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Attacking Amazon Head On With Advanced Marketing With Kevin King - Part 2
March 30, 2021
Attacking Amazon Head On With Advanced Marketing With Kevin King - Part 2
Part 1

Part 2

Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:

[00:00:01] spk_2: welcome [00:00:02] spk_1: to the seller Roundtable, E Commerce, coaching [00:00:04] spk_2: and Business strategies With and er not and Amy Wiis. [00:00:08] spk_1: Mm. [00:00:12] spk_2: So what's Kevin Kings hack on finding a good three pl or warehousing facility? Because that has been a struggle for people. [00:00:22] spk_0: It's hard because a lot of them because of the pandemic, like you said, they're they're they're inundated right now. They're like they have more business than they can handle. I know there's a big one in Michigan, I think E fulfillment recon fulfillment. And there is one that a lot of people were using. And I contacted them for one of my companies back in like the summer. And I said, they said, no problem, but just need to understand. If you ship us up, it's gonna sit in the trailer for two weeks before we can even check it in to handle it. And I was like, Jeez, you know, I talked to shit Bob ship wire and a bunch of the other ones, and it is difficult. And so you gotta get referrals from someone else that's got something. Or if you know, a buddy, uh, another Amazon seller that's set up his own, uh, kind of warehouse. You know, maybe you can go with them because they have a clue on the Amazon side. It's difficult. It's called around. You're gonna find someone that you're comfortable with its the fees can eat your lunch really fast. I mean, when we get when we run our stock when I'm watching a new products on Amazon, we have to start F B M because we shipped in the product. And I'm not gonna wait till I get ships, gets the FBI gets checked in to start selling. So we start selling F b M. It's pretty much at a loss, but it starts them from going. Then the FBI gets checked in those 1st 200 then usually we sell through those really fast. It switches back to F B M. And while we're sitting in the next f b a n. So this is the cycle that goes for about two months back and forth back at FB FB MF Before you finally get a high enough number on FDA, what they'll let you ship into where you can actually get ahead of the curve and pretty much stay FDA most of the time unless you just have a huge spike. So it's a It's a challenge. So finding finding those companies is difficult. Um, it's difficult, [00:02:04] spk_2: but it's worth it to do the same thing. When we launched its like F B M immediately followed up, send them into FDA. Keep selling F B m. Keep selling FDA. Just keep on pushing it through until we're kind of on a study slope, right? So [00:02:19] spk_0: most people, the way you do that, I mean, my counters is an exception. I had to create a whole new way seem to get around this this classification, but most cases, what you can do is, of course, people don't realize how you can have both f b m and F B A. On the same listing is creature listing. Uh, so it's an FDA listing, and when you're creating it and then just go in there into the cellar section on the back and click on when he has a list of all your skews, click on the little box and on the right hand side, where it says, edits or whatever, you pull that down. One of those is called at a condition, and so what you want to do is you want to pull that. They'll pull down, down and say at a condition, It'll pop up a little screen. It'll ask you for a different skew. You assign it a different skew. So, like what we do is my skew is, uh is a uh huh had a one. You know, the one that's an FDA has had a one dash F B a. The other one's Towanda, fbn or whatever. So you give it a different cube, and it keeps the same. Mason keeps the same reference the same listing everything. And then you add a condition, and the condition is just add another one new, and that's pretty much all you have to hit those two things. And then what happens is another listing will pop up. It'll copy everything over from your original, and then they'll switch back and forth automatically. So as you run on one or as you run out of FDA to automatically switch to the F B M and when, when the FBI comes back and stop, it'll automatically switch back, assuming the pricing. So what I do is on the F B m. I priced it like a buck or two more just to make sure that it doesn't doesn't actually reverse. Yeah, [00:03:50] spk_2: because if you're more than 2% of the last five box price, then it will it will rotate. But if if you're yeah, otherwise it'll it'll It'll rotate. So if you don't want it to rotate, you need to price it significant. More than 2% of the last five price. Yeah, we do the same thing. The only thing we do differently is we start our skew with, um m f or F B A because it's, you know, that