How To Sell On Amazon


ah hey everybody and welcome to expert
influencer Academy and welcome to another episode of the expert podcast
today guys we have a very special guest with us and his story is incredible and
I am really excited that he is able to come on the show and share his story
with you guys it’s really one of inspiration and it really blew my mind
of what’s possible so I’m excited so we have the CEO mr. Kevin Sanderson of
maximizing e-commerce with us today and he’s going to be talking about how you
can get started selling and actually building a profitable business on Amazon
Kevin how you doing today thank you for joining us
awesome thank you so much for having me this is this is a lot of fun it was it
was quite the introduction there I hope I can live up to it even remotely man
you know I thank you for taking some time I know you’re a busy guy and I know
that we’ve met in person and we’re members of a couple networking groups
but your story is it’s pretty phenomenal it really is one from where you were
able to build a six-figure business over four years just selling on Amazon right
is that is that correct yeah yeah no just to be clear you know when you’re
selling things in the physical product space
you know margins are different than they are necessarily with you know if you’re
selling like you know services but um I actually my first may be just past my
first full year I was doing about the equivalent of six figures of sales in a
year and then over time grew it to you know to a point that I could leave my
job I mean that that’s amazing because one of the things that I hear as a
business consultant and as trying to help small businesses grow their
presence online and things is you always hear people gripe and kind of complain
about you know how Walmart is putting mom-and-pop shops out of business or how
Amazon is putting mom-and-pop shops out of business but you actually leveraged
you know one of the biggest online retail platforms to work
to your advantage so I how did you get into that and and I would love for you
to share your story with our audience for maybe that somebody is is looking to
do that yeah absolutely thank you um so what I would tell your audience to
consider is what’s hiding in plain sight is that actually more than half of the
sales made on Amazon are made by third-party sellers they’re either like
myself that are you know maybe they’re just starting or you know maybe they’re
someone who you know they’ve got a company with hundred people that working
for it so there’s third-party sellers and if
you look right underneath what we call the buy box which is the Add to Cart
button you’ll see sold by and oftentimes it might say and fulfilled by Amazon so
that just means they had inventory in Amazon’s warehouse and then Amazon
shipped it to the customer when the customer bought it and so Amazon has
created this opportunity for people to basically to take a step back here if
you were let’s say let’s go back to the 80s and 90s and everyone’s complaining
about big-box stores like Best Buy and Walmart and Circuit City and all these
you know big retailers coming to town taking over for the little guy well if
you had like a small store in your town and Walmart comes in and they’re
starting to take some of your market share you couldn’t just go in aisle nine
and say you know what I’m gonna set up shop right here you’d have kicked you
out and you’d probably go in jail if it’s actually and you’d be trespassed
but Amazon says please do that essentially so Amazon wants to have the
largest catalog possible of products and so like if you look at their logo you
know it’s got like it almost looks like a little smile and it was also hiding in
plain sight and if someone hasn’t noticed this they’ll notice that every
time they get a box from Amazon as if there’s the little swoosh kind of smile
and it’s really pointing from A to Z so basically they want to have everything
from A to Z and so that’s uh yeah this little Amazon trivia there that’s pretty
nice the hidden message within a logo I guess yeah exactly it’s kind of like in
FedEx like if someone hasn’t noticed this they’ll notice this every time that
the E and the X makes an arrow nice oh yeah that one that one I’ve
heard yeah yeah that’s cool how do you how’d you realize the potential like how
did you how did you get into this yeah great question so I’ve always had like a
little bit of an entrepreneurial Drive I remember as a kid going around actually
knocking on doors with like a tray of like kool-aid and like Dixie Cups and
selling him for probably like a quarter or something like that it was probably
like losing my mom’s money but you know it was it was fun and I think people
just like just okay kid you’re the neighbor’s kid you’re here take a take a
nickel or whatever and go away so made some sales there but I’ve always kind of
had a drive and then I started climbing the corporate ladder I worked for a
couple of different fortune 500 companies and basically I was in a
situation where my position was eliminated because the company I was
working for got taken over by another company and it wasn’t like an overnight
thing over time there was pressure to cut costs and my level in that company
got exist didn’t exist so myself and some others at that level were asked to
