TAS 441: PL Part 2 – The 3 Step Formula for Finding Products and the 10x10x1 Strategy

How do you know what products to start selling as you get started with your ecommerce business? What criteria should you use to help you sort through the many product options in the marketplace? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott and Chris as they open up and share how sellers like you can learn their process and avoid much of the trial and error that other sellers face. Don’t think of it as a shortcut or a guarantee of success, think of this process as the collected experience and advice of ecommerce sellers who have been in your shoes and genuinely want to help others get their business started in the best way possible. You don’t want to miss this informative episode!

Product Discovery

The best way to get started on your journey of finding a product that will successfully sell in the marketplace is NOT to run to the latest tool! Instead, Scott and Chris encourage sellers like you to take the time to write out a “Touch List.” You may be tempted to skip this part of the process, don’t! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, the guys break down why it’s vital to take the time and write out a touch list. They also explain how you can use Ebay and Amazon to get a sense of which products are trending. If you’d like to get further details on how to use the touch list, Amazon, Ebay, and other helpful tools, make sure to listen to this episode!

Product Criteria

Once you’ve come up with a list of products you want to look into, you’ve got to dive even deeper to make sure it will perform well on the market. What’s the next step? How do you make sure a product will perform in the way you need it to? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris walk through what it takes to run a product idea through well thought out criteria. Here is a brief glimpse of Scott’s product criteria.

  • A product that serves a market.
  • A product that retails for $19 – $45 or more.
  • A product that is lightweight and less than 2lbs.
  • A product that has less than 200-300 reviews.
  • A product that sells at least 10 units a day.

If you are ready to really dive deep and run your product ideas through Scott’s criteria, make sure to listen to this episode as Scott expands on this list and so much more!

How to validate a potential product.

Before you pull the trigger and run with a product, it’s important to make sure you’ve validated it to the best of your abilities. Don’t give into the impulse to just wing it! On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott explains what sellers like you need to look for as you prepare to move forward with a potential product. The depth of a product is a really important factor to explore. Scott describes product depth as searching for your product on Amazon and coming up with results showing at least eight different sellers moving ten units a day or more. Don’t miss additional information on product validation, listen to this episode with Scott and Chris to hear more!

The 999 Trick

Don’t you want to get an idea of how a product is performing in the ecommerce marketplace before diving in head first? Wouldn’t it be great to find out how many products on average sellers in your product category are selling? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott and Chris reveal the “999 trick.” What is the 999 trick? The 999 trick is where you go to a competitor’s Amazon listing and you place 999 units of their product in your cart. When you take this step, you will likely get a message telling you that 999 units are not available but it will reveal how many units are available at that time. You should then repeat this exercise over the course of seven days, compile the data, and then create the average of how many units are being sold over the course of a week for that seller. To hear Scott expand on this exercise and why it’s important to the product validation process, listen to this episode!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
  • [4:00] Why you should find products that serve a market.
  • [7:00] Scott gives a brief overview of the three step formula.
  • [9:00] Step #1: Product Discovery.
  • [17:00] Scott and Chris tell a story of product discovery.
  • [27:00] Why using Ebay and Amazon is helpful in validating products.
  • [35:00] Step #2: Product Criteria. What makes a good product?
  • [42:30] Scott breaks down the 10 x 10 x 1 strategy.
  • [45:00] Digg in one level deeper to find products!
  • [49:30] What is the 999 trick?
  • [55:30] Step #3: Product Validation.
  • [1:05:00] Chris provides some closing thoughts.
  • [1:10:00] Scott recaps all three steps.

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 441

TAS 441: PL Part 2 – The 3 Step Formula for Finding Products and the 10x10x1 Strategy

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 441 and this is…

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…part two of our private label little series here that we’re doing and it is really the five step road map series really to launch your private label products on Amazon. We already did the overview so that was part one and that gave you the entire road map laid out but now we’re starting to dig into each section or each phase as we call it. We look at launching products in five phases and that’s really what we’re going to be doing here today is diving into phase one which is going to be part two.

Now, if you did not listen to the overview head over to theamazingseller.com/440. I’ll also link it up in these show notes which will be theamazingseller.com/441 but also we do a workshop where we break this all down for you in about 90 minutes. What I’m doing here on the podcast I’m kind of giving you an audio version, a little play by play going through this but I know sometimes visual is a little bit better. You can see what we’re talking about. It’s hard to describe certain things. So that’s why we do the workshop the five phase workshop so if you want to register for an upcoming on there head over to theamazingseller.com/workshop.

You can register for an upcoming one there. So I’ve got my good friend on once again. Chris Shaffer is going to be walking through this along with me and us and he’ll be actually answering some questions that we normally get when going through this. So Chris, how are you doing this morning?

[00:01:43] Chris: I am doing fantastic this morning, Scott. Got a little bit of sparkling water alongside my tea because I’m losing my voice a little bit but other than that I’m doing great and I’m ready to dive into this. I have a lot of fun with this. I know you have a lot of fun with this and I know everybody can always serve to have a little bit of reminder even if they’ve done this already or if you haven’t done this and you’re just getting started. Make sure that you really pay attention to this one specifically and Scott you and I have said this multiple times and you’ve heard me in the past talk about the Pareto principle. The 80/20 rule.

80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. This to me, this first phase is that 20% of the effort that yield 80% of the results. If you pick product correctly and you follow along with this process your product is pretty well set up to do well for you and when we’ve made mistakes in the past with products, we’ve missed in these areas and that’s why we’re doing a recap for everybody right now.

[00:02:41] Scott: Yeah, I do. I want to echo what you just said there and really highlight that product research is key to being successful. We talk about being successful by launching products that can do $100 profit per day. Some people want to launch products that can do $1,000 per day and we’re going to talk about why that’s not our main goal. The other thing that I want to highlight here is what we’re doing here in this phase, in this section is really important. Like we just said but it does take practice. It’s like anything. The more you do it the more you understand the process, the better you’re going to get at it, the faster you’re going to get at it and you’ll also start to see opportunities that you might not have seen before.

So I’m just going to remind you guys. Practice, practice, practice. Go through this what we’re doing here, what we’re sharing here during this podcast, this little workshop really because that’s what it is. I’m going to be going through all of the different things. There’s actually three really main points or parts of doing product research and market discovery. The other thing really quickly that I want to highlight Chris is we talk a lot about finding products but you and I both know that we’re really finding products that serve a market. And by serving a market with these products it means that there’s demand, there’s depth, there’s all that stuff that we’re talking about.

Before we jump in Chris, how important is it to find products that serve a market?

[00:04:14] Chris: I think even if you’re not trying to build a brand it’s important. But there’s two kind of competing thoughts on a lot of this stuff Scott. It’s the open brand method which you and I have talked about and we have an open brand but we also have a brand that serves a specific market. If you can find a product that serves a specific market that becomes extremely powerful for you for a couple of reasons. The first one obviously is they are going to be a little bit more passionate about the product and they are willing to spend more money in a lot of cases that they would be on something that’s a little bit more generic and maybe doesn’t  serve that.

But they are also going to come back to you time and time and time again to buy the other things that they need from that market. That’s exactly what we’re seeing in the new brand because we picked products that serve a specific market. We’re now marketing to that market if that makes sense. We’re able to get people to buy multiple products from us without really any additional effort and you guys may or may not have heard us talk about the way that we’re building our email lists and all that stuff and I’m sure we’ll dive into that in some of the other sections on this but because we have those people on a list now, any time we launch a new product that serves that same market they raise their hands.

So we are able to leverage effort that we’ve already done in that market to launch new products and expand the brand. So when you put products in front of people who are passionate about those products, it becomes much easier to sell. You’re taking the sales out of it and it becomes a little bit more of a marketing game.

