Click Here to Download Transcript <<
…questions here on the podcast and I do it every single Friday and we're going to do it again today. I am super, super excited as usual on Friday, not just because it's the weekend or depending on when you're listening to this, it might be Monday morning and if it's Monday morning let's celebrate Monday morning. It doesn't have to just be the weekend even though we were kind of trained as kids as we were growing up, where a lot of us that Fridays were, “Hey, let's go, weekend.” And then Sundays were, “Oh boy, I got to go back to school or oh, I got to go back to work.”
I think every day we can celebrate being able to go out there and do what we want to do and in this case, it's build ourself a business that can support our lifestyle. At least that's what it is for me and I know a lot of you listening. Super excited to be here again to answer some of your questions here on this Ask Scott session. If you guys have any questions that you want me to answer on an upcoming Ask Scott session, just head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and you can do that.
Just leave your first name, maybe where you're tuning in from, that would be kind of cool and then just a brief question and that would be awesome and I would love to hear from you. I can't promise that I'm going to be able to air this right off the bat or maybe in the next week but it probably will get answered in an upcoming session so just keep listening, that's all. Just keep listening and I'll do my best to answer these questions.
Now today, I'll just give you a little teaser of what we're going to be talking about. Number one is negative reviews and how they could be hurting your sales and kind of what to do about that, what do about competition that might be hiring people to upvote the negative reviews if you haven't heard about that. It's pretty bad when that happens and it can really hurt your sales.
[00:02:02] Scott: I’m going to give you my thoughts on that. Also understanding pay-per-click or sponsored product ads, the search terms and organic sales and then also we're going to talk a little bit about patent pending on products that you might be interested in selling in the future and what we should think about that before we end up jumping into that arena. That's what we're going to be talking about today.
Now, you guys know I like to give you my thoughts of the week or kind of what's going on in my mind right, like what's happening. I want to actually give a little shout out here to Wassim. Now Wassim posted in the Facebook group and I think we were talking about some of your wins, some of your losses and stuff like that. He came in and he said, “You know what, I'm going to give you guys some advice. Ready, shoot, aim.”
Or, and there's a book out there called Ready, Fire, Aim and it basically means just hurry up, get something out there and then you can kind of see what the results are and then you can kind of re-aim and then shoot again and all that rather than having everything perfect and having everything lined up and then just keep waiting and waiting and waiting.
He said, “In e-commerce terms it could look like this, research, take action, refine.” I liked that, I like that a lot. Research, take action, refine. You're probably not going to hit a homerun. You might not even hit a base hit but I can tell you this, you will get results and those results, everyone thinks that results have to be positive results. No, it could be a negative result that lets you see what will happen and then maybe you adjust or maybe you learn something through that process that helps you with the next product, all right?
I love that, Wassim if you're listening, thank you so much for posting that and I totally, totally get it. Research, take action, refine. All right, so I love that. If you guys want to hang out in our Facebook group, our community, our awesome community of TASers, head over to theamazingseller.com/fb and go over there and make yourself welcome and dig through some of the archives.
[00:04:10] Scott: You can go to the little search tab there or little search box, type in one of your maybe questions that you have right now if it's on product research or sourcing or launching or any of that stuff. You'll probably get a ton of results back that you can kind of start digging through and see some of those past conversations. Because even though those conversations might be three months old, they're going to be new to you and that's how you can kind of learn and kind of dig through some of those archives.
Now, before we jump in, let me remind you guys the show notes, the transcripts can be found at theamazingseller.com/379, you can grab all of the goodies over there. All right guys, let's go ahead and let's get this baby rocking and rolling. I am fired up to get started here, to get listening or to start listening to… I can't even talk, I'm so excited. To start listening to your questions and I can give you my feedback and hopefully help you and move you in the right direction. Let's go ahead and do that, what do you say? Let's go ahead and kick this baby off.
