Helium 10 PPC Ad Manager Guide / Tutorial

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Table of Contents:
Helium 10 Keyword Research for Amazon FBA
How To Launch Amazon PPC Campaigns
Helium 10 MAGNET And CEREBRO Keyword Research Tutorial
Creating A PPC Campaign Within Amazon
Helium 10 Ad Manager To Create More Campaigns At Once
Recommended PPC Campaign Types
Suggestions Feature Explained
Pricing
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Helium 10 Keyword Research for Amazon FBA

In this video, you will learn how to create Amazon advertising campaigns using Helium Tens advertising tool. My guest is Vince Montero, he’s the product manager of this module in helium 10. And he will show you step by step, how to create everything. And if you would like to test and to try to use a helium 10, find the links below this video. Also the coupon codes where you can get 10% of lifetime and 50% for the first month. So make sure you use Helium 10, and try how it works if it fits for you. And now before you enjoy the conversation, please subscribe below to the YouTube channel of Orange Klik, click notification bell as well, because today we talk to different Amazon experts and software providers. Hello, Vince. Nice to have you here. Could you please introduce yourself and what is helium 10 ads about?

Vince Montero:

Sure. Happy to be here. Thank you for having me. My name is Vince Montero, I’m the product manager for ads by Helium 10. It’s our PPC management tool here at helium 10, and we have a suite of other tools that help sellers, Amazon sellers specifically do everything from product research, security research, and I’m working on the project specifically helping users for, for PPC management.

How To Launch Amazon PPC Campaigns

Augustas Kligys:

Perfect. Today we invited you to help us to understand one part of the Amazon sellers journey. So what you will be sharing with us today.

Vince Montero:

One part of the journey, if you’re doing any kind of PPC at all is how to launch campaigns. So I wanted to show users really quickly how you can use some of the Helium 10 tools to launch your initial campaigns that you might use to for your product launch.

Augustas Kligys:

Sounds good. So we’re ready. Let’s jump to the screen and see how Helium 10 can help with this process.

Helium 10 MAGNET And CEREBRO Keyword Research Tutorial

Vince Montero:

This is our helium 10 dashboard. So if users have helium 10, this is kind of the first screen that they see it shows, but you can see all the different tools that we have here. I’m at the bottom because ads is actually still technically in beta. We’re supposed to be out of beta, at the end of this quarter of 2020. But I wanted to quickly show users, keyword research is a big part of launching a PPC campaigns. Obviously you need keywords in order to do that. So I wanted to quickly show an example of,we got some here already, so I’m just going to look for men’s sunglasses, for example. So magnet will actually do, if you say you’ve done a search before for the same thing, it’ll actually save it for you, which is great. But it’ll actually show you details that are relevant to men’s sunglasses and it breaks them down into different kinds of scores and each one has a explanation of why we’re ranking them this way. But a lot of our users sort by search volume or they search by maybe competitors in this space for these different keywords. So we give a lot of filters for users to really drill down into the exact keywords that they want to maybe test initially. We also give different products that are relevant to this keyword here that you can then click on in our other tool called Cerebro. And that basically looks at an ASIN level which products are showing on page one, what keywords that they are using to get there. So you can enter a few different ASINs if you want to do a comparison between a few different products. I just did one for the sake of doing an example, but this would generally,let you know different keywords that are relevant to that particular product that we just entered. So between using Magnet and Cerebro, you can really do a solid list of potential keywords that you can use for PPC. And you would basically just export that over maybe to a CSV or Excel file and then you would use that in creating your campaign.

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Creating A PPC Campaign Within Amazon

Now for within Amazon advertising, when you’re logged in, you basically can create a campaign by clicking on this button and it gives you a couple of different options here and each option, depending on if you’re brand registered or not, new sellers will only see sponsored products. You won’t see sponsored brands or sponsored display. But sponsored products is the basic ad unit that you do want to make. It’s the one that appears under the search results, right? So it is the one that you really want to start with when you’re building your campaigns. So there’s a lot of different parameters here. I won’t go into each one, but you know, your basics of your campaign name. If you’re going to put it in a portfolio, your budget, what kind of targeting that you want to do. But the thing I want to note is that basically here, you can only do one campaign at a time in seller central, which is great, but when you launch a product and you’re going to want to do more than one campaign, so this is our ads tool.

Helium 10 Ad Manager To Create More Campaigns At Once

What we’ve done at least as far as campaign creation is give you the ability to create three campaigns at once. So it saves you time and a little bit of effort. This is in the ad manager section, which is basically similar to the campaign manager in seller central. You would just click a campaign, a campaign button,ou can see the sponsor product option or sponsored brands option. But again, we were just looking at sponsored products in seller central and very similar parameters, right? So you’re going to do your name, you’re going to you know, enter the SKUs that you want to sell. But the major differences that we built three campaigns at once, right? And that is because we recommend that when you’re launching your product, especially that you at least have an auto campaign, a research campaign and a proven campaign. And what I mean by that auto campaign is basically letting Amazon do the PPC for you. That’s letting Amazon connect the search terms that users are entering into the search bar, to the keywords or to your product. Research, this is a manual campaign. This is where you would go ahead and enter keywords here. Again, this is what would be pulled from the list that you potentially just saved from a Magnet or Cerebro that we just went through. So that’s where you would enter the words here and anything that you do in our builder, you can actually see on the right hand side as well.

So the research campaign, why we suggest this is because you really should have some broad keywords, that Amazon will thenmatch search terms for, so you’ve got broad match keywords phrase match keywords, and exact match keywords, broad match keywords that you use will secure more search terms from Amazon to link to those keywords. So that’s why it’s called a research campaign, because what we’re really looking for is additional search terms to the keywords that we are going to enter in this field. The proven campaign is there for keywords that maybe you’ve already tested before that, you know I’ve converted. If you do not have keywords that have converted, what we suggest is you just put your brand name keywords here. So keywords that you know are super relevant to your product, obviously, because it’s the name of your product. You would put that here. So you do want to fill out all three campaigns and again, you give each a budget, a cost target, a default bid and we build these into what we call the campaign structure. And once that’s done, once these three campaigns are built, we have additional rules here that users enter that will guide us in providing new keyword rules and negative keyword rules to the user So from the auto campaign, we will do the manual search of looking for search terms that have converted for you that maybe you wanted to target as a manual keyword. We’ll make it a suggestion to move it here into the research campaign. Same thing for the research campaign. If we find from those broad keywords that we entered, if we find some search terms that are converted well, we’re going to suggest that you move them to your proven campaign as an exact match keyword. So the whole goal of this structure is to move keywords that have performed, or converted into this final campaign here that you can then really focus on and budget more accordingly, and then really scale. So that, that’s the main difference between, it’s creating a campaign in our tool, versus creating a campaign using the seller central structure.

Suggestions Feature Explained

The other major benefit of just simpl being able to do the three campaignsat once is obviously the suggestions that I mentioned. So suggestions are an area of ads that will provide you just as the name implies suggestions on not only keywords themselves, but it’ll also give you those suggestions on new keywords and negative keywords. Right now, new keyword suggestions and negative keyword suggestions are only for campaigns and built in ads. Um, so that process that I just showed you on that campaign page that’s going to be changing soon. So we’ll, hopefully we’ll be able to have new keywords and negative keywords for campaigns that have been uploaded or pulled intds and ones that are preexisting. For the bid suggestions however, every campaign keyword that you have, that’s currently active. If you’re already doing PPC, we’re going to show you bid suggestions for that. So no matter if you’ve built the campaign in ads or not, we’re going to show you keord bid suggestions, and that’s, I don’t know how deep you want me to go into that, but we do suggestions based on a lot of different parameters. We have our own algorithm that looks at everything from impressions to CTR, to obviously the cost goal, that the user has entered. And what we’re trying to do with these suggestions is basically get the keyword to be closer to this target goal, right? That the user has enered. So obviously if you see a cost that are above this target, this one’s 37% almost, and the Target’s 20, obviously the suggestion is going to be to decrease that keyword bid so that yo can get closer to that taret goal of 20%.

Augustas Kligys:

Can we automate the activation of these suggestions?

New Speaker:

Yeah, exactly. So that, that’s another thing that I was going to mention if you like the suggestions that we’re providing to you and you’ve done, maybe you’ve applied some of these suggestions, which you can do either individually, or you can apply, you know, the whole thing per page. So if you can see that it’s actually really working well for you, a lot of our users have asked for this portion to be automated. So that is done in the ad manager and maybe you saw the automated column here. So as soon as the user does turn on the automate column, you can see it, it says keyword bid changes will occur automatically within 24 hours of activating. So that’s a new feature. Actually, we just launched at the end of June when we released our diamond plan.

Pricing

So it might be worth noting at this point that this tool ads is currently only available to our diamond and elite plan subscribers. That is our $197 plan and up we do have a plan below this called platinum for $97 only, but ads is currently not knocked up available for that level

Augustas Kligys:

Thank you very much Vince, it was a pleasure to see how Helium 10 advertising platform and module works. And to those who are watching, you’re welcome to test helium 10. You will find links below and discount codes. And I believe that Hilton has a trial for few days. And Vince, if someone has a question about how your module is functioning, what’s the best way to, I mean, the advertising module, what’s the best way to get in touch with you or your team.

Find Out More Information About Helium 10

Vince Montero:

The best way to get more information on ads itself is just to go to Helium 10. If that’s difficult to remember, you can just basically click on our marketing area within Helium10.com and you’ll see ads come up as an option

Augustas Kligys:

Perfect. Thank you very much. I hope this video was useful. And if you would like to test and try Helium 10, click here for a discount!

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Transcribed from:

Amazon Seller Central vs Vendor Central or Hybrid Selling Model – Which is Better? Pros & Cons

Amazon Seller Central vs Vendor Central or Hybrid Selling Model - Which is Better? Pros & Cons

Table of Contents
Amazon Vendor Central vs Seller Central
About Carina Mcleod
Amazon seller, vendor, or hybrid?
What is an Amazon vendor?
How to tell if a product is sold be a Vendor Central account
Reasons to become a vendor on Amazon
How to know if a product is sold by a Seller Central account
Reasons to open a Seller Central account on Amazon
What is a hybrid seller account?
What is the best choice for your company / brand?
What additional tools do you get as a vendor on Amazon?
Does becoming a vendor boost your business?
What is the process for becoming a Seller and Vendor (hybrid) on Amazon?
How much does your workload increase when you become a seller-vendor hybrid?

