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:
I want to join 'Ollie's Ecommerce Q&A Group'
Please note, you need to answer the questions that appear when you join or you won't be allowed into the group. I'm doing this to prevent spammers in the community.
Hey, how's it going? It's Ollie here. So, very warm welcome to today's video. And before we dive into the questions, I just wanted to celebrate a little win. So in my new group, Ollie’s e-Commerce Q and A group on Facebook, we have now hit 31 members. So that's a big win. And I was looking at the numbers today and it made me think of something. No matter where you are in your business, no matter what your goals are, you should always celebrate little wins.
So my aim for this group obviously is to get it into the thousands of members. All right? Just like with my eCommerce Freedom Warriors group, which is now at almost 8,000 members, I want to grow this one so it's huge. But it's going to take a while to get there. So always celebrate the little wins along the way. Sooner or later, or in a couple of days, this group will be at a hundred members. We'll celebrate that.
Then it will be at five hundred, a thousand, we'll celebrate every single milestone. This just keeps you happy, keeps you engaged as you're growing your business. Because usually the success that you want is a little bit far away, right? It's going to take a while. So it's really key to maintain your momentum and your motivation as you're moving towards your goals.
So, on to the questions. Got some great questions from new members today. Really looking forward to answering them. I've been planning out roughly how to give you guys a good answer for the past little while.
What's the best method for identifying products with minimal competition?
So we've got a question from Luke. Luke says, what's the best method for identifying products on Amazon with minimal competition? This is a great question. Whenever we're looking for products on Amazon, obviously competition is a key thing we want to focus on.
But before I dive in and actually tell you how to do that, it's important to remember that competition's only one of the things that we want to take into account when we're looking for a hot product. It's really important to remember that there are four elements on the smash-hit product radar.
So if you haven't done so already, definitely download my smash-hit product write-up PDF. It's on a pinned post at the top of the group. If you're watching this video outside the group, then click the link, join the group, and you'll be able to get this PDF. And it's totally free by the way. It's a training which explains an overview of what you're looking for when you want to find smash hit products on Amazon.
What does it really mean for a product to be a good opportunity? One of these elements is competition. So we've got high demand- we want the product to sell and evidently sell. People buy it. We want low competition, not too many other sellers competing. We want that to be low-hassle so it's not going to be a nightmare importing the product. And we want there to be a gap in the marketplace. So competition is a key part of this.
The way to find products with little competition is first of all, to put in a consistent amount of time every day when you're looking for products. Okay? So remember, you might get really, really excited, amped up, motivated about finding products right now and do a four-hour stint looking for hot products on the marketplace. Now you could find some incredible opportunities right now, and you spend four hours, and it goes very well. Or you could spend four hours and you could find a little to nothing.
I've done both many, many, many times. So the key isn't about just doing one stint of looking for products. It's about being consistent and putting in an hour every single day or half an hour, even, every single day. And sooner or later you will start to build up a list of products. Some days you'll find loads, some days you'll find nothing. But over the period of like, a month, you'll find tons of products.
Now, low competition is indicated by two things. Number one: reviews. Think about it. Getting reviews on Amazon, as you will find out, is like pulling teeth. It's like pulling teeth- it's really difficult. Customers don't even really know they're supposed to leave reviews.
On eBay, we're all supposed to leave feedback as part of the deal. But on Amazon, people don't even really know that you can sell on Amazon and it's not Amazon who is selling the product. People don't really get this. So they don't think to leave a review.
So if someone's got 400 reviews on their product, they've probably had thousands of sales of that product. In other words, they're very well established. So what we want is a niche where there aren't too many sellers with tons of reviews. Or ideally, 400 reviews or less on the top three selling products.
So that's the first indication of low competition, hardly any reviews on the main products. You see these niches where there's a hundred reviews on one of the products, 30 reviews on another product, and 10 reviews on another product. This is an untapped niche and you can go in there and establish yourself while the niche is still young. And then you can be one of those sellers with four hundred reviews.
Customers go towards products with lots of reviews. It's social proof. They feel comfortable that the product is going to be good quality when other people like it too.
The second indicator of competition is brands. So if you go to a niche and there's loads of sellers in there, private label sellers, and then Nike are in there and Adidas are in there, and all these other big brands that everybody knows about are selling within a niche- it's going to be very hard to compete inside that niche. Because the huge companies in there- people love these brands and gravitate towards these brands.
You as an individual seller aren't going to be able to compete with those big brands. So you want to find niches where there aren't any of these brands. One or two brands with any huge niche can be okay, as long as you can do something very different. But if it's loads of brands, stay away from the niche. Okay?