way. Which one? [00:04:16] spk_0: Yeah. Don't truncate off or something. Yeah, yeah, [00:04:21] spk_1: we do the exact same thing. The other thing I like that you mentioned Kevin is, you know, adding a few bucks people don't realize. But nowadays especially well, depending on the size of product, but almost always, no FDA actually beats merchant fulfilled because they're shipping. Prices are so low. Um, it never used to be that way. But now that you know, Postal Service and all these other companies have started to raise their rates Um, a lot of times your FB, your f b m, uh, products, even with the discount in fees from Amazon, um, are more expensive to ship, so we always make that a little bit more expensive to like you said number one to keep the F B a, um, by box or the buy box on the FDA offer, but also to just get that a little extra money to cover some of the added expenses labor, customer service, all the stuff that you get when you do f b A. [00:05:08] spk_0: So you have to remember to the on the flip side of that, most people don't think you have a cost to send in the FDA. So let's say, let's say Amazon's fulfillment cost is numbers easy. It's $5 not their 15% commission. But just the pick and pack fee is, uh is $5 And maybe if you're shipping it, uh, merchant fulfilled. Usually, like you said, you know you're not gonna have the economies of scale. Maybe your cost is, uh, $7 you know, just to send it out, plus some labor or what? It's about $7. So the $2 difference So you immediately think Well, F B A is definitely cheaper, but you gotta remember, depending on how you send that stuff into F B A. You had a cost to send it in either on your own dime or FDA. Amazon's time. If your ship from a three pl they probably charge you per case price to to pick each one, you gotta factor all that back into. So at the end of the day, you might not be as different as you think. Um, it depends on your size and weight. [00:06:06] spk_1: Yeah, gets a majority of our products are really small. So [00:06:08] spk_0: yeah, we have some. Yeah, we have some bigger stuff, so you have to. But even even regardless of that, people trust the FDA way over they do. The F B M people are getting more comfortable with f B M now because of the pandemic. But, um, like this calendar thing that I have, they could go, uh, they're buying it. So I mean, droves. But but if it was FDA, it would I know it would be stronger, but yeah, you gotta factor. A lot of people forget some of those costs. And the only time merchant fulfilled usually is cheaper. Right now is if you're selling jewelry or something like lightweight that can just go in a little small bubble envelope and go out for a buck or two, Uh, first class mail or something, but, you know, pretty much everything else FBI beats it. [00:06:53] spk_1: Yeah, absolutely. And, uh, yeah, so we we kind of had a similar situation. Uh, we have a holiday product for the for Christmas and, you know, hunting and and all that, Uh, that's, uh, sells like crazy. I mean, it's, you know, we make, like, 80% of our our yearly sales, you know, with that one product during this time of year. Um, but what was interesting this year is that we had to actually, um, send a case every day because of the stupid fulfillment limits. So every day, they'd be like, Oh, you can send 300 more, You can send 300 more because we're selling, you know, 3 to 500 a day. So whatever we sell, we have to the next day. Then replace that inventory. And as we got close to the holiday, you know, all that stuff got backed up and we backed it up with with F b m as well. But like you said. You know, Kevin, people trust prime now, especially during the holidays. They want their stuff to make sure that it gets there on time, as you know, if it's a gift, so that's always a fun one. But you know, the good thing is is, you know, even though it's a big holiday product can be sold year round. So, like we'll probably marketed for Valentine's Day and you know, Father's Day and Mother's Day and all the other holidays because it works really well for kind of all that. But, uh, yeah, [00:08:01] spk_0: speaking, speaking that to one thing like those those limits when Amazon says and you go into inventory and restock inventory says you can send in, uh, like you said 300 today. That's dynamic throughout the day, so it might be 301 if you're checking it right now. But you check it tonight and I go to 206 and then you can go to zero from some of mine, they say, shut them all down for like a week to zero. I think Amazon must set. We're at our capacity. We need to slow this down so zero for a bunch of people for like, a week or two there, November early December. So what you got to be on? If this if you're playing this game to to manage your mature, you gotta be on top of this. And as soon as you see that's full case quantities or some economical take it. Uh, you know, and even