[00:05:38] Scott: Yeah, absolutely. And we are going to be also talking about something that recently just was rolled out by Amazon which allows us to target our past customers or even other ASINs and that will be more in the promotions phase which will probably be part five or there abouts. We’ll be digging into that stuff for sure but it all starts with product discovery or product research, market research, all of that stuff and that’s what I want to cover here today. Now just to remind you guys the five phases that we are covering here and this is the first one of five is really product research, product discovery, that’s number one.

And I believe that that one is one of the most important ones because if you pick a really good product with low competition that has depth and demand, there’s pretty good chance you’re going to sell that. If you have to, you can liquidate it very easily. Now the phase two that we’ll be talking about in this process and in this little road map is sourcing and we’re going to talk about that in the next podcast episode in this series. The next one will be the prelaunch which is actually getting everything ready, getting your listing ready, getting your marketing ready so you can start having sales day one and feeding Amazon what they want.

Then number four, phase four that is, is the launch phase. That’s where we’re actually going to launch the product and start getting sales and then phase five is the promotion phase and that’s doing stuff like running sponsored product ads or maybe running a coupon code or something like that inside of our account so this way here we can start to generate sales. But this one here, this phase to me and this is why to me this one may even be one of the longer ones because there’s a lot to cover and it’s really, really important. And with that all being said let’s dig in. So what we’re going to be covering here today is product discovery. That’s number one of the three step formula.

[00:07:32] Scott: Product discovery, understanding what to look for, where to look for it and not just your typical way of finding products. Number two, is product criteria. This is also very, very important. We need to find products that meet certain criteria. At least we do. Again we’re sharing with you what we’ve done and what we share with our students and you can take some of it, you can take all of it. Whatever you want to do but this is going to be our criteria and why we like it. I’ll be talking about the ten by ten by one strategy and all that stuff. Then number three, and the final step in this, one of the final steps, is product validation.

Really finding out if the numbers that you’re seeing that is prevent to you that this is probably a product I want to go and launch well that is going to be the validation process. A lot of people just find a product and go, “Oh boy this looks great. The numbers on the surface looks great.” We want to go deeper than that. We want to look at history, we want to look at trends, we want to look at that. That’s our validation. So that’s the three step formula that we use and really left a set of filters in a sense that we run everything through. So let’s get started.

Step number one, product discovery.  I’m going to give you guys some actions steps that you can do right now.

Now, these are things that do not require anything more than time. You do not have to have a dollar to invest in a tool to do this. So no excuses here. I know I get a lot of people they have excuses, don’t have time, don’t have money whatever to buy tools. All you need is to allocate maybe 30 minutes a day. If that to really start doing this. So step number one in this process of product discovery is your daily touch list. This is something that is really, really important and it’s super easy. All you have to do is get a pad of paper and a pen. And start writing everything you touch on a daily basis.

[00:09:25] Scott: This is exactly how we found our new product that we launch or actually a few new products in the new brand and also this is how a bunch of our students have found their products when a lot of people say, that seems silly. I’m not going to do that. I want to go right to a tool. The tools will help you validate and verify but you don’t have to use tools to find it. So daily touch lists, do that. Please if all you take away from this podcast episode is the daily touch list please, please, please do the daily touch list. The other thing you can do, this is step number two or thing number two in this product discovery phase.

This is really like a brain dump too by the way. It’s like just flushing everything out on paper. Then just getting ideas. Don’t worry about the numbers right now, don’t worry about validating right now. All we’re doing is getting in the rhythm. We’re getting in the mindset to be aware and to start to see opportunities or things that could be potential products or markets. So browsing eBay. eBay is a search engine for buyers. Amazon is a search engine for buyers. QVC, HSN is a search engine for buyers or a TV network for buyers. They also have a website. You should go there and check that place out as well. So any place, it could be Walmart.com. It could be Sears, it could be any other one out there that are selling products and for you to start tapping into ideas, we’re not even looking at numbers right now.

All we’re looking at is ideas. So again, daily touch list, browse eBay, browse Amazon, QVC, HSN, infomercials. Infomercials are great because again they are exposing a market and the within that market there’s accessories that can be served to that product that they are trying to sell or program. For example, I was actually in Dallas, Chris I didn’t even tell you this. I was in Dallas in the hotel and I was watching like Piyo with Chalene Johnson and I was watching the infomercial not because I wanted to buy the program. I was watching it as a marketer seeing what they are doing and a lot of her testimonial videos were people talking on their own cell phones. It wasn’t even high quality video.

[00:11:30] Scott: But she was selling a program. Now what could be sold around that? I guarantee that there’s exercise products that could be served to that market. There could be supplements, whatever. I’m not go into the supplements. I’m just saying getting ideas from looking at an infomercial. Number one seeing what that market is also needing on top of what they are selling in the infomercial. So it’s a great way to get ideas. Then the last thing is listening to conversations and this is one thing that I don’t see a lot of people doing or even being aware of and I’m telling you right now if you listen to conversations you will pick up a lot of great ideas because these conversations are with everyday people talking about things that they are interested in.

And if you want, you can even look at someone’s shoulder, like I’ve done watching my daughter play volleyball and seeing what people are searching for on Amazon. No joke. It’s exactly what I did. And it was funny the other day I was actually going to, I was going to actually try to take a picture but I didn’t want to seem like a stalker and I didn’t want to get caught. But this lady was looking through Amazon and the one time… I did it twice. The one lady was looking at stuff like bean bag chairs and another lady was looking at a seat cushion. Oh, this is funny too Chris. I forgot about this one.

She was looking at one of those seats that clip on bleachers because your back hurts over time and I’m totally in the market for one of them by the way and I never thought I would because I just thought they are for old people. I’m ready for one of them because your back hurts sitting on that bench for so long but they went and they started looking for this thing. It’s funny I seen a private labeler that I was looking at that they sell a bunch of different products, I seen their branding on the back of one of these seats. They sell one of these seats. How funny is that Chris?

[00:13:12] Chris: That’s hilarious. That reminds me and I think I told you the story. The first time I realized that like private label was a real thing. We had already been selling for probably a year and a half and doing private label stuff but it exists in this vacuum I happened to know one of the brands of some of the people in PLC and I saw their product in the wild. Like I saw somebody using it. I was like, real people buy his stuff. It’s not just, not just this magical thing that happens where we send in inventory. Like real people actually buy our products so that is very funny and I remember the first time I saw that as well I was standing somewhere in public and I went, “Hey, I know the person that makes that.”

[00:13:57] Scott: It is and it’s once you become aware of it. It’s like once you become aware of it, it’s like you haven’t ever seen a yellow car that often in a certain style and then all of a sudden you start looking at them and you start seeing them everywhere. So it’s like…

[00:14:08] Chris: Observation bias.

[00:14:10] Scott: Yeah. You have to be aware. Again, if all you take away from this podcast episode right now is be aware of your surroundings and what people are interested in, you’ll be blown away. Because so many people and Chris, I don’t know if you agree or not, so many people rely on a tool to give them that information. Everyone wants people or someone to serve them a product on a platter and say, “This is the one to sell.” I believe that that’s going to be harder for you because now everyone is seeing the same thing. To me I want to go around that. I want to be a little bit more creative and yes I may find something that maybe on that list anyway but I want to do it in a way that I know that other people are looking for this thing not just by looking at the same tool that everyone is looking at.

I’m not against tools. And you’ll hear in a little bit here why I do use tools and how I use them.  I don’t use them your typical way. I use them more for looking at the products and then looking at the data and then looking at the numbers. That’s what I look at for and tracking those types of things but let’s keep moving on here. I’ve got a ton to cover guys. We’re just getting started. The big take away there for you guys and the big action step is create lists on physical paper. Not on your phone, non physical paper. I love writing stuff down. Number one it feels more real like you’re doing something but I want you to actually have something that you can go back to, maybe set aside then come down do another 30 minutes and this could be again, just browsing on those different platforms or things that just might be happening throughout the day.

So again, your hobbies that’s another big one. Your personal hobbies, write those down. What are your children’s hobbies. I know my daughter is into piano and volleyball, my other daughter is into piano as well but then she’s also just got married. She’s also into hair and makeup and weddings and all that stuff. I know that because she’s older, she’s 22.

[00:16:12] Scott: Then my son 19, he’s in college. He does basketball. He’s actually right now he is into some gaming stuff. There’s a whole market there for all of that different stuff that I just looked at a glance. Now, maybe you want to take yourself back in time when you were 13 years old. What were your hobbies? What were your passions? What are you problems? What are other people’s problems that are in your life? I know my father just had a hip replacement no that long ago. That’s a pretty major problem. So he’s going through some things that I’m going in to. Write these things down even though you don’t know if anything will really materialize. Write it down.

There’s no harm in writing it down. I want you to have a massive list or lists of just random things and then we can start to whittle it down and we can start to do our research. Quick story. And this actually happened to me. This is what I mean about being aware and having no idea until I started looking into this market. Actually in the workshop I share some screenshots and stuff like that. But I’m going to give you the audio version. I moved to South Carolina not that long ago about a year and a half now, going on to two years. We got down here and we started seeing that people were driving around in these Jeeps. Jeep Wranglers. We were like, “Oh, looks kind of cool. Looks fun. Tops are off mostly, doors are off. Everything looks fun.”

So we started looking into a Jeep. So I’m like okay let’s go start looking at Jeeps. Once I got to the dealership I soon found out that there’s a huge, huge market for Jeep owners. I’m talking like the Jeep family or the Jeep tribe or culture or whatever you want to call it like there’s so many people  that are raving Jeep fans and they are loyal and they have meet ups and some of them do more off-roading that others. Some people get their Jeep all decked out and they modify it. All this stuff. And I didn’t realize this. I got there and I got educated.

[00:18:13] Scott: I mean this salesman was telling me like, “Hey, you better be ready if you want to get into this. You’re going to get people waving at you all the time. If you don’t wave, you’re kind of disrespecting the Jeep tribe or whatever.” So anyway I came home and I started digging in. I started to look into this market and I was blown away. Blown away at just the different accessories and the different add-ons and just the different things that you could tap into if you wanted to go into this market. Now because I’m saying this, there’s going to be people that are listening that are going to go out and try to go into the Jeep market.

I personally wouldn’t do that because we just exposed it. I wouldn’t do it. I’m personally not doing it. If you want to, knock yourself out. But I can almost guarantee you there’s going to be probably a lot of competition because it’s like the garlic press. It’s once I mentioned it, that’s why I hold off sometimes on mentioning that stuff. But I’m doing this to really illustrate and show you a real life example. That just happened because I was in the market. I never wouldn’t even be talking to you about this right now if I never started looking into a Jeep. I just wouldn’t have known. So that’s how things happen and I know Chris, you have a quick little story that I’m sure you can share about when you were moving and how something just shot at you and said, “Hey wait a minute here, you might want to look into this.”

[00:19:30] Chris: Yeah. I think we talked about this quickly in the overview but basically what happened is I was putting my guest room together for my business partner to come because like most of us I’m lazy and I hadn’t fully unpacked for about six months. It’s where we store the boxes and everything and I was like, “I should probably actually put the furniture together and put the boxes out like make a bed for my business partner so that he’s not sleeping on the floor.” I went to put all that stuff together and realized that we lost something in the move that I needed to get the room ready. Just, again Scott you said the way that we do this is a little bit cultured by experience now but just because I’ve done this once or twice I thought about it, jumped on Amazon and I looked at the metrics on the product that I was missing.

I said if I am missing this, other people might be missing this too. It turned out that hundreds of people every month we’re buying that product on Amazon and when you take it one step deeper hundreds of other people were buying products that we could have launched as a brand. There was actually a market there, not just an individual product. We could have built an entire brand around something that I was missing putting my guest room together. And it’s just one of those things where if you just did that and ran over to Home Depot and bought it, you wouldn’t ever have thought to look at it on Amazon and it’s one of those reasons that the touch list which you mentioned earlier works so well.

Everybody asks us, “It’s too simple to work.” Me writing stuff down on a daily basis would never work because everything that I write down is going to be the same stuff that Scott writes down and that Chris writes down.” And to some extent that’s true. But you’re doing something different on a daily basis. That product Scott may have showed up on your touch list when you moved to South Carolina but it wouldn’t have shown up after that. It showed up on my touch list that day. But it would never have shown up in the six months before that or the six months after that and so writing those things at not just once but on a regular basis really helps in this product research process.

[00:21:35] Chris: I would say the next time you look like run to the store for the random thing that you need write that down. Put that on your list. Because the chances are there is other people that need that thing too.

[00:21:47] Scott: That’s why I talked about it in the beginning. I was talking about like once you do this and you develop the skill set and you understand the three step formula that you’re going to run this through that’s immediately what you’ll do and like I immediately came home and I actually I have some screen shots here that I’m sharing with myself just to remind me of what I did because I do that in the workshop but I basically came home and I immediately went to Amazon. I typed in ‘Jeep accessories’. That was the first thing I typed in. Immediately after I did that all I did was I paused for a second and I let Amazon give me the suggestions from that keyword search.

So ‘Jeep accessories’ and then what they gave me below was ‘Jeep accessories wrangler unlimited’ ‘Jeep accessories wrangler’ ‘Jeep accessories for women’ ‘Jeep accessories purple’ ‘Jeep accessories red’ ‘ Jeep accessories Grand Cherokee’ and ‘Jeep accessories storage’. So do you see how I just discovered just with one little search. Took me less than two minutes after I came home kind of excited to see what I was going to find and I got these different things. ‘Jeep accessories for women’ that’s a whole separate thing that now I have kind of niched it down from just Jeep accessories. So again that’s how we do it. If we look at the new brand Chris, it’s exactly what happened there.

If my wife never started getting interested in the certain thing or the certain market I never would have known about it and then from there I never would have talked to our partner and then it would never would have happened. So it’s all because of that. I didn’t have a tool tell me that I should probably look into that. Now again, I’m not against tools. I think tools are great and you’ll see that once I get to a certain part in this process I need to use tools. It speeds up my process. It’s like using a shovel to dig a post or if you are going to use a post digger, you’re going to do that by hand or if you rent like an auger that goes down, it’s going to be a little faster.

[00:23:51] Scott: So in this case that’s what we want to do. We want to drill versus digging a hole. That goes back to gold rush too. I like that. We want to drill test holes. Right Chris?

[00:24:00] Chris: Well, I would say just on the tools thing Scott if you had to dig one post hole, you wouldn’t rent an auger for the day. You’d use a post hole digger because the post hole digger is faster than the shovel. But you wouldn’t rent an auger to dig one hole. Just because it’s not worth and the time it takes you to get to Home Depot, to rent the auger, to bring it back, to drill the hole, you could have done it with  post  hole digger. So we need to use the tool that’s the best fit for the job that we need it for. A lot of people just think that they need an auger for everything. To plant the flowers they are using an auger, to dig a post hole a single hole, they are using an auger.

To dig the foundation even though the auger is not the right tool to dig a foundation for the house they are still using the auger. That would be a very long and painful process. So we need to make sure that if we are going to use a tool that we pick the right tool for a job. Because when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So we need to make sure that everything that we do in this process is the best fit for each stage. So at this point I wouldn’t be looking at tools. There’s a lot of great usage for tools but right now we are just looking for ideas and the more ideas we have the better we are going to be as we start going to the tools and as we start working our way through this process.

