mean they're doing massive, massive, massive amounts of volume on their own sites.
[00:14:23] Chris: I was going to rant. I want to say thanks to everybody. We did get a lot of Power Hour love at Seller Summit and that was always followed up with what we brought up earlier which was a little bit of love for Dom. And just a little disappointment that he wasn't there with us as well. So Power Hour is gaining some traction.
[00:14:43] Dom: Chris, your audio is a little choppy but I think we understood you. I think you said that it's needs some traction.
[00:14:51] Dom: He is running 37. Thirty up, seven down or whatever it is. I mean I don’t know.
[00:14:59] Scott: All right. So the other thing I wanted.
[00:15:01] Dom: And that’s what we want though.
[00:15:03] Scott: Yeah. Exactly I want to answer some questions. It seems like we've got a bunch of questions coming in as well. A bunch of people around right now. Guys do me a favor. Like I said, share this, like it, whatever you can do to give it a little of love, keep us coming back. We don't want to not do the TAS Power Hour, but if you guys keep showing up, we'll keep coming back. So I definitely want to see any questions you guys have and we can help you guys. We definitely want to do that.
I also want to talk about the email that actually it’s not even been sent out yet, it's going to be sent out at like 3:30. I think I'm going to send it out. But I talk a little bit about in there like, people came up to me they're like, “Scott, what is the secret formula? Like if no one's listening, can you tell me…What do you guys talk? What do you and Dom, and Chris talk about behind the scenes that you don't really let everyone know about? What's the secret’s like?” And I'm like, “There is none.”
[00:15:56] Dom: KFC. It’s the spices.
[00:16:02] Scott: So here's the deal. And it kind of annoys me that there's some people in our community that build up hype around the tactics and strategies and hacks, and all these things and get us interested. I went on a little bit of a rant in my email, just a very little rant it's not too much but just a little rant. But I went through like everything that it takes. And we just did our workshop last night. Now our workshop guys, if you guys did not attend that, directly check that out because we're not going to be doing another workshop for about six to eight weeks.
We're taking a little bit of a break because I'm going to be traveling a little bit. We've got some plans to go to Mexico, like you heard, with Dom and family. And we also are doing a North Carolina meet up which we are almost confirmed on the meeting location. I've got a funny story about that too. Remind me to share that story.
But, it comes down to really just doing exactly what we're saying but also being willing to put in the work. So many people think that there's this hacker, there's this secret and then it's all of a sudden going to happen. It's not the case. Everyone I talked to there, they pretty much said their first product might not have been successful and then they pivoted, and then went on to something else. Actually, I met a guy there that said he launched first product, it did, okay, but it just didn't do what he thought. He pivoted and now he's doing $250,000.
Because he adjusted. He didn't abandon the model. The model works clearly. Dom, I ran into some people there too, it was amazing, it blew me away. I had one lady, she came up to me and she's like, “Scott, I just want to let you know I'm a huge fan of the podcast, I've listened since day one. You guys are awesome. You've helped me so much. And oh, by the way, I've done $1.4 million since listening to your podcast.” I’m like, “Okay, well, you mean the email me that stuff because that gets me really, really fired up to get back on and look into this microphone and start broadcasting.”
[00:18:00] Dom: Did you did ask her where your 10% was?
[00:18:03] Scott: Yeah, right.
[00:18:05] Chris: Have you ever noticed that statements always prefaced with, “I've only done around four million?”
[00:18:12] Scott: But she also went on to say that, “It wasn't all easy, I had some growing pains, I had to figure this out. This didn't work. My freight forward did this.” Yada, yadda, yadda. But she goes, I expected that. It's business. Like if this were her husband are from the corporate world. So the funny thing is I met her… And then I left and went on to the next room and I started talking to other people, and then I came back on and I start talking this guy this guy. And this guy is like, “Hey, Scott, I am a big listener of the podcast.” Then he keeps going through it. Come to find out, it's her husband. So it's husband and wife team. They came to me, they both told me a similar story and then it was just funny we all laughed. And I said, “Wow, I got to hear the story twice.” So that was really awesome.