Amazon Vendor Central vs Seller Central

Augustas Kligys:
In this video, we talk about Amazon vendor central. We compare vendor central with seller central. And we also talk about hybrid model where seller is using the seller account and the vendor account. So, you will hear a lot of useful information. You will hear some tips when and how to become a vendor. Is it worth for you? And my guest today is Carina McCleod from e-commerce nurse. She works with sellers and vendors, and actually in the past, she also worked on the vendor team at Amazon directly in UK. So, enjoy this video and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel of Orange Klik and click the notification bell as well. Because here we talked to different Amazon SEO consultants, software providers, and event organizers. So hello, Carina. It’s nice to have you here. Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you help Amazon sellers?

About Carina Mcleod

Carina McCleod:
Yeah, of course. And thank you for letting me be on the, on your show today. I’m Carina McCleod and I am the founder and CEO of eCommerce nurse. We’re an Amazon focused agency where we work with both Amazon vendors and sellers in North America and Europe, and help them grow their business on Amazon through account management, marketing projects and consulting. I myself have been in the Amazon space for over 15 years. So, I’ve spent seven years working for Amazon within vendor management in the UK. And then the last eight years have been working with both sellers and vendors with the business e-commerce nurse and also consulting for a number of brands across the globe.

Augustas Kligys:
And as far as I remember, you have a lot of experience in about vendor central, and this is what we’ll talk today. So, we’ll go through the differences between the vendor and seller accounts and we’ll explore the possibilities for sellers to switch to vendors and maybe vice versa. So, I know that you prepared some slides, shall we jump into them right now?

Amazon seller, vendor, or hybrid?

Carina McCleod:
Yeah. So, there’s always this question out there of whether or not a business should be a seller or a vendor or on Amazon or both, and many, many businesses ask that question. And first off there’s the step back as in, what is each of those? Because sometimes it can be a bit muddy in terms of having a clear understanding of the different ways in which you can sell on Amazon. And so, I’m going to look at each of those and then talk about each of them, the seller and vendor, but then also this hybrid, which is a word that’s thrown around a lot, these days in the Amazon industry.

What is an Amazon vendor?

So first off, if we talk about then what is an Amazon vendor? So, an Amazon vendor is also known as one P, first party and really what you are when you’re in a vendor selling on Amazon, you take on this role as a manufacturer, you could also be a wholesaler or a distributor. And the reason being is that you are selling your products directly to Amazon. You’re not selling your products directly to the end consumer, the end consumer will buy your products, but effectively you’re taking on a wholesale relationship with Amazon. Like you would, if you were selling to other stores like Walmart, Tesco and so forth. 
So, it’s a typical, really a traditional way, the old traditional way of working with bricks and mortar, that style relationship.  So, Amazon is the customer, which then means that Amazon of course manages the whole inventory and the customer service. So, Amazon decides how much inventory they want, and they make that decision as to they raise purchase orders based on the stock that they believe that they will sell for your products. And also, they manage the after sales and the whole customer journey when it comes to customer service and returns as well. And another thing that they do is they also control the price and the listings and that being because effectively they’re buying that inventory, they pay for the goods and really, they then own those goods so they can decide what’s the retail price that they want to sell the product at. They can then decide and then control that content on the product pages. 
Now, of course, when it comes to Amazon, you’re providing Amazon with everything in terms of content. But at the end of the day, when you work with Amazon as a vendor effectively, they have the last say and vendors do find that where Amazon start tweaking their content because they have purchased that inventory and then taking ownership. And then when you are a vendor you sell via the platform, which is known as vendor central.

How to tell if a product is sold be a Vendor Central account

Now, often businesses are not sure when they look at competitors or other brands selling on Amazon as to understand, how do you differentiate, or how do you know who is selling what? And a key example here is this is a product that we know is sold by Amazon because effectively on the product detail page, it will highlight that the product is dispatched and sold from Amazon. So that’s a clear indicator that this relationship with this product, of course, this is naturally an Amazon product, but this is sold and owned by Amazon. 

Reasons to become a vendor on Amazon

Now, the question then often comes in is, is why, why be a vendor? Now, because you’re taking on this wholesale relationship as a vendor, this means that you are the idea is that Amazon starts purchasing in quantity. They’re not ordering in single units. Now it might be that you’ve got relationship where Amazon is. If you have got that relationship, you might want to review that because that’s definitely not going to be economically viable when you’re selling a product to Amazon at a wholesale price. So, the idea is that they send in, they purchase inventory in volume. Now volume is a term that could mean many different things. Some businesses are expecting Amazon to order in pallets from day one other businesses are aware that might not be the case in that role ordering in cartons or case packs. But the idea is that they’re ordering in a certain quantity that makes it viable for your business. Now, one thing to highlight here from an expectation point of view when working with Amazon is that Amazon doesn’t have a warehouse where they’re buying huge amount of inventory and leaving it there for six months in storage. What they do is they buy little and often. So, you’ll find that you’re getting purchase orders from Amazon on a weekly or even twice a week basis, because the idea is Amazon has a fulfillment center. So, what goes in, goes out almost immediately that they’re not sitting on loads of loads of stock, and that often results in smaller orders, but more frequent orders as well. Now, as I mentioned, we’re talking about inventory so of course being a vendor is great in the sense that Amazon manages your, your inventory. You don’t have to think about how much inventory to send to Amazon. 
Amazon is placing those orders. And in most cases, giving you a forecast, now that forecast is sometimes questionable. If you don’t have a really good, inventory or your sales fluctuate greatly, then the forecast probably aren’t that great. But if you have a very sort of a static business, predictable business, then the forecast can often help you. Now, Amazon also manages the whole ordering process, the whole returns customer service. So, if you’re a business that’s very wholesale orientated, you’re not necessarily set up for direct to consumer. Then this model works very, very well for those businesses. Now, another key reason why business has become vendors is it does actually can open up doors to new initiatives and programs. So, for example, Amazon Fresh or Amazon Prime now different programs that Amazon start often start within the vendor side. And so often, if you’re a vendor and Amazon is looking to launch a new program, you might then find that you receive an invitation for that, which is definitely an incentive. Another reason why businesses decide to become a vendor because they don’t compete on the buy box as in Amazon does that on their behalf. So, they don’t have to start trying and playing around with pricing because Amazon’s automated systems are already doing that. 
The reason why some businesses might not want to compete on the buy box is partly down to not wanting to, because they may have, retailers, they sell the product to, they don’t want to be seen engaging in price Wars with their own customers. And so let Amazon do it and then hide basically and put the blame on Amazon often is the case with the buy box, but no it’s about businesses that do have a good relationships with their retailers, not wanting to start competing with their products, with people that they’re already selling to. Now, if I were doing this presentation a few years ago, I would probably have a chart that highlights the benefits of vendor versus seller. Today, it’s very much an even level playing field as in seller has advanced a lot and will go on to seller shortly. It’s advanced a lot in the sense that a lot of the marketing tools that were only available in vendor, such as A plus content, brand stores, sponsored brands, all these additional features that made businesses almost want to become a vendor and no longer the case it’s even level. If you’re a brand owner with a registered trademark then, then you have access to everything on seller. What that then does, is it makes it very much an even level playing field. So, the only reason why businesses would then be a vendor or seller is often down to their distribution set up, and how they want to grow their business and the whole infrastructure that they have to manage orders and everything. 
And then just moving on to seller. So, what to sell on Amazon now? I imagine most probably a lot of people viewing this, the question is more about understanding the difference of vendor, because a number of businesses, probably already a seller looking to take that step over to vendor. Now, Amazon seller also known as a three P, third party you’re effectively taking on a retail role. Now you could be a manufacturer. You could be a wholesaler or distributor, but on Amazon, you’re effectively a retailer because you’re selling your product directly to the end consumer on Amazon. So, Amazon’s customer is effectively your customer, and you’re using the Amazon platform to sell your products, which is very different to selling as a vendor where Amazon is basically seller of record. And they’re sending your product. They’ve already purchased that inventory from you. Well, depending on payment terms, but they’ve purchased it from you and they’re selling directly to the customer. So as a seller, you then start managing a lot more. You start managing you then have to manage your inventory. 
You manage your customer service. Now, of course, if you go Fulfillment by Amazon, FBA, then Amazon is going to take that strain away from you. So, they will then manage your inventory and customer service. But even if you do FBA, there is still an element of where you need to decide how much inventory you send to Amazon and have in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. And still customer questions might come your way that are non-order related, which you would need to manage. You would then control your own pricing. So, you then decide completely what retail to sell at the product. And of course, you then control your product listings, the content and everything, as long as it is in line with Amazon’s policies. If not, you might find not necessarily Amazon changing things, but Amazon giving you warnings that your content needs to be changed, but effectively you’re making that decision as to what content you want showing on Amazon. And then of course like vendor central, seller central is the platform that you’ll be selling on.

How to know if a product is sold by a Seller Central account

And again, a prime example here of where I’ve got in the box over here on the right-hand side, you know that this is a seller, because of course it’s a Fulfillment by Amazon. And then it’s sold by the name of that seller on Amazon so that you can be able to highlight the key differences is between the two.

Reasons to open a Seller Central account on Amazon

If your business has the option to decide whether they become a vendor or seller, they may have to set up, they have a wholesale setup and a direct to consumer setup. Why a business would then choose seller over vendor might be that they want to control their own pricing. Because as I said, as a vendor, Amazon sets the retail prices. 
Some businesses don’t like that. Some businesses don’t trust Amazon, they see Amazon as a bit of a discount retailer. And so, they fear that Amazon could start discounting their products. And so, you, as a seller, don’t have to get involved in that. You effectively choose what price you want to sell that product at. Again, some businesses want to manage their own orders. They want to manage the inventory. They don’t want to pass that on to any other business. They have a good setup. They have a direct consumer business already, and they want to manage that themselves and have all that control over their product listings. Now, you’ve seen a lot here about why a business remains a seller, and doesn’t want to take that step to vendor or a vendor might want to be a seller is down to really having that control, controlling their product listings, controlling their pricing, controlling the inventory and orders as well as them having that direct contact with the end consumer. Because when you’re selling to Amazon on vendor, you don’t know who the end consumer is because you’re not engaging with that customer because that’s, Amazon’s customer, not your customer. 
Amazon’s your customer when you are a vendor, but when you become a seller, you have that ability to make direct contact with that end consumer the customer on Amazon. Now, of course, Amazon has its terms of service, and it is quite restrictive in terms of what you can and can’t do in terms of contacting customers. But you still have that door open. It’s not completely closed or hidden, is it or not hidden, visible, um, compared to a vendor and greater margins often you’ll find when you’re a vendor, you have to offer products to Amazon at a wholesale price. So, you’re already giving Amazon a reduction on your pricing. If you’re then selling or as a seller, you’re obviously selling at full retail price. So, you’re able to then get greater margin. Now, this isn’t always the case. We speak with some businesses that actually that business is more profitable on vendor than seller. And that’s often because they have low price point items that the FBA fees and everything don’t make sense for, or it could be a number of different factors, but often you’ll find that seller can have greater margins because you can play around with the retail price and decide what margin you want to have. 