Because different things are going to happen to each of these ideas.

[00:25:20] Scott: You’re 100% right and again I think tools are  necessary when you need them or if you have one then you’re going to use it but don’t necessarily until you get it until you actually to that point. So again I don’t want to push tools on people I will mention what we’re using and all that stuff here in a little bit but you do not have to. I think it’s actually better in the beginning to go through this process like we’re talking about right now. Just to give you guys example like I actually went through the Jeep stuff and I just thought the Jeep accessories weren’t that broad and I found two products right out of the gate that were selling, one was selling 948 units a month. It was actually a neoprene centre console armrest pad cover with dog pores on it.

Then the other one was grab handles that you actually velcro on the top or strap on the top because they don’t have grab handles right now. There’s 500 units of those being sold per month and then there was the tail light covers. There’s like these tail light little metal covers so if you’re off road it’s going to protect your tail lights, $25.99 they’re selling for and they were selling 439 units a month. They’ve got 130 reviews. So again that’s what I mean. I found those in less than an hour. Less than an hour. Again, people say I don’t have time like how don’t you have time? Like you can get up an hour early, you can stay up an hour late or you can do it on your lunch hour. It’s like this stuff is totally doable.

Now, I want to stay on track. I don’t want to get of course here. But again, I wanted to share that with you guys because it’s really, really important. So again, we talked about eBay. eBay again is a search engine. I would go there, play around, go through categories, go through products, randomly go there and just look at categories, look at trending collections. Look at all of that stuff, it’s a search engine for buyers. Understand buyers go there. Not people just searching how to make something. It’s really they are going there to buy the thing. The other thing is Amazon. Amazon is a search engine for buyers so what they also do is they leave us clues as a seller we go there as a buyer and let them tell us what some of these things are that we should be considering because we just did a search about something.

[00:27:33] Scott: Just like I did with a Jeep accessories, the same exact example. Guys, it’s more visual so I can’t really go through that. We do cover this in great depth inside of the workshop. So again guys I’m going to give a quick little reminder if you want to register for an upcoming workshop definitely go to theamazingseller.com/workshop and there will actually be screen shots of us going through like what we’re looking at through Amazon, what we’re looking at in eBay and any of these other platforms that we’re digging into. But what we like to do is really drill down deeper and I think that’s the most important take away right here is don’t just look at the surface.

It’s like a lot of people go to Amazon bestsellers and they think they are going to find their product. That’s not what you’re going to do. I like to again, have the touch list and have that lead me into the category. If I’m seeing garlic press I’m going to go home and kitchen but then as I go into home and kitchen I may see that there’s something in bath that I want to go into and then I’ll go into bath and then it will open up a whole another set of categories inside of bath. Like bathroom accessories. Now I’ve went from home and kitchen to bath to bathroom accessories. So I just want you guys to understand. We’re drilling down, we keep using the term here ‘drilling’, which is great. We are through. We’re digging deeper below the surface and it’s really, really important that you understand that.

Another little idea tip. I got two of them for you. This one here, again we’re looking at what Amazon is telling us. Once you start searching for stuff, they are going to start to surround you with things you might be interested in like top rated products, hot new releases and most wished for. Don’t you think looking at most wished for would probably be something you’d want to pay attention to? I know I would because it’s like people are wishing for it. They would have it on their wish lists. Then hot new releases, that one there, again it may be a new release might be selling, we got to be careful with that because it could be someone doing a promotion and stuff.

[00:29:32] Scott: We’ll talk about how to validate that stuff a little bit later. But top rated we definitely want to look at that stuff. So those are some again, some ideas for you to actually see what else might be aligned with what you’re searching for. Another little quick idea tip is ‘customers who viewed this item also viewed this’. It’s another big one. Because Amazon again is saying, “Okay hey lis4, other people that have purchased this they also viewed this.” I recently just did this with my need pool. Got  a pool and iI looked for these little, they like long plastic things that you fill up with water so it holds down the net over top of the pool because I got some leaves coming in.

So I looked at that and as I’m looking at that it’s also saying I might need a leaf net and I might also need the pole. So all of these things it’s saying you bought this one thing now you might be interested in these other three things. A lot of times I will add that stuff to my cart because it is something that is related and I do need it. So again we can look at that as an opportunity for them to tell us what would be the next product in line or what could be a good bundle. What if we took two of those things that are commonly being purchased together and make that our product. Then we can create a bundle or a package deal that would make it easier for the customer to get what they want. So at this point, Chris I want to stop because we are going to go into step two of the three step process and we’re going to talk about product criteria.

What are some of the common questions at this point do we normally get that you’d like to address?

[00:31:01] Chris: So before we jump into that I want to jump back to the ‘frequently bought together’ thing. I think that’s something that a lot of people miss out on especially when they say oh, this product specifically didn’t work. This thing on my touch list. Frequently bought together is really cool Scott. Are you familiar with, ‘If you give a mouse a cookie’? It’s a children’s book. It’s one of my mom’s favorites and we constantly make jokes about it. But any time you buy something it’s kind of like a game of if you give a mouse a cookie. If you guys aren’t familiar with the book the mouse gets a cookie but then he also needs a glass of milk.

But then he has crumbs so he needs a napkin and then he needs a nap because he is full from the cookie and the milk. All of these things get sold together and so if we can take a look at that even if the thing that’s on our touch list isn’t a product that’s going to work for us because it doesn’t meet the criteria that we’re going to talk about here in a few minutes it is potentially something that can lead to that product. So by looking at those things like frequently bought together and customers also viewed this and all of those kinds of things those are other things that we can put on our list that may meet the criteria. And we found some of our products that way even though the initial product we were looking at didn’t meet the criteria.

So at this point Scott we already addressed this one but people always ask us about the touch list and they say won’t everything on my touch list be the same as everybody else’s? What are your thoughts on that?

[00:32:21] Scott: Well, again I think there’s going to be some. There’s going to be some crossover but there’s going to be things on my touch list that might be there before yours or vice versa because you’re doing different things or your kids are into different things or your husband is into different things or wife or whatever. So yes, the common things maybe a coffee cup, maybe that’s going to be on there but you have to continually grow that list and I think that as you do different things…I mean I didn’t have a pool a year ago. Now I do. Guess what? I’m looking at different things now. Now there’s different things on my touch list that might not be on yours. So that would be my answer to that.

[00:32:58] Chris: Right, like your skimmer. You were talking about how you had to, not the skimmer for the pool but the skimmer for the side. Because after they installed it, you filled it with water, you had to make sure that the pool sides didn’t slip into the pool. You had to skim it on a daily basis to make sure that the coating was still there. That’s something you would have thought to buy or thought to have on a list and even if you have a pool now, like if you had bought the house with a pool, that would have been on your list. So those are the kinds of things, everybody that has a pool wouldn’t even have that on their list.

So you’re talking 1% of 1% and then on top of that even if you and i do write down the same thing, we might actually look at the criteria that we’ll talk about here in a few minutes, slightly differently. And I would say the idea which is really where we are right now, there’s no such thing as a stupid idea. Write everything down, write all of the complementary products because what we are going to do is we’re going to put some filters here when we get to the criteria stage and the more stuff we have at the top, the more stuff we have at the bottom. So if we can fill the top of this funnel if you will with as many ideas as possible as things start to get knocked out, we’re not limited to just one choice by the time we get to sourcing.

