All posts by Ryan

China Closed – What to Do in Mean Time

Now What?

Captured from letterstotheexiles.com

I got asked this all this week with the Chinese New Year
practically here. If you didn’t prep and get stock to last you
not only during the period but also enough time to cover your
lead time once they do return, don’t worry, now is the perfect
time to consider some of the following:

1. Research! Maybe you missed your chance to replenish or even
start your PL product, but now is a great time with no loss of
any kind to research and validate your PL ideas

2. RA – Personally, I’m not a fan, shopping gives me a great
bit of anxiety, (though many have offered to shop with me in
the event I panic in the aisle 6), but it’s a great way to make
your money work for you and put you in a better position to
place your bulk PL product(s)

3. Test! Test your ideas with non branded items you can buy
wholesale or in lots off eBay. If it is branded, try your luck
at not STATING THE BRAND IN YOUR LISTING and seeing how it
sales (if you’re going to do this, do not, I repeat, do not
piggyback, not that I suggest piggybacking at all, but
especially not in this case)

4. Bundle your products with well known brands and nonbranded
items to see if the leverage proves profitable

5. Get legit! Register your LLC or C/S Corp. Get an EIN/TIN, bank account, etc.

6. Get a hobby!! Yep, not kidding, in my spare time I make
music and guess what I had to MAKE THE SPARE TIME (guess it’s
not really spare then huh?) but ironically remember it can’t
always be about business, or private labeling, or Amazon has
actually increased the results of all the efforts I make

7. Consider selling items not requiring importing. I am testing out short reads/stories in erotica. I have never sold a Kindle book in my life, but after finding out how similar the research process is to that of PL, I’m finding myself more and more confident about giving it a go. I’m even 2/3 with my raunchy book, go me!

So there ya go, 7 things I would be honored for you to consider as the Chinese celebrate the new year. Oops, almost forgot. CONSIDER IMPORTING FROM OTHER COUNTRIES! India and a few places in Europe are my fav! Check them out same as you would any other supplier and see what gold you can dig up while others wait for the Chinese holiday to end.

Hope you enjoyed and are motivated to take action. Please share this with someone you feel would find it helpful.

Myths Your Competitors Want You To Believe

Back from the dead and with zombie like knowledge I hope you’ll find helpful. I’ll save the cliches for another day and jump right to it…

Myth 1

“Low searches means there’s no money to be made”

Correction, low conversations from searchers to buyers may indicate there is little money to be made. Which is more appealing, a product searched 1000x a month converting at 10% profiting $10 or a product searched 10,000x a month converting at 1% profiting $10? The answer…you’ll make the same amount even though one is searched 10x as much. Makes you think, right? If the product searched only 1000x a month made $11 profit, you’re literally in the lead in comparison to the product searched 10,000x a month.

Myth 2

“The profit is in small and lightweight products” 

Nope, not true. Usually it’s an easier item to import for sure, but heavier products can still be profitable.

1. Usually competition is slim
2. If you are willing to be patient and ship via sea, it’s usually more than affordable.
3. You’ll want to always do your numbers. Sometimes you’ll pay just as much to have Amazon to fulfill as you would to ship yourself, meaning the Prime members
can look towards you to buy vs the abundance of Merchant fulfilled sellers that usually dominate the page for heavier items.
4. The hassle to send back larger, heavier items can lead to a lower return rate…Amazon likes low return rates

Myth 3

“I need thousands of dollars or hundreds of products to invest or get started”

Nawwwww, with a little patience it can be far less. Aliexpress is making it easier for people to test. You can also work with potential suppliers to get test orders for your “team” and a team can consist of 10 people or a dozen people.

You can send all to Amazon to test or even do a merchant fulfilled listing to test, though results may differ depending on your competition and their offer. You can also work with your supplier to get a credit toward your first bulk order grant it you go with them so that your sample investment isn’t made in vain.

If you can find a generic duplicate on eBay with a seller selling multiples, you can buy in bulk and of course reach out to them to see if you can get a discount for doing so. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY HUNDREDS OF UNITS TO GET STARTED!

Episode 37: Total Domination w/ Your PL Product

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I don’t mean to brag but this has to be the most exciting Coffee with Ryan to date because I’m going to share how I rank page one not once, but TWICE for the same item type. Wild right? Wild, yes, but possible, so listen up as I share:

  • Why charging more (and justifying it) is easier than you think
  • Differences in the reviews of a premium product vs a more cost efficient alternative
  • How to set yourself apart from competitors INSTANTLY!
  • The Mini Van Theory
  • And much, much more…

Don’t forget, you can win a $200 Amazon gift card by simply commenting with a link where you’ve shared any of my past podcast via social media or personal site/blog!