I had another guy come up, actually a young guy, a landscaper. He said, “Scott, I just want to let you know, I've been listening to you for probably about eight, nine months. I took action. I went out there, I listened to you as I was doing people's lawns. I owned a landscaping company.” And he was like, “I think…” How old was he? Probably like 25 or less than 30. And he's done over $500,000 since starting. And he's like, “Scott, I want to thank you.” And then actually Dom, he's from Hawaii. So he already said we've got connections in Hawaii. So when we’re ready, he said, he’ll take care of us. And then the other thing that he said if he shared what he’s doing. He shared what he's doing with a 16 year old and that 16 year old now is crushing it on Amazon he said.
[00:19:38] Dom: I mean I've said that too. Even the guys though my warehouse here, our staff, I'm like, “Guys you gotta jump on this. You see we talk about it every day. You guys are in the retail arb. You help me list stuff. You guys are 20, 21, 22. I wish I had this opportunity when I was your age.” I honestly I'd be retired at 40 if I did seriously like that just the way it would work, because you could just… You know in 10 years you could build up a lot of products. So you have to take advantage of that. I mean we don't have that advantage. We're in our 40s almost 50s not Chris but me and you. Chris is just a little guy. But you know what I'm saying. We're starting late. My retail arb started when I was in my mid-20s but again…
[00:20:24] Scott: But Dom, you put in the work. You put in the work. And that's another thing that I went on a little rant. I'm like people come out and go, “Scott, men, you got so lucky that's awesome.” And I'm like, “Go back and listen to episode 300. I've done a lot to get where I am.” And Charles just says, meet up in Hawaii, I like it. Charles was there as well. Charles was looking for you too Dom.
[00:20:47] Dom: That’s good.
[00:20:48] Scott: Charles, men. I just want to say, awesome meeting you again there and hanging out with you and you're always a rock star. I want to thank you so much for being a huge supporter of TAS, you're awesome. Charles and you're doing some amazing things as well. But yeah, definitely Hawaii that sounds fun. But yeah, you put in the work, Dom. Let's not ignore that.
[00:21:09] Dom: No. We've said that from the beginning. You know it’s like we 20 years of stumbling over myself to get to where we are now. To have a high-level retail arb and three to four big companies on Amazon separated with partners. You, my fam, all that stuff. It just didn’t happen. I didn't create hundreds of ASINs myself. I had to work for that you know. It's the same thing and everyone asks me the same question. “How do you do it?
You seem you know what you're doing, you have the magic touch.” I get that all the time. I said, “It’s not really that.” I said, “If somebody says don't release a garlic press, I don't release it.” And if we talk about a product down here or Greg Mercer talks about a product, I'm not going to release that product. Because you know a hundred other people are going to do the same thing because he’s showing that it sells. I am just using as an example.
And then you got to trip over yourself and you got to be well… Here it is Nick Gamble is a perfect person. You got to be able to gamble. He gambled, he’s lost on his gamble and he's doing well. You got to be able to lose $1,000 and not think about it twice. I always use the casino reference you guys know that. I've said it a million times. You walk at a casino, you got to know you are able to lose that $1,000. If you lose a thousand then you can't pay your rent tomorrow, it's not a good business right now.
[00:22:25] Scott: The one difference though Dom, is when you throw $1,000 at something and then you see how it works or not, you take education away from that. On the roulette table you don’t really gain anything other than, “Holy crap, I just lost a grand.”
[00:22:41] Dom: Yeah. I've just saying that if you fail, at least you already know yourself, okay. I mean the positive-negative. I don't expect to make lots of money today. Oh, my God. I worked over a thousand bucks a year. You're already downplaying your success in if you if you don't win, okay, you're not really mad, and if you do win, you're really happy. So it's the same thing with private label. And again, you just have to… We said a million times.It’s all product selection guys. It's really what it is.
[00:23:07] Scott: It's product selection and willing to pivot when you need to pivot. Don’t marry a product.