We’ll have three or four or five that make it through that filter so write everything down. Yes, some of those things are going to get knocked out like a coffee cup Scott or like a water bottle, the one that I’m drinking out of right now. But if you are smart and you do what we say here and you look at the ‘frequently bought together’ and ‘customers also viewed this’ you’re going to write down a French Press and certain kind of coffee that people also buy with that coffee cup.  And maybe one of those little guy tea stringers. And all of those are probably fairly saturated products and probably not something that you’d end up selling but you guys get that point that adds three or four or five things to that list.

Then those three or four or five things each add three or four or five things and you can grow this list exponentially before you start to put them through filters.

[00:34:56] Scott: Absolutely. And again, I just don’t think you should limit yourself to thinking that. Just go through the process and understand that when an opportunity comes to you or an idea comes to you, you’ll be running it through this set but to get started you just want to get in the flow. You want to be aware and just pay attention. So all right, let’s keep moving here because we got a lot more to cover here and I didn’t want this to go over an hour but let’s see how we do here. All right, step two is the product criteria. So now we’ve got this whole list or we’ve got certain products that we want to look into a little bit further.

Well, we got to see if they are even worth going into because it’s great to have a product idea and I get this a lot. “Hey, I’ve got a brand new product idea, no one’s launched it yet. I think it’s going to be a massive success.” I always say, “I’d wait on that.” I’d wait to the market validates it before because this way here you’re taking a less of a risk and I always go back to Shark Tank. If you watch Shark Tank and you see that there’s four sharks up there they are being pitched an idea or something that’s already working. Nine out of ten times once they ask this question, what are your current sales? Like let’s just cut to the chase, what are your current sales? And when they say, “Well, we’re still in prototype. We haven’t launched yet.” Nine out of ten times they say, “Come back when you have some sales and then we’ll look into this.”

Because we want the market to validate that they actually want it. So what we’re doing is we’re using Amazon as that market validation piece. We’re allowing them to tell us before we even go in there. So if we want to sell $100 profit per month which we’re going to talk about ten by ten by one and that’s really what that is and why that’s important then we’ve got to find products that are doing that and then we just model that and make our products better. Just understand the product criteria is really a set of like really just data points but also just different criteria that we live by and that we always use for launching products and in a new brand this is exactly what we’ve done. So let me cover them.

[00:36:54] Scott: What makes a good product? That’s the big question. Well number one, product that serves a market I think is going to be an advantage especially in the future. Again if we go after just a one hit wonder it’s fine, it can work, you can get some revenue, you can get some sales but if you’re looking to build a brand it can be a little bit harder if you don’t find products that serve a market. Number two, it retails for $19 to $45 or more. The reason why I use $19 as the minimum is because if you buy something for $4 or $5 and you want to resell it for $19 that’s going to be a decent margin to get started. Now obviously if you can source it less and you can sell it more then that’s great but I like a 30% to a 50% margin, somewhere in there.

If you start with a 30% margin and we can increase that to 40% just by buying more in the future or getting our shipping less, any of that stuff then I’m okay with that. But I like $19 to $45 or more. That’s what I like it to retail for. Light weight, less than two pounds. The reason why I like it lightweight and less than two pounds is because this way here in the beginning we can do test orders, we can do it by air and we can do it a lot faster that if we have to ship it by sea and also we could have some different storage fees stuff if we get with bigger items. So we want light weight, less than two pounds.

Reviews. I like to find products that have less than 200 at the most 300 reviews. And the reason is because I don’t want to have to go into this thing thinking I have to get 1,000 reviews. Because a lot of people will go out there and they’ll find products that have 800 reviews and the only way that they feel as though they compete is if they get a whole bunch of reviews. Then what happens? Then we start leaning on review groups and you’re not supposed to do that and then you start to find unethical ways to get reviews like I don’t want to down that road. And I don’t think you should either.

[00:38:55] Scott: I think if you go after products that sell $100 per day which is actually ten units a day at $10 profit for one product and actually by the way that’s the ten by ten by one, but that’s what we do. You don’t have to do out there and try to get a whole bunch of reviews because the sales are not being driven by reviews for the most part. Then the other piece of criteria is I want to see a product that’s selling at least ten units per day. Little side note here, when you generally go after products that are selling ten units a day especially if we’re doing a right amount of research sometimes that will turn into 15 units a day or maybe 20 or maybe in some cases 50 or 100. You just don’t know but if we start with we want to get 10 per day, that to us is a successful product in our brand and then we’ll build from there.

Then to us we are not going after products that are really competitive that are selling 100 a day because let’s face it, there’s people right there right now that want to sell 100 per day on one product and that’s what they are doing. They are willing to go all in on that but they’re also taking more of a risk because it’s going to take money to get that thing because everyone else is doing it. Right, you have to sell 100 per day in order to compete. We don’t want to go down that road.

[00:40:10] Chris: I want to jump in here quick Scott because it’s something I was thinking about as you were saying that. Not only is it harder to find those products, there are tens of thousands of products that sell ten units a day. And maybe half as many. It’s probably less than that that hundreds of units a day. But on top of finding that and having higher competition it also  leads to having much different challenges and much different problems. Like if you’re selling hundreds of units a day you’re playing a lot more catch up on inventory and some of those kinds of things which if you’re just getting started is not something that you want to do.

Like even for us in the new brand we picked products that met this ten by ten by one criteria for the most part and we’re struggling to keep up with inventory without investing more and more because we’ve had a couple of those that have really taken off. Now we are at a point where we are pulling out some profit a few months in but if we had come at this with the thinking that we wanted to sell 100 of units a day of that product we would have had to put in substantially more money upfront and it would have been much bigger struggle for us to keep up with inventory.

[00:41:24] Scott: And when we get to the launch phase and that’s what we’ll be talking about when get into there, the prelaunch and all of that stuff is we’re figuring out, what’s it going to  take to rank? If we have to compete with someone that’s selling even 50 units a day we have to sell 50 units a day to get ranked really. So with that being said like ten days that’s 500 units. Like in the most part, in the beginning you are going to be not even breaking even on those because we are running heavy pay-per-click or we are doing a deep discount like whatever and that’s fine, that’s part of the process but wouldn’t it be better if we can just do ten units a day and the possibly start to rank like it’s a lot easier and it’s just lower risk as well.

Which I think a lot of people want but in the same breath they also want those big numbers which I will show you here in a second why we try to hit the ten by ten by one on every product that we launch. Basically this is what it looks like and I just said it but I’m going to it a little bit slower here for you guys. Ten units per day. So just think about this. You sold ten units per day and you made profit, $10 per unit. So ten units a day, $10 each sale so each unit sold for one product. That’s $100 per day per product. Pretty basic math. So $100 per one product, that’s $3,000 per month. Let’s scale that a little bit. Let’s go with three products now. We did the same thing. Ten by ten by one.

Selling ten units a day each so that’s 30 units a day now at $10, that’s $300 profit, that’s $9,000 per month and now let’s take it up one more step. We go to five products in our brand. We have $500 profit per day now, that’s $15,000 per month. So do you see how we just took and we went where we wanted to get $100 profit per day to $500 profit per day but we did it by just launching another ten by ten by one type product. That’s really what we’ve done in the new brand and currently right now we are definitely on track to really scale this thing up because right now I think as we’re recording this we’re at about $35k per month.

[00:43:45] Scott: And we’re not even into the fourth quarter yet, 100% yet. Like we aren’t even rolling yet. And we ran out of inventory a few times. So that’s how it can work and again, it doesn’t have to be one product that sells 100 units per day. I think that’s riskier because now if we have two products that go out of inventory, guess what, we still have three other products that are doing it. That’s the goal. Our goal is to get those products but it may take a few products to get there. So another big tip that I want to throw at you guys is if a product is selling well, you’re looking at but has a bad listing for example pictures are bad, title, bullets, description and it still getting ten sales per day that’s really, really good news for you because that shows that people don’t care about the images so much.