If you like what you hear, (pretty) please comment, rate, share, and/or subscribe!

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Don’t use iTunes, try stitcher! Visit, http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ryan-rice/fba-journey?refid=stp

 

Episode 36: Rundown of the Entire Process

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As we wind down to the end, I wanted to take one “Coffee with Ryan” to discuss the entire Amazon PL process from research to optimization. I thank you for listening and as always, I’m rooting for you, your goals, and your growth!

Third Coffee with Ryan session discusses getting a product from idea to launched in 6 parts:

  • Research
  • Suppliers & Ordering Sample
  • Ordering Bulk
  • List Prepping
  • Launch [The FUN Part]
  • Optimizing

Don’t forget, you can win a $200 Amazon gift card by simply commenting with a link where you’ve shared any of my past podcast via social media or personal site/blog!

If you like what you hear, (pretty) please comment, rate, share, and/or subscribe!

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Don’t use iTunes, try stitcher! Visit, http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ryan-rice/fba-journey?refid=stp

 

Episode 35: What I Wish I Knew Starting

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So by now you know the podcast is coming to an end. But I’ve set you up with a short series this week that I call “Coffee with Ryan” where I’ll discuss various insight points regarding Amazon & private labeling, recorded on my iPhone at random times as I sip a cup of Joe. So enjoy nothing but actionable information in this short series as I say my final good byes. I thank you for listening and as always, I’m rooting for you, your goals, and your growth!

Second Coffee with Ryan session discusses the 4 things I wish I knew before getting started, including:

  • The importance of pixels and professional photography
  • How to save time, money, and space when shipping inbound from overseas suppliers
  • Refunding…the good, bad, and ugly
  • Why investing in yourself should be priority
  • And oh so much more!

Don’t forget, you can win a $200 Amazon gift card by simply commenting with a link where you’ve shared any of my past podcast via social media or personal site/blog!

If you like what you hear, (pretty) please comment, rate, share, and/or subscribe!

I’m on Google!! Subscribe – https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?
ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.go
ogle.com/music/m/Iyscr4dwr2l45oa4hn4d4bubhji?t%3DFBA_Journey_Podcast

Don’t use iTunes, try stitcher! Visit, http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ryan-rice/fba-journey?refid=stp

 

Episode 34: Packaging Your Products

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So you’ve probably already heard but the podcast is coming to an end…I know, I know, just when things were getting good lol. But I’ve set you up with a short series this week that I call “Coffee with Ryan” where I’ll discuss various insight points regarding Amazon & private labeling, recorded on my iPhone at random times as I sip a cup of Joe. So enjoy nothing but actionable information in this short series as I say my final good byes. I thank you for listening and as always, I’m rooting for you, your goals, and your growth!

First Coffee with Ryan session discusses packaging and how to save & make more money with it. Journey along as I disclose:

  • How to make packaging more appealing while actually saving money simultaneously
  • Different packaging types to instantly increase perceived value of goods
  • How to use Alibaba to find packaging to boost your biz
  • The one thing your insert MUST have and the top 3 reasons you’ll want it
  • And oh so much more!

Don’t forget, you can win a $200 Amazon gift card by simply commenting with a link where you’ve shared any of my past podcast via social media or personal site/blog!

If you like what you hear, (pretty) please comment, rate, share, and/or subscribe!

I’m on Google!! Subscribe – https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?
ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.go
ogle.com/music/m/Iyscr4dwr2l45oa4hn4d4bubhji?t%3DFBA_Journey_Podcast

Don’t use iTunes, try stitcher! Visit, http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ryan-rice/fba-journey?refid=stp

 

How I Screwed Up (& Began to Fix) My Refund Rate

Save your return rate & more money, all while increasing customer satisfaction in 4 easy steps:

1. First and foremost don’t be a dummy  like me and not verify your variations are accurate, which I’m sure you already practice (insert huge smile).

2. Encourage buyers via follow up emails and product literature (like flyer inserts or business cards or even hand written letter) that if there is an issue with size, color, etc. to not hesitate to reach out via Amazon’s message center (you can briefly describe how to access this – if you have a follow up sequence just ask they reply to the email if set up in that manner, FBG users have this ability) to expedite resolving the issue.

3. Well maybe this should be #1, always have goods on hand at your home/office/local or personal warehouse. Sometimes shipping rates are not competitive when fulfilling orders manually through Amazon…this of course will vary, so know your cost vs theirs.

