Nathan: 00:00 Are you utilizing these two methods for finding new private label products? We're covering this along with some of the latest topics going through our own inner circle group, all coming up on this episode of the Amazon Seller Podcast. Intro: 00:14 Are you ready to take your Amazon private label business to the next level? This is the Amazon Seller podcast. Each week, three obsessed Amazon sellers share the exact strategies they've been using to build million dollar e-commerce businesses online. Subscribe to the podcast and get ready for the show. Nathan: 00:32 You're listening to the Amazon Seller Podcast. And we're going to be covering a couple ways to discover new private label products to sell on Amazon. As we get into that, I wanted to let you know that we are releasing a new free private label training series in just a couple of weeks! That you can get access to at www.amazingfreedom.com/training. Sign up at that page there to be the first notified when our latest training is available. And to make sure that you don't miss out on access to that. That's www.amazingfreedom.com/training. All right, let's hear some private label talk. Nathan: 01:06 Welcome back to the Amazon Seller Podcast. My name is Nathan Slamans, joined by Andy Slamans, and Liran Hirschkorn. And today we're going to be talking about a couple of ways that you can discover new private label products. Before we get into that. Oh, we actually want to go through some of the exciting stuff that's going on in our inner circle group. Actually, we talked about this group here and there on the podcast. But this is the group of our students who have gone through our private label training that are actively engaged in a private Facebook group that we have. A couple hundred members in there and it's active on a daily basis, but we don't talk about a whole lot on the podcast. Some of the topics that we talk about in there. So I wanted to run through some of those because I think it's interesting to see kind of what's happening in various different sellers business right now. Especially this time of the year as we are recording this at the start of December. It's kind of the midst of the madness for most of us during Q4. And so let's talk about some of the stuff that's going on. So Liran, I know in your business, you are extremely busy right now and I think some of our members are feeling some of the stuff that you went through a lot last year. I think this year you prepared a little bit better. But one of the topics threads that's going through the inner circle right now is about going out of stock. Okay. So this is one of the, one of the good problems that we talk about. But it can be a problem none of the less, I think you estimated. I can't remember. How much did you estimate that you lost last year? Probably by going out of stock. Liran: 02:37 That's a good question. I lost a significant amount of money going out of stock. This year I'm much better prepared. I still think I'm going to end up having one or two products go out probably, five, six days before Christmas and those products are already on a boat on the way. But they'll probably be in early January, so I'll probably end up having like a 10 day period of being out of stock on a couple of products. But that is much, much better than the previous Q4 for me. And, I guess, some of our students, this is their first Q4 with private label. And it's difficult to predict how much stock you're going to need. Especially if you, if you haven't gone through Q4 and even if you have gone through Q4, Amazon gets more customers every year, more prime customers. There's more people shopping online. So even if you did have product the year before, it's still kind of your best estimate of how much stock you're going to need. Liran: 03:41 And part of that is that you're also putting out money sometimes during the summer, July, August, and trying to figure out cash flow for Q4. But it's definitely one of those good problems to have, a much worse problem is your stock not moving during Q4. you have to lower your price or get rid of stuff that you thought was going to sell well. So, our, that somebody posted in our inner circle group this week saying, all right, let's start the going out of stock thread who didn't order enough stock for Q4. And there's several people there commenting that, didn't have enough stock. Nathan: 04:24 Yes. So I'm looking at that now. Christian says "I'm going to run out of my best seller to around 10 days". And Andy, maybe you can comment in on this because I know you've gone through this. He said "increased price and all", that's a question I'll follow up with you, Liran. But he says "increased price and all and air shipping another 2000 units. in a couple of days". Andy, I know you've had to do that. Maybe go through the thought process that you have when you realize that you're going to stock out and then all of a sudden you're like, what can I do? most of the time for most of our products, we're doing boat shipments, so we're trying to figure out the lead time a couple months. But there is that option of air shipping if it's not ridiculous for you. So what is your thought process when it comes to, kind of emergency air shipping of more products in. And I know you've done this before, Andy, where are you actually just broke even with your air shipping, you felt like. Andy: 05:12 I always think it's better to break even. If you can get your units shipped a lot faster by air then having to wait by boat, you're going continue, your ranking and if it's a product that's selling that amount. You're obviously going to lose a lot of revenue if you go out of stock. So my feeling has always been, I'm willing to spend the money and, and even if I'm breaking even on those products while I wait for the larger boat shipment. I'm gonna end up ahead in the long run because my ranking is only gonna continue to get better. And, I'm not going to, lose that first page which happens when you, when you go out of stock. Nathan: 05:56 So as part of that thought process that if you go out of stock, because I know you have gone out of stock and some of your products before. And you were able to recover your ranking, but is your thought process that if you're break even at least your kind of getting those sales instead of