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117 The 2nd way to increase Amazon Sales

This 2nd way of increasing sales is so neglected, you can get ahead simply by implementing anything in this area!

The simple idea is to increase the AOV=Average Order Value.

It can be more difficult to implement on Amazon than just getting new customers but is potentially much more profitable.

If someone usually buys a $10 widget at 50% margin, you get $5 profit per sale. If you usually sell say 10 orders of 1 $10 widget a day, your profit per month=$5X10X30=$1500

If you can increase the AOV by say just $1, you would end up with $11X50%X10X30 profit=$1650. $150 extra ie 10% extra.

Multiply such effects across several products and it can add to your bottom line quickly.

The simplest way to increase your AOV is simply to increase price! But you have to weigh up against conversion rate changes etc. to see whether that increases or decreases your price.

Another way is to bundle together products physically eg a 3-pack, 4-pack, 6-pack etc etc. Easy and very very easy to sell on Amazon.

Another way that is even easier is to offer a discount via a promotion code. Eg BOGOF (Buy One, Get One Free) or buy 3, get 10% etc etc.

If you set things up wrongly, you’ll make less profit, not more, so know your numbers going into this! Done right, this is a simple way to edge up your profit margin.

A harder way but possible on Amazon, is to do cross-sells eg “this is also bought with X” (spatula with slotted spoon for example). It’s possible to influence this again using promo codes – you can offer a 25% discount off a slotted spoon, for example, when you buy a silicone spatula etc.

Another way that is hard to do on Amazon but possible, is to upsell eg from a $5 spatula to a $25 frying pan. Same kinds of methods.

Increasingly, we are looking at strategies that will work best when you have control – in other words, you start to build your own email lists (and other assets like social media subscribers/followers etc.).

There is one more basic way to increase sales that is used least of all by Amazon sellers but could be the most powerful of all…read on…to the next episode…

To find out more about the Amazing FBA London Mastermind mentioned in the episode, click here

113 Know Where You’re Going with your Amazon Business

There is a triple metaphor here. Simple stuff but still true:

  1. Know where your business is heading. And where it is right now. If you don’t have goals, you won’t know where it’s heading. And if you don’t measure your position accurately (eg cash, cashflow, P & L etc), you won’t even know where you are now.

2. Know where you are going. How does your business fit into your life? How does it serve your goals?

3. When you are literally having  goods transported from one side of the globe to another, check  all the details twice. Where is it going from? Where to? Exactly? Have you got the commercial invoice, purchase order etc. all sorted?

Freight is one area where just doing it needs to be tempered with double checking all the details!

112 JFDI – the Everyday Secret to Being Productive

JFDI -it’s nothing fancy; it’s a London saying. But it works…

If in doubt – stop making excuses. If you know you need to do something, Just Do It! It’s like Nike said (but with less swearing).

Sounds simplistic but it’s the  mindset that gets stuff done: come what may, whatever it takes, whether you’re in the mood or not, inspired or feeling flat…do it anyway.

111 The Trump Antidote!

Forget Trump – Do this Instead!

Following on from my encouragement to move on from stressing about Trump and Politics generally, here’s what I suggest you need to do:

Take action!

Instead of focussing on events out of your control, focus on what actions are under your control.

If thinking global is stressing you, think local. Do some retail arb, go to talk to a mom and pop shop about wholesaling their goods; there are so many possibilities. Even just do some freelance work and earn some cash to put towards PL inventory.

Keep It Simple!

I saw a YouTube video today that gave me a simple idea for selling some spare stuff around the house which I was going to throw out anyway.

I scanned some of these things, and the stuff that looked it might make a tiny profit, I listed on Amazon.

I then thought I might as well take the next step and buy a few of these products which I might or might not make a profit on but which, according to the app I used, should give me a good chance of doing so.

It’s something I’ve been intending to explore as various people (podcast listeners, Facebook Group members, Mastermind members etc. ) keep asking me about Retail Arb.

Is it going to make me rich? No. But while I wait for 1200 units of PL product to arrive in the USA, some more products (for another business) are being manufactured in the USA, and I’m waiting to see if the USD/GBP ratio will make some specific PL products profitable to have manufactured, it’s a fun and potentially very productive new avenue to explore.