[00:23:12] Dom: And that's why the open brand is good because I see sort of people that get into the brand company, they release a first, go to second. By time they get to their third product, it's so saturated. They're like, “What am I going to do now? I'm already two products in.” Or you know what, just do the open brand and go into another category then. Don't give up because it's not it all. And that's how we kind of started the open brand, Scott. After our third brand or third account, we were like, “Okay, we've got you know what products up.”
I’m like, “We want to releases this other product that is going to sell for like 30 bucks.” And it was just saturated. So we kind of got to a dead end and I forget about this. I'm going to fight with these brands anymore, I'm just going to start releasing whatever I want to release, whenever I want to and take advantage of it that way. So there's really no secret sauce. Yes, there's a lot of hype there's a lot of hype in this game, there's a lot of false information or you know you get quick hype. Do this. This is going to happen.
[00:24:02] Scott: Well, I think it’s like, “Let’s make it sexy.” Like, let's make that the new hack, the new this, the new that. You know what I mean? It takes work.
[00:24:11] Dom: Of course, and I like hearing. Listen, so maybe here somebody comes up to me and say, “Look, I did $12,000 this year or I did $8,000. Sold this far this one private label.” That's good because what did you make last month? Nothing, zero. So $12,000 or $50,000 to go here or $3,000 times 12 months, It doesn't have to be $1.5 million, it doesn't have to be… Again these are these really success stories. And yes everybody wants that freedom and they want that.
For me to get those levels, I've had to work a lot of time to do that and we're at those levels. And we are releasing stuff. I could stop today and not have to release one more product it would be. I can give it to all my retail arb now. I just do private label if I wanted to. But why? Because we're successful at both, we can handle both.
[00:24:53] Scott: Well, let's talk to your wife about that second part there.
[00:24:56] Dom: Well, yeah. She gets scared when she hears, “Ti, ti, ti, ti.” And these big semi-trucks are coming in and drop it off stuff.
[00:25:05] Scott: She is like, “What did you order now Dom?” “Well, I cleared out that other liquidation over there. I know we can sell it. You got to realize like I buy it for a dollar and sell it for 10. Come on let’s make money.
[00:25:15] Dom: Even today, I looked at 35 more skids. 35 more pallets of media stuff. I mean it's hard. You know what a couple hundred dollars a pallet and there's $5,000, $10,000 with the stuff on the pallet. It's hard to say no to. I mean people would love to be my position for retail arb, right?
[00:25:31] Chris: Sure, sure.
[00:25:32] Dom: And like they want to get my stuff. They want to get this type of stuff. So I kind of like of like, and it's a competitive thing too, you don't want anybody else to take it because I know if I don't take it the next guy, they’re going to put on the eBay and Amazon and compete against me. So yeah I know you're right. I mean the love would be transitioned strictly to private label. But I think I’ll always have that. I like to buy stuff and you can’t buy. When I buy private label is just 10,000 pieces of one thing. When I buy at retail arb, it’s 10,000 mixed. It could be 300 this, 200 that. I don't think there's any secret thing. Everybody on this panel you, me, Chris. We are all successful because we put time in it.
We started at the bottom but we also learned our work ethic when we were kids. Like I said, my variety started at 13 years old. Working two or three jobs when I was in high school to pay for my insurance even though my parents were well off and stuff. They still say, “Look here, you have to pay your insurance, you have to pay your gas.” So I worked at a grocery store and I worked in a sign place to make signs. The generation now it's like, “Okay, give me an iPad and a phone I'm going to sit my room for four hours.”
I deal with it with my daughter. It's like, give, give, give take. It's always take, take, take. So, again, this only business model that I've known and I've been in lots whether it's wholesale or a drop shipping or brokering or door to door or telemarketing, the only business if you put a lot of work into it and you do your research right, you can have a successful business within a year.
There's no way. Most businesses lose money for two to three or four years. Any brick and mortar store, ask anybody unless you open up something that's hype. If you open up the UFC store when UFC was hotter, a scrap hawking store when scrap hawking was really hot. But then where are those stores now? They're on my emails, closing bankrupt because they went a brick and mortar trend they thought they could you know for great two, three years they made lots of money because they didn’t pivot. They didn't say, okay. Well, Anyways….