[00:05:10] Naman: Hello Scott, this is the Naman from Houston, Texas. I am a listener to a few of your Podcasts for a very long time and it's such a great resource. I listen to it every day either going to work or coming back from work. The reason for my call today is I had a great product with four plus star ratings, doing great sales, it was a number one bestseller. Recently however, I see that some of my competition has basically started up voting my reviews, the negative ones and because of that, I've seen big jumps in the number of up votes on bad reviews. What's happened now is that the top reviews that show up on my listing are all the one star reviews, even though the product itself is four plus stars.
I'm just contacting to see what I can do in this situation especially when upvotes and downvotes are not allowed by Amazon. I've tried to contact them and they have not been of any help so I'm just trying to see what to do because it's really ruined the sales for me. It's cut my sales more than half. I hope you can give me some advice on that. Thank you so much. Bye, bye.
[00:06:32] Scott: Hey Naman, thank you so much for the question and let me tell you something, I feel your pain. Now, what we're talking about here is you're probably in a competitive market where you have a competitive product, right? Probably has a good number of sales monthly through the top 10 or top 15. So again, you're more of a target. I've said this and I'm going to get to kind of like how we can kind of work on this issue, which is not going to be an easy thing to do.
I'm just going to let everyone know there's no silver bullet here. There's no quick fix that I can give you guys but what I can do is say listen, if you guys are just starting, this is exactly why we do not want to go after competitive markets, at least me. Because you're going to have to deal with this stuff on a regular basis.
Very similar to hijackers right, it's the same kind of idea. They're just coming on, they're trying to take advantage of your listing that might be doing good but now what we're talking about here is someone wants to make your product listing look bad. The way that they can do that is they can hire people literally, they can go out there and pay people. There are services out there I'm sure that you can say, “Hey, upvote or downvote.”
What we mean by this is if you guys are a brand new, is if you have a review on your listing, I can go to that review and I can say if it was helpful or not and the more that I say that it's helpful, the more that it's going to drive it up to the top. If a competitor came over and said, “Oh, let's go ahead and hurt this person.”
We can go over here and we can start up voting that negative review. So if you had a one star review, we can start up voting that. Now, I would never ever, ever, ever recommend doing that, I think it's terrible. It makes me actually sick to my stomach thinking that people would go that low to doing that.
[00:08:32] Scott: There's people out there listening and you may have done that and shame on you. I do not think that you should do that. That's like so dirty, it's bad. I do not recommend that and I think anyone that has done that are cheating and I think that it's kind of like having someone in your local area and you have brick and mortar businesses and then you're having people go out there and say bad things about you even though they're not true.
Really what you're doing there is you're making it look like you're helping yourself but you're basically going on to a competitor and then just saying these people are bad even though they weren't. Like going to a restaurant and then going on Yelp and saying that they're bad just because you want your friend's restaurant to do better. It's just, it's not good karma, it's not good will, it's just terrible.
I get it and it's happening. I don't like it but that's the other reason why I don't like going into these really, really high competitive spaces or these markets. I try to stay away from them and that's why some people say, “Well, if I'm going to put all that work into it, I want to go and get a product that's going to give me 50 sales a day.” That's fine, go knock yourself out but you are going to run into these issues.
You'll run up against people that are going to go out there and they're going to cheat and they're going to play dirty and supplements, perfect example, it's going to happen. I'm just telling you right now, if you going into the supplement market, it is going to happen.
Now, if you want to go after that market, go for it. Just be prepared, that's all I'm saying. Let's kind of address what you can do in this case. Now, you've already reached out to seller support which I think that that's your first step. I think you need to have that trail, that paper trail of you saying like listen, “I know that this is happening, I need you to be aware of this,” whatever. So this way here you have a paper trail. They will start to investigate it as well.
[00:10:32] Scott: Especially if people that are upvoting or that are downvoting or any of that stuff, if they're doing that, they also … If they've ever been blacklisted or if they've ever had suspensions or maybe they're even going to make it at the point and they haven't done so yet but maybe if you have not been an Amazon member for a period of time, your vote doesn't count, that type of stuff. But definitely get them on the radar. That would be step number one.
Step number two is going to be really about you going out there and just focusing on getting your organic sales. Even though this may be hurting you, you're still getting, let's say 50% of your sales and then really, really honing in on getting those people to leave reviews in an ethical way and that means just a good follow up. That means giving them good customer service, basically being a real person and then from there, my next part to this would be this is why it's extremely important to have your own email list.