Plus it’s so simple, anyone could get out and give it a go.   

Stop using “Research” as an Excuse

It’s completely true that finding a successful Private Label product takes some serious research. So make sure you have find the right formula, and work really really hard to find the handful of products that are worth having.

BUT…keep the momentum going.

If you’ve been “researching” for over 3 months, I don’t believe you’re really researching any more. You’re avoiding the expense, potential disappointment, the potential embarrassment and…let’s call it what it is… the Fear of actually taking action.

Don’t feel bad, and don’t think I’m saying I’m always better – I’ve fallen into this trap myself – and more than once.

That’s why I know how crucial it is to keep momentum.

If you have a product that you think looks good, get samples from 2 or 3 suppliers!

If you’re not sure about the market, why not do some retail arb, buy some products from Aliexpress or other way to verify the market?

The point is – you ONLY get real feedback from the market when you actually try to sell something. And you can only see if a product looks good if you order a sample.

Try something on a small scale. Try several things in fact. If they don’t work, adjust course until they do.

110 Stressing about Trump is FOOLISH and Losing you Money!

Newsflash: stressing about Trump is FOOLISH!

If you’re an Entrepreneur, you have 3 main resources.


In reverse order of importance:

Investment Capital

3rd most important.

Obviously, Money is crucial for any product based business, especially if you’re going to do Private Labelling. That said, it’s possible to start Retail Arbitrage or Online Arb with a tiny budget and wholesale with a few hundred pounds.
Having a budget of several 1000 can still easily lead to business failure without the most important resource.

Sadly, I’ve been there.

Time

2nd most important

It is so important to spend enough time working in the right direction. Not working for money hour by hour; learning your craft, staying up to date, connecting with the right people; working to find the right niches, the right markets, the right products; making informed decisions.

Investing time can make up for lack of capital if you invest it wisely.

But it’s still possible to spend hours, days, months and years (even decades) with a lack of the last element and get nowhere.

I was there too – for way way longer than I want to admit.

Focus

Most important resource

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were once asked at an interview which quality they most admired in a person. Their answers were unanimous: focus.

Not coincidentally, these were at one point the richest two people in the world.

If you have focus and put in even a small amount of time each day, week, month and year, over time, you can build some real momentum. If you add serious time, you can build serious momentum. Add some real money, and you that’s when massive growth can happen.

The thing is, one reason why focus is the most precious resource is because it is in the smallest supply. It’s a biological fact that decisions and self control both diminish blood sugar and there is a limit to how many decisions you can make a day and how much focus you have to spend.

If you allow your precious focus to be dissipated and taken over by events out of your control, you won’t have enough left to drive forward actions that are in your control. 

If you have to follow politics, only follow that which is directly going to affect your business. In my case, that includes:

  • Trump’s alleged policy on Taxing Chinese Imports at 45% (this will take serious time to happen if at all)
  • the USD/GBP relationship – this reacts immediately to geopolitical events. For any Amazon seller based in the UK, this is crucial as most of us buy in USD from China. For me, there is a Go/No go decision riding on it.

HOWEVER – Bitching, anger, resentment, trying to convince others of your politics – that’s all an indulgence and a waste of precious mental focus. Just leave that to other people. Be the focussed person and win out over the people who are wasting their energy. 

#100 Adam Hudson on Amazon Basics Pt. 4

To find out more of Adam’s own strategies and tactics, CLICK HERE

Reviews are a major part of any strategy and you mentioned earlier that you want enough reviews to seem viable. Is that correct and could you expand on that?

Yes. It hard to seem credible if you have five reviews and everyone else has 100, so you have to work for those reviews.

How much is enough? And what do you do now that incentivised reviews have been removed?

How many depends on the product. It depends on what page one looks like for you products’ search terms. There is still opportunity out there. There are a lot of products with low reviews that are still dominating. Adam would use ilovetoreview.com, which he also owns, to get 25 reviews for products in the UK and 50 in the US.