your competitors? You are maintaining that search position and potentially getting more and more reviews just by selling more products. Is that Kinda all factor in? Andy: 06:19 Yeah, absolutely. And it depends on how long the product's been selling as well. If I have a product that has a three year sales history, then when I stock out, it's not that big of a deal if I'm only out for two or three weeks because it's going to regain that search quickly. However, if it's a newer product or product that you recently launched, then it is a lot tougher to kind of pull and fight to get back to that first page. Nathan: 06:43 Makes sense. So Liran, I wanted to come back to this. This member in our group said that they've increased their price because, they're projecting they're going to sell out of their best seller about 10 days from now. So they've increased their price. Maybe you can just touch on that. I know you've been doing a lot of kind of price testing on your own products. You did it last year, but even more extensively so far this year, maybe just touch on that. Is increasing your price before you got of stock a good idea? And then maybe some of the other kind of price testing you're doing. Liran: 07:10 Yeah, I mean, so generally throughout the year I'd rather go out of stock with a good bestseller rank than go out of stock, and sell very, very slowly. Because I feel like that might hurt my rankings more. So the goal for me isn't necessarily to increase price to really drastically slowed down my sales. My goal is to increase price to continue to sell as much as I was selling or more before Q4, and just increased my overall margins and profitability. Liran: 07:46 We know Amazon takes a big chunk of fees, storage fees go up in Q4, we have tariffs coming from China, right? So we have all these pressures on our business. And Q4 is the best time of year to kind of makeup for a lot of those lost margins throughout the year. So, one of the things I do is I'll use a tool like Splitly for example, and I use Profit Peak to give a range of pricing throughout Q4. And what I do is I'll always use my pre Q4 price as the minimum price and then, I'll raise like another 15 to 20 percent or so as my max price. Nathan: 08:30 Can I ask you Liran, to cut in here. When you're doing this testing, do you ever run into the issue that some listings will face where you are raising, lowering the price and all of a sudden you will lose the buy box? Has that been an issue or is that 15 to 20 percent, not enough to trigger that? Nathan: 08:45 It's, it's happened a few times. Yes. Typically a day or two later I'll get the buy box back or the software will see that sales have slowed and so it will drop the price back a little bit. So it seems to kind of self-adjust especially when you're using software to adjust the pricing. So I haven't found it to be like a, like a major issue and if I do lose the buy box will be for like a day or two and then it comes back. I think even in Q4, you'll still continue to get sales. There's so much demand you can still continue to get sales without having the buy box per se, but that hasn't been a been an obstacle and, you could probably raise prices even more. You could probably go 25, 35 percent. And in terms of raising prices, again, depending on your product and niche. Liran: 09:32 One thing I want to avoid is getting reviews that say hey, I love the product, but it's like way too expensive, one or two stars or three stars. So I try to kinda toe the line between increasing the price but also keeping it somewhat a reasonable. So it's a, this is the best time of year to capitalize on all the demand that exists on the platform. And especially knowing that, sellers are going out of stock, there's great opportunity to increase your price. So I have know this product that I mentioned earlier that I'll probably go out of stock on. My price, is already, it's kind of fluctuating between, between, like moderate to the higher end of the range I gave. And I was just going to increase it to that higher end because I know I only, it's high priced product and I know I only have like couple hundred units left and they're going to sell and I just want to maximize the profit margins on that product. Nathan: 10:33 Makes Sense. And for some of these products, just a few dollars extra it can really increase your ROI. Right? So, a lot of times we're just looking at baseline profit numbers, but if you're looking at, in terms of percentages of our ROI and all that. Just a few dollars more can significantly increase your bottom line margins and your ROI. So all that's great. Nathan: 10:54 Another topic that we, we're had a post about in the inner circle recently, just to recap that a little bit more, is a training that we're kind of planning out right now. We're in the midst of planning out this kind of live series. We're kind of still developing what it's going to look like, but we're going to do it within our inner circle group starting in January. Really excited about it. Probably going to cover a couple of, a couple months to really go through all of it because we're going to really extensively hit some of these topics. And we've had a lot of great feedback from people who are interested in hearing some of these topics. Maybe some of these topics we'll bring, a version of them onto the podcast as well. And if our listeners have specific topics that they want to hear, a definitely reach out to us on Facebook or in the Amazing Freedom Facebook group and post suggestions. But we're really excited about seeing that training program kind of all come together in January, February when we start looking into that, diving deep into it. Nathan: 11:49 So all that's kind of happening in the inner circle will come out with some updates, every, every podcast or every couple podcasts about some of the stuff that's going on with real sellers. Right. These are real private label sellers who are building their brands right inside of our group. And it's exciting to see people doing that. Nathan: 12:05 Alright, let's talk about some strategies for finding new products. We are headed getting to the end of 2018. And so one of the questions we could ask is, it's probably been a good year since we've talked really about some concrete strategies for finding new private label