if you don't ship it right there, you're not gonna ship it for a week. Go ahead and take it from Amazon and say, you know, create the shipping, the initial shipping plan and then come back to it later to finish it off and send it in. But I had to do that on one of our products. One day they gave me 2, 400 something. This is a Saturday Sunday, this week. So I took it and I was like, There's no other way I can ship this in for you to like Thursday or Friday. And then the next day they gave me another 300 I took that. So make sure. Yeah, it's a it's a new cat and mouse game. [00:09:20] spk_1: Yeah, absolutely. And that's exactly right. Like you said that can change. And the other thing that I noticed after the holidays, because people like you and I Kevin, caught on to that. Is there now putting limits on those shipping plans? I think it's a week, or maybe it's two weeks. But if you dial in those shipping plans and save them kind of as, uh, you know, as a hedge, uh, they've they've they've seen that game now to I have to say Amazon is getting really good at seeing how sellers are getting around some of the B s that that they are putting into place, uh and then plugging that hole really quickly because that came out. I think I saw it a week or two ago. Um, but yeah, that's an excellent point. But Amazon is doing some interesting stuff, but, you know, they're they're driven by profit. So they're they're getting more and more people on every day to look at this stuff to to figure out how to how to make more money, going back to, uh, to products. I know Kevin that you and Steve are doing a lot with the importing, and I know that Steve moved a lot of stuff to Vietnam and things like that. Are you still doing majority of your sourcing in China? Have you diversified that, um, And for the people who wanted If so, um, if you're diversifying, you know, what are some tips for people? Uh, in terms of finding suppliers in other countries, like, you know, places like Vietnam Or, you know, I think India for textiles, You know, any anything that you're doing in that space would love to hear about. [00:10:37] spk_0: Yeah, we have some of my stuff right now. I have Vietnam. Uh, we have some stuff made in Vietnam. So I'm in Singapore and Malaysia. Um, by the sourcing on that I have partners on that that I actually are in Hong Kong. It's an American guy and a UK guy that have a a company in Hong Kong so that they handle all that side of it. They have a team of people that that's all they do is source. So they're handling that. Like you said Steve Simonsen has he has an office of 10, 15, 20 people, mostly in China. But they also coordinate all this stuff that's in other countries. You can find some of that stuff uh, you know, Alibaba has has some of that global sources has some of that. Um, if you do some reverse, you know, using Pan Jeeva or import, uh, genius or some of those other software tools to see what your competition, Whether sourcing from it, you can you can find that stuff there. You can look at some trade show websites to find some of that, or you can try to get a sourcing agents if you want to do that or use someone like source. If I So there's a lot of options there. Um, I don't have a specific like, here's your Here's your one answer. Uh, there's just happens on your situation. [00:11:49] spk_1: Got it. Um, any, uh, you know, you're talking about launching those new F B M products? Um, uh, and you're saying you said you're using to step you or else are you still using to step you? Or else there's a huge debate and there always is about whether they still work or not. A lot of people are now saying only organic search find buys is working. Um, you know any other tricks that you're using right now to promote your products that you see that are working. [00:12:11] spk_0: I use the field assassin from helium tens dot com slash gyms that worked for the bigs calendars. I mean, it's hard to say. Did that work or is it just because I got 100 sales in one day with the keywords in the title? It's hard to exactly say, but I don't feel it was a waste. But if you're on a highly competitive product or something, I would tend to agree It probably has less impact than straight by. So what's working for me now is certified by, and I'll use someone like Frank Bell, Ring Falcon or people who use reiki or some of those those that works a combination of heavy BBC so well, What I'll do is I'll come out with a product and I'll go after the mid level keywords. No big keywords. The mid level key, mid and lower level keywords with a certified by and heavy PPC. I have no reviews. Uh, so obviously your conversion rate is going to be lower, but you gotta start somewhere. You have that window. People call the honeymoon period where you need to get going, so I'll get get going, I'll do vine reviews. I'll do, uh, early reviewer program to try to get some of those