walk the plank so to speak and I used that as an opportunity to try something
a little bit different and taking a step back from there so this would have been
let’s say 2013 that I was asked to walk the plank well a few years before then I
was really pretty much my entire adult life I always kind of thought what was
that in do for this entrepreneurial Drive so you know I when I was a kid you
know walking around trying to sell you know kool-aid or whatever it doesn’t
quite work the same when you’re an adult you know correctly get off my yard so I
couldn’t do that but I was trying to think of what are
things I could do and one of the things I thought about was and this is what in
like 2004 2005 I bought a couple of Nike for woods which are golf clubs and
anyone that plays golf knows for woods is not a normal Club for people to have
usually have the driver the three woods the five woods the iron it’s not a four
woods but I was like oh it’s Nike it’s great and it was selling for like $40 on
eBay and I saw Nike calm the manufacturer’s suggested retail price
and I say suggested on purpose was it’s like 400 ollars and
so I thought oh I’m gonna 10x my money that’s what the value is but I didn’t
realize that’s not actually what the market was paying for these clubs
because then I after I you know submitted my credit card and the clubs
are on the way I came to realize everybody else is buying him for forty
dollars and so I did what a lot of people did and nothing just like a so I
sat him was actually still to this day in the in the packaging so stro through
it’s a reminder for not you know what happens you know don’t take action so it
wasn’t until about 2015 when I was working for a buddy of Mines insurance
agency had a great experience there learned a lot they were going through a
lot of growth and I was working really hard and it was one of those things that
was like you know what I was very happy for them the success they were having at
their their agency but was like you know if I’m gonna work this hard I want to
work on my own dreams too so I started on the side figuring out like okay I can
actually take products whether they’re my products that I own the trademark to
or stuff I bought at Walgreens and I can sell it on Amazon and people will buy it
and so it was 2015 so keep in mind 10-year gap in my entrepreneurial
journey here where I did nothing so what happens when you do nothing you get
nothing right so my results were zero flat-out zero because I didn’t take
advantage of you know the internet was you know taking off it’s still taking
off to this day it’s you know there’s it’s not too crowded it’s the growing
thing but basically what happened was I went to Walgreens locally here where we
live and they had their summer items on clearance and I bought some stuff
because Amazon gives you this app or you can like actually scan and see what it’s
selling for in Amazon how many people are selling it and you could be one of
the people selling these products and so I sent stuff into their warehouse
literally the first day it arrived I got a sale
and they have this this the app which you can use for scanning also tells you
what your sales are so my sales have been zero zero zero zero and then all of
a sudden there’s one there’s like wait this is this is not a zero this is a one
so all of a sudden this rush of adrenaline went through me and I was
like I went running into the living room I think I was in the bedroom at a time
I want running the living room just to show my wife is like you have to see
this and freshly threw the phone in her eye I think I I can still visualize day
this look of fear in her eyes I don’t think she ever looked at me with before
or since I just thought I was crazy but she she realized I was just really
excited about something but basically it was I was hooked and I said I got to
figure this out so that was the summer 2015 so I was going into the the fall
where I was a high school football official and I took a season’s worth of
earnings and I went on alibaba.com and I found products that I could basically
private-label on my own and I sent those into Amazon and started making sales for
my own branded products and then reinvested where I could pretty much
reinvested for a few years about two two and a half years before taking anything
off the table and putting more money and actually where I could and then about a
year ago I left my job to both sell full-time then also I help people with
selling as well man that is a great story you hit on like so many different
topics that like could all be separate videos like number one was you know it
when you do nothing you get nothing and that is also that’s so true I mean
that’s number one is is you you got a do you know number two is you you learned
you know like you failed but as an entrepreneur I mean failure and I always
tell my audience Ailee as part of the process I think that a lot of people
hold themselves back from taking action and actually trying something because
they’re afraid of failure but I think we need to realize it and you know you’re
story and my story were it’s not unique that’s the path of the entrepreneur is
that failure is part of the journey and it’s part of the process you just got to
learn and and move forward and then the other thing is you reinvested like you