products. One of the questions first off, could be, is finding products right now different than it was, a year ago or two years ago or three years ago, or, four years ago when you first start Andy, right? Or is it different now? Let's talk about some of the strategies. One of the things I know we've talked about before, but I think it's still relevant is just looking at bestsellers on Amazon, right? So Liran, maybe you can talk about best sellers and then also using those best sellers to kind of branch out to related products right from those pages. Liran: 12:50 Yeah. And one of the things you brought up is, is finding products today different than a year ago. And I would say, not necessarily a year ago, but definitely different than three or four years ago, right? A three or four years ago I would say it was a lot easier to launch products on Amazon that were sort of like mass market type products. I think today you need to go towards more niches. And I think also things like branding are more important today, you're packaging, your message, your brand, your enhanced brand content pages, your storefront, all those things I think are more important to have a long-term viable success. Liran: 13:32 As far as finding products, the great thing about Amazon is just like all the data that we have available to us. So one of the things that I do to find a way I've found my best selling products is by looking at Amazon best sellers. Doing like Google search for Amazon bestsellers. And then kind of going into each one of those categories that Amazon gives you and then really drilling down into sub category of subcategory, subcategory. Going three or four levels deep. And I'm looking there to find those potential niches that could still sell really well, products that have the potential to sell between 10,000 and 40,000, $30,000 a month. That's kind of the, for me, that's a sweet spot. Liran: 14:16 I don't want to necessarily compete with products that are, selling $100,000 a month. I feel like that's super competitive space. And I also don't want to go into niches where my potential or products on the first page are two or $3,000. So for me, going into those subcategories allows me to, to discover products that are in that sweet spot. And then, ultimately in what we teach is how to then go and differentiate, know those products that you're not the same as every other seller for that specific keyword that you're targeting. Nathan: 14:49 That makes sense. And if you think about it, as long as you're looking at the right data, the process really isn't going to change that much that much from one year to the next. The products that are available are the niches that are competitive or not competitive at the moment might change. But the process, as long as you're refreshing and looking, is probably going to be pretty similar. At least it is at this point I think in they're still strategies. Definitely working with that. Let me ask this question before we get to the kind of, the next strategy you can use. Andy, I'll ask you this because I think this is a question I see a lot in the groups towards you guys kind of in particular. Are you continuing to look for brand new product ideas or do you feel like you're basically just trying to expand on your current products that are already selling very similar products? What's kind of your strategy when it comes to that, Andy? Andy: 15:39 Yeah, so when I first started, definitely I was more of a widget private label seller. I would just look for product opportunities. And didn't really care what category they were in as long as it looked to me, looking at the Amazon data that it was going to be a profitable product. And I was going to be able to rank a relatively easily and search. But as my private label career has grown, I've been doing it now for four years. it's definitely now I really look for products that are in the two main categories that I sell in. Andy: 16:16 So I have two brands, they're in different categories. So when I'm looking for products now because of my knowledge base in those categories, I've gone very deep now in that category. Whereas before, I was very, like I was spread wide in multiple categories. And so now I'm, I'm really diving deep in these two categories. And then building out products that will fall under my brand. Andy: 16:46 Because again, at the end of the day, as you get into private labeling, the real goal is you want to build a brand, right? That has value. And so, the early days are great and for folks that are new and they don't know what product to sell. And that's a question I even asked myself when I first started private labeling and it's one, we get asked all the time, like, wow, private labeling sounds great, but what product am I going to sell? Right? That's often the million dollar question. And then when you get into it, initially you just look for a profitable product. And maybe you try two or three and they do okay. We often refer to maybe you hit a single or a double, but eventually, you'll do one where you hit a triple or maybe even a home run. Andy: 17:29 And that might be the product that you decide to build your brand out of. That's definitely a way that I've done it a, as we work with our students. That's kind of how I see it happens to them as well. They get in the game trying to find a product that's profitable and then the one that really hits, they really start to go down that road and deeper in that category to build that brand around. Nathan: 17:53 Makes sense. And Liran, I think that's why I've heard you say before, right, that once you do kind of find a product that's doing pretty well, it almost gets easier from there to find new products, right? Liran: 18:03 Yes. Definitely gets easier because once you have a successful product, you kind of see the sales. You have a lot, you have more data around the product, you have access to search terms within a sponsored products that you can pull and see what customers are searching for. So you can see all the related searches around your product. So you have access to more data. You get to understand, what people like about your product, what they don't like, you are reading more reviews of your product, your competitors, and then you can start thinking about, okay, what are some additional, products that I