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Hey, how's it going? It's Ollie here. So before we get to today's questions, I was pondering something just now about why I think it takes people awhile to really get into that stride and build a successful company. Anytime you've got an entrepreneur who's looking to build something sustainable, you've got this dichotomy, like you've got this.. what'd you call it? Like a contrast between a very dysfunctional person who wants to build and run a very successful and functional company.
So what happens is you've got someone who's really dysfunctional, right? All human beings are dysfunctional. Me especially. We have emotions, we have a baggage, we have an ego. We have too much pessimism, too much optimism, and we're kind of all over the place. We're impulsive and we're emotional. And that's just the human condition. But a company has got gotta be like a machine, right?
It's gotta be like clockwork. And so you've got this thing that's so impulsive and all over the place. I'm trying to run something that's supposed to be mechanical and rigid and functional. When your business starts to become successful, you learn how to tame the beast. You learn how to become slightly less dysfunctional and you learn how to make all of your dysfunction work for you rather than against you.
It's so funny. I always watch episodes of Dragon's Den and I love looking at the entrepreneurs on there and just seeing where they are. There was this one guy on the show that I watched recently, and he started a quite successful eCommerce business. He started with 600 pounds. And I was like, man, that's so weird. 'Cause I literally started with 600 pounds and now he's got to the point where he's doing six figures a year.
He's turning over a lot. He was selling outdoor stuff like garden products and things like that. And he was standing in front of all of the investors in the Dragon's Den, like Peter Jones and Debra Mead and all the other ones. And the first thing I noticed about him is that his ego was just out of control. It was just out of control. And they were giving him criticism about his business, saying, you know, you've got way too much stock..
Point is really to make the business more functional. And because he, as a human being as we all are, is dysfunctional, his ego just wasn't having any of it. He was so obsessed with the results he had already got up until that point that he couldn't take in any of the criticism the dragons were saying. They were like, look, I think you've done well, but you need to have less stock into in the warehouse otherwise you're going to have big problems.
Rather than him saying, you know, thanks for the advice, I'll try and do that. He kept going back and saying, but don't you think I've done amazingly well to go from 600 pounds in my bank to all of these sales? And it just made me think like how your ego can actually destroy you as you grow your business and how it can make you blind to some of the things that get in your way.
So bear that in mind that as you grow in your business, it's your ego quite often that's going to throw things off, and the more aware you can be of that, the more you've listened to people and take advice, the more you will accelerate faster and get results faster as you grow your business. Those are my thoughts for today.
When you sell a bundle of products and change one of the bundle's items into a different design, do you need to create a new listing or can you just edit the existing one?
Anyway, got some great questions and we've got one here from Elina who asks, when you sell a bundle of products and change one of the bundle's items to a different design, do you need to create a new listing or can you just edit the existing one? This is a great question from Elina.
For those of you who might not know what Elina is talking about, you might sell a bundle of items, all right? So a main product, for example, with two free products that come with the main product. So it's three things that comes as a bundle for like 15.99 or whatever.
Elina's asking if you change the main product and you change the design- instead of selling a blue one, you sell a red one- can you just change the picture on the listing, change the description and just keep selling it? Or do you need to create a whole new listing and continue selling it from then on?
There's an official answer to this, and there's also my answer. The official Amazon answer is when you change the design, you do need to update, you need to do a new listing. Reason why is 'cause I think they don't want customers to get confused and see a load of reviews about another product, but then buy a different product. And so the reviews and the listing don't match the update. That's the official answer.
However, I have done it where I've changed the design but kept the same listing and it's actually been fine. So Amazon- there's so much going on on the platform. They do have some of these micro rules that you're meant to follow. You don't actually.. some things you can just.. it's not the end of the world. It's not like they're going to notice.
So if you're doing really well with that listing and you're getting lots of sales and there's lots of reviews, I would be tempted to just try it and see what happens. The worst that will happen is they'll say, please change this. Right? And they might suppress your listing for a while and you change it and then they'll let you keep selling.
Alternatively, you could create a variation on the same listing. Okay? So keep listing, keep the reviews and everything, create a variation and keep selling it as the variation. So you've got the original product that has zero stock, variation of the product that has all the stock that you imported, and that enables you to keep all the SEO on the listing without having to create a new one. Hope that answers your question. That's a great question.
Is it now the time for (new) Amazon sellers to use only GS1 barcodes?
Kay asks, is now the time for new Amazon sellers to use only GS1 barcodes?
This is a great question. When you sell stuff on Amazon, you need to put barcodes on the products. So let's say you have a toothbrush that you sell. This toothbrush will have an EAN or UPC code. That's a product identifier so Amazon know what the product is.
So anything with this code on it, is that toothbrush. Send a hundred units in, they'll scan each unit and they'll know it's the toothbrush. Like when you buy things in the supermarket, everything has a barcode. So you can get these barcodes from anywhere. You can get from eBay. You can get them in websites that just sell you loads of them or you can go to the source and get official barcodes from GS1.
That's what you're meant to do. Cause GS1 are the one who create and assign these barcodes. If you get it from anywhere else, then it's probably old barcodes that were assigned to other people. And it's a gray area. You're not really supposed to do it. However, I've done it loads and it's never really posed much of an issue.
My honest advice would be, if you want to play it safe, get GS1 barcodes. You can sign up. It doesn't cost that much. You can register your brand and they'll give you like a thousand barcodes and it's probably worth doing that just to play it safe moving forward.
