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Show #8 5 Steps To Launch 1st Amazon Private Label Product

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On today’s show I’m going to cover the 5 steps I took to launch my 1st Amazon FBA Private label product. These are the steps I’ve taken after I selected, sourced and had my first 500+ units delivered.

Step 1: Creating a Listing

Creating a listing on Amazon is not overly difficult, but there are many steps involved. First is selecting if you want the item to be a stand-alone product, or a parent with variations. While I’m only launching 1 color & size variation to start, if my brand is successful I plan on offering multiple sizes & colors. Therefore I made my listing one with variations.

The other advantage to having your listing as a variation is if you have one variation go out of stock – the listing can stay “live” as long as you have other items in stock. Also, many of your reviews, and conversion ratios can funnel into a single listing, rather than multiple ones.

With photos, I haven’t gotten my professional photos back from the photographer in time for my laugh, so I’m not going to let that delay me. Instead I shot photos on my iPad – and edited them using this tutorial on Jungle Scout.

I then did some final touch-up and editing using Adobe Photoshop.

Then I went to work on my Title, Bullet-Points and back-end data/keywords. For my title, I decided on a shorter title that is more geared toward a human reading it – rather than stuffing it with keywords I think a computer algorithm will like. While my title is still filled with my keywords, it’s written more elegantly than just jamming every keyword possible.

On my bullet points, I emphasize the benefits my products have, including how it’s made in the USA. I try to convince the buyer on the page this is the best item for them and there is no other product that will serve them better.

My backend keywords & data is still a work in progress. I tried to fill out as many of the fields as possible, but will constantly tweak & fill in spots as necessary.

Step 2: Packaging & Labeling

I didn’t have special packaging made for my product (yet) because I’m using this 1st 500 unit run as a validation test. If this is a product I see myself selling for all of 2018 and beyond, then I will get packaging made for it. However, my 1st run, I’m wrapping the item in bubble wrap & inserting the item into a poly-bag.

I had some trouble getting the right poly-bag on my 1st order, so I had to order another size.

On the inside of the packaging, I’m adhering a label with Questions? Comments & then the company e-mail address. I’m hoping if anyone has an issue they will contact me directly – instead of leaving a 1-star review or feedback. Ultimately if I can provide customer service, it’s possible I turn a negative review into a positive one, just by sticking the label on the package.

Step 3: Shipping To Amazon

I want my products to go live onto Amazon as soon as possible. So what I did was create a shipping plan – and only shipped to the 2 locations near me. I also increased the number of units Amazon requested inside the shipping plan. Then I repeated the process, and shipped again to the closest locations. Later I creating plans and shipped to all the locations it wanted me to ship to.

I did this to accelerate the number of units I have live within the next 7-10 days. I want to start testing PPC, and other promotional methods before we get deep into the holiday buying season.

Step 4: Promotion

I started a fresh Facebook page for the brand. Obviously I had 0 likes – and it’s not a product a ton of my friends are going to be interested in, so I can’t go that route.

I found the easiest way to get likes/fans is give away a popular product & target the audience I want to reach. You don’t always need to give away your product – in fact if there’s a brand that is really popular, sometimes its better to leverage that popularity in a contest – than a product/brand no one has ever seen before.

Within hours, I was getting likes, comments, and shares on my post.

Here is a template of the image I used in the ad.

In the empty white space, paste a quality image of the item you’re giving away. In the text of the ad – keep it short and sweet, here is what I said in mine:

Facebook Ad/Post Text:

Like Our Page = Chance To Win A {Product Name}!
Drawing November 1st
Just Hit The Like Button To Enter!

I then pinned the post to the top of our page, since it now has over 80 likes, 5 shares, and 8 comments. Inside the comments I got my 1st buyer of the product!

Cost was less than $6.25!!!

Once I build up a few more likes on the page, I’ll be curating content and offers that my new followers will hopefully appreciate. I’ll likely run giveaways through the rest of 2017, just to spread some love and build up some goodwill. Ultimately I’ll spend less than $500 – and I’ll enter 2018 with a healthy presence on Facebook – with the ability to turn those followers into customers, e-mail subscribers, brand ambassadors, etc.