What I mean by this is if you have your own email list and you've built up a little bit of a raving fan base like, I'm saying like 100 to 150 people, you can have thousands on your list but you're going to have that core group of people that will buy every time that you launch at a discount. If you tell them or mention to them that, you know, “Hey, could you do me a favor? Could you go over and let Amazon know how we're doing? We just want to make sure that we're doing a good job, we want them to know we're doing a job.” They will go to bat for you.
Now, I'm not saying have those people go over and leave up votes on yours and down votes on your competition. That would not be something I'd recommend. But what I would recommend is definitely reaching out to your email list and asking them to leave you an honest review. Now, that does not mean that they're being incentivized.
[00:12:32] Scott: That's the thing that we do not want to do. You do not want to say, “Hey, leave me a review and I'll give you a 25% discount.” That's not what we're saying. We do not want to do that. What I'm saying is after they've purchased full price, 25% off, whatever it is, then you can come back and say, “Could you do me a favor? Could you let Amazon know how we did?” That's it. That would really help us as a small business.
Then if you do have that list of people that will definitely, definitely help you because now they will just go to bat for you, they'll do it for you. That's what I would do personally. Just to recap here. Number one, if you can stay out of those competitive markets, do that and you won't have these kind of problems or at least you'll have less of a chance to have these problems. Number two is reach out to seller support, let them know what's happening.
Number three, I would say just go after sales. Go and try to just continually get sales, pay-per-click, all that stuff and then number four would be your launch list. Then from that launch list, I would again, try to get those sales and then I would reach out to those people and ask them to go over to Amazon and let them know, Amazon know how you did with feedback, with reviews or whatever.
Then that will start to really kind of compound on top of maybe those negative reviews that are starting to show at the top. That's what I would do personally there. Hopefully this helped you or anyone else out in this situation. I know it can be frustrating but I think your best bet is to just really focus on making your customers that you have extremely happy so they will want to go over and leave you a positive five star review. All right, so hopefully this helps. Let's go ahead and listen to today's next question and I'll give you my answer.
[00:14:22] Nerinda: Hello Scott, it's Nerinda from Australia. Just wanted to say thank you so much for your Podcast, absolutely love it. Your positivity, your energy, your detailed questions and ideas are just fantastic. I'm really struggling with finding the search terms that people are using to find my products. Is it true that when you start up a pay-per-click campaign, that if you start an auto campaign it actually appears in your search term report as a broad campaign?
If that's the case, are they actually two different things, as in the broad campaign that is actually an auto. One is what Amazon decides they're going to use the search terms and the other one is where you've put those in the back end. The problem I'm finding is that I've run auto campaigns and even though I've sold a number of products of this particular… I’m only a new seller and I’m only selling in January. I've sold about 30 of these products. I can only find on the search term reports the identification of three of these with associated search terms.
I have no idea what is the search term that all these other buyers were using, what are the search terms? I don't know if you can help me, if there's any way of me trying to find that out. Really appreciate your help, thanks Scott. Bye.
[00:16:13]Scott: Hey Nerinda thank you so much for the question, all the way from Australia. Love the accent too by the way and thank you so much for the question and also I just want to kind of let everyone know, Nerinda actually asked a question before this and then she came back on and the voicemail said, skip that last question, let’s go ahead and move on to the next question and it was still based around pay-per-click and it really was about like, “Okay I’m spending on pay-per-click. I see that out thirty sales I’ve gotten three sales from pay-per-click and so the other 27 sales came from where?”
Well that would be organic so that’s an organic sale which we love but now the next question that she had asked was, well, how do I know what that search term was that they used in organic? That’s going to be really hard to see. Now the one where that you can kind of maybe see this and this isn’t 100% accurate but it’s a way for you to start to see what you are converting for or as far organically is the tool scope.
It’s a chrome extension, it’s through Seller Labs and what that does is it allows you to go on your listing or anybody’s listing for that matter and they will pull up this search terms, the keywords, search terms, that are being displayed for that listing and it will give a guesstimate of the sales that are being generated through their keyword.