Find out more of Adam’s latest thinking HERE

It’s only in the US that incentivised reviews are gone and it’s only compulsory reviews. There are other services that never guarantee the review but would push out your products at a discounted rate or for free. It’s not clear how it works, but it seem that after you get around 25 or 30 sales in a day then you products get a jump start and the sales keep rolling in. So even if you’re not getting a guaranteed review, there is still value in pushing your products out at a discounted rate.

Adam can only speak to his community at ilovetoreview.com, but the reviewers have been doing this for three years where they use the coupon, get the product, and write the review. So, they will probably continue to do so even though it can no longer be required.

Companies will continue to do this even if the review rate drops in half. Adam’s company has a review rate of 87% meaning 87% of products that were pushed out came back as a review. With these new rules, that will likely drop. And if it drops in half that means you will just have to send out twice as many products. This is a one-time investment for something that can generate income for life.

Another tip from Adam is to follow up with you customers via email. Especially in the UK, they are very responsive to this. Zonguru (which Adam also own) has this automation built in.

Every time you make a sale it can send an email when it ships, six days later following up with any issues,and 14 days later asking for a review.

Not only will this help in getting reviews, but it allows you to get ahead of any issues with the product, say if the box was damaged or the product wasn’t right, allowing you to take care of the issue without before going through Amazon’s return system.

Adam tries to casual in his style in his emails. Just a quick “Hey, how are you doing? Just wanted to make sure everything is good with the product.” He doesn’t try to sound like a big company with huge copy in the email, just a quick message like you would send to an acquaintance. 

The bogeyman in all this, as Adam puts it, is that Amazon can change this against this type of thing. They have already sued a bunch a review companies last year. All they have to do is make a change in the algorithm that scrutinizes those reviews that have reviewed an above average amount of products, and out of those, how many used a coupon and just wipe out those reviews. They can just remove reviews of people who are just reviewers.

No one knows how things will work out, but sellers will just have to adjust. They will still have to do product launches, just like every company in the world when they launch a new product. You just have to follow up and encourage your customers to leave a review. You only need 25 – 50 –  if you need more than that you’ve gone into the wrong niche.

As you say-  Amazon has the ability to wipe out these reviews if it chooses. It just drives the point, that at the end of the day it comes down to organic reviews and organic sales.

Yes. Just make great products that people like. It’s that simple. And don’t be impatient. Adam likes the way this is because it knocks out all the people that think they can get rich quick on terrible products. It’s about putting in the work. Putting in the effort. That gives him the freedom to sit around all day, and look at his seller account and see that he made $3,000 in  a day.

You mentioned earlier that you teach this stuff. How do you do that? Is it live webinars, live courses, group training?

He has a company called Reliable Education. The aim is to give people a realistic expectation going in and tell them the truth.

On the website, you can enroll in a free training program that is four videos where he shows you his home and drives you around where he lives in Australia.

He educates you on what the Amazon opportunity is, how to find products and his criteria for that. He teaches you about “Velicity Retailing” which is how to compound your capital over time.

All this leads to a paid programme which is an online course where you get access to about 90 videos that show you Chinese factories and how a 3D printer is made and a lot of very cool stuff.

It includes a private Facebook community and will link you with a mastermind group that they cap at seven people. Everyone signs a NDA so they can freely talk about what their companies are doing and talk on Google Hangouts or in person, and they’re all trained with the same philosophy of not being opportunistic, not get rich quick. They are solid people that want to build solid businesses.

They also have 12 coaching webinars with each member of the course. They have an onboarding program for every new member. There are two guys whose job it is to call every new member and talk to them and get a feel for them. They also have a program where they loan money to a 3rd-world entrepreneur, interest-free, and gets paid back over time. People seem to find a lot of value since their refund rate is less than 5%.

How do listeners get hold of you or find out more about you?

Just at reliable.education. Adam doesn’t really use Twitter etc. so you can’t catch him there – sounds like he’s more likely to be on his boat!