They don’t care how well it’s written. They just want the product. They just want that thing. So for you, you come in, you give them a similar product, a better product and then you also give them a better listing to look at and then Amazon likes that better. You optimize it better, which we’ll get into that in the pre-launch. That is to me another advantage for you. So that’s something to look at when you’re looking at your products and saying like okay these guys are doing ten units a day and they only have one image. Wow, I can do a better job. So that’s another big, big thing to look at. All right, moving on. This is another little pro tip here.

Digging one level deeper to find products. What do I mean by that? Well, most people will look at that one product, that one widget and they’ll go oh this person is selling but looks like they have like 800 reviews and I don’t really want to go into that market. I don’t really want to go into that product. Not even that market just that product. So what we do and what we’ve done numerous times and whenever we Iook at products, this is what I’ll do then next step will be. I’ll go and I’ll click on the brand name in the listing. Again, I can’t really show you that in this audio version but we do show you this in the workshop so again, little reminder.

[00:45:51] Scott: Definitely register for one of our upcoming workshops, we’ll take this and condense it into about 90 minutes everything all five phases. Go over there, register at theamazingseller.com/workshop but basically to just describe it here in audio, it is you click on the brand name, in it’s like a little blue link underneath the title. Then from there what you’ll do is you’ll click on their brand name and it will show you their are products that they are selling and it will give you their top selling products. Now, you may even see some new products that they just launched but it will also give you more ideas inside of that market that they may have even just launched and then just didn’t do anything with.

So it’s a way for you to get more ideas that not everyone else is seeing because not everyone else is drilling into that next level deeper. Okay, so that’s what we mean by digging one level deeper is clicking on the brand name of that one product and then seeing what other products they are selling and sometimes it will be two other products, sometimes it will be twenty other products and then from there and this is another little tip that will require a tool is if you use a tool like Jungle Scout on that product’s page of that brand, you can run the Chrome extension for Jungle Scout and the it will give you all of the numbers  on that page.

Now, again I can’t show you what looks like right here because we’re in audio but just trust me, when you go there it will give you all of the numbers that you need. It will give you the review number, the estimated sales, it will give you even a rating on the listings and all that. So another little pro tip there for you and if you guys are brand new and you have no idea what Jungle Scout is that would be my tool of choice. With Jungle Scout, I would start with the Chrome extension and then I would go with the web app or if you want, do them both. The web app will help you track products as well. I’ll give you guys a link here. It is an affiliate link, I am an affiliate for Jungle Scout. Greg Mercer I know him very well, theamazingseller.com/js for Jungle Scout.

[00:47:51] Scott: I’ll also include it in the show notes. But that there is a tool that will help you get the results quicker as far as if you’re looking at all the data especially on one page or one list. That’s really what comes down to as far as like finding out what the sales are, a lot of times that’s one of the other big questions we get a lot Chris, it’s like, “What are the sales?” Well, number one is you can use a tool to do that. We’ve in the past when we got started, there wasn’t any tools so we were doing it the old fashioned way. So there’s really two options here for you. Option number one to start tracking sales is to create a spreadsheet and start tracking the BSR, the best seller rank over time.

Again, if you’re brand new and you have no idea what a best seller rank is, it’s a ranking number that Amazon will give each listing and that gives us an idea of how well they are selling. Now, again I can’t show you here on this audio version. The workshop I do go into that with just some different examples and stuff to show you. So definitely again guys, I can’t stress it enough. The workshop will give you the play by play visually but option one is to create that spreadsheet and start tracking that BSR over time. Now option number two is to use a tool like Jungle Scout to give sales numbers and track in the web app. But that will require an upfront investment a few hundred dollars.

And then from there you’ll be able to start doing that but again, I don’t want to push tools here on you. I think you can do it either way. But again our tool of choice is Jungle Scout. Chris, I think I want to give them the 999 trick because I know we get asked that quite a bit and I know though it can be a little frustrating if you don’t have a visual. So that’s why I think again if you guys can show up to  the workshop, you’d be probably better off because you can see this but let’s just try to walk them through that. I’m going to explain it Chris and then maybe you can go back and tweak a few things just in case I left something out.

[00:49:50] Chris: Go for it.

[00:49:50] Scott: Okay. The 999 trick looks like this. Number one go to your competition that you’re looking at or go to that one listing that you want to know what their numbers are. You would add 999 units to your cart. Now, don’t check out, don’t go and order 999 units. But just go and add 999 and what you want to do at this time is you want to also record the time that you’re doing this. Very important that you do this. So if it’s 12 o’clock in the afternoon, you’re on your lunch you go to that garlic press, you click on the listing and then you say I’m going to order 999. You go ahead you say ‘add to cart’.

The next thing that will happen in most cases is it will say sorry there’s only 603 available. Let’s say there’s 603 available. You can’t buy 999. There’s not that many in stock. All you can buy is 603. So now you record that as well. You record how many it says are available. So that’s step one really of this little 999 trick. The second part would be repeat this the next day at the same time and then do the math. So if you just repeated yourself, did the exact same thing, added 999, the next day add it to your cart obviously clear your cart and then from there it’s going to say, “Sorry, there’s only 590 available.” So now you’d take 603 from the day before, 590 on the next day that you just recorded or the current day.

That’s 13 sold. So now you would do that over the course of seven to fourteen days and then take an average because some days it might be 13, some days it might be eight some days it might be 15. Some days it might be 20 and then you’d do an average for seven to 14 days. That way there you can get an idea. Now, one little note here. You may go there and say 999 units that you want to order and it will say, “Sure, it’s going to be $4,000.” And you’re like wow, wow, wait a minute here. They have that many. So now, the next thing I would do is I would find another product in the same category that has a very similar BSR, maybe we’re looking at a BSR of 5,000.

[00:52:05] Scott: I would find another garlic press that had 5,000 and then I would go and do it to that listing and that listing may have less than 999. So you see what I’m doing here. I’m just trying to figure out what 5,000 BSR in home and kitchen is for this period of time. That’s how I would do that 999 trick. I actually did this in the very beginning before I started using a tool. If you use a tool basically does that for you. You don’t have to worry about that. Chris, did I leave anything out? Was I confusing?

[00:52:35] Chris: It’s funny because every time you do that it gives me like flash backs. That’s actually how before tools we had to do this. If you didn’t have that trick you wouldn’t really have any idea what was selling on Amazon and how much it was selling. The moral of the story here is, like the short version of that is find the product, add it to the cart, change the quantity to 999. In most cases it will say, “No, there’s only 800.” Come back the next day, do the same thing. There are going to be some circumstances where it doesn’t work and that’s where you have to find an alternative.

One is going to be Scott like you mentioned, if they have 1,100 units in stock, then that’s not going to work. Two, is if they set a max order quantity of say five. The trick here is you have to actually add it to the cart. Lot of situations you aren’t able to add 999 from the product page because hey have set drop downs for quantity. So if you added to the cart, you should be able to enter a custom quantity. But you can use a tool like Jungle Scout to not have to do this. Jungle Scout does this on Steroids for all of the listings at the same time. They’ve been tracking it over time so you get a little bit of a better idea rather than just a specific moment in time. But the 999 trick if you don’t have any tools or you don’t want any tools is absolutely a great way to get started and Scott like you mentioned it’s how you and I got started doing this stuff.

And once you get a feel for 5,000 in this category is 12 sales a day you don’t really need to do it anymore. Because you can jump in and look at a listing and go this is 5,100 so it’s going to do like 11. Or it’s 4,900 so it might do 13. So you can get a better idea for that as you start to work your way through it.