4. LET THEM KNOW no other action is needed on their end and to keep, destroy, or donate the item sent in error IF it’s something you can afford to let go. Don’t let them assume they need to get their replacement via Amazon, thus messing up your stats. Obviously some items will cost more to have shipped back, resend to Amazon, etc. A high refund rate in relation to like products WILL GET YOUR LISTING CLOSED!! How do I know? It happened to me, but I’m grateful because it made me realize the issue with my variations.

BONUS TIP: You can use this on any kind of item you sell, not just variations. This could be regarding a defective product, doesn’t matter, same rules to being proactive apply. NOW with variations be sure to state in several places how they should be ordering and what they should expect. In the images via an info-graph, in bullets, in the variation’s title, and in the description. With this in place, your product’s included literature, and follow-up sequences you should see a significant opportunity to get ahead of resolving issues before Amazon catches wind. 😀

When PL Ideas Aren’t Already Being Sold

You’ve find the idea private label product. You’ve done research to validate it’s something that’s consistently being searched for, it’s profitable, and you have supplier options via Alibaba, Trade Key, and the like. There’s only one issue…it’s not currently being sold on Amazon.com. Is this good, bad, or something in between? Well, it can certainly be a great thing or it could be a heartbreak waiting to happen. To further confirm which your particular private label idea is, consider the following:

In addition to the normal check points in verifying an idea (profitability, competition, etc.) I’d ask myself WHY is it not on Amazon and go from there or verify that it’s not on Amazon, but the term/keyword phrase I am identifying the idea with is a term/keyword phrase recognized by Amazon’s buyers. Item to consider:

1.) Is item restricted?
2.) Does item go by another term?
3.) Does item have US patent and/or designate authorized users to sell it?
4.) Is it being sold on eBay? If so, hit ‘completed listings’ to left and see if there’s proof by numbers in green indicating a sale.
Now not be upset the excited, but keep in mind that at the end of the day, both here in the US and by Amazon’s customer base, sometimes the simple fact is no one cares to buy the item…period. If that’s the case, you’ll want to take a hard pass and keep researching new ideas.

 

Apply These 3 Legal Marketing Hacks To Your Amazon Biz

lawSo I may know a thing or two about Amazon, but me and the law have no relations. That’s why I was happy to get insight from Aaron Kelly, Founder and Senior Partner at Kelly / Warner Law.

As a seasoned, top-rated internet marketing focused attorney, Aaron prides himself on assisting entrepreneurs market better & keeping it all legal.

Find out more about Aaron at www.kellywarnerlaw.com and enjoy the following actionable insight into leveraging the law, selling online, and marketing!

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The e-commerce private label industry is exploding — in a good way! Experts predict that by 2020, online shopping will be a $523-billion business, in the U.S. alone. And guess what? A giant chunk of that $523 is coming from private label entrepreneurs who are molding multi-million-dollar companies by leveraging Amazon’s FBA program and other third-party-selling, e-commerce platforms.

Yes, my friends, there is money to be made! The time has come to dip your toe in the private label pond. So, let’s take a few minutes to chat about some “legal hacks” associated with the niche.

Someone Left A Bad Review. Now What?

A big headache for online sellers is bad reviews. Sometimes they come from competitors, other times from legitimate customers — of both the sane and “implacable” variety. So, the question is: Can you get a bad review deleted? Sometimes. Let’s review a few scenarios.

Competitor Posts Fake, Negative Review On Your Product Page

reviewSure, free speech is free speech; in the U.S., censuring opinions is unlawful. However, purposefully and publically lying about person, product or business, to the point of harm, IS against the law. If you catch a competitor doing this, there is a solid chance you can a) win a lawsuit and b) get the post removed. Click here to read more about appropriate actions if you suspect a competitor is dabbling in some subversive black-hat marketing.

Legitimate Customer, With A Gripe, Posts A Bad Review On Your Product Page

Yikes! Someone posted a scathing review on a listing and it has decimated sales. Help!

First thing to do is breathe. This problem has been overcome by thousands of people; you, too, will get through this.

Now, consider the problem post. Ask yourself: Is it true? If yes, respond politely and publicly to the complainer. Consumers love to see customer service. Often, a polite, genuinely concerned response to the negative post can completely cancel out a scathing rant. So long as you confront the problem and offer solutions, all is forgiven in the eyes of many consumers. After all, nobody is perfect and the majority of people on this planet understand that mistakes happen. It’s how the mistake is handled that matters.