What is a hybrid seller account?

Now, lastly, you’ve got a hybrid. So, what is a hybrid? A hybrid is effectively when you’re basically a vendor in seller. So, you’re taking on both this wholesale relationship selling product to Amazon. You’re also selling product as a seller direct to the end consumer. So effectively, you’ve got access to two accounts, seller central and vendor central, and you’re managing your assortment between the two platforms. Now, this requires a lot more, I’ll go back to this. This requires a lot more of a strategic approach.  It’s not the fact that you just open a seller account and a vendor account mirror, exactly what you’ve got in your vendor account into your seller account. Because effectively what, you know, there’s a question of what’s the point, okay, you might have backup inventory farmers and doesn’t order enough on vendor or, and so forth. Prime examples was with COVID where Amazon wasn’t ordering or letting you send in more inventory. You have more backups solutions, but what you want to avoid is just competing with your own listings and just mirroring it. A lot of businesses manage the assortment in a very more strategic way as in, okay, singles don’t work on vendor because Amazon are complaining that the products don’t bring them any margin. And so, you decide to sell the singles on seller, but you offer Amazon multi-packs on vendor and they start ordering in the case, pack quantities and so forth or vendor, or it might be that you sell to Amazon on vendor, your inventory. 
That’s always in stock because Amazon’s placing orders every week. But the products that you have limited stock available, you only sell on seller, or it might be that you find that seller central is good for launching your products that are more price sensitive when they’ve just come to market. So, you might not want to offer your new products, your effectively your babies that you want to nurture at the start. You might want to nurture them, and it gets sales accelerated on seller. And then when they get to a certain life cycle, you might then want to move them over to vendor. So, there’s a lot more thought behind why you would take a hybrid approach as opposed to just going, yeah, I want to be a vendor and seller and just have all my products on that.

What is the best choice for your company / brand?

Then of course, what’s right for my business. A lot then depends on overall with your business model, as I mentioned and a couple of points here is really about, are you actually set up for wholesale? Are you set up for direct to consumer because that answer will completely eliminate one versus the other. 
Another thing is, if you are a business and you sell to loads of major retailers, let’s say in the UK, and you then say, you want to be a seller and not a vendor, you might even find that Amazon might challenge you on that because effectively, if you’re selling to other retailers, you’ve got a wholesale set up. So why wouldn’t you sell to Amazon? So, there’s lots of things to think about, really with your business set up is, are you set up to manage wholesale? Are you set up to sell direct to consumer? And if you are, is that something that you want to do in the future? Because just because you’re not set up now, doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be able to do that in in six months a year’s time. It may be that you want to get that logistical setup and that’s your three-year goal. But this is something that’s, that’s key that you should be thinking about when distinguishing the two. So, I’ve done a lot of talking there, which I’m good at doing, I must say in terms of giving those listeners a clear distinction between two models, which in all honesty is it can get a bit muddy and confusing when talking about selling on Amazon.

What additional tools do you get as a vendor on Amazon?

Augustas Kligys:
Thank you very much, Carina. It was a nice overview, but I have few questions. So, in the past vendors got additional tools which were not available in seller central, but now we know that sellers are getting more and more of the vendor, previously vendor, exclusive tools. Can you tell us what are now what are the tools which vendors are getting right now, which are not available for sellers.

Carina McCleod:
To be honest, the only key difference in terms of the tools are more promotions. So, you get access to what they call the best deals, which are like a two-week promotion that you don’t get within seller central, or you do as a seller. If you have an account manager, so you have to be a certain size, but what we’re finding is near enough, everything is now available. So, if we look at reviews, the Vine Review program has now moved over to seller, but in actual fact, you have to pay for Vine on vendor at the moment it’s free on seller. Now this happened as well years ago, with A Plus content you used to pay for A Plus content on vendor. It moved over to seller for free. And then everybody was like, well, I might as well setup a seller account, get my listing set up on seller. And that, you know, everybody’s going to find a loophole to avoid these fees, and then it became free. So, it’s interesting to all these different tools and it seemed to be available in the two. And also, if we look at advertising, so brand stores were always, only available for vendors. They became available for sellers, but also almost had an upgrade and was integrated more with advertising, sponsored brands, he old headline search ads, and now available and display ads and more and more so, so really there’s no reason why a business should decide to become a vendor for the tools. If that makes sense, because the tools are almost the same on both platforms, if not better on seller, because you don’t have to pay for them.

Does becoming a vendor boost your business?

Augustas Kligys:
All right. So, I know that a part of your client base are vendors and probably you saw some sellers transforming into vendors. When you are a vendor, Amazon takes care of your listing. So, in that, that means that they might make it worse, the whole listing, probably in some cases. So, you are losing control. So, have you seen cases where a seller’s transformed into vendor and their sales increased like their business really boosted.

Carina McCleod:
Yeah. We’ve seen both, to be honest, we’ve seen it where sellers have moved to vendor and their businesses increased more so, because I started to see these folk orders coming through. And as I say, bulk, I need to be careful with how I use that, because that could, people could imagine these huge, huge orders, but larger orders than they were receiving on seller. So, we’ve seen businesses actually prefer because that’s the model that they want. It’s more economical for them to ship in packs in that way, once a week to Amazon, as opposed to working on the seller side. So, we’ve seen that be effective for them. Often, it’s because they’ve already accelerated the business to a certain level on seller to just all of a sudden become a vendor without having any momentum on the platform is a challenge because Amazon has an automated ordering system and their ordering system is based on demand. If they can’t see demand or there’s nobody’s been looking at the listings previously or anything, it becomes a bit of a tough one because how do you get people to the listings if there’s no inventory and Amazon isn’t ordering inventory because they can’t see people going to the listings. So, Amazon does have initiatives on the vendor side, such as the Born to Run program. The Born to Run program is where you then say to Amazon, can you order X amount of inventory that covers 10 weeks of sales and Amazon, if they agree will order in that inventory. And if it sells great you’ve helped get that product available. 
But if it doesn’t, they’ll return the inventory. So, Amazon is aware of that challenge. So yeah, if you’ve got that momentum already, it can work. Now, we’ve seen it not work as well, where businesses have moved from seller to vendor and they’re sold the dream that get all their listing set up on vendor. Next minute, they know their product images have changed. Their titles have changed all these lovely optimized product pages from seller have completely changed. It becomes a headache because they’ve got to clean it all up and it takes time because if the system in the backend overriding other bits of data and you’ve got to then get the catalog team to override it, and this is a very common issue, which you do get there. We have got through those challenges with our clients, but during that period, that can impact sales as well. You know, because there’s this period where these product listings were doing so great, had lovely images and everything. And next minute, you’ve got a product image of a hand holding a box, like a gray hand and it just looks terrible. And I can never understand for the life of me, why Amazon still uses those images, but they do. So that’s when that requires work. And sometimes some sellers are like, is it worth all that work? Or do we revert back? So sometimes sellers that move to vendor have reverted back to seller almost a bit too quick because of that, that period. So, you’ve always need to make sure that you’ve got that backup strategy. If you are taking that jump over to vendor and aware that there could be an element of disruption. So, you would probably want to time that correctly or start vendor with new products or listings that aren’t already in seller. So, it might be multi-packs or, or just being a bit more creative to get familiar with the platform, as opposed to jumping completely into vendor. I would say be cautious about that because there are some repercussions of doing that.

What is the process for becoming a Seller and Vendor (hybrid) on Amazon?

Augustas Kligys:
So, talking about hybrid sellers what is the process? So basically, the seller has to wait for the invitation and then they decide what they sell on vendor?

Carina McCleod:
Yeah. So that’s the only point with vendor, is that vendor is invite only and vendor it’s like the Golden Gates become a bit more firmly shut these days where Amazon is a bit more selective on who they let in. And a lot of that goes back to what I was mentioning about as in, do you have a wholesale relationship? Are you selling to major retailers? Because if you’re not selling to major retailers in the UK, why would you want to be a vendor on Amazon? Or it probably doesn’t make sense. You’re not probably that size yet. So, they’d ask a lot of questions anyway. It may be that you reach out to them and they want that information. Or if they see your brand in many different places, not only performing well on Amazon seller, they might see it in other stores. They might then approach you and want to invite you to the platform. So, Amazon vendor can be sometimes a tough one, the amount of emails that we get on a weekly basis going, can you get me a vendor account? It’s interesting,

Augustas Kligys:
But your answer is you cannot, unless it’s invited, right?

Carina McCleod:
Yeah. You need an invite or no working with agencies or freelancers that have been working with Amazon that often have a direct connection with the business development team that might then be able to open up that conversation. It’s not to say it’s not about contacts necessarily. It’s just there is a team that are recruiting new vendors. You know, there’s a team that recruit new sellers. It’s whether or not you are on their list or would they want you on their list really? So sometimes you can sometimes reach out to them and they might be open to a conversation at least.

How much does your workload increase when you become a seller-vendor hybrid?

Augustas Kligys:
And talking about workload, let’s say someone gets invited and they decide to try the hybrid method. Is there a lot of like additional work to manage, comparing to just seller central?

Carina McCleod:
Yeah, definitely well you’re effectively, you’re managing two accounts. So, you then need to be monitoring two. Now monitoring vendor is different to monitoring seller because in seller you’re you need to monitor your seller feedback. Your buyer messages, those are things that you don’t have to do on vendor because you don’t have that connection with the end consumer. So that takes that away. But the, the part on vendor is just, there’s a lot more admin with receiving the purchase order, sending those purchase orders, making sure you send the shipment notifications, printing all the shipping labels out, raising invoices, the accounting. So, there’s quite a bit of administration needed on vendor. So, you definitely, if you’re already tight on resource on seller, then you need to question that on vendor because that’s you’re doubling basically the work involved.

Transcribed from the following video:

Amazon SEO Experts’s Sam Page on the Conductor Search From Home Podcast

Sam Page _ Blue Host _ Conductor Search from Home _ Mon. 04.27.20

Stephen: Hey guys, thanks so much for joining us for another episode of Search from Home. It is week six and we are here, but we are here with a vengeance. We’ve decided we’re going to mix it up this week, so we’ve got as usual or almost usual, my cohost, Patrick Reinhart. Didn’t even point where he was, that joke’s over with.

Patrick: Yes.

Stephen: It’s dead and gone as of today. Exciting times and we have Sam Page on LinkedIn goes by Samuel Page, happens to be more shorn on LinkedIn, if you don’t recognize him from his photo. He’s from Bluehost, awesome SEO. And we were talking, and he said, you know, I’ll be willing to come on the show, but I want to switch things up a little bit.

I want to talk about Amazon, and I want to talk about optimization for Amazon and I said, very interesting, Dr. Jones. We have not really gotten into that and that is not something that is by any means, a strong suit of mine. Pat, is that a strong suit of yours? Pat?

Patrick: No, no, not really. I mean, like, you know, it’s interesting because it’s different, right? Because it’s not a search engine, it’s a marketplace. So, we are mainly focused on traditional search engines. But that’s something that we constantly get asked. And it’s always a good discussion because, you know, I don’t have a ton of hands on experience optimizing for Amazon, so I’m always interested in the conversation because I need to learn more. And I mean, everyone needs to learn more definitely. But I’ve been excited for this when I heard what we were going to be talking about.

Stephen: Me too. So, Sam, by all means, introduce yourself. Give us a little background on you, tell us a little bit about how the heck you ended up in this Amazon world and then we’ll get started from there. Sound good? 

Sam: Yes cool, thanks. Yes, no, so my full-time gig is I’m the senior SEO at Bluehost where yes, a lot of my time is spent thinking about Google as a search engine. But also, YouTube and some of these other sorts of secondary and further down the line search engines. But yes, I started doing SEO originally as just at an agency and kind of just, it was a small agency, so I could wear a lot of hats and learn a lot.

And along the way, I kind of took a couple in house jobs and that kind of exposed me to some different things too, especially e-commerce. And then just naturally, like my brain is always trying to figure out something like a work around or like, it just, you know, I’m always SEO doing things, whether it’s Google or something outside of that.

But so, Amazon came along, and I was tinkering around with it. I wrote a little how to guide. It was like how to buy and sell cars for profit and it was like a 20-page thing and I threw it up there and I got some sales on Amazon and I was like, Oh, this is kind of cool. Like, let’s see how far I can take this.

And so, the next one I wrote was called the Big Green Egg Manual. So, at the time, this big green egg was like pretty new still. It’s I don’t know if you guys are familiar, but it’s like this [ inaudible 00:03:31] grill smoker. Uh, and it was something that was like super interesting to me, but also very expensive. So, I ended up wanting to just shell out the money. So, I was like, yes, I’ll make a manual, let’s see what happens, maybe I can make some money and put it towards the smoker.

 And so, I put it on Amazon, and you know, back then this was probably 10 years ago, like you could just get some new email accounts and like an Amazon gift card and go to town with some fake reviews. So obviously not the most white hat way of doing it, but I tried it out to see what happens. And yes, so like not much longer after that, the ranking started going up and the sales were going crazy. And before long I had enough money off of this eBook where I could actually buy this smoker. And, then I just said, okay, well let’s take this thing, crank it up to 11. And so, I started hiring some VA’s to write eBooks, VA’s to do the cover design and publish. And within about a year, I had about 300 e-books live on Amazon. And they were just cranking out and cranking out and yes, I was like, this is pretty cool. Let’s see what we can do with some actual products.

So, went to, this is all while I’m working, you know, at SEO jobs in the day. So, I went to source some products from China, to do some private label to sort of the, what you see a lot of now, if you’re in any sort of Amazon arena. But it was still relatively new and much harder to source. It wasn’t like just buying stuff off of Alibaba and putting it on Amazon but yes so.

Stephen: Hold on, so backup Sam.

Sam: Yes.

Stephen: So private labeling, just so that we’re all aware of that term. That basically means it’s like a white label correct.

Sam: Yes. 

Stephen: You got to come up with your own brand name, branding and so forth, and then you can slap it on the product itself?

Sam:  Exactly. Yes, so a lot of that you can get done at the factory too.  You can just negotiate that as part of the pricing. But these guys will make a product and it’ll be identical to another one. And you see this a ton on Amazon now, like if you search for like jar opener, there’s like 20 of the exact same jar openers just under different brands, you know? But they’re all from the same factory.

Stephen: Same product, different brand, 

Sam: Exact same product, different branding yes. So yes, that was kind of what I got into and I had a couple of successful products actually. And from there I sold those products, to another competitor. And then from there I started just floating around looking for a new product, but it was getting harder and harder on Amazon to compete and find good products.

So, people were coming to me, they were saying, Hey, you know, I heard you were good at Amazon and we need that for our products. You know, we’re kind of struggling to get results. So, I started doing some consulting work for friends and acquaintances, and then the network kind of grew to where it was basically a full-on agency.

And so, I made it more official, put up a website, ranked the website. So, using my SEO skills for Google, I got up to the top of Google for anything like related to Amazon SEO. And it was pretty cool. You know, I picked up quite a few new clients through that route and just kind of, the thing is, it’s just like any agency where it’s tough to scale clients.

Stephen: Yes, I was going to say, you’re doing all this on the side. So how does that give us a sense of how that all works? You know, because like a lot of people do a Moonlight gig, which is like one or two clients or whatever on the side to help them with like traditional SEO. I mean, it’s rare to find an SEO that’s not doing that but.

Sam: Right.

Stephen: But to then start to scale to your point and have like inbound rather than out bound in that way where you actually have an engine driving inbound, how are you managing that? Plus, you have a family

Sam: Yes, managing it very poorly I will say that. A lot of hours, you know, you just put in hours, you go to work all day. And then I’m also like one of those guys who like to check, I want zero in the inbox for my real job. I want to make sure that that’s all taken care of first. So, navigating that and then working late nights. Luckily, my kids are pretty little, so they went to bed pretty early, so after seven maybe spend a couple of hours with the wife and then hit it for a little bit longer.

But yes, I mean, it’s like, and it’s tough. This is actually an interesting thing because it’s tough to find someone who’s really good at Amazon that you can just subcontract work out to. It’s not like SEO where you can just find some good SEO guys in town or wherever, and you say, Hey, you know, I’ve got some extra work can I offload it to you? And basically, have you white label it.  Amazon still something that’s still pretty specific and harder to find. So, I’d be lying if I said that I was scaling up this Amazon business that at any point in time to being something much better or anything even akin to like some of these SEO agencies you see.

I just find the clients typically are more difficult in some ways because the results, they expect the results faster from Amazon. And in some ways, sometimes they can get results faster. Amazon’s algorithms, I mean, maybe we’re getting too far into the weeds here, but Amazon’s algorithm is a little bit quicker to respond to some of the changes you make that compared to like Google.

Patrick: And can you actually discuss just before we go forward, just what are the like ranking in Amazon versus ranking in Google, you know, just sort of for [inaudible 00:09:39]. What are the differences there? Because again, one search engine versus marketplace, like just for your experience, like what are the factors for Amazon?

Sam: Yes, it’s so, it’s totally different than what you might think of with Google, right? You might think of like Google, like links and content, some markup. But with Amazon, there’s really three deciding factors as to what makes your product rank well. And the three things are our sales. So, the more sales you get, the better your rankings are, the more reviews. This is a bit controversial, but I still hold true that the more reviews you get and the better reviews you get, the better you rank. And then conversion rates. So especially like the jar opener example, if you’re searching for jar opener and Amazon, you convert for that keyword, Amazon’s going to rank you a little bit higher there. 

Stephen: And so those all seem like lagging indicators though. So, like

Sam: Yes.

Stephen: It’s almost like it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but backwards. So, it’s like.

Sam: It’s a perpetual algorithm yes.

Stephen: Yes, how do I get the sales if I don’t have the reviews? If I don’t have the sales, I can’t get the reviews. And then like conversions, obviously I want to convert, but like I need to rank in order to be found to convert. So, it kind of like, it’s a catch 22 I’m. I’m a little lost. 

Sam: Yes.

Stephen: Take me down, get me out of the, I know I’m in sort of in the weeds, but I want to be in the weeds. 

Sam: No that’s a great, that’s an absolutely, that’s the perfect question, right? That’s like what everybody wants to know. How do you get into that, break into that top few so that you can get into the ranking and perpetuity? And it’s honestly, it’s two things I mean, it, it skews heavily to big brands, right? If you’re a brand putting it on Amazon, you’re going to have tons of brand search volume coming in.

And all you do is just satisfy that search volume and you rank well. But if you’re not a big brand, what the really interesting thing between Amazon and Google is paid ads. So paid ads and Google, you know, it doesn’t affect your organic rankings. Paid ads and Amazon positively affect your organic rankings.

So, you can manipulate all three of those ranking factors with PPC. So that is really sort of, this is again all the white hat stuff like black hat SEO on Amazon is like running rampant it’s insane. But yes, for what you would do for your business or your client PPC is like, and running lightning deals, certain deals and coupons to generate traffic and sales. Those are the ways that you break into that.

Stephen:  Interesting. Is that how you build random also? So, like you talk about a white label brand right. So how do you take a white label brand and ultimately build a brand out of it? Is that your goal in a white label brand or is it just to look like at least minimally viable, like jaropener.com is your brand or are you going for something bigger? Like, I don’t know open everything. And then that’s like, can openers, jar openers, blah, blah, blah like all openers. 

Sam: It depends on the niche, you know, it’s going to depend on them. Like what does your landscape look like in the niche? Are you competing against big brands or are you competing against guys who are doing white label products like jar openers? So, and there’s like it’s insane how much sales are going through Amazon. You can have a jar opener that just balling, like just, you could make a year ago you could retire. I mean, maybe not a jar opener, but you can do really well with a lot of products that you don’t expect to do well. So, it’s kind of fascinating. 

Stephen: And how do you even know where to like where to get involved with the drop shippers, the white labeling process? All of that stuff seems incredibly foreign and distant and I know there’s like a thousand. Listen, if you’ve ever been on Facebook, you know there’s every two minutes you hit by another ad of some get rich quick scheme. It is like some kind of Amazon like it’s got, it’s become a little bit more snake oil salesmen than even like. Google has been in terms of SEO, right? We’ve kind of gotten some of the muck off our reputations, but like Amazon just feels like a very, even SEO is a very like, Whoa. You know? 