know you you you took earnings and you invested it into your business and like
you said you didn’t take anything off the table for like the first couple
years everything you made you just put back into your business to build build
and build and I think those are great entrepreneurial concepts that I think
you know it’s really hits at the fundamentals of creating any kind of
business whether it’s an Amazon business like what you have or whether it’s uh
you know a social media business like what we have so I mean thank you for
those those tips that that’s that was great
but we’re not here to talk about that we’re here to talk about Amazon so I I
how do you get started like if people are listening to this and I mean your
story is pretty incredible and I’ve been to a couple of your workshops and I know
you had a live seminar the other night and and me and my fiancee Tia we jumped
on and I got to tell you she got super excited I told her about you you know
when we first met and stuff but when she actually heard your story I saw you in
action I mean like you you fire people up people get fired up when they hear
the potential how what advice do you have how do you how do you get started
if somebody’s listen to this wants to jump in what what do you do well that’s
a great question thank you I’m glad that you and your fiance enjoy the the
presentation now what I would say to people is let’s take the the tale of two
Kevin’s here so 2004 2005 Kevin I can’t even tell you what year it was because
my eBay account which I still have doesn’t go back that far with the sales
Irv my buying history I should say and then there’s 2015 Kevin so what’s the
difference between the two one said I’m gonna dabble and one said I’m gonna
figure it out and so I didn’t know everything I knew enough to at least
start and it’s like it’s it’s kind of like the analogy of swimming
you can talk about stroke techniques you can watch interviews with Michael Phelps
you can you know hear Mark Spitz or whatever his name was the kind of
Michael Phelps of the sixties or seventies you know you you can hear
someone’s you know philosophical stories and all that but until you are actually
in the arena in the pool you will never know what water feels like and so that’s
where the true learning is is that you got to jump in the pool and you got to
start with something now the nice thing is just like the tale of two kevin’s
there’s also the tale of two retailers and so let’s go back to the story of
like the 80s and 90s with retailers and I’ve had family members who have had
retail shops and to start that you might have to sign a lease and let’s say it’s
10-year lease or even if they let you sign a one-year lease you’re on the hook
for every month money coming out regardless of what happens you might be
setting up and they still want your money the utility man or woman
what’s your money for electricity and for Internet and for water and sewage
and all this all these bills are starting to pile up you know might hire
a cashier and stock clerk and you might have to get like twenty thirty thousand
dollars worth of inventory that you’re on the hook for just to test out your
idea so when we hear all these stories of like businesses failing a lot of
times that’s what we’re comparing it to that you know some of those work out and
some of those don’t because it’s so it’s so much they have to put in just upfront
to even test their idea and you never know if the market is gonna go for
something until you try it now with Amazon you could start with a product
either that you know you’re buying from the store which sometimes in the Amazon
world it’s called retail arbitrage it’s not
Amazon doesn’t officially call it that but sellers will refer to as retail
arbitrage you’re buying something maybe’s on clearance but on Amazon is
going for a higher price because you know clearances tend to be kind of local
to a store and you know it might be for a limited time where is like the ongoing
selling price of an item you know might be a lot higher on Amazon
so that’s an opportunity to take advantage of buy low sell high
so at least try simulate retail arbitrage or if somebody has a product
you know get it up there create a listing there’s a lot of free content
out there where people describe you know how to sell a listing you know all the
times people are trying to sell courses and things like that and often times you
can just start with just the free information that’s out there so I
recommend at least start you know there’s podcasts out there there’s
YouTube channels I have a podcast and a YouTube channel called maximizing
e-commerce it’s not necessarily a beginner podcast I don’t necessarily
talk about what’s your first product because that tends to be where people
get stuck there’s lots of content around I write that questions coming I was
gonna ask you that next if you had you know any in like recommendations or but
I mean I want you to finish your thought but at the same time I know I know
wheels are turning and so yeah what do you sell what do you know well it’s it’s
the paradox of choice so it’s basically you know Amazon has let’s just say
there’s 20 categories I don’t know there’s probably more than that let’s
say there’s 2 million products in each category so that’s a lot of products yes