I’m not quite sure how it works but I do know that it’s probably better than nothing, but I would use that as a gauge as well. I don’t necessary think that you are going to know exactly, on the organic side of things. The pay-per-click side of things we know 100% what has converted and in this case you are asking now about auto.
[00:18:06] Scott: In your first question which we didn’t play that because I didn’t want to have like three questions in a row from you, but I’m just kind of throw it out there and kind of let people know what was asked. It was really like, okay, I’m running sponsored product ads, I can see that, I spend x amount of dollars and I got so many impressions and then I got three sales.
I can pretty much look in the back end in the search terms report and I can see even though I’m running a broad march, a broad type inside of my campaign, I can still see that I was advertising for garlic press and that was, and it shows you like that’s the keyword and then it will say, search term.
You have to pull this search term report to see this. In order to that, you just go into your campaign manager area there you will see little things as reports on the right hand side. At least that’s where it is now but you will find it and then from there you will go to search term report and then that will spit out that information. So it will show you your impressions, it will show you the clicks and then it will show you the sales and then you can…
Even if you don’t see, like let’s say you don’t make any sales, this is still very important to do, this is because we can kind of get of an idea of what people are actually searching for. Now we went into really, really deep discussion on this and training and all of that in our pay-per-click series that we did.
If you guys have not watched that, it’s totally free, resource for you guys, we did Facebook lives, Q&As we did campaign setup, all kinds of stuff there. And you can find that resource by heading over to theamazingseller.com/ppc for pay-per-click.
You can go there and you can check all that stuff out but bottom line is you are always kind of guessing at what the keyword is. That’s like the seed word, we call that the seed keyword and then once someone searches for something like stainless steel garlic press, it will show that alongside the broad term that you were going after so garlic press.
[00:20:12] Scott: So, then we know that wow! We got a whole bunch of people that were searching for that particular search term so maybe that is our main keyword and then we can start to see where we are ranking and all of that fun stuff. Now talking about auto campaign and that was really the question here, was alright now if I do an auto campaign, I’m not telling it any keyword to go after, all I’m doing is saying give me the information.
So, what it will do at this point now is you will see these little asterisks and then right alongside those asterisks in that campaign, you will see the search terms that were being displayed. So you will see the search term just from it triggering half of the auto campaign.
I used to say that doing an auto campaign from the start was the way that I’ve always done it and it’s still not a bad way of doing it but this is kind of like if you have no idea of what your keywords are, to start with. Now I like to do it the other way and what I will do now, and again we talk about this in the pay-per-click series.
But what I do now is I will find a handful five or maybe 10 of those really top keywords that I know are the ones that people are probably searching for and you kind of know these. Even by just looking at your competition and seeing what they have in their titles and stuff like that and then I will put them in a manual campaign and then I will run that.
Then I will start to say, oh and I will start to see, okay, well garlic press was in there, that was one of mine but stainless-steel garlic press got a ton of impressions because it’s going to show me that. Because all I did was I used that as a seed word as my broad match and then I can start to refine that.
But then going back to like, okay, how do I know now and those other sales that aren’t coming through pay-per-click? How do I know? I won’t really worry about that, I would worry about, you got sales, that’s awesome, but it’s going to take more than 27 or 30 sales to really understand what your main keywords and search terms are going to be.
[00:22:20] Scott: So that’s a really small number. Again, with impressions, this is another way to kind of see what people are searching for without you even getting clicks or sales is by you putting it a broad term and then seeing how many impressions it’s getting.
So a good test for this would be, and I just recently did this and I’m not saying that you have to do this by all means, you are going to spend some money and probably not make any sales on this but this is a way that I can collect data really, really quickly and my good friend Dom Sugar kind of pushed me to do this because we were kind of impatient.
But I would set up a campaign and I targeted just one keyword, seed keyword and I wanted to see like, what kind of data I can collect with that like really fast. So I raised my bid cause per click to $5, yes $5 and then from there I lowered my budget my ad spend on that campaign to like 20 bucks so if I had gotten four clicks I would have been out of budget but the thing was, is I was able to see how many impressions I was able to get in that short period of time before I even got any clicks.
So, I think we got like 10,000 or 15,000 impressions in like in less than two hours. So, I knew that, that definitely that phrase or that keyword was really hot but now what I can do also is I can look on the search terms report on the back end, not right away and that takes some time before you are actually going to get that data back, but then I can start to see the actual search terms.
Again, it’s a way for you to start to really understand and see what your market is searching for. So hopefully this helped you and I know that for a lot of people it’s confusing and all that.
[00:24:02] Scott: That’s why we did that full training series. It was like a weeklong series. I definitely recommend go and check that out at theamazingseller.com/ppc totally free, just go check that out and it will probably make more sense.
But I always tell people start slow and then from there start to refine and then you can start adding more to that budget. But that’s pay-per-click. Going into the organic side of things, one way to that is, number one, if you ran Scope on your listing like today and then a week from now, you did it again, you can start to see what other keywords you are starting to be index for and start to be seen for and that will give you an idea as well.
But again this stuff takes time, it’s like you are not going to get those results overnight, so hoping this helped you, thank you so much for the question again and thank you so much again for listening in the car. I don’t know if it was this question that you sent or the one before but you said that you have like an hour or two ride in work every day and home every day and you listen to the podcast so I just want to say, thank you so much for being a listener and I’m glad that I’m able to kind of be in the car with you and making that the right to go a little bit better by you listening to this information.
So, as always keep me posted and let me know things are going. All right guys let's go ahead and listen to one more quick question. I will give you my answer, we will wrap this baby up and we can get rocking and rolling. Let’s do this.
[00:25:30] Adrian: Hey Scott, my name is Adrian and I am from Serbia. TAS is going really global right now because I currently don’t live in Serbia but I live in China Shenzhen where I’m sourcing products and working on my Amazon business, developing my ecommerce sites. So I’m fully into that right now and first of all I want to thank you for everything that you are doing. You are really great guy, helping us a lot and I already have one product listed on Amazon, your podcast helped me a lot.
My question is, I’m currently in a research phase for my second product and I already found it. I’m pretty sure that, that product will be good for me because I already have a product that is similar to that one but the problem is that I can see my competitor, future competitor or the main guy who is selling it has in his product description patent pending. So basically, I’m scared if I will go into that product that, that product is already patented, so I will have any problems because of that.
I was already looking on USPTO website about patents but I was unable to find anything. They have like a lot of different similar products and it’s really messy to look at there. So, my question for you is, what should I do to make sure that, that product is not patented. I don’t want to sell and have some problems. I want to be completely legal. So, thank you Scott very much and I hope to hear your answer. Cheers.
[00:27:20] Scott: Well hey Adrian from Serbia, what is up man! Thank you so much for the question. You guys know I get fired up when I start hearing people calling in globally. Like we are all over the world. This is amazing, love it love it, and thank you so much for being some listener and thanks so much for taking action because now that you’ve taken action you’ve gotten some results and now you are starting to get that momentum.
You are getting a little bit of MO in your life and I pull that from the book, The Compound Effect, he always talks about, Darren Hardy talks about getting MO in your life. You guys got to understand something, once you start getting a little bit of MO or momentum, man it’s hard to stop.
It’s like that big rock at the top of the mountain that starts to tumble, the more it tumbles, the faster it goes and the more momentum it builds up. It’s like the snow ball. The snowball effect. So, let’s talk about this whole patent pending thing. Now there is a couple of things that I want to mention here. Number one, is a patent pending is really just a patent pending. It means it’s not issued, it’s not been approved, it just means that it’s pending.
That they filed, I have a patent pending right now of one of our products that we just launched not that long ago. It’s a patent pending. I can write on my packaging patent pending. Doesn’t mean that I’m going to get my patent. Now I can’t get an extension on that and it was funny I was talking to someone recently and they said, I don’t even care if I really get the patent because I can at least put patent pending on my product for at least a year, maybe even a year and a half, maybe even two years depending on how much of an extension I can get and part of that game plan is that it kind of keeps people off because when you see that patent pending because it does kind of scare you off.