[00:27:21] Scott: Okay, what I want to do here really quickly, Chris. I know we've got questions probably come in and… If you have questions, put them the chat here I am pointing with a pen now. What am I doing? So put in your questions. I did want to say something here. Again, I got a lot of stuff I want to share about this week because it was just awesome. I did a roundtable session with people that had attended or that wanted to attend that were at my presentation.
The one thing that people said to me, they said, “Scott, when you first start, when you launch a product, when do you start to…” Not even that. “I don't want to lose money. I want to be able to just sell the product and make money. I don’t want to put my order in or my inventory in and then sell something and not make money.” And I go, “Well, number one, that's the wrong mindset. And I like to go back and give this, and it's funny, here's a story for you.
I'm sitting there and after I, basically this is what I shared, I said, “Listen, people have been doing this for years. If you have a brand new store, brick and mortar, no one knows that you're here, you're going to run a grand opening something, right? Newspaper ads, maybe billboards, you're going to let people know, radio. And then you're going to have like a tent with hot dogs and hamburgers and you're going to have the clown, and you're going to have the bouncy bounces, and all this stuff. And then you're hoping that people are going to go, ‘Oh cool. I'm here I might as well create a new bank account I'm a bank because am at the bank. Right?’ Or “Oh, these guys are really family orientated. I want to do business with them.””
That's what you're hoping for. And people are all like, “Oh okay. I get it.” So private labeling it’s the same thing. When we're first getting our order in there and when we're starting to do our little launch, we're basically not thinking we're going to make money right out of the gate. We'll just saying this is part of our promotion. This is part of the way that we can get seen because Amazon is going to give us love after we get the sales. That's what they do and then we start to rank then we start to get eyeballs, all of that stuff.
[00:29:25] Scott: As soon as I got them talking about, everybody got it, they agreed. “Okay, I get it now, I get it.” I left that table and I had a gentleman walk off and he goes, “Hey, I just wanted to tell you I've been doing brick and mortar stuff for years. We used to budget $10,000 for a grand opening.” $10,000 for a grand opening on a brick and mortar! So, you want to have maybe let's say you order 1,000 units you want to allocate 500 units as like you're launching material, that's basically part of the process. Now you might not have to do that as aggressively. Maybe it's not doing a 50% off discount like we just did.
Maybe it's running pay-per-click heavily and not making money on the pay-per-click it’s getting that exposure. But understanding that the money that you're putting into right now is really to build the foundation so you can be rooted. So this way here right now in our new brand we're getting set and ready so when the traffic starts coming in especially when it gets hot maybe even in the fourth quarter, we're going to be rooted very deeply within this product line and within these keywords.
So I just wanted to say that because I thought that was interesting that people were getting that and then a gentleman came up to me and says, “You were spot on with the grand opening example, it makes total, total sense.” Chris, did you want to say something?
[00:30:39] Chris: Yeah. The other thing, let me know if I just start going Mr. Roboto on you. He said they didn't expect… He launched a series of stores and they projected them to be non-profitable for the first three years. So it’s $10,000 to launch and then they didn't expect to break even for three years. And Dom you hit it right on the head earlier. This is one of the very few business models where you can be profitable very, very quickly if not even on that first order. And Scott, I know like we’re going to be right around break-even on that first order of that first product, if not he got a little bit of profit even with doing that promotional stuff, and that PPC.
I know you and I were going through the second checker we got back from that brand last night said, “Man, look at that. Look at how much we would have gotten back if we weren’t running PPC,” And then you kind of walk away from that and you go, but we want to be rooted. We want to have that foundation and we want to be in so that as we’re doing this stuff, we can let the organic stuff take back over and then we don't have to worry about it as much.