first reviews in. And once we get to about 2030 reviews on our product, then we'll do another search, followed by. And then we'll start going after the bigger T boards now that we have, and we'll wrap up the PPC even more because now, assuming that you get good reviews and if you get bad reviews and you're gonna change this, but assuming you get good reviews, then then that's the process. Uh, and that seems to work pretty well. [00:13:39] spk_1: Awesome. How do you, uh, how do you plan on hedging against some of the bigger you know? Because now that people know there's big money to be made on Amazon, especially since the pandemic more, you know, businesses have jumped on. I would love to see that stat. We don't we don't know it yet, but Marketplace I think it's marketplace pulse or something like that. I'm sure we'll have some of those numbers for us. Uh, for last year. Um, but I bet it's massive. I bet it's huge. Um, how do the small mom and pop type sellers hedge against some of these really big brands with big money coming onto Amazon. And also the other kind of threat I see is coming from companies like Horatio where, you know, they've got all these experts in their They got all these resources where they can launch, uh, you know, or take brands and and, you know, turn their their stick it on and just destroy all these small mom and pop type Amazon businesses. Um, do you agree with that kind of notion? And if not, um, you know, why not? And also, if you do agree, like, how do you think you could? How do you think the small cellar can hedge against those threats? [00:14:43] spk_0: Oh, you hedge against it by reaching down into the Mitch is the big the big brands I'm not too worried about because they don't know what they're doing. They spent a lot of money on the advertising side. They don't care if they what the cost is. They would sell branding and stuff to them so that that's a problem there where it can. It can hurt you. But the ratios that are combining, you know, there's like 10 of these guys now that are doing this. It's a It's a It's a hot thing right now, um, that those guys are depending. If you're competing against one their brands, you might be a little bit of a competitive advantage because they have the deeper resources in the deeper pockets. But, you know, sometimes you might have to lower your expectations. Let them be number one. You can be number two. You know, there's Avis and Hertz. They both do. Okay, so you don't have to be the best seller. You might mean you have to lower your expectations or launch a few more products to maintain or grow your business. But there's nothing wrong with that. There's there's something good for people to have choice. And, um, you know, as long as you can maintain those top 34 or five positions, you should. For whatever keywords you're targeting, you should be okay. I wouldn't I'm not overly worried about that. Because I know even though their teams I know at least for me, this I cannot market or I'll do them, uh, in some areas. [00:16:01] spk_1: Yeah, I I always make that comparison as well. You know, if you guys want to? I don't know if they've upped their game sense, but I always use Stanley tools. Go look at some Stanley tool listings and laugh your head off about, you know, four in one screwdriver. That's their title. So, um, I agree with you there. But I also do think on the flip side, though, that they're starting to realize that that market that that Amazon marketplace in the customer base is growing so quickly that they are starting to hire people who know what they're doing. You know, they're started starting to be some of these agencies that are coming on to help these big brands. Actually, you know, fixed like Stanley tools. Um, so I definitely agree with you there that you know, the the way to survive on Amazon. Um, is, uh, to, you know, really niche down and also, you know, really concentrate on things that you can't you can do that big brands can't do right. Big brands can't pivot a product really quickly or changing accessory or changing color. Or, you know, those are the kinds of things that you can do. You know, in a couple of days that you know in a big brand. It takes weeks or months or, you know, even years to get through all the red tape and all the bosses and the boss's boss and all that. So I completely agree with you. One [00:17:09] spk_0: thing you can do to is you can license if you're worried about that. I mean, one of my brands are about to launch. We have a license in the the entire category on Amazon. I don't want to say which category is, but for Body Glove, you know, the big surfing brand. So with them we are. We're creating the product line that will have their logo on it. We pay them a royalty, Um, but that differentiates as it sets us apart so immediately it's not. Here's Kevin's brand and nobody knows Kevin's brand. What is this thing? It's