#96 Amazon Mindset Learnings from Musicians

Having just played piano for music auditions in London recently, it struck me that the Main mistakes made in auditions are the same as those made by many beginning Amazon entrepreneurs. mindset strengths or  mistakes and doing it well – needed for auditions for peak performers  are the same as those needed for Amazon

Mistake #1 Failure to prepare

Solution: Prepare!  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Xmas sales are big in retail. Plan your inventory accordingly. Plan your cash accordingly. If you’re just launching a Private label business, plan your capital needs upfront (hint: £1000 isn’t enough for private label! Don’t believe the hype – it’s designed to sell courses, not make you money!)

Mistake #2 Getting put off by mistakes

Solution: When you have a basically sound plan  – keep going! Mistakes are not reasons to lose focus or momentum. Or rather, they can be  – but don’t let them! Stay focussed and learn fast!

Mistake #3 Expecting to be great first time out

Solution: Practise! The best way to do a great audition is to do several – some good, some bad, some mediocre – and to learn from the experiences. The best way to do pick an Amazon product or do an Amazon launch is the same. Plan accordingly (don’t put all your money into one product, for example), start manageably and scale up with experience.

A great bit of advice is to start with Retail Arbitrage (retail arb or RA) or Online Arbitrage (OA). I haven’t done it this way so I can’t guide you properly, but if you are US based, Jim Cockrum is your man. Check out his site My Silent Team.

Mistake #4 Not getting training (or just learning from Podcasts and Facebook group aka “Drinking from a firehose!”)

Solution: Get the best training you can afford. Yes, podcasts and Facebook groups are free and an excellent place to gather info. But it’s too much to absorb and nobody can really structure it to be step by step in those formats.

I would get training from someone who knows what they are doing, preferably geared to your particular finances, circumstances and experience.

Above all, I would get myself a group of peers who you can grow with (find out more about the Amazing FBA London mastermind- on waiting list only at the moment). For me personally, this has been the single biggest success factor so far, hands down.

#93 How the two As changed my life

A decade ago, I was a humble, indeed, humiliated double glazing salesman. I learnt a lot from it but I hated it. I had no life, little money and hung out with boring or outright unpleasant people.

A decade on, I’m earning a living online, I can work from wherever I want and I get to hang out with successful entrepreneurs, including legitimate millionaires.

So what changed? Two As – Action and Amazon!

Amazon is an amazing opportunity. It’s tough, it takes time, effort and real money. But it’s an amazing business model nonetheless. But you have to take action to get results.

Often the issue is – what action? If you’re drowning in knowledge from Podcasts and Facebook groups, the first thing is – connect with other entrepreneurs! A small facebook group is a good start. But sooner or later, you probably need a face to face mastermind of your peers (like the one I run ). Don’t suffer alone and don’t stay online 24/7 – connect to others in the same situation and get into action!

#92 What are your Amazon Business Daily Rituals?

When you work on your own, it can be easy to fall into bad habits and drift or even go backwards.

Ideally, one key thing is to be sure you aren’t on your own too much – you need to connect to fellow entrepreneurs. Join a Facebook Group, get a mentor and or join a Mastermind group.

But there are inevitably weeks and days at a time when you’ll need to get and keep yourself going.

For me, that is simply taking a walk first thing in the morning and making phone calls to fellow entrepreneurs (nowadays I also often make a call to my business partner).

What are your rituals? Let me know in the comments below.

This episode is one of the **Summer Series** of bite-sized chunks of Amazon Strategic Goodness!

#91 Why Amazon means I’m not going “Back to School” this Year

This is the traditional time of year for “Back to School”  – not just for pupils, or parents of pupils, but also for those of us who have to work in them…until now!

Amazon and the online world have enabled me to quit all of my “day job” work that I wanted to leave. It works! However, I want to say that it has taken me about 2 1/2  years to get to that point – so the pitch of getting free of the day job within 3-6 months is unlikely. Possible – but unlikely. You’ll have to work, take calculated risks and have a decent amount of capital. With those behind you, you’ll need good training and a community of fellow sellers.  Combined, these give you a real chance of succeeding in your goal.

This episode is one of the **Summer Series** of bite-sized chunks of Amazon Strategic Goodness!

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