So if you look long enough, you'll find niches where there's low reviews, there's no brands- loads of room to compete within those niches. And as long as the niche meets the other three elements of the smash hit product radar, then it's going to be a good niche for you.
So grab the PDF if you haven't done so already. If you want my criteria for all this stuff, then grab my handbook, which is also in the pinned posts and you can get started having a look for these niches. Great question Luke.
Daunted at the prospect of where to begin, do you have advice for complete beginners?
Let's have a look. So Maddie says, I'm really interested in starting in this field, selling on Amazon, and I've watched a few different free trainings, but I'm still daunted at the prospect of where to begin. Do you have advice for complete beginners? Great question Maddie. So what this sounds like to me is you're suffering from a bit of analysis paralysis.
In other words, you've got a little bit of these free trainings, you've kind of cherry-picked some information about what to do next and how to get started, but you're at this point where it's like, do I, don't I? Sticking a toe in the water, not really sure whether to dive in yet. Well, a big part of being a successful entrepreneur and making things really happen is taking risks and taking leaps of faith.
So what I would do is take a leap of faith, but do that in a small, calculated safe manner. Some people make the fatal mistake of wanting to get all this success, wanting to dive in, wanting to take a leap of faith, and they spend 10 grand on this product and they try and sell it. And because they're brand new, it's great that they took a leap of faith, but they did it in the wrong direction and it fails and they lose all their money.
So what I would do is, take a very small leap of faith and just plan to get your first sale. Now, there's loads of trainings in my group, in the pinned post at the top, which will teach you how to get your first sale within two weeks. I've seen tons of entrepreneurs do that- start their account, getting their first sale within two weeks. That is totally doable. You can do this with literally less than a hundred pounds invested in products. That's what I would do now.
There's a phrase "ready, fire, aim" - which is the approach you should have as you're building your business. Don't wait until you know exactly where go to find the trigger, pull the trigger, move forward, then figure out which direction you should be going in.
The first milestone you have to hit is getting that first sale. So whatever strategy you pick, doesn't matter. Just get the first sale and then you'll get confidence. And then you can get the second sale, the third sale. Then you can move up to, say, five sales a day, 10 sales a day- before you know it, you'll have momentum and you'll get moving forward.
So lots of people are in that same situation, Maddie, where it's analysis paralysis, information overload. The key is to just start moving and then figure out what to do next. Awesome, great question.
I need help matching good items to sell with reliable suppliers.
So we've got two questions here about finding suppliers and importing products. We've got one from Rocky who says, I need help matching good items to sell with reliable suppliers. And we also have another question from Samuel who says, how do I import a test batch with my private label product with minimum costs possible? So I thought these are basically the same problem, these two questions, and I can give you both the same answer and it will apply.
So this is the only way to successfully, profitably source a supplier for any product. This is the only way. And if you try and do it any other way, you're going to fail. Okay? Two words: deal flow. Deal flow.
So what a lot of entrepreneurs do- I did this at first as well- is they found a really hot product on Amazon that they want to sell and they think, wow, this thing looks incredible. It's going to make me loads of money. I need to find a supplier to create and ship me this product. So they go to Alibaba, find the first product that looks like it's gonna fit, message the supplier, get a quote. And then if the supplier seems kind of sensible, kind of friendly, they get the product shipped over.
I've done this before. How can you possibly know that you've got a good deal on your product, that you have a good supplier, that they can be reliable if you've only contacted one supplier? If you contact one supplier, they could be the most expensive, most unreliable nightmare supplier in the whole of China. You won't know because you don't have deal flow.
So what deal flow is, tons and tons and tons of deals, tons of offers from loads of different suppliers. Okay? Then you can get an average of what suppliers can offer, the price that you can expect to pay. And if you have, say, 5 to 10 quotes from suppliers, now you can see, well this one's really expensive, this one's really cheap, this one's great communication, this one's terrible. And you can cherry-pick the best supplier from all of the ones that you've contacted.
That's the only way you can find the most reliable and the cheapest supplier. So when you're looking for a supplier for your product, don't just message one or two suppliers. When I worked with my clients, one of the tasks I give to them is, okay, go ahead and contact 20 suppliers. 20, and I want you to bring me five quotes from those 20 suppliers.
So not just, here's the price on the listing, but, this is exactly what you're going to pay for the shipping, for the product, for all the modifications you asked for, etc. This is the price- the concrete price that you will send to me via bank transfer. The actual money. Once you've got five suppliers to do that for you and answer all your questions.
