Learning about Amazon Private Label
This is the first post in a series of posts on how I launched my first product on Amazon. I have decided to start with this post because it outlines how I discovered private label selling on Amazon, and going from being completely clueless to 100% intrigued in the matter of an hour or two.
Pt. 1 – Meeting Ej
A quick background on myself:
For my full-time job I work for an e-commerce agency. We do everything from building / designing websites, digital marketing, application development and more. This includes helping clients launch their Amazon channel (vendor or seller), or taking over the management and marketing of their existing Amazon channel. Even being this involved with Amazon and seeing our clients success vs their B2C sites, I was not aware of the opportunity on Amazon for personal selling.
In my free time I work on my own personal ventures, many of them revolving around the idea of wanting to build passive income. The reason I do this is because my goal is to have a steady job where I am semi-fulfilled but to build income outside of that. My end goal is to do what I love, whatever that may be throughout my life, and not have to worry about ‘working’ 9-5. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate work and i’m not lazy. I just would rather work for myself when and where I want and reap those benefits. So a lot of what I do revolves around what Pat Flynn (smartpassiveincome.com) teaches. I have worked with niche sites and focused on SEO and content creation. I spend a lot of timing digging through analytics, seeing what keywords are performing well, attempting to improve my content and sites, and trying to make a little bit of ad revenue along the way. While I do see some money come in from this, it is in no way sustainable to live off of and I haven’t seen it going in the right direction to be that way either. Having been doing this for about 2 years, 1 year pretty focused, hearing about Amazon blew my mind. I couldn’t believe I had not heard of this and started researching immediately. This brings me back into the story.
So as I mentioned, for my job I do a lot of work with Amazon and selling on Amazon. With my boss being a great boss and always wanting us to be as knowledgeable as possible for our clients we came across a conference in Orlando for Amazon Sellers. The conference was being hosted by FeedVisor – an algorithmic repricing software for Amazon sellers. A coworker and I made the trip down to Orlando to attend. The conference was on a Monday so I arrived early Sunday. Having some extra time and being that I was in Florida during a midwestern winter, I went outside to the pool bar to grab some food and a beer. I sit down at the bar outside and just a few moments later Ej sat down. Being so close together in timing, the bartender thought we knew each other which led to us laughing and breaking the ice. I inquired as to what he was here for, already assuming it was for Amazon since the hotel was not very busy and that was the case. We got to talking and I explained what my company does and why I was down there. He was intrigued and asked some questions. He was a former chef turned Amazon seller and was able to do it full time. This really peaked my interest, a young guy who is his own boss making a decent living. My dream. He told me that he resold things online and that made sense to me. I had heard of ‘The Selling Family’ on Pat Flynn’s blog. The selling family made a full time living doing retail arbitrage, buying things on clearance and reselling them online. Ej mentioned he was down here to learn a little more about Amazon itself and improve for his company as well as private label. This is where things got more interesting. I asked what he meant by private labeling (from here on out PL). He gave a brief description of something like “Say I see a wallet and I think its cool, but I can make it better. You source the product, make it your own and sell it on Amazon”. After this I had thoughts like, is he a product designer? Is he an inventor? How does he make these products. He gave me a brief explanation of how he would find these products. He said he would dig into Amazon categories, go a few pages back and find products with good BSR’s. All of this was way over my head, but later that night I found myself on Amazon, digging down into the categories and scrolling through products. At this time I had no real clue what I was looking for and gave up until I could learn more. This is where my mind started to switch. How can I learn more about this PL selling on Amazon while i’m here at this conference in Florida. How can I do some initial research and come back to Ej with questions. Were there more people I would meet doing the same thing?
Low and behold, just about everyone at this conference was doing PL, RA, or OA. I was the odd one out being an e-commerce agency. Most others sold their own items or worked for themselves. Throughout the conference I picked up great knowledge for both PL and for my company. Info on how to properly set up product listings from keywords to titles to images. Learned about how to properly communicate with your customers on Amazon as well as Amazon itself. Many great tid-bits of information to bring back home. Funny enough, there was a trivia game during this conference. You competed with your table on about 28 questions around Amazon, policies, and more. There were 32 tables and I just happened to be at a table with Ej, Andy Slamans and Liran Hirschkorn. Little did i know at that point what a large role they were going to play in my growth with Amazon. (These guys run Amazing Freedom (http://www.amazingfreedom.com/) and are incredible at what they do, and successful on Amazon). We ended up winning that trivia thanks to Liran’s incredible knowledge and quick hands. We each won a $100 Amazon gift card. I asked a few more questions that day to Ej and others that I met and gained a little better understanding of PL selling, but still wasn’t completely clear. What I did learn was that I needed to go check out Andy Slaman’s Amazing Freedom FB page and Youtube as well as Steve Voelkers The Amazing Seller podcast. And as soon as I got home – that’s what I did. I got to work.
Thank you for reading! Check out Pt. 2 here: