Episode 32: OPM to Grow Your Amazon Business

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Want to know my favorite kind of money? It’s other people’s money or OPM! This is what episode 32 is all about. Take a listen as I interview Will Moffett of bonolo.io, where Amazon meets Silicone Valley. This episode is perfect if you’re looking for leverage to keep up with your growing business on Amazon, so click play and turn up your speakers for inside information pertaining to:

  • The simple, yet must have formula to knowing your sales cycle and staying in stock
  • Common expenses we may forget when considering our bottom line
  • Financial no-nos so many of us are or have made that you’ll want to avoid
  • Why Bonolo is going to change the way you look at financing your Amazon business FOREVER!!
  • And oh so much more!
If you like what you hear, (pretty) please comment, rate, share, and/or subscribe!

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

 

Rocky Mountain Reseller Conference Take-A-Ways

Woah!! I thought jetlag was something to get over, but this weekend will certainly live with me and the way I do business forever!

I met some incredible people and learned things I’m immediately applying to my business this week. Below is what I thought might be worth sharing with my fabulous readers.
Read Time 3-4 Minutes

Firstly, if you have yet to take action, be honest with yourself and ask why. Don’t let the unknowns be the reason. How to do this, what do you do if or when this happens, you KNOW it works and that’s the first and only thing you need to be certain of if you’ve yet to take action.

doubtHowever, if you have doubts this works though you’ve seen the growth and success in local meet-ups, Facebook communities, blogs, podcast, and/or forums, then find something else. Don’t waste your time with anything that doesn’t feel right, no matter the possible reward. Your peace of mind is priceless!

Ok so if you’re still reading I’m guessing you’ve already started and are wanting to grow or you’ve admitted to yourself you were making excuses or talking yourself out of taking actions with “what ifs.” Fair enough. Now because you’re clear on the why and have chosen to move beyond it, I’m going to share a secret with you.  Addressing the unknown is so much easier when you can specially state your predicament (which as of now doesn’t exist) to people who have been there PLUS (you’ll like this next part) it’s less hassle to find solutions with resources from $100/day sales being active vs. making $0/day and feeling the need to get answers to questions that don’t even apply to you yet…maybe never.

So to sum it up, take action and if you doubt it all, move on to something you will take action on.

And now for the actionable tips from my notes! Ready??

1. Cynthia of suspensionprevention.com is a superhero! She saves asses (and suspended listings & accounts). She made it clear we are all at risk and we need to be aware at all times of our compliance score (returns, negative feedback, defect rate, etc.). Don’t take anything from another listing or manufacture site. And be mindful of how you do review blasts. Be sure they state that they received a discount (if they did)…and don’t have them review BEFORE they get the product. Now honestly, how does that even work?

2. The Expert Panel featured heavy hitters, Andy Slamans of ecombros.com/, Robert Rickey & Stephen Somers of marketplacesuperheroes.com, Scott Voelker (a.k.a. The Amazing Seller) of theamazingseller.com/, and Brad DeGraw of videohost.leadpages.co/azdoneforyou/. Oh and one of my favorite people ever, Mr. Jeff Cohen from Seller Labs (Feedback Genius, Snagshout, etc). Some key takes include:

  • Always order a sample…even better get into the habit of ordering production samples (sample of first item made in your run)
  • If in the states and seeking domestic suppliers, go to your library (it’s a place that holds a lot of books and computers that you pay for via taxes lol) and ask a librarian for their manufacture reference source. From my experience it’s usually behind their desk or in the reference section.
  • If you’re truly building a brand, invest in it. Get a more unique look, take the time to redesign to address common complaints, and more importantly TRADE MARK!
  • Consolidate shipping when receiving samples from multiple suppliers
  • Try and get as much done via your manufacture as possible, they have connections ya know (inserts, packaging, labels, etc.)!?
  • Stop talking, stop asking, and START taking action!

Okay that’s my Cliff Notes for Saturday’s festivities. I would love to meet more people who read this blog or listen to the podcasts, so be sure to share what ecommerce or importing conferences YOU’RE attending 2016. I want to be where you are! Share where you’ll be this year or give me your thoughts on this post by commenting below 🙂

Episode 31: Creating Listings That Drive Sales

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Holy smokes, Batman! This has to be the most impressive interview I’ve done in my life. It’s also the longest podcast to date as well (with good reason, I promise). I had the time of my life interviewing Mike Monroe of fbacopy.com. For a little over an HOUR, Mike holds nothing back as he shares the simple and effective ways to begin exploding your Seller Central account with sales! Join me as I pick Mike’s brain to discover:

  • The 5 words you’ll want to avoid to strengthen your copy
  • What  BIGGEST mistake Mike’s sees repeatedly and how you can use it to your advantage
  • The missing opportunity to optimize for mobile, proven to boost sales
  • How your headline may be actually turning potential buyers away!
  • Keyword tools that make it embarrassingly simple to rank for the keywords competitors often miss
  • And oh so much more!