[00:54:25] Scott: Yeah. What I’m going to do here Chris now that I’m thinking of it, I’ve done a video or two on like the validation process and which we are going to be covering next and using Jungle Scout and stuff. I’ll leave those videos. I think there’s one or two. I’ll embed them inside of this post. So theamazingseller.com/441 and then also if you’re interested in Jungle Scout I did work out a pretty sweet deal with Greg for TASers. Again go over to theamazingseller.com/js. I believe currently right now there’s some money off and there’ some additional resources that you get for going through my link.

Which is an affiliate link by the way. You will buy me a cup of coffee which you guys all know I love but again, that is the tool of choice for us but you can do it the 999 way that I just described. So Chris let’s jump into step three. The product validation. We’re going to wind this down but we’re actually ramping it up because there’s a lot in here in the product validation and I’m going to try to cover here in this audio version of it. But number one of this, of product validation is depth and then there’s also demand and then there is trends. So those are the three different things we look at in the product validation. So number one are there enough sales? We just talked about that. Are there enough sales? That’s depth.

Now not just one seller we’re talking about. We’re talking about depth. What do we mean by depth? Well, I like to see at least eight to ten sellers or listings when I search for this. So if I search for Jeep accessories or let’s go even a little bit more specific. Let’s say that it’s, maybe it’s the armrest. Jeep accessories arm rest. If I did that and I found eight sellers that were all doing at least ten units a day that would be depth. Now, where there wouldn’t be depth is if I did that search and I only found two sellers that were selling ten units a day. So that means only twenty. Now, if there was two sellers and they are selling 1,500 each and there’s no other sellers, that could be a good thing.

[00:56:33] Scott: But it’s still a lot risky because there’s not eight or ten that are sharing those different results. maybe it’s brand driven if I see that the two top sellers are taking all the sales. So again, without giving you a visual of what it looks like just imagine searching for something and then seeing eight or ten listings showing up on page one and throughout all of those. Let’s say there’s ten of them, we were able to add up 3,000 units across all ten. That would be good depth. If they spread them out pretty evenly like maybe 20, someone had 20 a day, someone had 15 a day, someone had 10 a day. Like that would be nice.

Doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be that way. Then what I do is I don’t need to necessarily say I got to be number one. I just got to be number seven. Or I got to be number five. That way there I’m not looking at competing with just one seller. So that’s depth. The other thing I want to look at is how long have they been selling? The people that I’m looking to compete with, the sellers that I’m looking to compete with, I need to look at how long they’ve been selling. The other thing is I have to look at is this a trend? Is this something that is going to be hot and go away tomorrow or go away in six months because it was just mentioned on a talk show and now all of a sudden everyone is buying it and then it’s going to go away.

So I have to look at that stuff and I’m going to show you here in a second how we do that. Does it sell outside of Amazon? That’s another big one for me because I want to know that in the future I can go ahead and get search traffic outside of Amazon. So again, I’m looking a little further down the road. That’s not a deal breaker or 100% but it’s definitely something I look at and then can we improve or differentiate the product? So let’s talk about depth and demand. Again, I kind of covered that. Look at the top eight to ten listings. Total up all the sales across those eight to ten listings and see if you can come up with 3,000 sales per month across the ten.

[00:58:31] Scott: So that would be, let’s just do easy math. 300 units each per seller times ten, that’s 3,000 sales. That’s what I would look at. Now it’s not always going to be that perfect. It could be 1,000 for the first seller and then everyone else below that is sharing the rest of the 3,000 so 2,000, they’d all be sharing. One common mistake I find is that people will be fooled by that number and because they will look at across the top ten, but the top two are the ones that are taking all of the sales and then after you get past the second seller, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten they are getting like four sales a day. We want to look at that.

That to me is top heavy. There’s sellers that are getting all the sales on the top and below that it doesn’t matter if you rank number five, you’re not going to compete. There’s probably reason for that. It’s probably brand driven. It could be a certain product that’s patented that you can’t even sell but it’s similar. There’s different things. So you want to look at that. I always like to see eight to ten listings that share the 3,000 sales. Then the other, the third component here in this depth and demand is your low competition. I look at low competition by the number of reviews. I know Chris does the same.

I like to find sellers that are still selling consistently with 200 or less reviews. Then this way here, we know that they are not being driven. The sales are not being driven by reviews and the sales are still there. So that’s what we look at when we’re looking at competition and the reviews. So the next thing is okay, well Scott, how do I find product history? How do I know how long a seller has been selling or how do I know that these numbers aren’t just like from a recent promo? It’s a great question. And I’ve got the answer for you. We use a tool called camelcamelcamel.com. It’s free. We also have doubled with Keepa.com and I know some of our listeners and students use that one.

[01:00:36] Scott: They are both pretty much the same. They do the same thing. What they do is they’ll look at the history of a product, they’ll look at the price history. So we’ll show you what the price has done over time. Then it will give you the BSR over time. Which is pretty powerful. The one thing that I look at immediately is like number how much history do they have? If they only have three months history, that means that they are only months old. If they have12 months history or more, well then we know that we can pretty much say that the numbers there are going to be numbers that we can count on. So we don’t want to be fooled by recent launch or promotion or a seasonal item.

We also don’t want to be fooled by maybe a price hike and then have that price go down and then stay down because there’s a lot of competition now. So we want to look at the price history and the sales over time. That’s being done with the tools like Camelcamelcamel or Keepa. Again guys, I’m going to include all this stuff in the show notes so don’t worry about writing everything down here right now. The trends, the other thing we look at is trends. How do we know that this isn’t just a fluke? How do we know that this isn’t just something that’s hot now, and not going to stay consistent? Well we look at Google Trends over the past years and we can look at the past five years, sometimes eight, ten years. However much data they have but looking at the Google trends is a great way for you to see a certain keyword or a certain product.

So in this case, let’s take garlic press. If we take garlic press we see that they have spikes in November and December and that’s probably because they have Christmas gift. But we also see steady sales throughout the year. So that’s good. That’s a good thing. We look at a snow shovel, we see a spike in maybe November, December and January, maybe February but for the most part it’s probably December and January. So two months. After that, flat lines. We can see that by looking at Google Trends. Now, the last important factor here that I think that we need to address before we wrap up this long podcast episode but you guys can see, there’s a lot that goes into it.

[01:02:36] Scott: And this is one of the most important parts and I want to make sure I cover everything with you is really can we improve the product? Can we differentiate it? Because you can’t just launch the same widget everyone else is selling. You can but what’s going to differentiate you. So can we improve the product? How can we improve the product? Well, number one you can do better packaging, you can have better materials and you can have more accessories. So the next question I guess is, “Well Scott how do I find out what to modify?” Well, here’s a little tip for you. Read through what people are saying they don’t like about the product. In most cases, you’re going to find your competition has one or two or three star reviews.

Let me give you an example of what a garlic press would look like, one of the ones that we polled so you can get an idea. You’ll see how we can improve this product. So I’m looking at this right now. Again, I show you guys this on the workshop. I’m going to do this, I’m just going to read it to you guys in an audio version but it says, the first review here, three star, “Looks great, nice idea but not that easy to use.” Then they go on to say, “Garlic ends up smeared over your hands and stuck inside the mechanism. Not dishwasher safe.” Three star.

Another one star, “Several of the blades came loose and/or bent when I tried to put only the second clove through the brand new device.” So again, not happy and they are complaining. The other one is a three start. “Not, great for doing a single clove, too difficult to clean even with a built in cleaner.” Then a two star, “metal blades bent the first time I used garlic press.” So how would we improve the product? Well, it’s hard to clean? We got to make it easier to clean. Metal blades bent, easy, we got to make ours sturdier or with better material. Now dishwasher safe, we’ve got to make ours dishwasher safe. Garlic smears, we got to figure out why it’s smearing and how we can make ours not smear and then quality is cheap, we got to come up with better materials.