I was actually speaking with a client a couple of weeks ago and he was saying to me, Ollie, I've got to choose between three suppliers and I'm really not sure which one to go for. I've had a look at the listings, I've had a look at the company, I've checked that they're a gold supplier and they look reliable, etc. And there's three companies, I don't know which one's the best.
And I said to him, I said to the client, have you got quotes from these suppliers? Have you actually figured out how much they're gonna charge? And he said, no, I've just been chatting with them and I've just been looking at their listings.
Once you get solid quotes from your suppliers, the decision of who to go with becomes really obvious because you can see, oh this one is gonna cost me five pounds per unit, this one is going to cost me eight pounds per unit. This one looks better quality, even though it's cheaper. This one is more expensive and it's not good quality. So these things, it stands out like a sore thumb once you have the exact numbers, but you need numbers from a lot of suppliers to make a proper decision.
So, deal flow, do the numbers, run them, can you make profit? Pick the best supplier when you have all of that information. Great questions, guys. You're thinking along the right lines and that's how you proceed profitably.
How do I do product research not in China?
Got a question here from Mike who says, how do you do product research without importing from China? So this is a big question because I mean I know Mike's situation. Mike's got a six-figure business selling on Amazon. So he's doing well. He's been importing stuff from China and you know, when you have a few products on the go, your business becomes less about how do I find more products and more about how do I actually manage logistically all of these imports, making sure my stock levels are okay and all of this logistical stuff starts become more time and more energy consuming.
So if you can source stuff locally, it's a lot easier cause you don't need to organize shipments. It's cheaper to ship stuff locally across land and it can be a great way to make some cash and increase your profits. So there's a few things I would say if you want to not source from China. Number one, the type of products you're going to be able to sell are going to be a bit limited.
Because obviously China can do everything, within reason, pretty much everything. Whereas, if you want to source locally or from another country, not many other places have the manufacturing capability that China has. There's just so many factories in China. They have Alibaba and stuff like that.
Two things can work really well. Number one, have a look for products on Amazon that have been manufactured in the UK. You could even just type in on Amazon made in the UK. Or if you're in the US, type made in the US, you'll start to see all of these sellers who are selling products that have been manufactured locally.
They're proud of it and they tell you this on the listing. That could get you some ideas for niches that can work. There are quite a few products that you can get manufactured locally. I've actually found a few suppliers for certain different products within the UK. They make the product, they supply the thing and it's all done locally.
It's good idea to think about what are the type of things that the UK actually produces. Maybe Google. Have a look on Google. What products does the UK export? What do we create here? An export? Or sell within the country. Once you understand those things, then it becomes much easier to find suppliers who can make these things for you. That's the first thing.
Second thing that can work really well is wholesaling and bundling. So obviously when we're private labeling in China, we can get the manufacturer to customize the product. Put the logo on, we can get them to change the mold and the size of the product or the shape and all that stuff.
With wholesale, you can't do that. It's just a bundle of stuff that's already been made and you can just buy it for X amount of money, X amount per unit. So we've said on Amazon the number one thing you have to do is differentiate from everyone else. So what you can do is take these wholesale bulk, lots of stock, and you can bundle them and create sets of products.
So I don't know, two forks, one spoon, one knife. That's your bundle.There's loads of different products together in a set. Then you can start testing out these bundles on Amazon to see if any of them do really well.
I know a seller that used to do a Valentine's Day bundle every February. So in January they would prepare all the stuff just from local suppliers. Even some things from supermarkets, like different things together, like 14 or 15 products in a box. That was a Valentine's day bundle. So when a guy is panicking, oh my God, what do I get my girlfriend? There's a Valentine's day bundle- loads of things, really nicely thought out, little gifts. He presses the button, buys the thing. Valentine's Day is sorted.
So think about problems you want to solve. Think about a bundle you can create. You can easily source those products locally, but it's all about adding value to the marketplace.
Cool. Some really fantastic questions from you guys today. I hope you found this video helpful. If you're watching this video outside of my Q and A Facebook group, then click the link that'll be below this video so you can join the group and you can ask your questions and get them answered as well.
Starting to grow a really cool community of real people who are really passionate about selling on Amazon. We got some experienced sellers in the group and we got some newbies in the group as well, and whatever, wherever you are on your journey, this could be a really fantastic place to be, and by the time you're watching this, who knows? We might be at 10,000 members.
Thanks so much for watching the video and I'll catch you all very, very soon.