[00:31:43] Scott: Yeah and basically what Chris is talking about is, there was like a two week, you know you get paid every two weeks. Well, we kind of looked at our pay-per-click cost because our pay-per-click cost comes out of our pay. We have it going out of our pay versus going out of credit card. So it was basically in two weeks we spent $611 on pay-per-click. And that was really to drive those sales. So we didn't make any money on that run but we were able to get sales, we were able to get data too by the way. This is important. We got a got a ton of great data. And I actually talked to our other business partner in this brand and I mentioned the search term that's been being seen or being searched for through our broad that now is like, “Maybe we should launch one of them.”
So we've got another product idea that we're already looking into because we know that it's getting a lot of impressions and it's getting clicks. And people have actually bought our product by searching for this other search term they still went and bought our product. So just by 600 bucks that we spent, we got sales, we got on the map and we got a ton of great data so far. So, again, we're okay with that. I'm happy with that. But it's funny when you look at it you're like I got $600 that I could have had in my pocket but I would have gotten no sales, I would have gotten that data. What’s that worth to you?
[00:33:00] Dom: To me that even sounds pretty light for two weeks. I spend that in a day.
[00:33:06] Chris: It helps that one of the products wasn't active for one of those two weeks.
[00:33:14] Dom: What we forget though, Chris and Scott, is that listen you are going to be paying all that money upfront in what? You don't know what's going to happen when you get to fourth quarter. And Amazon's going to thank you for giving them that money on PPC and then when it's time and we start getting our algorithm moving up and you start doing sales, they're going to rank you a lot better because they've seen you put money into those keywords, it's just the way it works.
You’re going to lose some money, they know you're losing money, and then they always start moving you around to bump you up on the keywords, get the all that type of stuff. So it’s for every launch we do same thing. It's frustrating right at the beginning, you are spending lots of money you're not getting any rank and then two, three, four months later you're right at the top you know you’re ranking for keywords that you would never have ranked for before. And, again, I always put it to the fact that Amazon is kind of just saying, “Okay, thanks for spending at $300 a day with us. We're going to help you out now because you spent that much for four months.
[00:34:10] Scott: We feel bad so we’re going you rank.
[00:34:12] Dom: Yeah, that's basically what's happening, right? And that will help you. It's also the easiest way, I like to just spend two… When you enter this market or this business model, it’s also just like entering into a union or seniority role if you're working for whatever, FedEx or United States Postal Service any of those unions. Like you that you start at the bottom. You're not going to get that job that every forty you get paid for forty but you are only worth 25 because your route is so slower. You know what I'm saying? Those type of thing. You've got to work there for 20 years until you move up.
These people have to work 25, 30 years before they can get to the best paid, to the best job, because of the seniority. And it's the same thing with PPC, you just can't come in when there's 50 other people selling the same that you're doing and expect, “Hey, I got to pay I'm going to pay $10 a click and I'm going to be number one.” You could do that, that's how we did it. But then you will be paying for $500 a day on PPC on those keywords, and then eventually it does pay off six months, eight months later. Again I won't go back and change it but that's the reality, that's how it works. So if you want to do it that way, you can. You just better have money for PPC. If you want to take is nice and slow, two, three, four, five hundred every two weeks like you did $600, you'll gradually get up there and it will just be a patient thing.
[00:35:23] Scott: It’s being consistent. And we are all going to dial that up. Actually right now we are fine tuning it. And like Chris said we had one of our ASINs that actually we had Amazon lose and then they reinstated it, and then it went down again as we made a change, three times, spent about four hours in the phone with Amazon, So it was a pain but we got through it.
[00:35:41] Chris: This thing is going to be the death of me.
[00:35:42] Dom: And as you bring more products and you get your fifth product, you’re averaging eight things a day. Your second product now you're doing 12, now, you’re doing 16, you’re going to do 24. And then next year you'll be doing 112. The next year after, you’ll be doing 250 a day. It needs time. 100 of us that are watching this there right now are going to hit a homerun, and that's the biggest thing. I know what you guys like to use my analogy all the time, I never get credit for it but that's fine, that's true.
[00:36:10] Scott: Dom coined it by the way.
[00:36:12] Chris: Dom invented baseball.