can, bring out there to build around the brand. And it definitely gets easier in my mind once you have your first successful product to build out a brand based on that product. Nathan: 18:50 Alright. So we talked about bestsellers and kind of using products that are already selling well on Amazon. Looking at the data, they're going to subcategories. What about for someone that needs a little bit more visualization, kind of hands on. I know a method that you've used yourself, you guys recently going to know China. But there are also methods to going to places like trade shows in the US. So maybe you can just talk about that. How you can use different methods of actually going to places to discover new product ideas, physically going to them, not just doing research, kind of on the computer, like we talked about a lot. Liran: 19:25 Yeah. So we spoke about the data driven method, which is, looking at data on Amazon. Or in other ways using software tools to find potential products. Then that's all, data driven based on inputs that you put in. You're gonna get some outputs. The other ways, discovering products. And while you don't have the data you do, you could do the data on the, on the back end of it. You first discovered the product and then you look at the data after to see if that product fits into a good opportunity. Liran: 19:55 So, trade shows are a great way to discover products. Andy, myself recently took a group to China, we went to the Canton Fair and Global Sources. And there were people in our group who were able to discover products just by walking in trade shows like, Hey, I've never seen that before and then doing the, doing the, the research on the, on the back end of it. So you could do that. Not just necessarily in China, you can do that with a lot of niche, a trade shows in the US. For example, there are several food based shows in the US, those type of products that you're not going to be sourcing from China, and at those shows you can find a manufacturers here in the US who would private label for you. Liran: 20:37 You can try to differentiate, you can bundle, you can make different package sizes, flavors, etc. These are all things that you could do once you a meet these suppliers. There's going to be other niche trade shows in the us is a big pet show in Las Vegas. Again, you could find pet food and things like that there that again, you're probably not going to want to source from overseas. Beauty, auto, electronics, all kinds of trade shows, that you can go and get ideas. Just by discovering products. And typically what I would do when I'd go to these trade shows are typically, a few days every night when I go back to my hotel room, I would then do the research, right? I'd have the catalogs from some suppliers, I would look up the products, I would then look at the date on Amazon and to kind of decide if those products are are good opportunities. Liran: 21:25 But once you get some experience, you also, you can also inherently know when you see a product like, hey, I've never seen that product before and that's a really great product or I see a lot of uses for it. Then you kind of at the show a lot of times just go on Amazon, on my phone, do some preliminary search just to kind of see if it's worth maybe talking to that supplier, not just at the booth before you even approach them. Kind of just looking at the products that they have. so that's another really good, really good way to, to discover products. And I've even, I had this like walking down the aisles of Costco, right? You, you see something and you say, hmm, that would be like an interesting product to bring. And then do the, do the research on the, on the back end of it. Nathan: 22:10 In my personal experience, this obviously is going to depend totally on the niche. And every products gonna be different. but it seems like, you know, most products that are in Costco, it's going to be very hard to compete on that same exact product because chances are if Costco selling it or whatever. They're probably getting at really low price then margins in my experience, most of the products I've seen. So what typically is going to be the best if you get an idea from that, is to kind of come out with the premium version of it, right? Or some kind of obviously a big differentiation. But a lot of times if you see one version in Costco, it's gonna be hard to compete directly with that price. if the, if it's not on Amazon, maybe then you could bring a really similar version because they're not getting that exposure. But if you kind of bring like the premium version or some big differentiation. which we teach to do anyways, no matter what kind of product, you can put that in my experience. You know, you take the one product that you see on the retail shelves and then you really can make kind of this different version from it, there's still opportunity there when you do that. Nathan: 23:09 So, you know, also looking in these two different methods that data driven and the trade show a definitely both new sellers and experienced sellers can use both ways if you're just getting started, the best seller data driven method is really easy because like Andy said, you can kind of just put your feelers out there in any category. And then the, the trade show method, especially if you have a product that's doing well already and you know what kind of niche you want to be in and you kind of are familiar with it like Andy is on those two different categories that he talked about. That's when I feel like those, those trade shows can really be beneficial because you can walk in and already have an idea. You're just kind of looking for that inspiration to show up there in front of you. All right, so those are some great ideas for people who are looking for new private Label products. Don't forget to go to www.amazingfreedom.com/training to sign up for our latest training that's going to be coming out in just a couple of weeks. Go there and register and you'll be the first to know when that is available. Don't forget to share this episode with someone you know and we'll catch you on the next episode of The Amazon Seller Podcasts. Outro: 24:14 You've been listening to the Amazon Seller Podcast. Make sure to subscribe and join us next time for another look at how they dominate the Amazon marketplace.