in their catalog so it’s like which ones do I do well there’s a few little tips I
can give for people one download the app you can get a free seller account
there’s a professional seller account an individual seller account the individual
ones free it’s not really worth it unless you’re selling at least 40 units
a month to upgrade to the professional account cuz they pay just how the math
works out with some of the fees but what I will say is you could start with an
individual account and just start seeing so like one of the things you could do
is you could take the app on your phone there’s like a little camera icon and
you basically it’s like almost like you get your camera up but with an Amazon
seller app and then you could just take the UPC symbol of stuff in the store or
in Target or Walmart wherever you’re at just start scanning it and see what it
says and one of the things you’re gonna see in there
is don’t remember in the app if they call it BSR or bestseller rank but BSR
is a term people use for bestseller rank and basically like I was saying there’s
all these different categories so like for example home and kitchen might be a
category or automotive as a category and so you know whatever the number one is
is selling the most units per day and then like whatever million might be
selling one a year if even that so you want to look and see like okay so if
it’s if you’re if you’re looking at products that someone else sells you
probably want to look for ones and maybe the bestseller rank depending on the
category but let’s just say a hundred thousand this is not a set number to go
with but that’s right don’t even give attention if it’s like you know the
bestseller rank is nine hundred thousand it’s not gonna move enough for you to at
least learn the process because ultimately if you’re buying stuff you
probably want it to move like in the net of the first month or two at least so
you get the confidence that like oh okay I bought something and it and it worked
out so you know if someone has a store has their own product look and see you
can just look up the keyword of how somebody might find your product so if
you’re selling yoga mats yoga mats is like this generic almost a joke in the
Amazon seller community but it’ll just use yoga mats as an example so let’s say
you’re selling yoga mats and you got your own brand of yoga mats and maybe
you’re selling it online and you’re selling it you know out of the trunk of
your car or you have a yoga studio or a Pilates studio and this is how you sell
it you’re like well I want to reach more people Amazon to be a great way to do it
so you can look and see yoga mats look in the first page and see you know pay
attention to things like what are the bestseller ranks of some of those ones
on the first page and that what are what are the words people are using to
describe those products okay all right okay
because Amazon’s very keyword driven so if you think about when you go to a
store everything in the store tends to be driven by
categories which Amazon kind of is but people people go to Amazon almost the
same way that you might say to the stock clerk you know or you know somebody at a
store where are tomatoes right and they say oh they’re over here and they show
you the tomatoes you know they don’t say it’s oh it’s well sometimes might say
it’s on the other side of the store but Amazon they can’t say oh yeah look in
our database out of the 40 million products or whatever they have and find
it or oh it might be in amongst the other 10 million they want to get like
the most relevant for your search to you so what they do is they they’re their
algorithm looks at the title there’s bullet points and there’s a
description and there’s even some keywords you can put in where people
can’t even see them but basically Amazon’s
trying to figure out your product and to match it up with the most relevant
keywords people are using to search for a product so sounds like relevant it’s
very much like Google yeah that’s what I was gonna say it sounds like it works
just like a search engine you know and and Google and things so you know make
sure I guess that your your products are true right your descriptions are true
it’s right you know I tell everybody when they’re building their business in
Google is you know put put yourself in the mind of your customer how you know
how would you search for your product or service online your customer uses the
internet the same way you do and that kind of blew people’s minds you know
then wow I never thought about that and I’m like no hey you know we’re all human
right customer uses it the same way you do so get into mind that’s that’s um
that’s a great point let me ask you this do you do you recommend like starting
out you you think people should stick because I know it’s endless I I realize
that it’s endless and there’s billions literally billions of products all over
the world but because of the keywords and because of the descriptions and
things like that for someone that’s just starting out do you recommend that maybe
they stick with a niche or products that that they’re already familiar with you
know like maybe a life coat or a fitness coach could do the yoga
mats things like that you know what I mean or a pet enthusiast could look in