If, however, the post in question isn’t true, several scenarios may apply. Counterfeiters, who are leaching off your listing, may be to blame. If so, there are ways to alert Amazon of a possible fraudster, which can result in their account’s termination and deletion of related elements, including misplaced reviews — ultimately solving your problem. Also, if a consumer leaves a review that contains false statements of fact, you may be able to get a court order and have it removed — depending, of course, on the details.

Someone Hijacked A Listing. Options?

hijackAnother online selling headache? Listing hijackers who run rampant on open catalog platforms, like Amazon. (If you’ve never heard of “product listing hijackers,” bookmark this page, quickly jump here for an overview, then come back.)

You know the culprits; pirating counterfeiters who prey on listings. At best, they’re a nuisance; at worst, they can kill a legitimate listing — and associated profits — by disseminating inferior-quality products. So, it’s important to strike back hard and quick.

So, how does one go about shaking a hijacker?

  • Contact the culprit. Be polite. Who knows, it could all be one big misunderstanding. And believe it or not, this is often the case. Someone new to the niche clicks the wrong button and presto, they’ve inadvertently taken over another listing. In such cases, the newbie usually apologizes profusely and everything goes back to normal. No harm, no foul — and most importantly, no headaches or solution investments.
  • If you contact the culprit to no avail, it may be time to enlist a lawyer to send a strongly worded letter on your behalf. Typically, the buck stops here and hijackers jump off. After all, they’d rather leach off people who aren’t lawyered up. But believe it or not, the cost of getting a professional letter is probably a lot less than you may assume.
  • Sometimes, the best life hack is good old fashioned investigating. And that’s certainly true in the online private label game. As simple as it may sound, the best — albeit not foolproof — way to avoid a hijacking / counterfeiting tangle is by vetting your supply chain. And when we say “vetting” we mean VET-TING! Spend 100% more time on the task then you anticipated. Quadruple check everything. Get references and follow up with them.

Avoid FTC Fines By Getting A Marketing Audit

finesMarketing mistakes can cost a bundle. Attorneys General and the Federal Trade Commission have the authority to sue and fine parties that engage in “unfair and deceptive marketing.”

So, what constitutes unfair and deceptive marketing, you ask? The list is long and detail-dependent; what’s A-OK for one marketing campaign may be a NO-NO in another. That said, here are some ballpark guidelines:

  • Don’t Lie. Basically, don’t try to be tricky with consumers. Regarding marketing copy, don’t try to trick them with fancy language and lies of omission; don’t wizard statistics and studies out of thin air.
  • Material relationships and partnerships must be disclosed to potential buyers before the payment stage of a transaction. Additionally, brands must disclose marketing elements that affect the overall perception of a promotional piece.
  • Say No To Fake News Sites. Once upon an unregulated time, fake news sites were all the rage. Now? Not so much. The FTC thinks they’re “unfair and deceptive,” plus, fake news sites often come with intellectual property baggage.
  • Don’t exaggerate findings. Weight loss product marketers often get trapped in embellished-claims quick sand. And it’s little wonder; it’s an exceptionally competitive niche! So, marketers may sometimes fins themselves highlighting an atypical result as if it’s the norm — or drawing false, but great sounding, conclusions based on questionable scientific studies. Avoid this at all costs. The FTC hates it and dolls out hefty fines to those who dare do it.

If there were ever a profitable opportunity, it’s the online private label space. Experts predict the niche will be generating revenues in the multi-billions by 2020. Last year, Amazon FBA sellers, alone, shipped over 1 billion items to people in 185 countries!

Profitable private label operations safeguard their operations with a rock solid defense. Hopefully you can use the above tips to tighten up your ship and react more effectively in the face of a business threat.

Episode 33: Sales Above & Beyond Amazon

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Want to know how to get more sales via Amazon from places other than Amazon? Did you know Amazon actually favors offsite traffic? But how you may say? Well the mystery has been solved with guest, Robert Gleichenhaus of Myfbajourney.net, an Amazon seller who’s taken his internet marketing background to maximize sales in competitive markets most of us dare not touch! Take out your notepads and begin to start your journey BEYOND Amazon as you come to understand:

  • Deal sites, and how they can INSTANTLY 5x your revenue
  • Who out there will actual sell for you and how you can take advantage of such leverage
  • Why saturation may not be as challenging as we’ve all come to believe
  • Ways to obtain more traffic than any one listing can handle
  • Amazon’s subscribe and save program…the good, bad, & possibly profitable
  • And oh so much more!

Robert can be reached via his email roberttodd31[at.]gmail[. or dot]com

If you like what you hear, (pretty) please comment, rate, share, and/or subscribe!

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Don’t use iTunes, try stitcher! Visit, http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ryan-rice/fba-journey?refid=stp