Step 5: Re-Stocking

While I haven’t sold my 1st unit on Amazon, I’m anticipating placing a re-order. Because my product is kitted with other items, I have to keep track of the lead time on multiple parts/components. As I start to see sales come in, I’m going to place an order fairly quickly – just so I’m not running out of stock heading into 2018.

Ultimately I might just order 500 units again and make a judgement on raising my order quality after I sell through 1,000+ units. One reason I might do this is because I anticipate my sales to be higher in Q4/Holiday buying season. I might sell more units per day during this time, and then sales fall off after Christmas to more ‘normal’ levels. I’d like to see how the item sells in non-peak buying season to commit to buying 1,000+ units.

Listen To Show #8 Below

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Top 5 Retail Arbitrage Stores For Amazon FBA

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Retail arbitrage can be exciting & frustrating at the same time. If you strike out on a shopping trip, you kind of feel like you wasted your time. However, with the right amount of luck you can come home with a trunk full of good to sell on Amazon.

While there are hundreds of places to shop for retail arb, I often find myself visiting the same group of stores when I’m out on a shopping trip.

These are my top 5 retail arbitrage stores to shop from when hunting for items to sell via Amazon FBA.

#1 DD’s Discount

A subsidiary of Ross Stores – so the inventory mix is similar. However, I’ve found that the prices are often lower than the other discount retailers I list below. You can often find gift cards for sale at a discount to face value on Raise.com and if you use eBates you’ll save another 1% on the purchase.

Brands To Look For: Here are some of the most popular items/brands that I’ve found shopping at DD’s Discount for Amazon retail arbitrage sales:

Betsey Johnson – This is a popular handbag maker that makes colorful & whimsical handbags. The quality of these bags is high and you can often find them listed on Amazon. Make sure you look over the bag thoroughly because consumers on Amazon will be expecting a bag with no flaws. Additionally – expect higher than normal returns, as the fashion category in general experiences high return rates.

JanSport – One of the most popular backpack makers in the world can be found at DD’s Discount. I really had huge back-to-school sales mainly selling JanSport backpacks and lunch-bags. I’ve found that JanSport backpacks still sell on Amazon after back-to-school season is over (at a much slower rate). However, I’ve found less competition on the listings, therefore I’ve gotten higher prices after the back-to-school season was over.

Libbey – Makers of some of the best & most popular glassware in the world. This company has a huge line of styles & is a recognized brand on Amazon. Many sellers might shy away from sending in glassware (due to breakage & weight) however I’ve yet to have any issues (that Amazon didn’t compensate me for) related to breakage. Part of the reason is Libbey glassware is often packaged in fairly thick boxing & the quality of the glass means it breaks less often.

Headphones – I’ve shifted away from sourcing most electronics for retail arbitrage on Amazon …. however headphones are fairly safe because they don’t require batteries & are fairly low-tech. DD’s discount has an electronics section that often has some headphones you can send into Amazon FBA. Keep in mind that some brands like Skullcandy, Phillips, Beats & others are restricted – and you want to avoid buying these brands.

#2 Marshall’s

I rate Marshall’s #2 simply because I’ve been able to source some higher-end merchandise at this store versus some of the others. Overall I’ve sourced less items from Marshall’s but what I’ve been able to source has often been high-margin type sales. In particular the backpacks & luggage merchandise has delivered for me, along with the brands/merchandise that is listed above.

#3 Ross

Ross is the parent company of DD’s Discount – and the two are often found in the same city, probably for logistics purposes. One of the cool things about Ross/DD’s is that they carry similar merchandise – meaning if you find a haul at DD’s Discount, you can probably go to Ross & find the same items.

#4 Home Depot

Home Depot is one of the best places to shop for retail arbitrage for Amazon. I’ve found the listings often have less competition because the items found at Home Depot aren’t as saturated on Amazon as other categories are. Find the clearance sections (often located on an end-cap with a yellow Clearance sign above). Here are the types of products I like to source:

Light Bulbs – These sell fast on Amazon, and sometimes you can find large lots of light bulbs on clearance at Home Depot.

Specialty Items – At my home depot, things like circuit breakers are often on clearance and I’ve found they sell on Amazon at a high margin. Often times they sell at a slower rate, but occasionally you’ll sell larger quantities to one buyer (likely a contractor/homebuilder).