the pet products how do you how do you feel about that because I mean I don’t
know anything about staplers so I’m probably not gonna go buy a truckload of
staplers and try to sell them on Amazon you know what I mean that’s a great
question and I would say it depends and a lot of things in business it depends
and all the times it depends what you want is the business owner to start I
say go unless you have your own products currently go go go to Target go to
Walmart go to Walgreens go wherever look in the clearance aisle or just as you’re
shopping in your normal day-to-day life just start looking at stuff and scanning
just so you can kind of get a sense of there’s certain products you have to get
approval for there are certain products that are gonna be restricted for
whatever reason but like I was saying you figure out what the waters like when
you’re actually in it and that’s one right at least dip your toe in it but as
far as you know do you create like a brand or do you just sell a bunch of
stuff people do either and so there’s a lot of debates around that so if you’re
selling let’s say wholesale so let’s say you’re buying products for someone else
know the problem with what I was describing before with retail arbitrage
where you’re buying something off the shelf is that you’re constantly having
to find the next product so it’s not scalable it’s great to start but if you
want to let’s say you know sell products that you know maybe they’re owned by
another brand and you’re selling that product and other people are selling it
to you know that’s really a wholesale model with that I wouldn’t worry so much
about sticking with a niche now if you want to create your own brand
I would probably at least try to stay close to the same niche because over
time you could and I’m not necessarily the expert on this but I know a lot of
people to do this well they’ll create brands create followings and they’ll
have like these elaborate you know facebook messenger funnels whenever they
launch an product they send people to it because
you know if you’re selling a yoga mat but then you know all of a sudden you’re
selling you know a USB cable it’s and you’re trying to send it to the
same audience it’s not gonna make sense correct you know if your goal is to have
a brand and there’s advantages to each wholesale can sometimes be simpler to
get up and running other than the fact that you have to get approved by
suppliers which is sometimes the more challenging part with that model whereas
if you’re creating your own brand one day you could theoretically sell it and
those currently are getting about a three to three and a half multiple so
what that means is if your business did a hundred thousand dollars in profit
it’s worth three to three hundred fifty thousand – and the more you have outside
of just selling stuff straight on Amazon like if you have like your own website
maybe you sell on Amazon in other countries and things of that nature
you’re gonna be more attractive to buyers and potentially get a higher
multiple so nice those are all things – I know I just threw a lot out at people
but that’s basically some things to consider so what I would say more than
anything is oftentimes and this is my challenge anyone that it was like their
wheels returning with everything I just said just start just just do something
yeah something because you’ll start to feel
what it’s like in the arena and you’ll start to feel like what works for you
and what your goals might be and if you and if you realize a year later you’re
climbing up the wrong ladder just move over to the different ladder so don’t
get too hung up on like oh my gosh there’s so much pressure I got to do it
exactly the right now just just start I think that’s uh that’s great advice
that’s that yeah that’s what I tell people you never know until you you you
know the best time to start is now you know Kevin this is great information
thank you I know that you um you specialize in this like if if one of our
listeners was really intrigued they wanted to dig a little further you
actually you actually help people become Amazon entrepreneurs right
yes so it depends on what someone’s goal is I don’t publicly make myself like the
how to get started guy but I’ve had people it’s usually do more like with
referrals and things of that nature where someone wants to get started I
might create like a coaching package for them that’s not something I even really
advertised I tend to work more with business owners who want to get started
so they typically they already have a product and they’re like ok but how do I
figure out Amazon because they just don’t have ok I’m God and also I help
existing Amazon sellers go into international channels on Amazon like
Canada or Europe but if you had a listener that had a question feel free
email me Kevin at maximizing ecommerce com be more than happy to answer any
questions and that’s your name across all social platforms right facebook
twitter twitter i made it shorter it’s Mac’s econ ma x ec om all right we’ll
have all the links to your stuff down below but I mean this is great and I
know you just I I know it’s business owners and you’re geared more b2b but if
I mean I deal with small businesses that and like I said this is a major
complaint of theirs is that they feel like they can’t compete with Amazon for