Sam: Yes, no, I mean, it’s absolutely the case. I mean, we all, I think we all talked about where we remember where it was like that in SEO and PPC on Google at one point where there was courses that you would buy. And these guys a hundred percent were actually doing this to make a living. They were selling the course and, but it was absolutely the case. And actually, it’s funny because some of the guys I remember from the Google courses started up there on Amazon courses and now they actually have been way more successful with their Amazon courses. There’s a company here in Austin that was like that. 

Stephen: So, they’ve been successful at selling their Amazon course?

Sam: Yes right.

Stephen: Got it.

Sam: Yes, they were not as successful on the Google front as they are on Amazon. But yes, I don’t, you know, I think as this.

Stephen: I guess how do you break in without getting bamboozled?

Sam: You know what I mean, it’s not easy. But there is a good, I mean, there’s a good amount more resources available to beginners. Like. The Reddit/ Our Fulfillment by Amazon subreddit is really good and informative and kind of filters out some of the BS for new people. But there’s just, there’s a lot of good resources online now, some YouTube stuff. Just got to be careful, have your BS sensors up, try not to buy anything, spend your time learning by testing. And I always, you know, like with regular as you for Google, I always tell people this too. Like, you can start off just, you know, the Moz beginner’s guide is great place to start, but once you get past that, build a website yourself and test it, test some stuff that like, that’s the way you really learn these things and so the clients for Amazon. 

Patrick: Yes, and you know it’s really true of a lot of that, like a lot of people are very scared to just like they want to continue to read, they want to continue to learn. I get asked that question a lot, like, where should I go to learn about this? You know, I’ve point them to the Moz 101 lot because they’ve done, you know, they’ve always done a good job curating that. We have Conductor Academy which is really good. But like once you get to a certain point, you have to roll up your sleeves and do it. Because that’s really where you learn how to do this stuff. It’s good to know the theory behind it, but eventually, you know, it’s just like music. If you can read music that’s pretty good. Eventually got to pick up a guitar and start playing. 

Sam: No, that’s a really good point. 

Patrick: Yes.

Sam: I agree with that yes.

Stephen: So, in terms of those factors right which of those, like let’s say we started, let’s, let’s say we start from scratch. Okay we’re starting from square one. What would be the first thing you’d look to do when getting into Amazon? Like what would be the, you know, find your niche, right? So, if we’re doing the article, let’s say the chapter on find your niche, what are your highlights of that chapter? 

Sam: Yes, I think part of it is do something, you know well, right. I think you, if you’re, if you’re going on a new product that you have no experience or no specific knowledge on, you’re probably going to be behind the eight ball anyway. So, do something, you know well and then try.

Stephen: So, give an example, what’s something that you’ve done before that you knew well. 

Sam: Well, yes, no, I think for me

Stephen:  To opening cans or?

Sam: Yes, I mean, one I had the best, the best success with was a tins unit. So, it’s like I don’t know if you guys know what a tins unit is. But it’s like a little electrode pads you put on there and they send an electric shock to your muscles. So that’s like a massage type of, it’s like a therapy. So, I mean, I knew that landscape pretty well because I had a client at one point, I did consulting with on SEO, and they just never ventured onto Amazon. So, I, you know, after we ended our relationship together there, I started messing with it on Amazon. And it was, you know, that was the first step because I knew it and I knew that there was sales already existing and I just had the product. I just needed to find the product was the next step. And then a lot of Googling and a lot of asking around to find the right supplier and the right pricing. But this, again this was probably 9, 10 years ago, so it’s considerably more difficult than, than that now than it was then. 

Stephen: Because it’s saturated?

Sam: Yes, so it’s the market’s way more saturated and Amazon’s algorithm ranking algorithm has gotten significantly more complex. So, you know, a new product back then, you could list it. I mean, that product, I listed it, and then within six months it was doing like 80 or $90,000 a month in sales right. So, like, and that was with no PPC ads, so like, that’s unheard of now. 

Stephen: Wow.

Sam: It’s impossible to do that. Yes, so now you have to have like this marketing budget set aside, knowing that you’re going to have to run PPC and deals at a loss, to influence these organic sales eventually in the future. So yes, to get, not to get too far ahead of we there, but that would be the first step. And then next step, finding that supplier, and that’s where now is, I feel like that is where it separates successful sellers from unsuccessful sellers. So how do you do that? I mean, that’s, it’s, 

Stephen: Well, how do you differentiate? Yes, so I don’t know what’s going on with my mic. Is that me?

Patrick: Yes, I think it’s you. 

Stephen: My game could be off. How about now? Better? 

Patrick: Yes, sounds good now.

Stephen: Okay sorry about that guys. Yes, so I was saying how do you differentiate between like you just said it, the main differentiator could be who you choose to supply for you right? So, do, are there marketplaces of suppliers that rank them, classify them, make them trustworthy? Like, I feel like, you know, you’re dealing with probably in many cases, China, you knock boots on the ground there. It’s not like you’re going into touring the factory, right?

Patrick: Yes, and I mean, and with drop shipping, I mean, my old company used to be drop ship and like, do you join like a buyers group or anything like that? Or is it just like one off sellers? Like how to, like, I’m curious too, how do you manage the inventory.

Sam: That’s great, man. And that is really the trickiest part, I think because I’ve had the best success and I recommend finding someone trustworthy in China. Unfortunately, it’s still there, you know, also you can probably source some products in Portugal. It’s still good, it’s good manufacturing in Portugal at a reasonable price. If you want to avoid tear ups or what have you, the unknown. But yes, I mean still China’s a great spot to get it, and there is cultural differences. So, I have been lucky where I’ve spent enough time where I’ve found good connections there, people that I can trust to send the money to and it’s the product is going to come in.

Unfortunately, you know when you’re new, there’s a big risk you have to take with that. I would suggest honestly finding networking with other Amazon sellers that you can find. And asking around, you may have to, I don’t know maybe you have to pay somebody to connect you with their source, their factory sourcer.

But I don’t know. I just be careful with it. It’s really the trickiest and scariest part. I still get kind of worried even sending money over there. It’s until you have like a really good relationship with people, it’s sketchy. So, if you don’t have that appetite, look for some, I mean I love to find people manufacturing stuff here in the US. And there’s still lots of opportunity to get some products on Amazon.

You know Amazon, unfortunately it is like sort of a race to the bottom as far as pricing, but there is room for, there’s a lot of room on Amazon for products that are like priced as premium products, right? Not everybody wants the cheapest thing, and if you can market your product on Amazon as being the premium choice, there’s a lot of opportunity there still.

Stephen: Interesting. 

Patrick: Yes, I mean, for me I think one of the you know, for me it, like you said, you know, just sending the money off and is anything going to show up? You know that sort of thing and I remember when I used to run an appliance company where we would drop ship appliances all over. We were part of a commercial buying group, and that was all based here basically. So, a little less Chris there, but I remember when we were first looking for where to get suppliers from, it was truly nerve wracking because you were just like you don’t know these folks.

It’s just like, Hey, give me X amount of money and you know, okay. It’s like, Hey, is this stuff actually going to show up at this person’s door? Or, you know are they accidentally going to ship it to me which happened a lot. So there’s like, you know, so from a logistics standpoint, how, I guess it comes back to like going back to that, how often did you have to deal with people like sending stuff back or, and how do you do that if you’re an Amazon seller. Because most folks don’t want to deal with like customer service aspect of it, you know, does that ever come across your table?

Sam: Do you mean like customer returns or sending stuff back to the factory that you’ve?

Patrick: Both.

Stephen: I guess I know you don’t understand the difference. 

Sam: Yes, if you, okay, so from the customer, like if you’re the seller and the customer on Amazon’s returning items, then unfortunately that’s just cost of doing business on Amazon. Like just build that into your profit margin or what you take out at the end of the day and assume it’s going to be higher than what you expect.

But yes, it’s something that you just have to eat. A lot of times you’ll see customers who get products and it’s like not opened, it’s still a hundred percent sellable. So, if you want to risk your brand reselling a product that hasn’t been opened, maybe it’s not such a risk that you can resell that. But you know, some of them, they’ve been opened and tampered with. Next the thing I always recommend is just selling it as used either on Amazon or used on eBay to recoup some of those losses because 99.9% of the time, the factories in China aren’t going to take any of that back. They don’t once the sale is done, it’s done.

Unless you say, you know, unless you have a really good contract with a someone in, with a manufacturer in China that says, Hey, if you guys ship me defective products, I can return them back to you. And that’s actually probably pretty hard to come by too. It’s a lot of the risk you’re taking on yourself because a lot of the roar you’ll take on yourself too.

Stephen: Right, I’m sure that has to do with volume too, right? 

Sam: Yes, tons, yes and that’s, Amazon’s game is volume right now for a lot of products. It’s just make a penny on a product, and just sell a million of them. 

Stephen: So, explain to me Amazon’s choice, because that is like something that.

Sam: Yes.

Stephen: Everyone seems to gravitate towards that. Like in terms of the products been chosen by Amazon. 

Sam: Yes.

Stephen: It must be a whole process to become chosen by Amazon, right?

Sam: Sort of yes, I mean, it’s just, a lot of it is just ranking well for that keyword or having good conversion rates for that keyword. It’s not, there’s not too much to it. You know, have good reviews, have good conversion rates, and have good rankings for that keyword. And you’ll, it does change, you know, sometimes it changes, and Amazon will test Hey, well, what if we put your competitor here as Amazon’s choice for a day and see if they convert higher with this tag. So, Amazon’s really intelligent on these things. If they can optimize their product offerings, they’re going to do that so.

It’s interesting because you know, you guys know Google does the same thing too, right? You know, they’ll try, Oh, let’s put this site up for a day or two in the top three and see if it does something better. 

Stephen: Even though they won’t admit clicking through for at least for years.

Sam: Yes. 

Stephen: For years, they would lie to us and say that click through did not influence rank, which is exactly why I say, and we still say that meta descriptions matter. Because yes, they don’t directly impact your ranking, but they impact click through, and if they impact, click through, then they impact your rankings.

Sam: Yes.

Stephen: So, it’s like, come on.