#5 TJ Maxx

My TJ Maxx is defiantly more expensive than Ross/DD’s Discount & Marshall’s – so you have to be a bit more selective. However I’ve found some high margin items here as the chain tends to sell a bit higher-end merchandise than its counterparts. In particular I’ve done well sourcing wine glasses that often sell for $30+ on Amazon.

Show #7 Google Adwords Tips

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Have you tried Google Adwords but didn’t have any success? Have you given up on using the most powerful traffic driver on the web? Today I walk you through my techniques I have used to buy over $250,000+ worth of ads over the last several years.

Today’s podcast will focus exclusively on text ads. First thing about a text ad that needs to draw the users attention is a good opening line. I like to ask a rhetorical question for my opening line. For example:

User types “hotels in Hawaii” in a Google search.

My title text line will be something like:

  • Looking For The Best Hotels In Hawaii?
  • Where Are The Best Hotels In Hawaii?

Getting the user to read your title text and saying “yes” is a sales tactic that has been around for ages. It also helps qualify the user who clicks on your ad – which should drive up your click-through-rate (CTR).

My tag-line, or the second line of text is often something that proclaims how great my website/content is or entices the reader to click. For example:

  • The #1 Hawaii Hotel Site With Real Reviews
  • Read My Personal Reviews Of Each Hotel!
  • Top 5 Best Hotels In Hawaii

Inside Google AdWords – you’ll want to test at least 4 ads when you start out. After you start noticing the ad with the best CTR and results …. start eliminating the ads that aren’t performing. At the same time, try to refine what is working to see if you can’t get better results. After a while you should narrow it down to about 2 ads that rotate based on the users search term.

After you start seeing how users convert on your website, start adjusting your bids based on device type. I often pay 2x – 3x+ for desktop (and tablet) traffic versus mobile traffic. However, if your site is converting really well for mobile, you might do the opposite. Use Google Analytics & different landing pages (with different affiliate/ad tracking) to judge what you ROI is and adjust your bids accordingly.

When you first start your campaign in Adwords you might notice that it’s hard to get your ads to run. Often times your quality score will be low – and you might be under the suggested first page bid. I would bid a bit higher than you really want to in order to get your ads to run. I’ve set up many campaigns where my quality score was low and I was paying $0.50+ per click. Those exact same campaigns now have 9/10 quality scores and I pay closer to $0.07 per click. In order to get Google’s algo to notice you – get the ads to run and adjust down over time.

Lastly keep testing & adjusting constantly. Once you feel like your conversions are dialed in – leave the campaign alone and transfer it to Bing/Yahoo to get even more traffic. You can also bid adjust for age/gender & location … which can drive up your conversions even more.

Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.

Listen To Show #7 Below

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Show #6 Why I’m Sourcing From The USA + Amazon RA/OA Update

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On today’s Power Selling Radio podcast I update you on my August 2017 Amazon FBA sales. I also just placed my 1st private label product order of 500 units – and I decided to go with a manufacture located in the United States. I give you the reasons why I decided to go that route.

Here are my August 2017 Amazon FBA sales stats. This is exclusively retail/online/wholesale arbitrage. While I’m happy with these numbers, I’m going to transition mainly to wholesale & private label as we move into the holiday season.

$10,738.30 Sales
($311.91) Returns
$10,426.39 Net Sales

$4,701.75 COGS
$3,455.23 Amazon Fees
$328.95 Shipping To Amazon
$323.66 Other/Office Fees
$57.56 Recurring Software Fees

$1,559.24 Net Income

I’ve been in the planning/design stages of my 1st Amazon FBA private label product for about 30 days now. I finally popped the cherry and placed my first order for 500 units using a manufacture located in the United States (located only about 1hr 20mins from where I live).

I found a good list of United States manufactures using Thomasnet.com

Listen To Show #6 Below

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Show #5 How To Start Your Own Website

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On today’s podcast I walk you through the 5 steps it takes to launch your own website. These are the steps I take to launch every successful website I’ve ever owned. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

Step 1: Buy A Domain

You don’t necessarily have to buy a domain, but even when I was dead broke I could afford one. I buy all my domains at GoDaddy. Before I purchase my domain, I click through eBates – which gives me 9% – 20% off my purchase every time.