[00:36:14] Dom: I invented baseball as related to private label, right? Single or double. One out of a hundred will hit a homerun or a grand slam basically the first time they launch their product. One of our best friends, that's on here, he hit a homerun his first product. Sold 120, 140 a day just like a couple of other guys from the TAS meet up that we had the whole guy. That truck driver guy, I can’t remember his name but he hit a homerun right away. But you got to follow up with that, do you understand? The home runs turn into singles, turns out to turn into outs, turn into that type of thing.
[00:36:46] Scott: But the home run might only last for a short period of time.
[00:36:50] Dom: That’s what I'm saying. You're only going to go to streak you will be a streaky hitter, you are going to hit one here, you're not going to be on 0 for 25. So you got to keep it up. What I'm trying to say is that you can't just look at the guy that hit the home run that's 120 or 60 even 50 day, 60 a day and he just did a launch. Because I hear, “Oh, I'm selling right away. I'm already doing 50 a day.” That's good, I'm really happy for those guys but in reality, if you could do eight to ten a day like you taught everybody, thought that’s realistic. Go to the next product then you've got another eight at sixteen and that's how you grow your business.
But if you get stuck on the first product, you’re not even launched in the first product, you can’t even get to 10 products. And once you start getting 10, 12, 15 ASINs, that's when the money starts really come in. You look at your days it used to be 150 a day and now there are 1,400 a day, then 2,000 a day then…. And that's what happens but it takes time. It takes time, effort, you can't just do it one day a week and throw it down. It's just got to be part of your lifestyle. You've got to look at it. I look at this way, anything you want. If you want to buy a brand new car, you say before you save up for it, you pull that goal.
You want to put your kids through a nicer school you're going to put that goal. It’s just like private label. If you want to be successful, you work your 40 hours a week and you come in and you work two, three hours a day times five days a week and then hopefully a new year from now, it pays off. That's what we do with retail arb, I always did the private label at night. I still kind of do it like that.
[00:38:06] Scott: Okay, it’s a great point and I want to move on from that but you are 100% right. You can’t bank on just the one product. Really quickly, Chris, I want to talk a little bit about lightning deals. We got someone calling in.
[00:38:24] Dom: I'm on live right not. I'll call you back okay? Bye, Bill. He is mad because I mentioned him. He hit a grand slam.
[00:38:35] Scott: Don’t get me laughing because I'm going to start laughing like crazy over here.
[00:38:40] Dom: Can somebody at the back answer that phone. I am live here we got 2,000 people watching us.
[00:38:45] Scott: Okay, so really quickly. Danielle actually wants to know looking for your thoughts on lightning deals. Well, here's the thing we got very quickly like we did on the first launch, where we had accepted for a couple lightning deals. And we were all pumped up about it, and we had actually had a decent time too. I think one of them was at five o'clock at night in one of them was like ten o'clock in the morning. And honestly, neither of them did good Dom neither of them. Now, the first one did really…
[00:39:19] Dom: I was surprised you got. Was that a new brand?
[00:39:22] Scott: Yeah.
[00:39:22] Chris: Oh, the new brand. You see how good the brand is selling? He already got lightning deals. Usually it takes months before and that's good.
[00:39:31] Scott: Again that's again back to the whole like we launched. Out of the gate, we were able to get some sales coming through the order immediately we opened some lightning deals. But with that being said…
[00:39:40] Dom: Hold on a second. Maybe it has to do because we're not doing the review thing anymore. We’re given away all the stuff at 80% off and 90% off and they're saying, “Hey, you're not giving your stuff away,” that's stuff really is counted as a sale, we're not going to count it as a sale. We want you to have 50% or less and then we'll count it as a sale. Then we'll offer you the lighting deal. I wonder if it has anything to do with that. Does that make any sense?
[00:40:00] Scott: Yeah, yeah. It totally does and that may be the case. Because honestly, I don't think they gave us the exposure that we should have had. If they gave us the exposure I think we would have blew out of our inventory. But we did very, very are poorly I felt. I think the first one we might have did 20.
[00:40:16] Dom: Wow, that’s awful.
[00:40:18] Scott: And I think we allocated 100. And then I think the second one we did a little bit more. I think we might we did like 30. And we spent 150 bucks. We spent 150 bucks on lightning deals. So, again, there's another 300 bucks that’s out of my pocket, part of the bill.
[00:40:38] Dom: What I'm thinking guys is that you don't have enough history behind your accounts so people haven’t bookmarked you are saved you or know your product yet. Do you know what I'm saying?
[00:40:46] Scott: Yap. Maybe.
[00:40:47] Dom: Maybe that could be it. I'm actually really surprised that you go lighting deal that fast I'm pretty impressed after a couple of weeks.
[00:40:53] Scott: Well, there you go, we just impressed Dom Sugar. We just impressed Dom.
[00:40:57] Dom: As far as the units sold, it could be lots of things right. It could be maybe your next one I'll do really good and people… How was your add-ons? Did you find it? Did you sold more of the like three products? What was your average sale?
[00:41:11] Scott: No, it was pretty much the same that we've been selling. I mean honestly on one of our… I guess on two of the products we've been selling probably close to 8-10 per day already.
[00:41:21] Dom: That’s good. So maybe people are just tired of lighting deals. You know when you keep doing the same thing over and over, people are you're like, “It's not special anymore.” It used to be… If they prime day once a week, nobody would care everyone would just buy on the Tuesday. Now, we get excited because it’s twice a year that's why it works.
[00:41:38] Scott: You know what, I actually said the same thing to myself. I said, “You know what, I think now it's overdone.” So it's okay. I mean I'm not saying that won't work I just think that it's got to be the right timing, it's got to be the right offer too. Maybe we didn’t discount enough, I don’t know, the right price.
[00:41:56] Chris: The right price that’s huge.
[00:41:59] Dom: I don’t what your discount is. But also you know what, for a young up and coming company, I think it's good though because you're still doing 30, 40 feet. You did 50 sales within two… Do you understand? Like you’re moving the algorithm, you're getting your history. You couldn’t have give away much self for 150 bucks before. I actually spent $200, $300 to get 30 sales off the review clubs and stuff. So you got to look at it as a positive. I know what you are saying, you didn't get a lot of sales. So, it could be a lot about you or maybe it’s a price for it. If you only did 30 or 40, okay, but who knows, it could be a lot of things, right?
[00:42:31] Scott: And, again, I'm not saying I won't do them again, I'm just saying. And actually, we got another… We already do have another one slated for Wednesday, Chris, about two weeks or something?
[00:42:40] Chris: It’s a prime week.
[00:42:41] Scott: Prime week. We got the one for prime week. Which prime week is actually 500 bucks.
[00:42:46] Dom: We do basically one every week on each brand and the open brand, I haven't had too many of it because I really don't want to sell a lot of some of the stuff because I don’t order as much because we're testing a lot of stuff. But we do have a lot of prime offers. About three or four out of all our ASINs which is now locked part of the ASINs but three, four it sounds pretty good and I actually truly forgot about that. So thanks for bringing it up because I might… I should probably do one in the open brand.
[00:43:11] Scott: I think we should. I think we should test it. I think it be interesting to test it. I know Nick Gamble, he’s got a newer product that’s got a lighting deal come up with very little reviews. So we'll see on that. So if you guys have any stats or any data, definitely email us email@example.com. It will come over to us, we can actually see it and maybe we can come back and talk about it on an upcoming TAS Power Hour. Again, guys, I want to show you guys like not just all the good. It's like everyone comes out and says everything's perfect all the time.
We're gritty right now, we're getting in there, were grinding, we're actually figuring this thing out everything is not going to work the same every single time. So I just want to again, let you guys know that you know we're going to try to kind of pull back the curtain as much as we can and give you guys as much details and data as we can. I know Dom, I think that would be a great experiment if we run one of the open brand, test that, see what happens we can report back and see what happens.
[00:44:10] Dom: I mean one of them they're offering is one of our hot products. So I can't even keep it in stock. So I'm getting it for a retail for its own. We're not going to do that. But, it makes no sense for their… No matter what level you are, you're, going to have some hardships you are going to have frustrations. Like I said still, you still haven’t changed the PPC. Your advertising budget versus what your campaign budget. It drives me crazy.