Sam: Yes, I mean, you know it’s funny because on Amazon you also have another thing to worry about and that’s Amazon taking your product and manufacturing it themselves from the same manufacturer and selling it under Amazon Basics brand or their own brand. And you don’t have to worry about that in Google, right? You don’t have to worry about Google making a website that competes with you unless you’re a domain seller. 

Stephen: Hold on so you mean because this is foreign to me. So, you mean to tell me that like, okay. So, when I go to CVS, you’ll see the CVS brand of like Tylenol or ibuprofen, right? And you’re like, okay, well I guess that’s okay because you know, they can’t have a monopoly on all of it. But this is just to say that if you become too good at what you’re doing on Amazon, Amazon might just choose to like make the Amazon brand run the same product. 

Sam: Yes, exactly and so they have all of this sales data at their fingertips right. And it’s just insane like they’ll say, okay, well this is a great product right now this thing’s on fire, let’s make our own. And they have buyers in Shenzhen or wherever in China that they manufacture it from, and boom, it’s now an Amazon Basics product. And guess who ranks well, right. They’re not going to rank themselves behind anyone else.

Stephen: Wow.

Sam: Yes, 

Stephen: That’s amazing! That’s news to me I’ll tell you that. I didn’t realize that was the case so. But I guess they have to get their ideas somewhere, right? So why not source them off their own system? It’s tried true and proven, so I mean you can’t blame them, can you? 

Sam: Yes, it’s anti-competitive at best.

Stephen: True. 

Sam: But I don’t think Amazon cares about monopolies, so.

Stephen:  No, you said it.

Sam:  You know, it’s funny because I’m too, like just how we were talking a second ago, I touched on how like kind of the black hat SEO stuff on Amazon is so rampant. It’s almost like too, in some ways, like Amazon doesn’t care about it. Because this, the search volume within Amazon’s ecosystem is going to be there regardless of the product they’re offering.

So, who cares if it’s a black hat seller that ranks there, or a mom and pop shop who ranks there? So, you know, it’s gotten to be very difficult to navigate, especially certain niches. But it’s even trickling down into to other niches too. So, we’ll see how it pans out. I mean, maybe Amazon eventually says, Hey, we need to really crack down on this because it’s hurting their reputation. Or the customers just say, I’m tired of getting this really subpar quality stuff on Amazon. But so far, you know, there’s no indication that bill, they’ll crack down on it. 

Stephen: That’s weird. That seems weird to me that seems like a brand that’s so worried about it’s, I mean even Google, right cares about the results. And we can argue that Google’s market share is so far and beyond everyone else’s. I mean, they would be more worried about losing their trademark for the name, you know, simply based on the ubiquity, right of people. So it’s just, it’s amazing to me to think that like they would care a little about whether or not like shady stuff, ranks with wrong product descriptions, bad return policies, things that are just like, you know, fly by night situations.

 You think they want to clean their ecosystem, but I guess it costs more to do that than to just take the hit from brand perspective, there must be a way for them to measure that, I’m assuming, right? It’s like almost like a trust factor. Right. And then it’s like the trust needle moves to the left or to the right, depending on how much of that stuff actually ranks and people buy from it.

Sam: It’s probably some function of like return rate, right? When you get a guy, who ranks in there and their returns are going through the roof. They would probably start; they probably start scrutinizing that product a little bit more. Maybe drop it down its cause they’re going to have the whole keyword set or niche. They’re going to have all the data of what the typical return rate for that would be. And you know, if one’s an anomaly, then they probably try to mitigate that there. But some, some of these niches are just so flooded with that or quality stuff that it probably deletes the, the return rate, you know, their baseline. So, it’s, uh, you know, also a lot of it, a lot of the Blackhat stuff occurs in like Eastern Europe and China, where, you know, it’s much harder to, to stop at scale.

They can hide behind different proxies or it’s in China, especially from, I’m familiar with, they can get an account shut down and create a new account within hours or minutes. I’m using like one of the main verification methods that Amazon uses is like a business ID like your EIN. And it’s much harder, the EIN is way more transparent in the US like you can tie that to the person’s social security number or whatever. But in China and the EIN or the business IDs, they’re much easier to come by and way harder to track. So, kind of lends itself to having China be the epicenter for this black hat at siesta.

Stephen: Yes, you’ve tempted us a little too much with the word black hat, so I don’t know how much you’re allowed to share, but I’d love to hear like one or two examples. Aside from like account creation, which I agree on, it’s just that’s just denial and reset up. But like what are some of the shady things, not that anyone wants to try these things, but that, you know of, that you can share with the group so that we’d be aware of it and how to almost avoid that, right? Like,

Sam: Right. Yes, well, I think it’s obvious, like fake sales and fake reviews. It used to be way more common where you would see like random people in the US would be getting packages. Like I would read on like the New York Times or some magazine where they would do an expose where people were just getting random items sent to their house. And they were just receiving these items from Amazon, and then they would get that, you know, that was a verified purchase review that they were manipulating. 

I think the one that’s really the most concerning to me, and it’s happened to me, it actually happened to me on that tins unit product where I got to ranking really well and I got a lot of good sales. And one day a competitor came in and bought about 20 or 30 of them. And flagged all of those as a counterfeit and Amazon just shut my account down. No recourse, nothing you can do. Hey, you’re a counterfeit seller now you’re done. And, yes so like that’s really easy for them to do. And it happens all the time 

Stephen: Where they send to the same location or a different location or like?

Sam: Yes, I think they were just all over. It’s sort of like how they do their verified reviews. They just send them all to random addresses and   whether or not it gets there or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s just at that point it’s a verified purchase and then they can say they can flag it as counterfeit.

Stephen: So, you mean for them, the cost of paying you? Well, they don’t end up paying anyway, right. Cause the money comes back to them. 

Sam: Yes, they could say it’s counterfeit and return it. Why not? I mean, if they’re, if it’s an expensive item, yes, for sure that’d be the case. But generally, you know they’re going to be, there’s more money for them to make in me not ranking up there anymore. And then taking up another spot or two.

Stephen: Wow. That’s a talk about understanding your ROI down to a very specific number to know that it’s worth spending that money on 20 units just to knock your competitor down or out for a little while. And then, yes, I guess the recourse action, so what do you do in those situations? Is Amazon any good at dealing with those things? 

Sam: No, they’re terrible. Like Amazon support for sellers is like notoriously bad. So, and it’s just like we were talking earlier, I mean, Amazon doesn’t really care if you’re there or if it’s someone else, the sales are going to come in. So, for me, they like sort of dragged their feet. I’ve provided them, you know, all of the information they ask. And actually, it took me like another year or so before I got that account back in working order. And by that time,

Stephen: Wow a year?

Sam: Yes, by that time I was done basically with that product. So yes, it was a really interesting learning experience. Now there’s a few things you can do where you can register your brand and trademark within Amazon so you can protect your listing a little bit. But there’s still sort of this cottage industry of attorneys who specialize in Amazon Law. So, and those guys that contest a lot with counterfeit items, or like somebody copying your product or someone hops on your product listing and claims they’re selling the same item and you don’t authorize them to. There’s all of that at play, so it’s, it’s going to be interesting to see how it evolves.

Stephen: Wow. So, you mean to tell me, so you actually made an allusion to having multiple accounts. Is that what you have to do then in that case? Cause then you’d have all your eggs in one basket if you were to like have been selling everything through one seller account. But selling different types of products, then that would probably hurt you, right?

You probably want multiple accounts in order to deal with multiple product lines just so that this can never happen to you. Because being shut down for a year if that’s a substantial source of income for you. That’s beyond sucky. 

Sam: Yeah. 

Stephen: Sucky being a technical term, by the way. 

Sam: No, it sucks, man. It, but there is, yes you can’t. So, like within Amazon’s terms of service, you can’t actually own, a person can’t actually own multiple accounts. But if you own a business that has an account and then you’re on another business that has an account that’s more within the realm of, you know legal play or fair play within Amazon, I recommend doing that.

You know, set up like an LLC for a specific product line if you have to, especially if you’re in one of these high-risk niches. There’s just no, no way that you should be putting yourself out there with just one account. It’s just too risky. But you know that’s just sort of the way it is on Amazon.

But it’s funny because, you know, like on Google, you don’t think about, Oh, do we need two websites anymore? I remember there was a time where it’s like, we would create like a micro website or something like that. Like, Oh, you know we ran up here now, but let’s create a micro site and try to rank it up there too, you know, for lead gen or whatever. But that’s not even that’s not even a thought anymore. So, it is on Amazon, so it was on lags a bit as far as it gets sophistication, but it’s catching up to Google really quickly as far as how many data points and things they look at. 

Stephen: So, do you parlay the two together or are you parlaying how well Amazon ranks in Google as a factor for product choice?

Sam: It’s something I think about and it’s something I strive to do. Like I definitely want to rank products highly in Google, the Amazon listing. And if you’re an eCommerce person, if you’ve got a product man, if you can have the number one spot for your keyword for your Amazon listing and your website, you know that’s good real estate to have.

And there’s, yes, I mean, Amazon is a trusted domain that you can rank it really pretty well. Before one of the things, like maybe five or six years ago, you could just spam an Amazon listing and the domain authority would just, you could not, I could, it would not get banned in Google and you would see a lot of that going on, but now it’s definitely cleaned up a bit on Google.

So, but it’s still some, it’s definitely still a strategy that, Hey, claim that spot in Google. You know, Google wants to show an Amazon listing for eCommerce search terms, it’s a good high converting people. A lot of people will search for a product and then Amazon in Google, right? So, they’ll say jar openers, Amazon and Google, and they’ll click through from Google to Amazon.

So that’s still part of it, but Google doesn’t like that, right? I mean, Google wants to dominate more. They’ve given up a lot of ground, I think for those lower funnel search churns to Amazon. I think a lot of searches begin on Amazon that used to begin on Google. And so, I think that Amazon or Google was actually taking steps, I read this just a couple of days ago to diversify the shopping feed.

Stephen: Yes, I mean, it’s free now right? So that I was about to as, that was my next question to you is, do you think the free shopping in Google is now going to be like a thing.

Sam:  It’ll be, you know, it’s hard to say. It’s really early to, I don’t, I haven’t seen it happen, anything happened yet. But it’s supposed to combat against Amazon. I still think like most buyer behaviors are going to be how many people have a Prime subscription? If they see Amazon, they trust it already, they know it’s going to be free shipping and on time, and they can return it for any reason.

