By guest author Chris Guthrie
It’s always nice to meet new friends, especially when those people are as smart as Chris Guthrie! As co-creator of AmaSuite, he’s chock full of knowledge about selling on Amazon through retail arbitrage, private labeling and as an affiliate. Not only did I get him to contribute this very enlightening blog post, he’s also released the replay of a free webinar he did for our group a while back. I’ll let Chris take it from here and explain about the 3 mistakes he runs into all the time and how you can avoid them.
There are several mistakes people make when trying to sell private-label products on Amazon and I’d like to quickly outline some of the most common ones so you can sidestep those roadblocks and shorten your path to success
Mistake 1: Picking the wrong product
The most essential element that you want to get right is product selection. When you see 3,328 people selling roughly the exact same product you don’t want to be the 3,329th product (especially if you have a small budget to get started).
As we move into 2016 there are several product strategies that I see which will continue to work:
A. Create differentiated products
It’s not enough to sell a product that is the exact same as everyone else if the market is already saturated. Any product you’ve ever heard used as an example in a podcast, a course, a blog post, etc. is exactly the type of product you shouldn’t do. Ideally you’ll want to take something that is popular but find a way to make it different.
How do you do this?
One of the simplest ways is to talk to your potential customers. The great part about Amazon is that you don’t have to actually speak to your potential customers because they’ve already said what they like or dislike in the Amazon reviews they’ve written. Reading customer reviews to figure out why people love (or hate) a product that is selling well is absolutely essential to determine their motivations so that you can better serve their needs.
B. Go after lower competition products
If you’re going to sell a product similar to what is already being sold, what I’d recommend (for your first product) is avoiding the #1 – 2,000 Best Seller Rank (BSR) for that primary category on Amazon.
The best way to build momentum in something you’ve never done before is to create quick wins and even if the first product you launch only ends up selling a thousand to a few thousand dollars a month that’s still going to give you the experience and confidence to go for a more competitive market later (or scale up and launch more low competition products).
C. Create something entirely unique
Lastly you can also create something entirely unique. Reading Kickstarter success stories (and failures) will give you a good sense for identifying what types of products are and are not popular. This strategy of launching entirely unique products is the long game that everyone should strive towards. There will always be more competition, but for completely unique products you can throw up more potential barriers to entry. If you had a low budget, I’d especially only recommend trying an entirely unique product if you turned to crowdfunding. I don’t want to dive too much into this method because frankly it could be an entire blog post by itself.
Those are the three options that I believe offer the best chance at success for new private-label sellers on a budget.
Mistake 2: Launching a product with too few reviews.
If you launch your product on Amazon and in the first 10 days you don’t have at least 10 reviews you’re moving too slowly. Even without using email-follow-up tools like Salesbacker, there is a simple strategy to get your first reviews (and you don’t even have to bug your friends).
Contact top Amazon reviewers that are interested in your product category to leave a review
Contact these reviewers and ask them for an honest, unbiased review of your product (and make sure they mention that they “received the product for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review”).
Mistake 3: Not using a specific strategy to pick keywords
Picking random keywords and seeing what happens isn’t a winning strategy. Instead, what you want to do is pick keywords that are more important to your potential buyers on Amazon.
How do you know what keywords are important? Amazon tells you when you start to type a search
Do you think Amazon displays keywords here that are more likely to lead visitors to a sale or less likely to lead to a sale?
Of course they’re going to display keywords that are more likely to lead to a sale. Amazon tests everything so those keywords that display in search suggest are the types of keywords you should look at incorporating into your listing. That’s not all, however. Conducting keyword research to find other terms is also a critical exercise. You’ll want to look at the obvious search terms as well as those that come from misspellings, synonyms and alternate uses. This will make up a comprehensive list that can drive loads of traffic to your listing.
These strategies I’ve shared are all manual and can be very time consuming. There is a better way. If you’d like to see how to overcome these 3 mistakes 1o times faster please watch the replay of my webinar I did it just for Karon’s peeps. I’ll show you how my AmaSuite software can cut your time and boost your results so you get to the sales level you want significantly faster.