[00:29:11]Scott: Now let me just say that I’m not a legal advisor. I’m not giving you any legal advice. All I’m saying is that a patent pending as far as I know, is a pending thing. It’s not there yet, it’s not like official and just about anybody can get a patent pending as long as you filed.
Now with that being said, it does make me, if I see that on a product probably want to stay away a little bit or at least I’m going to want to probably reach out to an attorney and I know that you can do a Google search and you’ve already kind of done that and you might find a patent that’s there, that’s “pending”. But again if you do have something like that, that it kind of comes up, you do have to ask yourself that question.
Do I want get involved in a patent fight? Do you want to have someone come after you once you get up and running? My thoughts on that is that no I don’t. I actually had a product not that long ago that we were thinking about launching and we found a patent pending. Actually I thought it was a patent and then I found out it was pending and it hadn’t been approved yet, but a patent attorney told me, “Listen, it’s going to come down to who has the most money, and if that person’s already like up and running and selling 50,60,$70,000 a month and you are starting from zero, they are going to have a little bit more money than you to kind of enforce this patent.”
So, you have to ask yourself that question. I probably in this case would probably step aside from that product right now. Keep an eye on it, I’d just shelf it, I wouldn’t do away with it 100%. Like probably see if there is something else that I can launch, that would be along the same lines or within that same market, if that’s what you are going after.
[00:31:00] Scott: But I personally would probably step back or I would reach out to a patent attorney and I would ask them to dig into it. Probably it’s going to cost you $300, $400 but it's money well spent now to know if you should even do that because the last thing you want to do is invest in the resources and going back and forth with your time and maybe even doing your own custom mold and all this stuff and then have someone come at you with a patent infringement violation and then an attorney and then you got to have your attorney talk to that attorney, and then you start adding up the hourly rate of $400 an hour. It doesn’t interest me.
So, I would stay away from that but just to let you know, from what I understand, a patent pending is not an official patent as of yet. It’s pending, meaning it’s not there yet but it has been filed. Now it could get approved, it might not get approved and if it does then they are going to have a full patent and now you are going to have some issues if you ended up going through with that product.
Again, you can go and say, you know what, I’m going to take this product and make it different so I wouldn’t be violating it. They still could have something in that patent that says you can’t do it for whatever reason. It could be the strangest thing but again you have to think long and hard about this, is this product the one that you have to launch, that you have to sell or is there something else that you can do in the meantime while you let this thing kind of work itself a little bit and see if you can learn a little bit more about it before you end up jumping into the patent pending world?
So hopefully this helped you and I don’t want to scare anybody but I do definitely want you guys to know that. Like if it’s me and I’m seeing that, I’m definitely going to be stepping back and some people would say, well then that’s great, then I’m just going to file for a patent on all my products and then at least I can put patent pending for at least a year.
[00:33:06]Scott: And that maybe okay, that’s fine. It’s not something that… I’m not going to just do a pattern a file to put on my product and just to do it, but if I think that I may be patenting that I would but you can’t do that, you can put pattern pending on their if you have one that is pending.
So hopefully this helped you guys. This was a great episode by the way. I think I this was really, really good, now that kind of go back and I listen to the questions and kind of like a little bit of the feedback that I can give a lot of important things here; negative reviews, hurting sales, that’s big. And your sponsored product ads. It’s always going to be a moving target pretty much, we just have to keep learning and adapting and then patents and patent pendings and infringements and all that stuff is always going to be a hot topic in something that we want to know a little bit more about.
So guys I hope this has helped you, keep the questions coming, head over to theamazingseller.com/ask and do that. Ask a question, leave your first name, where you are tuning in from and just a quick question and I will do my best to answer you on upcoming Ask Scott session. Then the show notes guys I’ll just remind you theamazingseller.com/379. You can grab all the show notes, the links and transcripts, all that stuff will be over there for you.
All right guys so as always, remember that I am here for you, I believe in you and I am rooting for you but you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have an awesome amazing day, weekend, night, whatever time of day it is, and I will see you guys right back here on the next episode.
Click Here to Download Transcript <<