There’s no, there’s no risk hardly for them. So. You know, we’ll see how it pans out. I just don’t see, it’s sort of like how Google treats Apple stuff in some ways. You know, it’s like they try to keep it at arms distance, but they understand the search intent. So, I feel like it’s just going to continue on a bit like that., 

Patrick: Yes, and I mean, like even talking about the relationship between Google and Amazon in general. We actually have a great question in the chat: Jesse asked what advice do you have for traditional retailers who keep getting outranked by Amazon on Google? 

Sam: Yes, I think that optimizing the listing with content on the listing, like you don’t have to worry about the off-page SEO, if you will, for Amazon. I think finding a way to make your listing really convey like the design and the feel and the product differentiation from the other products is going to be the most important thing you can do. Because if you’re getting out ranked, it’s likely because you’re getting outspent, like your competitors are just spending more money than you.

So, you have to find a way to do this value add or a differentiation to get people to buy from you. And then if you can, if you could play that up well enough, then presumably your sales will continue to rise and maybe then your rankings will continue to rise. That’s a great question. 

Patrick: Yes, really good question, thanks Jesse. 

Stephen: Do we have any other questions while we’re at it? Put them in the chat if you want. 

Sam: I like the Q & A part. 

Patrick: Yes.

Sam: So, what do you guys think? What do you think is going to be the trend for Google compared to like YouTube search? Like, I think a lot of these people are starting searches on YouTube now that they used to start on Google, and then also the trend from to Amazon, and then maybe even like Instagram or Reddit for some of these discovery type of searches.

Stephen: I personally, my mic is going crazy today. I don’t know what’s going on with this thing. Okay I think I’ve directly talk into it today or else it’s going to be very angry with me.  I would say personally, I see the future as a lot more content that’s been created recently, and that’s because everyone has a webcam. So, I have never seen an influx like I have on LinkedIn, for example, or any of the other platforms have more content being generated by me hate to say it, random people. And when I say random people, I mean people that did not try to be influencers before are now flooding the market.

So now you have the flood of influencer marketing, you have a flood of content creators, you have, frankly, a flood of content. In fact, I’m waiting for YouTube to put out some kind of stats on the amount, more content that’s been created during the Coronavirus. Typical, like they, I don’t know how many terabytes of data they were saying was being uploaded per minute on YouTube, which already was massively more than human society could consume right. 

Yet, we’re still creating it, so it’s nuts. So, I don’t, I think early stage, I still don’t think Amazon has a good way of answering early stage queries. I think their answer is late stage query, they go, here’s all the products right. And I’ve found that a curated search. And this is where I think the commerce sites can actually fight off Amazon. No offense whatsoever to Amazon, but just putting the context where I think it needs to be. Amazon is a cold, hard place, it’s a cold, hard place in that brands aren’t really brands on Amazon in mind. They’re all just thumbnails, the thumbnails and your thumbnail can be, it’s not like walking through, let’s say a high-end department store where you would literally seek a curated, department for you.

It’s, you’re going to see that no name brand right next to that really well-named brand. It might be filtered based on your availability. It might be filtered based on price. A lot of the time the matching won’t necessarily work that well. So, if you were to say like I’ll give you an example. I went through a while ago last year with a major retailer.

Animal prints was a big thing for fashion, right? And so, if you looked up like animal print dress in Amazon, you didn’t give enough data aside from just animal print that you were just barraged with all sorts of like not very well curated content. 

Patrick: Yes.

Stephen: Not even content, but products right. Whereas if you were to go and look that up in Google, you’d find essentially a mini store at one of these retailers that had a very finely curated group. And what was really interesting was this particular retailer, super smart, was actually looking at the click through. On the main images, main product images, they would put up at the hero banner style kind of stuff to see if people were actually clicking on that and they were refreshing and optimizing based on what they were seeing being done on the page.

Now that’s a lot of UX and that’s a lot of good tie back. But what that was doing is, is retaining your user. It’s which at the end, if we know that Google’s looking at the bounce back rate right. We know that they’re actually including this and taking it into account. That was a really smart mechanism it also meant that it was a curated experience that you felt like you were walking into. And when you get into more things that are much more subjective, like cute black dress, cute is very subjective right? 

Sam: Right. 

Stephen: It’s very subjective. So, all of these terms, I’m not sure if Amazon really knows how to deal with cool or cute.

Sam: I think that’s a good point. I think they try; I think they’ve tried a couple of times, you know, especially with like the clothing examples, a good one where I’ve seen them try to curate different clothing styles or. They use influencers too. They’ve had, they’ve opened it up for some affiliates to do try that, but it just isn’t as successful as what you can find on a website or on social media.

Stephen: I also think they can’t seem to get down this concept of like I’ll equate this actually to a store, a real-life store example. So, if you were in the New York Tristate area and you’d ever been to, Century 21. Century 21 in fact, most people who are tourists to New York city will come to Century 21 right down by ground zero.

It was always been there; it’s been there longer than possibly longer than the World Trade Center was. It was there for a long time. And family owned business that then expanded throughout the Tristate area. Century 21 used to be, and if you went to their main flagship store, that was right by Ground Zero, it was like a bargain bin. You would get last year’s good stuff, but it was like picked over. It was crazy you’d go in the store was a mess. Like there was, you could find great deals, right? But you had to hunt. It was very much the TJ Maxx, JC Penney, old fashioned approach of like, you get your bargain, but you work to get your bargain.

And in some way the shopper enjoyed that, right? Because it was the hunt, the thrill of the hunt and the find. But it was very overwhelming, like you would walk into a store full of tourists and it was just like, Whoa. Okay, so how do we equate that to online? 

What Century 21 then did is they recognize whoa, whoa! This is cheapening the brand. Actually, our price points will be slightly higher, and in fact they should be, but we can’t have the stores in disarray. We have to be constantly maniacal about not having bins and making sure things are hung and making sure our associates are going through and constantly making the store experience more of a department store and something you expect out of a Macy’s rather than a cheaper brand kind of approach in doing that. 

Not only were they able to get better satisfaction rates out of their consumers and so forth, but their brand notoriety actually increased. Now I know Amazon doesn’t really care about its brand notoriety right because it’s ubiquitous right? But I will say you get a little bit more of the bargain basement feel in Amazon than you ever would the Saks Fifth Avenue, Macys.

Patrick: Oh yes.

Stephen: We’re so far from Louis Vuitton with Amazon that like, it’s almost like the need to open many stores curated Amazon experiences that only allow a certain seller group to enter into it and build an experience that’s different than Amazon in order to charge higher prices in order. Because I only think of Amazon as a way to find a best deal on something, not necessarily or most convenient deal. But not necessarily where I’d buy, like high price items. I don’t know if that’s just me. Pat, are you the same way about that or not? 

Patrick: Yes, pretty much. I mean, Amazon was something that’s necessary that you need it now and is, you know,

Stephen: I got you frozen, buddy you were very frozen on that last one. It wasn’t a good look. Alright, I’ll kick it back over to you Sam. So, I said a lot there. What are your thoughts on? 

Sam: No, I think that there’s. I think there’s only so much value you can convey in a listing that has six images, maybe a little tiny video, and then some of the enhanced brand content. So, I think you’re right on that, but I think that, you know. And this is something that we always talk about too, like how, what your shopping behavior isn’t what the entire world’s shopping behavior is, right? So, because you may think, Hey, pits, spend two grands on a watch on Amazon, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a huge amount of people that do. 

And it’s interesting because I’ve had some jewelry clients on Amazon and they were selling, you know thousand plus dollar pieces of jewelry and they would get sales every day, like multiple sales in a day. And it was fascinating for me to see that because I’m like, you were, I would, I’m not going to buy something high end. But let’s say you live in like Anchorage, Alaska, you don’t have that much access to high end stuff right there and nearby. So, it’s kind of interesting to see how it all plays out. 

Stephen: That’s a good point. Accessibility is a huge factor in that, I guess as a seller, does Amazon break that down for you by geography? Are you able to, or you just see that based on what you’re shipping?

Sam: Yes, typically I just saw that based on where I’m shipping, you can pull certain reports. It’s not, so the Amazon is not as, their dashboard for sellers isn’t as easy to manipulate. And there’s some tools coming out that are pretty good tools that kind of plug into your dashboard and you know. But it’s still a long way from what we have with Google analytics or Conductor.

Stephen: Sure.

Sam: So that stuff. It provides a lot more information into the customer and user behavior than what you see on Amazon so. A lot of it’s just packing it and shipping it. 

Stephen: So that’s really interesting. I didn’t, it’s a good point. Thank you for checking me on that. Cause I definitely was being like, this is the way I think. And then you got to take the blinders off. See, that’s a great example of marketers right then and there. I’ll take the hit. No problem. Fall on my sword here. Blinders, man. You assume that like everyone’s kind of like you and maybe it’s because I’ve been in too many social media bubbles recently. 

And if there haven’t been social media bubbles in your life that you haven’t spent any time on Facebook recently. But man, does it feel like we’ve become trapped, not only in our homes, but in our own social bubbles online where I keep seeing the same people’s feeds and the same arguments, just different people liking them.

So, it’s been interesting. But, Sam, I appreciate you so much for coming on today. This has been really awesome. Enlightening. I know I learned a ton just about stuff I had no idea about. So now I’m more scared than ever to wade into Amazon because that stuff is dangerous and hard, 

Sam: I’m getting all the bad news here. There’s still a lot of opportunity, but.

Stephen: Oh, I’m sure. 

Sam: Thanks.

Stephen: I’m sure. I’m sure. And dude, thank you so much for joining us. I think we learned a ton. Thank you, guys, all so much for joining today. We really appreciate it. Tomorrow we’re going to have Bahman from Zimmet Con he’s going to be getting into ADA compliance. All the stuff you need to know and probably don’t even need to know but should know because he’s kind of the man when it comes to all that stuff. He’s the one we always turn to when we have questions on ADA compliance because he’s really, just like the expert. So be sure to tune in for that same time, same channel.

And in the meantime, as we always say, stay home, stay safe, stay connected, and we’ll see you tomorrow. Thanks for joining. Thanks, Sam. 

Sam: Thanks. Appreciate it guys. 

Stephen: Thanks. Bye.

Seller Bench Review -Amazon Owes You Money

This is a transcript from this video on YouTube.

What’s up, guys? Ryan here. Today, I wanted to make a video talking about an Amazon FBA Reimbursement Recovery Service called Seller Bench which I really love. I saw an ad for them on Reddit and I clicked it not knowing what it was, ended up registering because there’s no upfront costs, so it’s really free for you to use unless they’re able to recover money.