Now, I'm off 60, 70, the budget says I made $98 and my campaign says of made $13 am like, “Guys, how are they not synced together? Do you guys not work for each other? I don't get it.” “No, they are working with the…” And then try to use the app on an iPad or on our phone, forget it. You can’t scroll, you can't put your cursor inside the iPad to move up and down.
[00:44:56] Scott: You know Dom, you're a little addicted. Here we are walking into the Raptors game, we're walking into the Raptors game Dom’s got his iPad as we're walking in adjusting his pay-per-click. I'm like, “Dude, put it away.” And then he thought he deleted everything. You thought you deleted everything.
[00:45:11] Dom: And then what happened because you stressed me out there you told me to put it away because we paid 400 bucks for tickets, I ended up actually putting on every campaign I ever put on. I spent $500 in about two hours that today I'm like, “What the heck? What if campaigned at two hours after the game.” I locked every scheme of the campaign I had had like 150. I guess instead of pausing them, I turned them on and I'm like, “Oh, my God…”
[00:45:38] Scott: Dom is officially addicted to pay-per-click and his iPad. So I had to look over at him and his wife and I'm like, “Dude, put that away. We are here to watch the game.” You’re like, “All right. All right. And then he’s like “I gotta go to the bathroom.” Then he’s going to go there are check it in the stall.
[00:45:55] Dom: If you want over PPC, that’s right, she had to take it from me. Even when even we were take pictures. I am trying to take pictures with my iPad. I like PPC. I mean I don't like it I guess I'm paying the money for it, but I like the way I'm trying to figure out how it works. And it's been an ongoing battle for four years.
[00:46:11] Scott: So all right. We're like running late here. Let's just keep running. I don't know if we care if we few minutes over if we've got time.
Okay. So there you have it. There was our conversation all about well, everything we just covered we've covered a ton of different topics and things. Really I think again, it kind of comes back to products. We talked a lot about products and bundling and accessories and also launching and the open brand concept like all of those things I think are things that we're dealing with on a daily basis.
I know a lot of you hear us talk a lot about the open brand or a regular brand, and we have two of those running right now. We have an open brand and we also have a brand that we're building from scratch. So I believe in both models but I want you guys to understand that when you're first starting, the open brand may be a good way to start because you don't have to think about this is going to be it. This is going to be this big brand, when all you're doing here is trying to find a market that you can kind of dive into and dabble in before you go all in. Hopefully, that makes sense.
But anyway, I love hanging out with those guys and hanging out with everyone on the Facebook group because you know that's really where this all started. It’s for us to do these on Facebook lives and then answer some live Q&A. We did answer some live questions. I didn't put them on here because I wanted to keep this under an hour. But, if you wanted to listen to the entire episode, you can head over to the show notes of this page you'll see the video there as well with our mugs on there. So you can go check that out if you want to.
I also cut some of the beginning out because again it was just kind of stuff getting ready to do the Facebook live. But if you want to listen to the whole thing or watch the whole thing, listen to those other questions. I think we went on for at least another 15 or 20 minutes answering the audience's questions.
[00:48:12] Scott: You can head over to theamazingseller.com/371. I have everything there, I have that video embedded. I have the show notes, the transcripts all that will be there for you guys. And again, guys if you're not connected in the Facebook community, what are you waiting for? There's over 40,000 people in there right now talking about this business. So what better way to go over there and even if you don't want to get involved, which I think you should, there's a search feature there you can search past posts and learn through these conversations that are already happening. So definitely head over there and not to mention you'll get notified when we do a Facebook Live which is to me something that will help you, and you'll be surrounded with like-minded people which I've talked about before. All right guys.
All right. That's it. That's going to wrap up this episode. Remember episode 371 the Facebook group theamazingseller.com/fb, go over there, get connected with like-minded people so you can grow your own Amazon or ecommerce business. All right guys. So that's it. That's going to wrap it up let's end this thing strong today guys. Remember that 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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