a body blow of product so immediately it has credibility, and then they will. They're going to take it when we launched instead of us. We'll still do the traditional giveaway rebates and advertising and stuff, but they'll send out to their influencers, and some of these guys have instagram followings of 23 million people. These athletes, Olympic athletes and different things, and they'll they'll publicize it. And plus, they also they have connections with all the retailers and Nordstrom and Macy's, the Dick's Sporting Goods Academy's all those kind of people, and so they'll make introductions there on the products that we use. Amazon is kind of like a proving ground to where we get the reviews and make sure everything's right, and then we'll take it to the stores. And, um, they came to us because for exactly what you just says is they approached us. We don't approach them, Um, but they wanted us because we know Amazon and the like. This is the best way we can either go hire somebody for 40 $50,100 a year. But why? Why do that when we can just license it to someone that's already doing it? We have more incentive. They have more incentive it It's a win win for everybody so that I think you may see more opportunities than that, too. [00:18:51] spk_1: That's a That's an interesting business model. I like that you're [00:18:54] spk_0: selling outdoor camping equipment. Just get a license with the U. S. Marines or something, [00:18:58] spk_1: right? Alright, [00:18:59] spk_0: that's not a hard one to get Disney. Or, you know, some of the big ones are hard. Disney. It's gonna take some money and they're careful. But someone like the Army or U S. Marines or something, You know, those are easier to get it just by sticking that on your lanterns and your backpacks and whatever. It's a differentiator. [00:19:16] spk_1: Yeah, that's that's a That's an interesting play there. Um, you kind of segued into my next question pretty perfectly. There you mentioned influencers are using social media. Um, you know, besides influencers like do you have? Does your brand have its own social media presence? I assume it does at least a basic one. Um, how much time and effort are you putting into that? And what kind of returns are you seeing on it? [00:19:37] spk_0: Returns are very low. Um, for the most part, um, we do have it. I have. We do that I do. I do have a person that's doing that for two of our companies. I said earlier. I don't have a employees. I guess that's a false statement or not employees, but we pay someone 500 bucks a month to take care of that for two of our brands. 500 for each brand. Um, and they're posting on Instagram and building the Facebook, and it's going okay, but, um, does that add a lot? No. Um, cannons. Yeah, it has potential. I think the one right now that has the most potential is clubhouse. Um, if you can, depending on what? Your brand. If you're selling, you know, actually, almost anything if clubhouses the hut. I don't know if you're familiar with it or not, but if you're not clubhouses, an audio only app. So everything on there is audio, there's no video, There's no chat. There's no text started earlier this year, Like in March. I think they're up to about a million people. Right now it's invitation only. So you've got no somebody to get in. But what's happening in there from a business point of view on the marketing and networking point of view, is nothing like I've ever seen. So I think the people that are early into this before it blows up two billion people or whatever like Facebook are going to be on whether you're selling information or products, I mean, we're going to use it for one of our brands. That's eco friendly brand. We're going to set up a little rooms that people are talking about environments, environmentally conscious type of stuff. And we'll build a passionate audience that then when we come out with the products and that line will say, Hey, by the way, this is the product and we'll make connections with other influencers through in there that have instagram big instagram followings instead of trying to reach out. Yeah, they will pay you a bunch of money. They'll be like, No, When you get your thing out, there is no man. We'll plug it for you. So I think anybody that's not looking at clubhouse right now as a marketing tool for their products or their information businesses is missing a major opportunity. This is It's a it's good. It's a game changer, for if you do it right, [00:21:40] spk_1: Awesome. That's, uh, yeah, Amy just sent me an invite, and I haven't even looked at it yet because I have so many other you know, things that I'm working on. My I'm super deep into Lincoln right now, um, and and and in the last few weeks have gained some serious traction, so I'm putting some time into that. But I will have to check that out because, especially on the upper echelon, it seems like celebrities and