In today's video, I'll be answering questions from my Q&A Facebook group. If you'd like to get your question answered in an upcoming video, click this link to join the group:
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Hey, how's it going? It’s Ollie here. So, Sunday today. And, you know, it's just one of those days where I've pretty much decided to do nothing or very little. It's super important to have days like this I think, where you can just relax. And interestingly, even though I've decided to do nothing, in fact, shooting this video, answering these questions, and building this community is something I really want to do today.
And this is one of the best things. When you have your own business, you can create your own schedule. You end up being able to prioritize stuff that you enjoy. And I really enjoy this. We've got a ton of awesome questions from new members. So let's dive in, answer some of them and see if we can give you some help on your journey.
The research and implementation phase is a bit daunting.
I’ve got a great question here from Chris Court, who joined the group a couple of days ago. He says two things: number one, the research and implementation phase is a bit daunting. Also, the shipping from China to the Amazon warehouses, how does this work? Air or sea?
First of all, I've actually had loads and loads and loads of people ask about how to find hot products on Amazon, how to do product research. And this is always a big question when people are looking to start an Amazon business. So what I'm going to do is, rather than answering that question every single time, on every single daily video- I think that'll get a bit boring.
What we're going to do is I'm going to create a pinned post in the group and I'm going to give you some free resources which answer those questions. Teach you how to find products, how to set up your account, how to get products ranked, how to do all the basic stuff so you can just go and implement it. And then when new people jump in the group, they can access that as well.
So Chris, check out the group, top of the group, for a post on that. And if you're watching this video outside the group, you'll find the link below the video to join the group and you can get access to all that training as well.
As for the second part of the question, how does shipping from China work, and should you use air or sea? Well, that usually depends on the quantity and weight of products that you're shipping over. So, with smaller quantities, never use sea. Sea shipping- there are certain flat fees you need to pay. You need to fill containers, or use less than a container load, things like that. And it can be very expensive if you're shipping a little bit.
Also, it takes four to five weeks to get your stock. So you only really want to ship from sea when you're shipping at least 500, maybe a thousand units of your product. So air is usually where you want to go if you're shipping a very small amount, then it’s express. It's very simple.
You can use a company like DHL or UPS or any of the other big freight companies who deliver packages. They'll just pick up the package from the supplier and deliver it directly to your door without you having to do anything complicated like get freight forwarders involved.
If you want to ship more units though, there's a point where express shipping becomes a little bit impractical, a little bit expensive. That's when you use air freight or air cargo and that's when you can get a freight forwarder who can organize this all for you and they can help you with the customs and everything else.
So, Google freight forwarders, UK or US, wherever you want to sell. You can find freight forwarders, speak to your supplier if you want express shipping, and you can get your first shipment over without too many hiccups. If you've got any more questions about shipping, just comment below this video and I'll answer them for you in one of the follow-up videos. So thanks for that, Chris. Great questions.
Which is best to make some start-up capital from scratch, retail or online arbitrage?
Steven Burchill says, which is best to make some startup capital from scratch, retail arbitrage or online arbitrage? So guys, I started with arbitrage. This was one of the first strategies I used when I built my business. And I started with 600 pounds on a credit card. Very small amount of money. And you know, I had no business experience and I realized that arbitrage was very real because I had done a little bit of it on eBay before.
So it’s basically where you buy products from stores at a discount. Products that everybody likes are already popular. So Barbie toys.. literally anything, as long as you are able to list it on the Amazon marketplace, buy it for a discount, and you sell it for a profit. Super simple way to make cash. Really effective because the product's already ranked. So you're just piggybacking on these brands who've already got loads of views, clicks, sales already, and you just get some of that momentum when you list some stock.
If you wanted to pick between retail or online arbitrage, retail was almost always going to be more profitable because you only have access to the stuff near you. And people on the other side of the country don't have access to those shops near you. With online, like you imagine, everyone in the UK or everyone in the US can buy those products from those e-commerce stores for the same price as you and compete. Whereas with retail, it’s only the people in your radius.