However, for sellers who really got problems with capital, and if it's going to stop you from selling anything, then I would say it's not going to be the end of the world if you use a barcode from eBay or something. So yeah, if you want to play it safe, if you're selling private label products, GS1 is the way. Otherwise eBay should be okay.
Will I need to take photos as I can't see them on Amazon?
We got a question from Matty Seller here. Convenient surname, right? Matty says, hello there, I've used your RA technique and bought several items to sell. Awesome, great work. That's really cool. Although they are generic items- leather dispatch bags, vest sets, etc. My question is, will I need to take photos as I can't see them on Amazon.
So yeah, if you've bought some generic products and you want to list them on Amazon and nobody else is selling them then you need to create your own listings for the products. So yes, that does mean you need to take photos or find photos from the manufacturers of these products.
If you bought them online, you can use the online photos. If you see someone else selling them you can take other people's photos and it isn't usually a problem. Or you can take your own photos of them. When it comes to creating the listing, the quality of that listing is going to determine how many sales you get. All right?
Just like when you're sending a private label product and the quality of the listing determines whether people buy it or whether they just completely ignore the product and don't buy it. So make the listing very, very, very good. You might have to use a little bit of advertising to get the products to sell, but if no one else is selling it, you've got an advantage because you can set your price and you can charge whatever you want. So yeah, great question Matty. That's what you should do.
Which product has been a consistent winner? Which item can be viewed as your 'bread and butter' and has required very little modification/tweaking throughout its time on your store?
We've got a question here from Richard, which kind of made me laugh because we've had this situation before. Richard asks, which product has been a consistent winner? Which item can be viewed as your bread and butter and has required very little modification and tweaking throughout its time in your store.
This is funny because quite often we get people asking me what products I sell, which products do really, really well. And most Amazon sellers don't want to reveal their products because they've usually found a really good niche. They've spent a lot of time researching the product. They know they've got something that's incredible and they don't want loads of people copying it.
It's so funny, I ran an event back in, I think it was 2018.. I ran this event in The Shard in London. I had a small group of people, great group of people- about 12, I think, maybe 15 people- in a boardroom setting in the top of The Shard. We were talking Amazon, right? If you go to the eCommerce Freedom Facebook page, you can see pictures.
It was a really fun and a really productive day.. And my mom showed up. She wants to come see what I was up to and just come and have some of the free buffet food that was being served at lunchtime. And she showed up, came into the room and she started talking to all the guests who were there. She's really talkative and yeah, they were just chatting.
At one point I noticed that my mom was talking about my business and obviously I've got some of the products shipped to my parents' house right in the early days in my Amazon business and then forwarded on to the warehouse. Also I obviously tell my mom about my business and stuff. And it got to the point where she started to tell some of the people at the event, all the products I was selling.
And I was like, mom, could you please not reveal all of these products to my potential clients and people at the event. So that was really funny. But no, I can give you a hint, man. I can tell you the type of product. One of my best products is a pillow. There's lots of different types of pillows. But some kind of pillow. And yeah, it's very low maintenance, it just sells consistently and I added a lot of value to the marketplace with this product and that's why it was so successful.
Obviously that's just one example. But yeah, firstly, no one's going to tell you usually what products they sell. Key thing is to find something where it just feels to you like it's going to be simple. You might have 20 products on a spreadsheet, they all look relatively viable, but you look at some of them and something about it just seems a little bit complicated.
So you'll probably end up with two or three products, which could all be very good. You contact the suppliers, you get the quotes, profit margins are good, the niche looks good, and you have three of these products at that point. When you have three products that are equally good, go with your gut and pick the one that just feels like it's going to be the easiest. Usually when you go with your gut on these things, you're right.
And that's how you find those products that just sell and don't cause you hassle. Other times you don't know, right? You might think a product is going to be really easy and you import it and it turns out to be a nightmare. There's been some products that I've sourced and I thought they were going to be really complex but actually just that the supplier was so great and the shipping was so simple that it was fine and they were no issues and they surprise you.
I don't think there's a sure fire way to find very, very, very low hassle products that just sell. The only way to do it is just to aim to launch five, 10 private labels on your account so you can get to those products that do very, very well. That's the secret. Being consistent, being in the business for the long term, not just trying to sell one product and pray that it saves your life.
Aim to launch several and then one or two of those several products will be great. There'll be the ones that do 10, 15K a month in revenue and they just sell. Great questions today guys.
Now if you watched this video outside of the Facebook group, then make sure you click the link above or below this video to join the group and you can ask your question as you're entering the group. As soon as you join the group, you'll get a question box that appears where you can leave your question. And I only approve people into the group once they've asked a question.
The reason why is because I don't want people in the group who aren't interested in selling on Amazon. I've got other groups where we approve pretty much everyone and I'd say maybe 30% of the people in those groups don't actually want to sell on Amazon. They just want to spam their services or they want to try and do lead generation inside the group. Or they're just bought accounts on Facebook and they're just fake accounts.
So by asking a question, it just proves to me that you, you know, you really want to be in the community and be part of the community and it'd be really valuable to have you in the group.
So click the link, join the group, ask a question, then I'll approve you inside the group and I'll answer it in one of these videos. Thanks so much for watching the video and we'll speak very soon.