[01:04:29] Scott: All of this stuff we can put into our listing and say ours is better than our competition because of these things. Ours is easier to clean, ours is stronger material and our blades don’t bend. Ours is dishwasher safe, the garlic doesn’t smear, our quality is top of the line. Those are the things that we can fix but we can also call out against our competition. So with that all being said Chris, man that was a mouthful. Is there anything that you wanted to wrap up with before we recap here and then let these guys get out there and start doing a product research?

[01:05:01] Chris: There’s a couple of questions that you and I Scott that always get that I wanted to knock out real fast if you are willing to do that. The first one is are these criteria that you just laid out like the ten by ten by one criteria, are those absolutely solid or are they slightly flexible?

[01:05:18] Scott: They are flexible and again, I want to repeat this. They are. That’s what we go by. You can go by whatever you want. If you only find products that only sell 20 units that’s up to you. These are just our criteria.

[01:05:31] Chris: Yeah, and I would say like if it sells nine a day at $9 profit, that doesn’t disqualify it.  We just need to know that so the goal is ten, if it sells, if it comes in at twelve by ten by one or twelve by nine by one that’s fine. We need to know what it sells for and how much we stand to make which we will find out in the sourcing phased. But we need to know the sales volume there and that’s the important thing. If you were happy selling five a day, that’s totally cool just keep in mind that to get to that $100 a day mark you’re going to have to make $20 in profit. We like those numbers because they make it easy for us. Scott and I are math people.

We’re business math people and if it’s easy business math, that’s even better. Ten times ten is a hundred. oohh hoo. I can do that all day long and my third grade math teacher is happy. When we’re looking at products and we see that yes there is depth and demand there, one of the questions that you and I always get is, do you look at the total number of pages of sellers? Like if there’s 5,000 people selling a garlic press does that change how you look at a product versus if there’s just 100?

[01:06:39] Scott: No, here’s the deal though. Am I selling the exact same widget? If the answer is yes, and all you’re doing is going to AliBaba, Ali Express or wherever and you’re finding that product and you’re just going to slap it up there, then yes that would concern me because there’s nothing that’s going to differentiate But if I’m going to have different packaging, different branding, a better product, better listing, like if I’m going to have all that stuff then I’m only looking at the top ten or fifteen on that first page as long as the depth is there and then demand is there. That’s all I’m concerned with. How do I outrank them? How do I do a better job?

That’s why if I find a listing that’s poorly written or bad images and they are still ranking and they are still getting sales, that’s a one up for me. I don’t care if there’s 500 pages. I’m just looking at what we are going to deliver, how we are going to be different and then how do we get to page one? If they are selling 15 units a day, guess what, I got to sell 15 units a day. How do I do that? Well, we’re going to talk about that in the pre-launch phase and in the launch phase so we get there so we can rank. We talk about optimization, we talk about the ranking process, building a list, like all of that stuff, we’re going to be doing in the pre-launch and the launch phase but it’s important that we get this part right, first.

[01:07:52] Chris: I would absolutely agree with that. And the last question we already covered a couple of times but I wanted to do a recap on it really fast, is what tools are you suggest if we want a tool? For me honestly it would be bare bones. I would say the Jungle Scout, the extension, not even the web app. You can get it if you want, it is very useful but if you want something that’s going to absolutely help with this process, and speed it up tremendously, the Chrome extension from Jungle Scout is where I would look. And I think you feel the same way about that as well If you had one tool in your tool belt for this process that would probably be it. That would be the tool belt itself.

[01:08:26] Scott: Yeah, 100% would be because at this state of the game and again, let’ talk about that really quickly is people get overwhelmed with the entire process. That’s why I wanted to do this series. That’s why we do the workshop because honestly, it always comes down to these five parts. These five phases and we’re in phase one right now in this series. So this is all you have to worry about. The only tool that I would say that’s even necessary right that’s a paid tool is Jungle Scout. That’s the one that I use, that’s the one I would say and I would say if you’re like bare bones like bootstrapping, then I would say just go with the Chrome extension.

If you’re going with the web app the web app will also allow you to do some tracking on a product with the click of a button. So that would be the other thing that would be useful. But right now it’s really just the Chrome extension. Again, guys, I’ll drop that link here for you guys theamazingseller.com/js. There’s some money savings there and there’s some other resources that Greg is giving and again just to  put a little disclaimer there I am an affiliate for that Jungle Scout, I’m a good friend of Greg. I was actually one of the first ones to try the tool when it was launched in beta so I kind of see it grow and turn into what it is today.

Which is just amazing. I am going to include also Chris, I think there’s two videos that actually go through looking at depth, demand and history and all that stuff. I’m going to leave them inside of this episode on the show notes so that can be found at theamazingseller.com/441 and again this is part two of this series. I want you guys to probably go back and listen to this again because there’s a lot there and I know it but I did want to focus only on product research, market research, validation all that stuff in this episode. It’s really important. Just to recap, in this phase there is that three step formula that I talk about and it is one, product discovery.

[01:10:25] Scott: Two, product criteria and then three, your product validation. Once you run it through that, you’ll have a pretty good idea is this something that I should then take to the next part which is the sourcing and then we can have a handful of products at that point. Because I think at this point you probably want about five to ten possible or potential products that you’re thinking about launching and then from there you can go to the sourcing phase and then you can start getting the info on that and that’s what we’re going to be talking in the next audio, we’ll be talking about that one where we’re actually going to take you  through that process.

Then again, just to highlight this at the very end is make sure that you differentiate the product by modifying the product and even just the packaging to create a better version. Spend the time going through the reviews. To me they are gold. They are sitting there telling you exactly what you should do to make the product better. So Chris anything you want to wrap up with before we officially sign off?

[01:11:27] Chris: I think you covered it pretty well there Scott. One thing I am going to remind people on something you and talk about all the time is focus on where you are. The reason we are kind of doing this deep dive series is to give you a place to come back to. So if you are in the product research phase and Scott you were just talking about this in terms of tools, but there’s well over at the time of recording this there’s well over 400 episodes to the podcast and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with sourcing and launching and PPC and optimization and hijackers and all these things we see get thrown around in the shiny object syndrome that can be something like The Amazing Seller Facebook Group, which is a great resource if you’re not there already.

Check that out at theamazingseller.com/fb but focus on where you are. If you are in the product research phase, whether this is your first time through it, or the 100th time through it come back and listen to this one. If you’re sourcing then listen to the sourcing one. But focus on exactly where you are. Confine your learning the thing that you are doing right now and don’t let yourself get distracted. When you get distracted you make mistakes. So focus on the product selection stuff right now.

[01:12:38] Scott: Yeah, love it. All right guys, that is going to officially wrap this up. That went longer than I expected but when you start talking about this stuff, you definitely have to go through all of these steps and I just want to make sure that we’re very clear and I want to give you guys the resources, the tools so you can go out there and get started right now and I think that you guys have an action plan to actually use right now. Like Chris said, definitely make sure you come back to this one and listen to it again if you need to, take notes if you need to or go to the show notes and go through this process. There’s no excuse to not get started.

All right, so that is going to officially wrap this episode up. The show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/441 and again, this is part two of our road map series for launching products. All right, so that’s it. That’s going to wrap it up. Remember guys, 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, Chris is with us today, he’s going to say it with us, right Chris?

[01:13:38] Chris: Absolutely.

[01:13:39] Scott: Count of three.

[01:13:40] Chris: Count of three.

[01:13:40] Scott: One, two three, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day guys and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.

[END]

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