Now, as they put it, Amazon owes, and they say 99% of sellers’ money, they owe a lot of sellers money that they don’t just outright do the right thing and pay because oftentimes, it requires a human to look into, and Amazon of course tries to automate as much as possible. They have tons of sellers. I think there are 2 million seller accounts open right now last I heard. Probably more now, but there might be inventory that’s lost at the FBA centers or damaged. They could be mischarging you or the feed could be off. There could be issues with inbound shipments. Again, things could be lost, damaged, there could be issues with returns and refunds where you’re not properly credited what you’re owed, and things could be damaged by the shipping carriers and Amazon might get reimbursed from the carrier but we might be owed the money. By the way, there’s even more reason listed on the Seller Bench website.

For the most part, they fit these five classifications. Anyways, Seller Bench is, again, free to use, no upfront costs. Their user interface looks something like this. They actually put out a demo of their software although here’s the thing about using Seller Bench, guys. Once you’re registered, you have to basically add a new user to your Amazon account that is your case manager that works at Seller Bench.

Once everything is set up, you don’t actually really need to go back to use their software because it’s all handled for you on your behalf. Your case manager will look into all the different various things that might potentially mean that Amazon owes you money. They will audit it themselves and if it looks like it’s something that should be looked into, they’ll submit the claim on your behalf to Amazon. Now, per Amazon’s terms of service, you cannot automated these claims, so you have to have somebody do it manually, so if you’re not going to do this yourself or you’ve never done this yourself, this is something you should really be taking seriously because most likely, you’re going to be owed money.

In my case, I have had, since signing up for Seller Bench, eight successful claims recovering $675.67 of money that otherwise was just going to be credited to Amazon and our big friend Jeff over there who does not need any more of our money, so I’d much rather have that $675 in my bank account, and the thing about Seller Bench is they take 25% of money that they recover and you’re thinking that’s a lot, but here’s the thing: I wasn’t taking the time to do this on my own. Seller Bench made $168.75 off me and I made $675 minus $168 and I got to keep $507, so it took me probably 10 to 15 minutes of total time to register for Seller Bench, add them to my Amazon seller account which again, they give you the step-by-step walkthrough of how to do that and I’m $500 richer as a result.

Go ahead, guys, do yourself a favor. Check out Seller Bench, there’s a link in the description. No upfront costs. If you haven’t used a reimbursement recovery service and you haven’t submitted these claims yourself, you’ve got money waiting for you, right? You’re going to get money back, I almost guarantee it. Like they said, Amazon owes something like 99% of sellers’ money – maybe not that high, but they owe a lot of people money. If you’ve been doing FBA for – let’s just say if you’ve been doing FBA for six-plus months and you’ve never submitted a claim, the likelihood that they owe you money is quite high.

So check it out, guys, thanks for watching this video. If you liked it, hit that like button, subscribe, comment, leave me any questions, any feedback. I read everything, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Check out my Facebook group and I will see you at the next one.

The Best Tools / Apps for Amazon FBA 2020

Options for maximizing your FBA experience

For any e-commerce entrepreneur, selling on Amazon can be crucial to hitting your sales goals. The beauty of FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) is incomparable convenience such as discounted shipping rates, quick delivery, returns management, plus effortless logistics. If you’re already using Amazon or plan to, here are the top FBA tools you should consider using for your business.


Our Top Choice For Amazon SEO Tools

Jungle Scout – The most versatile and best option for sellers. We use Jungle Scout for our clients. They have the best value for Amazon sellers of all sizes.

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Amazon Seller App

Available as a free download, the Amazon Seller app allows you to access your account, manage orders, and check in on your inventory and sales in real time from any mobile device. This tool also allows you to see customer feedback and send responses, compare your sales prices to similar products being sold online, and even do some research on competitors. And that only scratches the surface of what this app can do. There is a monthly fee involved to use the app, but more than worth it if your company is making multiple sales a day.

Product Sourcing

It can sometimes be difficult to source your products. Even if you’re already selling products online, keeping up with the amount of inventory you need can be tiresome. You may not have the space for all those products at once (another reason FBA is a great choice), but you may have to wait on your shipment before you can sell more. That’s where stock-finding software, such as ProfitSourcery comes in to help you find the best deals and keep your stock coming in whenever you need it. This helps avoid delay in shipments, which could create unhappy customers. 

Pricing Tools

Setting a reasonable price for your products is perhaps the most important step in your online selling journey. Your price needs to be competitive enough that people buy your products, but you also need to make sure you’re providing enough profit to be successful. With the right pricing tool, you can create strategies and stay ahead of your competitors. 

Payments

Selling online requires the ability to also receive payments online. This may seem like a no brainer, but you need to make sure you can accept funds from international customers without having to deal with local banks and accounts. Using a tool such as Stripe or Currencies Direct, you can easily transfer funds online, or by phone or app in order to seamlessly collect all payments. Plus, some payment software can save you money on currency exchange rates.

Shipping Assistance

Using shipping software can rid your company from a lot of headaches by instantly downloading your online orders, cutting down on shipping time. You can use software such as shipping easy and ShipWorks to create your own invoices, promos, monthly and annual reports, and more.

Inventory Management

Shipping and Inventory go hand in hand, and all online merchants need to stay on top on these in order to sustain their success. To manage your inventory, product listings, and orders, you should look into finding the best inventory management software, like Linnworks. This tool will take a lot of the legwork and time out of your daily inventory taks. 

PPC and Advertising

In order to see long-term success and to build even more brand awareness, you need to utilize PPC and advertising tools. Build a strong foundation with your optimization strategy by using PPC profitability software such as Forthea or SellerApp, and invest in sponsored product ads with PPC Entourage to boost your sales even more.

Legal Services

With any business, covering legalities is a must. Learn how to keep your listings from getting suspended or have a legal team handy that you can ask questions when you’re not quite sure of something. Amazon Seller Lawyer is a great place to start for any legal questions or concerns you may have regarding your e-commerce site. 

Selling your products on Amazon can be an exciting and rewarding venture. Using tools to maximize your profits is something to consider whether you have an already successful business or you’re just starting out. Of course there are countless options out there for you to try out and utilize, doing research is a great way to dive in. By choosing the best tools for the specific needs of your business, your success is more than attainable – it’s already there, waiting to be maximized. 

How Important Is Amazon FBA?


Fulfillment by Amazon gives you the possibility to store, ship and 
even help you with customer service.

 It is so difficult to store all your products in your office,  
storage space or at home. These could lead you to overcapacity and  
problems with your inventory, which will affect future sales and the  
chances of growing your business to six or seven figures. We also  
understand how expensive it could be to rent a massive storage unit to  
store your products and pay every month just to keep your business  
succeeding. However, Amazon is the one of the biggest companies in the  
world and also the best e-commerce store online by far. Therefore, it  
will be great for your potential business to store your products on a  
safe Amazon Fulfillment center/facility to save you time with  
inventory and boost distribution to other cities. In fact, you will  
not have to be worried about capacity at all.

Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon - SEO Company

   We understand how annoying is to go USPS, UPS, Fedex, etc. to try  
to ship your products that you sell on the internet. This can cost you  
a lot of money and waste necessary time that you could be using to do  
things to improve your growth in your business or even take a vacation  
that you deserve. Also, you do not have to collect the payments from  
your customers or create a website. In fact, Amazon basically does all  
the hard work for your business. In fact, Amazon FBA not only stores  
your product, but it also gives you the opportunity to also pack and  
ship out your products directly to your costumers. Even more  
fascinating, if your customers have Amazon Prime, they will ship your  
order within two days for free, sometimes in as little as one day if  
they live in a large city. This advantage gives you a great benefit to  
maximize sales and improve your business.


Customers will be able to contact Amazon employees via email or  
phone day or night.

   Customers will be able to contact Amazon employees via email or  
phone day or night. These Amazon employees work at the Amazon’s  
trusted customer service facility, providing great customer service on  
FBA products. On the one hand, this advantage is at no extra charge  
for your customers. However, there are some product categories which  
are selected to the Returned Processing Fee. On the other hand, Amazon  
FBA returns offered by Amazon, which gives customers the chance to be  
helped by their Online Returns Center. If your customers have concerns  
or they want to return their product, Amazon will be there to support  
them.

Looking for someone to help with your Amazon marketing needs? Give us a call at 972-955-5038 or email us to get a free product audit, competitor analysis, and proposal for work.

So your account got moved from Vendor Central to Seller Central? What does that really mean for your sales?

We recently took on a client that had their vendor manager quit and never replaced. This pre-dated the huge move from Vendor Central sellers to Seller Central. This was new for us so we reached out to our network to find out what was going on. We also tapped into Reddit’s knowledgeable community, r/fulfillmentbyamazon to corroborate experiences.

We found out that Amazon has plans to cut their vendor manager team by half and attempt to automate as much as possible. This isn’t a huge surprise as Amazon is known to be terrible for sellers to deal with and workforce bloat is something they actively fight. For Amazon, this means more profit but for sellers, it means something much more dire. 
The push from Amazon to have less involvement with their vendors means services like ours are much more important. Many vendors are manufacturers and don’t have the ability to navigate Vendor Central at the same level as their competitors… especially those without vendor managers. The ability to run deals, make edits to listings, and manage comprehensive PPC campaigns is the foundation of a successful Amazon listing.

Another pitfall for vendors without a manager is the ability to manage IP and copyright infringement issues quickly. Vendor managers have the ability to fast-track violators into purgatory. Without that, vendors are stuck dealing with the notoriously inept seller support queue. 

Thirdly, many vendors relied on their manager for market insights when releasing new products. They would lean on their vendor manager to help direct them on which products should succeed and which ones would not have much search volume/sales. These vendors will have to use other tools or agencies for research which could yield a lot more of a trial and error approach. 

In all cases being equal, Amazon vendors will rank products higher than seller central only products. With that in mind, the extra margins provided to savvy seller central sellers could be spent on marketing their product and improving rankings. 

These changes are huge for the success of vendors on Amazon. Those who sell less than $10 million/yr are potentially doomed to middling success on Amazon. 

Have you been forced from Vendor Central to Seller Central? We’d love to hear your case and how you navigated it. Comment below!

Sam is the owner of Amazon SEO Experts.com, the first public Amazon consulting agency. He started by selling ebooks on Amazon and then moved into private labeling. He currently sells on Amazon and runs the Amazon marketing agency based in Dallas, TX.