Also, when shops want to get rid of stock, they drop the prices. It will go to nothing. It'll be super cheap. So you're always going to make more money with retail arbitrage. So get the app, get a profit bandit-which is like 10 pounds a month or something. You can scan products, barcodes.. It'll tell you whether you can list it on your account. It'll tell you the approximate BSR.
As long as it's under 30,000, then it will sell quickly and you can make some cash. And this is how I got to my first thousand pounds profit within seven weeks, starting with Amazon. And then I built up my business, kept doing more arbitrage, then I transitioned to private labels.
And that's when instead of sending in 10, 20 units of a product, you send in 500, and it keeps selling and you can just restock, and it keeps selling. And before you know it, you've got five, six, seven products each doing a grand a month and now you have an automated business. Really exciting when you can get to that stage. But yeah, start with some retail arbitrage and maybe throw in a little bit of online as well because you never know what you can find.
How to keep a strong mindset when still starting to grow an Amazon Business?
So we've got a question from Gary. Gary says, how do you keep a strong mindset when you're working 15 hours a day, full time job, and you're starting to grow an Amazon business. So wow man, 15 hours a day and a full time job.
Well, if you think about it, if you're working 15 hours a day- I don't know how many days a week that is- but let's say it's five days a week, then you only have nine hours left each day to eat, sleep, rest, and take care of whatever else you need to take care of during the day.
If you're working 15 hours, the reality is you really don't have much time to build your business. Now, you could do it on weekends and days off if you have that availability. But even then, you just don't have much time. So if it was me, if you're really serious about building a business and you really want to make this stuff happen, then I would find a way to work less on your full time job.
So whether that means negotiating with your boss and working less hours, or finding another job where you can work less hours, because it's going to be hard to build a business if you're working 15 hours a day. It's just the fact.
Now, I made a video a while back on my YouTube channel called Extreme Actions Create Extreme Results. And what I was talking about in that video was the fact that I had rented out the presidential suite of a hotel to shoot some videos for some marketing. And this was a big thing that I was doing, a big investment, and it was like an extreme action. And from that extreme action, I was aiming to get extreme results. I've done something crazy to achieve something crazy. The only way you're going to achieve something crazy is if you do something crazy. If you are timid with your actions, you will get timid results.
You see a lot of people selling on Amazon, or in any business really, and their results are very lackluster. They're making a few hundred pounds here and there, maybe a few grand here and there, hasn't really taken off, they're nowhere near the six-figure mark, and they could never change their life with their business as it is. Why are they getting timid results? It's because they're taking timid actions. It's not going to work.
And it's not going to be some magical thing where you put in a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of an effort and you change your life. Sometimes, something’s got to give. So at this point, I know it's going to be terrifying. I know it's going to be hard, scary. But you're going to have to quit your job and get another one if you want to really build this business. That would be my advice to you right now.
And yet it might seem crazy, but building a business is a crazy thing to do anyway. But I promise you, doing this crazy stuff to achieve what you want to achieve is worth it as long as you go the whole way in and really commit. So don't just quit your job and then start the business.
Quit your job, find another one. Don't put yourself in financial turmoil. Cause that will cause you way too much stress and prevent you from getting any momentum. But you need to free up a little bit of time somehow. Otherwise, I mean, how are you going to run a business if you haven't got any hours left?
Would you recommend selling supplements as my first product?
Let's have a look. So Alissra joined the group a couple of days ago. She says, would you recommend selling supplements on Amazon as my first product? Great question, Alissra. So this is a thing, right? If it was me personally, I would never touch supplements as my first product on Amazon. The reason why is because there's just so many things that can go wrong.
First of all, you've got the legal random ramifications of selling supplements. I mean, if some ingredient, or something goes wrong with your product in the factory, something gets contaminated, and people start taking these supplements and it affects them.. It's going to be horrendous. Not only legally, but how would you feel if you made thousands of people sick from the supplements? I mean, to me that would be a nightmare.
So I personally wouldn't do it. Down the road when you've got more resources, when you can really check the products and make sure you're working with a supplier who's incredibly ethical, when you trust where they're coming from and you can produce something of really high quality, sure. Launch a supplement. But in my opinion, until then it's going to take too much time, money and hassle.
I would launch something so much simpler. I mean, compare launching a supplement- where it has to be food-grade ready, it has to be legal, has to be very high quality and safe- compare that to importing a plastic spatula. What are the requirements of that? Well, it has to not break or melt. That’s so much easier to do. So I wouldn't make your life hard, make your life easy. Running a business is difficult enough already. Don't make it more difficult. Maybe think about launching a product in the future in the supplements niche.
What is the quickest way to rank your new private label product?
So I got a question from Lorna. Lorna joined yesterday, I believe. In Amazon UK, what's the quickest way to rank a new private label product? Great question. So this always goes back to the fundamentals, and the fundamentals of ranking a product is what I call the marketing triforce. So the marketing triforce is the three things you need to do to get your product ranked. And it doesn't matter which Amazon platform it is. It always applies and it's always been the same.
And it's important not to over-complicate it. So the first thing you need to do before you even try and market your product is make sure you've got a great product. I've seen a lot of Amazon sellers come to me and they're worried that their marketing isn't working. They show me their product and the product is quite frankly terrible.
They show me this product and like, Ollie, why isn't my pay-per-click working? Why aren’t my promotions working? Why aren't I getting enough views on the product? Why isn't it selling for the price I want to sell it for? And I see the product and it's awful. It hasn't solved any problems. It's not different. It's a carbon copy of everybody else. It's not even in a niche that has any demand.
The first thing to do is make sure you have a great product. This makes everything else easier, and this makes the marketing triforce work. So let's say you have a great product. There's three things you have to do to get it ranked and get it selling consistently. Number one, listing optimization. So you might have the best products in the world, you might have the best thing ever. If your listing doesn't communicate to the customers that your product is incredible, no one will to buy it. So listing optimization is key.
Second thing is advertising on Amazon. Pay-per-click advertising. So once you've got a great listing, then you need to turn on some advertising and get it to sell. Don't worry about making a profit, don't worry if the pay-per-click costs loads of money, just get some sales. All right? Just get some sales. That will get your product up the search results gradually, because remember, sales create SEO, which creates more sales.
Then once you've got a great listing, you've done some advertising, you’ve proven that people want to pay for the product.. next, throw promotions into the mix. This is where you give your product away for free. And that just gives you way more SEO juice. It gets you way more sales. Even though they're free sales, Amazon still sees them as sales and this gives you even more of a boost in the search results, gets your product closer to page one.
And that's where you want to be, right? Cause that's where customers buy products. They don’t buy products from page 500. They buy from page one. So this is what you do: listing optimization, advertising, promotions, those three things. If you have a great product and you use these three methods, then your products will start to sell very consistently. And when you do get to page one, quite often you can reduce the ad spend. With pay-per-click advertising, you can reduce it. You can sometimes even turn it off and your product quite often will stay on page one and just keep selling.
This is the ideal situation. Because then you don't have to spend money on marketing and your product will continue to sell, continue to make you profits, and maybe you can just top it up every now and again. But you have to have a good product in the first place.
All right, guys, it's been so much fun answering your questions today. Now, again, if you watched this video outside of the group, then click the link below. You can join the group, and as you enter the group, there's a question box that appears and you can type your question into that box and I will answer it on one of my daily videos. Also, if I answered your question today and you've got a follow up question or just another question, comment on this post and I will answer those questions as well. Thanks so much for being part of the community watching this video and I'll see you very soon.