and promote, you know, people big in the Amazon space. Things like that are are using it, so I have to check that out. It's, uh, [00:22:07] spk_0: network platform, the networking there. If you're in the right rooms and you do it right and you follow the right people the way the algorithm works, it's, uh, like you said, there's a I'm saying, you know, I have a letter room or anything yet, but I've only been there for about 10, 10 days or so. Now, like you, I don't have a lot of time, but I'm about to start doing a lot of stuff and just some of the rooms. You know, when I'm I have it on his background. In a way, you know, instead of listening to a podcast, I'm getting more value out of this. I was listening to something last night totally off of the Amazon spaces, about how to grow your business to six figures or something, and, like 5000 people in this room, like six guys six or seven guys up on stage moderate and the Nuggets that they were dropping about tools to use for Facebook advertising and instagram and building your list. And this was just like I was like, Holy cow, man. I was taking notes as well. Um, what some what they're saying. So from a learning perspective and from a marketing perspective, I see major potential there. Very cool. [00:23:00] spk_1: All right, So besides, uh, besides clubhouse, um, what else are you into right now in terms of, um, you know, you mentioned, you know, podcasts. Um, any books When Kevin sits down on the couch at night for the you know, you said you work all night like I do so for the 30 minutes to an hour that you plop down on the couch at night. What? What? What are you into in terms of, ah, you know, learning or entertainment, things like that. [00:23:26] spk_0: My guilty pleasure is 90 day fiance. [00:23:29] spk_1: That's hilarious, because [00:23:31] spk_0: I guilty. That's my relax. I love [00:23:36] spk_2: my my [00:23:38] spk_1: wife, my wife. I think she already binged all of them. I walk out to the living room from my office and she's watching it, so, uh, [00:23:46] spk_0: My wife is from Colombia, so I can relate in some ways as well. So I've been watching it since it started, like, 2014 when the first season was, like, four episodes. And so I've been with it ever since. So that's my my guilty pleasure to just chill and relax. [00:24:02] spk_1: I love it. That's great. Um, and, uh, Kevin, thank you so much for being on. I know you have to run right now, but let people know how they can get a hold of you. If you want to mention any websites or things you're doing right now, you said you're you're up to eight businesses, you know, kind of like me. I'm trying to do the one thing, though, right? So I'm trying to backpedal, but let people know what you're up to right now. [00:24:23] spk_0: Um, yeah. I mean, like I said the beginning, I got a bunch of stuff the easiest way. If you want to keep up with I mean, I don't post a whole lot there, but if anything important I posted, just follow me on Facebook. Just go to Facebook. And I think my friends are tapped out. There might be somebody might have died or I mean that badly for someone want to lay off of Facebook. So but usually it's close to 5000, but you can try that. But if just follow their, that's probably the best. The best thing. All [00:24:50] spk_1: right. Sounds good. Kevin. Thanks so much. And, uh, everybody, thank you guys so much for listening. Uh, those of you who joined us live. We really appreciate it. If you don't know, you can watch video and get the podcast. All that good stuff. Sell a round table dot com if you want to join us. Live one PM every Tuesday at sell a round table dot com forward slash live. Um, if you guys haven't rate review subscribe. We really, really appreciate that. Um, Amy, I think we ended in the top five on the cellar pool for podcast this year. Uh, with us being [00:25:17] spk_2: so [00:25:18] spk_1: forth for yeah, [00:25:21] spk_2: vicious battle to the end. [00:25:23] spk_1: Yeah. So yeah. So [00:25:26] spk_2: we were listed twice again, So Oh, but I did reach out to Danny, and I was like, Hey, you know, you want to recount these And he [00:25:34] spk_0: was like, It's okay. [00:25:35] spk_2: I already recounted them, and it didn't make a difference in [00:25:38] spk_1: Sure? [00:25:41] spk_2: Sure. [00:25:42] spk_1: Yeah. So, yeah, we really appreciate that guy. Thank you. If you voted for us and we really appreciate that and for for yeah, for the amount of time that we've been doing this podcast, I think we're teaching a lot of you guys things. And and, uh, you know, we'd love to hear from you on what you want in terms of guests and content. So thank you again, guys. Kevin, thank you so much for [00:26:02] spk_0: we'll see you [00:26:02] spk_1: next time on the seller [00:26:03] spk_0: Roundtable. [00:26:07] spk_2: Thanks for tuning in. 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