the business owners out there that are watching and listening to to the podcast
I totally recommend that they reach out to you because I think that’s where you
excel and I think you could really really help them so you’re looking for
people that maybe you work specifically with businesses that probably have a
product already and they’re looking to expand their their business on online
correct yeah because what I have found is let’s say you’re a business owner and
you’ve got all these priorities and you know sometimes it can feel like drowning
of like trying to figure out like okay how do I keep the business and we can
all relate to this in business where it’s like if you feel like you’re just
trying to keep your head above water and so the thought of like going into yet
another channel it might be daunting especially if you feel like that other
channel is what’s taking from you and put
more water on you because you’re trying to like keep your head above water with
you know whatever changes are happening but the nice thing is you know Amazon
like I was saying earlier you can just walk into Isle 9 so to speak and just
start putting your products up and they actually encourage it in fact they have
you know support resources for you and how you do that a very elaborate system
of how you can do that and there’s communities out there of people who you
know spend all their day trying to figure out how to get the best juice out
of the algorithm so to speak let me ask you this for the business owner that
just doesn’t have time like you know wants to be on Amazon but just because
in my business I run into you know at first when we first started I wanted to
Train small businesses and business owners on how to you know produce better
content grow communities around their brand and things like that but I quickly
quickly realize that they don’t want to do it themselves you know all they need
they need to be online they don’t know how to do it they don’t want to know how
to do it they’d rather pay someone to do it for them do you do that yes I can do
all that so the thing of it is you know myself and my team we can handle the you
know the getting things set up because at the end of the day you know they know
more about brick and mortar running of something if if that’s what their type
of business or whatever their business is they understand their business and
their customers and things of that nature and I can help them with
something else just like if if I had a hot water heater that busted I could try
to figure it out I could spend hours trying to figure it out and try to eat
through maybe saving a few hundred bucks but then I could just hire someone to do
it and I have hot water running right away right right I mean yeah you should
always I’m being from the IT field and working for hospice I was a junior
network administrator for hospice you you really learned really quick that
getting things up and running and running smoothly is is the most
important and there’s no better way to do that than to hire an
expert that is an expert in that that they can keep your business running and
they can keep your systems up to uh you know minimize you know hospice some goes
down it’s it’s uh it costs lives so alright that’s hire an extra yeah yeah
Kevin thank you so much I really appreciate it thank you for taking the
time and and chatting with us today yeah I’ve learned a lot well thank you thank
you it’s been a lot of fun thanks for having me on and like I said we’ll have
all his links down below you can reach out to Kevin from maximizing ecommerce
if you want to know more just real quick I know you you’re rolling out some
courses right do you want it you want to tell everybody about that real quick
just a quick shameless plug sure sure sure so if you’re if you’re
currently selling an Amazon you’re watching this or listening and you would
like to learn how to grow an international channel Amazon outside of
the US we don’t really touch on this but Amazon outside of the US has become a
six-figure channel for my business and so I actually have totally free resource
where I put together training so depending on when someone’s listening to
this they can either sign up for a future training or they can get access
to a replay if they go to maximizing ecommerce com forward slash expand if
you go to maximizing ecommerce com for Sasha expand you can sign up for again
this is free training on the steps you would take to create an international
empire so to speak in your business and again it’s free man again thank you it’s
always exciting to meet people that broke away from the nine-to-five I mean
where were some of those people to and it’s always awesome to find stories of
people that are really doing what they love and what they’re passionate about
and able to make a living doing it on their own so thank you so much for
sharing your story I appreciate appreciate thanks for having me yeah
yeah and manoa we’ll have you on again maybe hopefully in the future we’re
gonna have you on and we’ll talk how you have dominated
the world do an Amazon have a great day you too

2 thoughts on “How To Sell On Amazon

  1. Thank you for having me on… it was a blast! I hope your viewers get value from our conversation!

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