I prefer 2-word domain names. However, 3 word domain names are fine too (Power Selling Radio is one example of how 3 words is just fine). While I do think SEO is dead, exact match domains can be an effective way to rank in search engines. Either way, your domain name should give some indication of what the site is about in the most concise amount of words possible.

Step 2: Hosting

The files of your website need to reside somewhere. In the website business – you ‘host’ your files on a server, point your domain to that server, and that’s what allows people to visit your website. If all this sounds like a foreign language, don’t worry – I will explain further.

I host all of my early stage websites at Hostgator. I use the Baby Croc plan, which is $9.99/mo. However, they have plans starting under $5/month. I host my popular websites on more secure/reliable hosting environments that can cost upwards of $100/month – but wait until you have lots of traffic & a need to jump up to that level.

The good thing about starting your first website with a hosting provider is most will install WordPress for free. While I do recommend learning how to install WordPress on your own – there’s a learning curve to uploading the files, setting up the Database permissions, changing the name-servers, etc. However once you know what all that is – you can start a WordPress website in less than 5 minuets.

If you don’t want to learn how to upload the files needed to get started to your hosting account – first contact your hosting provider to see if they can do it for free. Second option is use a site like Fiverr or Upwork – and hire a freelance provider. For a basic install of WordPress – it shouldn’t cost more than $10 because it really is easy to do once you know the steps involved.

Once WordPress is installed on your server, you should be able to learn how everything works by trial & error. Watch some YouTube videos – and just experiment with the backend. If you can use Facebook – you can become an expert user of WordPress. Don’t worry about making your website look perfect – as very few people will visit it in the beginning. The most important thing is get going with a basic website and move onto step #3.

Step 3: Put Up Content

Content for a website can come in many forms. You can have just text (kind of like this article). Depending on your topic, text might be all you need. However, adding pictures, video, and audio (podcasting) is a great way to engage users even more.

When you bought your domain, you should have had some idea what type of content you are going to put up. My suggestion is simply put up the kind of content you think your (potential) visitors will want to read. Write the content directly toward your users and try to make it as personal as possible.

  • Use Bullet Points
  • They help draw the attention of the reader

Link back to other articles you’ve written. For example, on podcast #2 I discussed specific website ideas you can write on, and the type of content I think could work on those websites.

Test Test Test! Some of my best website content came from writing an article, and finding out I could go deeper in a series of other articles.

Step 4: Promote

20 years ago when I started setting up websites for the 1st time, your major traffic sources was strictly through organic searches through search engines. Times have changed – and now I focus primarily driving traffic through Facebook, Twitter, e-mail lists, and paid ads using Google Adwords. In fact, I don’t even worry about organic traffic any longer.

Twitter: I like using Twitter because it’s somewhat easy to start a conversation with just about anyone. That allows you to gain followers & a reputation. Some niches don’t translate over to a Twitter audience, however if your website does – I suggest following as many people related to your niche as possible. Try to reply/respond to their tweets – hoping they will respond back to you. Their responses should give you exposure, and eventually build up your reputation & followers. Eventually you’ll be able to tweet links to your own website and drive traffic via Twitter. Additionally, you can use Twitter ads once you have content that is worth advertising.

Facebook: Is a bit different than Twitter because it’s more closed off to people you have an existing connection with – however there are so many more users on Facebook. Your website should have a Facebook Page, however even more effective is start a Facebook Group related to your website. In both cases you’re looking to build the community around a topic and eventually start promoting your website to the group. You can then leverage Facebook ads to give your content an even larger audience.

Contests: In order to build up an audience, one of the best ways to do this is by a contest. If your website is centered around products – giving them away is a good way to build up a following. Just make sure you are getting your money’s worth when you do a giveaway. Don’t just think giving away stuff will make your website popular. You need to collect users e-mails, ask them to join your Facebook Page/Group, follow you on Twitter, etc.

Step 5: Repeat & Advanced

As you are testing content ideas and promotion tactics – you should develop a system of what works for you. Simply replicate these ideas into more content & traffic should keep coming in.