Mike did an amazing job of sharing with us the specific resources that’s aided to his success. In the interview he mentions the following and I just KNOW you’ll take advantage:

http://amzsecrets.com/as-20-amazon-greyhat-ranking-secret-ranking-with-the-corporate-guys/  —  Dave deep dives into some of the stuff that OTHER people are doing… easily stay ahead of your competitors

http://jordanmalik.com/blog/asm/  —  “Not a copywriting episode, but ASK JORDAN is awesome and in this course he dives into various courses.  If the goal is to do the 20% that gets you 80% results (and you’re just starting out) then this is a great place to start… AFTER you’ve read and listened to everything on Ry’s blog!” ~Mr. Mike Monroe

http://thesmallbizexpress.com/sbx-25-make-business-standout-crowd/  — “An episode all about copywriting.  My favorite guest I ever had on our old show.  Kevin Rogers is a copy guru.  And listening to him talk is pure hilarity.” ~Mr. Mike Monroe

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

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

 

Notes for Expert Consult #1

So I had my first 20 minute call with someone who teaches how to do $10K+ a month…here are the results:

READ TIME < 2.5 Minute

I’ll be honest guys, wasn’t impressed at all by the first person I consulted with. I took steps to share concerns before hand, but we jump on the call and he seems to not understand them, though the reason for sharing days before was to avoid this. It was obvious very soon in the call that he may not be too much help in reviving listings.

Here is what I got from the call, I hope you’ll find something helpful (note these are not my suggestions/thoughts):

When starting/launching, your focus should be reviews. It will be the factor to help increase conversions, thus lead to more sales (in addition to optimizing your listing/offer of course). Take advantage of autoresponder sequences asking about
satisfaction and asking for review.

Competition should be vetted by reviews. Multiple competitors with 1000s of reviews with an average of 4.5+ will take a lot to beat out. Instead consider review counts in low hundreds preferably lower than 4.5 star average.

When building your PL brand build your presence off Amazon as well through influencers with a following. Bloggers, Vloggers, etc.

Hacks like clicking competitor product, then yours (or even better buying both), searching for your product and clicking it in results vs direct link, having questions asked, and adding your product to one’s wishlists can help build ranking and relevance.

Removing bad reviews can be done for really one of two reasons, harsh language or a review not relevant to the product. You can reach out to reviewer, however it can be difficult if they are using a nickname, in that case you’ll want to comment through your buying account and doing your best to resolve the issue centered
around the review. Next focus should be to building additional positive reviews.

Auto campaigns for PPC is great for one reason…ideas for more keywords via the reports. It usually will be higher. Running auto for a week, then turning the successful terms to a manually campaign is more beneficial. Sellers should also consider sponsored banner ads that can show on competitors listing (note you have to have a vendor express account).

8 Ways To Make You Look Like a Huge Biz

Okay so maybe not huge, but big. Like a “real biz.” A lot of us are operating out our home, but no need for any of our customers to know that and possible deem us any less valuable. So here are 8 ways to make yourself look like a big bad business worthy of others’ hard earned moolah!

8001. 800#, phone.com can make it possible for less than $10 and guess what? You can forward calls to your cell (or home phone)

2. Get a domain (web address) and start using your email via the domain…john@domain.com vs ryaniscool@gmail.com

3. Phone greeting, you can get a great greeting on Fiverr, I’ve done it. A professional clean voice with background music (or no music) announcing your company name or brand and asking them to hold while they are connected to a representative (WANT TO APPEAR BIGGER? Use the menu and extension option and simply have calls forward to same number or possibly some to a phone and some directly to a voicemail box)

4. Actually go ahead and incorporate or from a LLC

5. Branding helpful content on your site and shared elsewhere. Photos, informational graphic art, videos, etc. Be sure to post a logo, watermark, etc and if video, introduce the company at the start and end (example, Ryan here from XYZ Company bringing you 10 yoga tips to make life easier…thanks for listening and don’t forget to stay updated for more helpful tips at XYZCompany.com)

team6. Take pics of your team and put it on your site. Take a pic of your office, your warehouse (which may be the corner of your garage), a fun picture of you working (maybe just you packing a box). Get creative and show your customers you are human too and can be trusted to deliver a product that they’ll appreciate

7. On website post “badges of accomplishments.” Did you attend a conference? Grab their logo and post in a section with other logos and title it something like “Who we’ve connected with…” anything that connects you to them and of course keep it honest! Think about those sites that like to post the logos of CNN, ABC, FoxNews, etc when selling a good, you can do the same with other trusted sources you’ve worked with.

test8. Incorporate testimonials in your product/service. Example: On an insert, “5 reasons you’ll love product XYZ as told by 5 of our past customers” then share their comments. If you don’t quite have any, get some product testers and record feedback accordingly (this can be a craigslist ad stating free XYZ in exchange for honest feedback and/or constructive criticism)

Refunds for Returns Test

Latest update as of 4/12 below titled ‘UPDATE 4′

Update as of 4/12. I got reimbursement for $47.40.

Test Day 1

Alrighty so got my hands on Rocket Refunds from Elaine over at http://www.thechocolatelabapps.com/ where she blogs about her Amazon growth. She has a course called Rocket Refunds and another called Rocket VAS. One details how to find missing money you may have not even noticed was gone (get paid for refunds, destroyed goods, etc) and the other is how to use VAs or virtual assistance to expedite your business growth and manage your biz.

Now to put what she teaches to the test, day 1.

Here’s what I did and day 2 I’ll share results if not on the bottom of this page at time of reading:

I had 5 items that may have qualify for reimbursement since April 2015 (smaller test). I followed Elaine’s step to reaching out to support. Fingers crossed I get me some moolah! Oh and so far the video instructions are simple easy to follow, with my attention span, that’s a huge plus! NOTE: Contacted support in 2 o’ clock hour on March 23rd.

Test Day 2

It’s the 3 o’ clock hour and I’ve heard back nothing 🙁 I put in a new ticket with a new concern of mine regarding a possible refund adjustment. Fingers crossed one of my tickets gets answered and results in a refund.

At 5:46 I got an email from Amazon, yay regarding first inquiry. Basically they told me what they wouldn’t refund, but asked me to allow the time to research the rest of my concerns. This was one of the smaller test that would result in me getting reimbursed for 5 items. So far, 1 declined and 1 I must wait a certain time frame before disputing (which Elaine said…I just neglected to listen).

Test Day 3

Got me a follow up email, seems the case was escalated or transferred and now I’m asked for a bit more specific details regarding 27 items I’d like money back for, but no worries, I have a report with all the details the need. I replied at 5:46PM EST (Note I was out and they responded earlier in the day at 12:42PM)

UPDATE 1…5 units will be reimbursed in the form of cash to my account, yay! Got the email Sunday 3/27 at 4:41PM

UPDATE 2…2nd message was a money maker y’all check out the response (it’s a bit blurry, sorry but $179 is mine!!):

shot

UPDATE 3…Haven’t sent anymore messages to Amazon though there are a good 5-6 methods to attack. Now Amazon has replied saying that they have already reimbursed me for some things (I’ll just take their word). Today and maybe the other day I got me some more money. Today $48.47!

48

UPDATE 4…Got the confirmation email that I’ll be getting back $47.40, woot woot! Being told the massive amount of goods I thought I may be reimbursed was already returned back to my inventory 🙁 Well there goes my huge payday, but for now I’ll take my $47.40.

47 40

 

Episode 30: Refunds From Amazon, International Sales, & Better Management

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Interested in some 1-on-1 attention? Hit the ‘Contact’ tab above, let’s see how I can personally see to it that you’re successful in your Amazon business.

Greetings! I interviewed Elaine Heney from http://www.thechocolatelabapps.com/ and Elaine gave us pure gold in episode 30 revealing:

  • One of the many ways she gets reimbursed by Amazon saving her over $6,000 to date
  • The simple way to increase earnings up to 50% by going international and saving while doing so
  • How she uses virtual assistants to maximize her Amazon efforts inexpensively
  • Her agony w/ product giveaways & how she ended it once and for all & still ranks
  • And oh so much more!!

Learn more about Elaine Heney at her website listed above. To take back all Amazon may owe you, visit http://rocketrefunds.com/ and to save more time and headache when building your business on Amazon check out http://www.rocketvas.com/

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

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

 

Let’s Chat March 17

All day 3/17/2016 I’m going to be on Snapchat sharing my adventures at The Pet Expo in Orlando AND I will be answering your questions you snap me. You can ask via text or a video and I’ll respond. Ask anything importing or Amazon related. ONLY 3/17.

Snap user is FBARyan

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Add me and send your questions March 17th regarding importing and Amazon.

Taking Advantage of ALL & ANY Conference You Attend

You’ve spent money on admission, a speedy flight, and a cozy hotel room. Now see to it that your investment is made a true asset to your biz. Join me as I cover tips, tricks, suggestions, and hacks to making the most out of ANY conference or event you attend this year!

 

The video below covers tips to lower your travel costs, hacks to revolutionize the way you present your business cards (kiss those old mundane cardboard rectangles goodbye), and how to make new contacts. Get rid of all distractions, because I’m about to blow your mind (Well maybe…maybe your mind will stay in place, but at least I hope I get the wheels of creativity going)!

12 Minutes of Massive Tips, Suggestions, and Hacks for Attending Conferences