Once you have some regular traffic coming into your site (and/or the ability to drive it to your site) now is a good time to test some advertisers/affiliate programs. Make sure the program doesn’t have some minimum traffic requirements – because the last thing you want to do is get booted from an affiliate program because you signed up too early.

Don’t load your site up with ads to start, try to have the ads drive value to the reader – or give them an option to view relevant ads. If your site is about cooking – make all the ads targeted to this niche.

Finally, once you get a gauge on how well your site converts into money – test buying ads on platforms like Google & Facebook which can supercharge the traffic you are getting. You obviously want a clear view on what value users have coming to your site + the cost associated with acquiring that user. But just like content, test some ads on Google/FB and you can generate lots of traffic at a profitable rate. My suggestions on buying ads are lengthy (and I’ll do a podcast on buying ads soon) but make sure you are targeting very narrow users that will love your content. This isn’t too hard once you have enough content and existing traffic to judge that against.

Good luck! This is just a brief overview. Please leave me any questions/comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them.

Listen To Show #5 Below

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Show #4 Five Reasons Why SEO Is Dead!

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Today I give my top 5 reasons why traditional SEO tactics are dead. They don’t work, and end up costing you time & money. I give tips on what you should be focusing your efforts on instead.

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Show #3 Retail/Online Arbitrage via Amazon FBA

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Today will be my 1st podcast where I discuss my recent endeavor into Retail/Online arbitrage using Amazon FBA. I’ve had some really good success so far, and I discuss some of the things I’ve learned over the last 30 days.

These are the tools I’ve utilized:

Legal Zoom

FBA Scan

Fetcher

Here are some Amazon Specific things to keep in mind:

Professional Seller Account

Know the categories you can buy/not buy in

I discuss how I’ve used Wholesale vs Online vs Retail arbitrage.

I’ve done some cross listing onto eBay, but honestly it’s often been more trouble than it’s been worth.

I’ve encountered many problems, but keep in mind none have set me back:

Getting kicked off listing

Items being lost in warehouse

Overweight box

Buying gated merchandise

I give some very specific ideas on what to buy:

Seasonal

Back to school

Holidays

If you want to learn more about retail arbitrage selling on Amazon – here are some more podcasts that I listen to:

Resources:

The Amazing Seller Podcast

ecom Crew

Jason & Scot show

Listen To Show #3 Below

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Show #2 Content Ideas For Money Making Websites

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Today I’m going to cover many website ideas that are viable for anyone looking to start a making money from a website. One important thing to remember is that it’s far more important to pick a topic and get started putting up content, and don’t get stuck in the decision phase. I hope these ideas can help get you started, just make sure you make a decision and get started.

Start with what you know

  • hobbies
  • Passions
  • TV Shows
  • Movies
  • Collectibles
  • Parenting
  • Sports
  • Jobs

Local Market

I’ve setup several websites that cater to a geographic area. If you live in/near a real touristy area it can be a real cool website that can attract a lot of traffic. Here are some other advantages to setting up a localize website.

  • easier to advertise to your target audience
  • Can advertise offline
  • Can establish relationships with local businesses
  • Can have a competitive advantage over non-market websites
  • Real photos, local information, etc.

Tutorials

People are often trying to educate themselves online, or trying to figure out how to use something. One example I give on the show  is how I bought a Graco paint sprayer and have watched YouTube videos on how to setup & clean it. There are lots of ways you can provide tutorials online, here are some examples:

  • Teach a skill
  • YouTube Videos
  • PDF/e-books

E-commerce

  • sell something
  • Handmade/homemade
  • Dropship/affiliate

Listen To Show #2 Below

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Show #1 Introduction To Power Selling Radio

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Thanks for listening to the first episode of the Power Selling Radio podcast. Today I give you an introduction into myself and what I’ve been doing to earn a living online for almost 2 decades. Primarily over the last 10 years I’ve found great success building content niche websites and monetizing them using Google Adsense, eBay Partner Network and Amazon Affiliate program. Lately I’ve gotten into selling on Amazon using Amazon FBA. Today I introduce myself and discuss some of the many topics I will be covering on the Power Selling Radio podcast.

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