Private Label Questions & Answers Podcast Episode
Do You Recommend A Certain Category When Starting Private Label? Any To Avoid? (Private Label Questions)
For new sellers, there are probably some categories that we would recommend to stay away from. Advanced electronics, shoes & grocery are a few examples. The reason being because there could just be a higher amount of risk for difficulties starting out. The exception to this is if you are already really familiar with these categories through prior experience or connections.
That being said, there really are opportunities in every category. Some categories may feel more saturated than others, but there are always niches that are unexplored in each category. We often say that the “riches are in the niches”, meaning that we just recommend focusing in on a niche and trying to be unique.
How Have Your Guidelines For Choosing Private Label Products Changed Since You Started? (Private Label Questions)
In the show, Andy emphasizes the importance of keywords when researching new products. What’s important here is that you want to know what keywords you are going to want to rank for when bringing a new product to market. So, for example, if you are bringing barbecue gloves to the Amazon marketplace, you are going to want the main keywords are you want to appear for in search. Those might be ‘barbecue gloves’, ‘grilling gloves’, ‘bbq gloves’, etc. Once you determine what keywords you are going to be targeting, it makes it much easier to evaluate competition and how saturated the market is.
In addition to that, we now also try to differentiate our products more when bringing in a new private label product. In the past, we may have been comfortable launching a new private label product that was basically exactly the same as a current listing on Amazon except for a logo. Now, however, we really try to see how we can make our products unique and/or better than what is already available.
Thirdly, we now typically try to launch private label products with a slightly higher sales price. Most new private label sellers go after lower priced items because it requires less capital (and risk). Higher sales priced items can offer reduced competition and increased margins (if they are good products of course!).
How Do You Estimate Sales Per Month For A New Product? (Private Label Questions)
We do recommend that you look at estimated sales of current products (and revenue). You shouldn’t just look at one comparable listing when trying to make your estimates, however. You should really try to understand what keywords you are trying to target and rank for. If you see a “healthy” looking first page, meaning that the revenue is distributed well among the first page of listings, that is usually a good sign. If only one or two of the listings on a page are doing well but the rest aren’t, it may be a bad sign. This is because you don’t always know if you are going to be able to rank right up to the first spot. However, if several listings are doing well and revenue is distributed, it is a sign that you could potentially come in and compete as well.
Is It Better To Use Variations For Your Private Label Products Or To Create Separate Listings To Take Up More Space On the Amazon Search Page? (Private Label Questions)
- What does Amazon want to see? – Well, Amazon allows sellers to list products with variations that have specific attributes. For example; color, size or quantity to name a few. Amazon states that if your product is the same except for those identifying features, they would like you to list it on a single detail page with a parent/child relationship (if the category allows them).
- What are benefits of variations? – One of the benefits of variations is that you only need to launch one listing when bringing a product to market. Even if you have several variations, you only need to launch a single listing and focus on getting that ranked. In this case, the variations would ‘share’ reviews on the page, even though reviews are attached to the individual variations. Another benefit is that a particular popular ASIN can act as an ‘anchor’ for the listing. Meaning that customers might mostly be looking for a specific color, or size or type, visit your listing and then see the other variations that are available as well.
- What are benefits of separate listings? One of the benefits of having separate listings, as the question suggests, is that you can take up more space on Amazon. So for example, if you are selling barbecue gloves and a customer searches for that term and your listings take up half of the front page, there could be a greater chance that a customer buys from you.
- So what’s better? – It depends. We think that there are benefits to both scenarios. It may just depend on your particular product and the niche that you are in. One strategy that Liran talks about is initially launching your product with all the variations together on a page and then later separating them to take up more space. Doing this could potentially have a negative effect on your sales or how you rank, so take caution when attempting this.
How Should You Fill In The Back-End Search Term Fields? (Private Label Questions)
- First, search term keywords don’t need to be repeated on the back-end. So for example, if you are selling barbecue gloves, you don’t need to put “barbecue gloves”, “barbecue grilling gloves”, etc. Just using the word barbecue once is enough.
- You shouldn’t use commas in between words in the search term fields – just use spaces.
- You generally don’t need to put words that are already in your title and bullets. These words are already indexed and don’t need to be repeated on the back-end.
4. You should put related and similar keywords in the back-end that you wouldn’t normally put on the front-end.
5. Amazon gives 5 search term fields with 1,000 characters each. That being said, it appears that Amazon doesn’t always index all 5,000 characters. We recommend putting your most important keywords on those first 2 lines.
What Do You Need From Suppliers To Get Your Packaging Designed & Made? (Private Label Questions)
We recommend just communicating with your supplier about what their capabilities are. Some suppliers have in-house design staff that can work with you to get designs for your packaging. More commonly however, you are likely going to want to use a third-party designer. Fiverr.com and 99designs.com are sources that many sellers use. Ask the supplier what format they need files in before proceeding. For more on this, refer to a previous podcast where we also discussed this topic.
How Do You Manage Your Time Once You Start Getting Several Private Label Products? (Private Label Questions)
We recommend just trying to be as efficient as possible with your selling processes. This means having designated times of the day to check your sales, answer customer questions, view inventory levels and address concerns.
We also feel that it is really important to outsource the tasks that you aren’t as proficient in. It can be difficult to handle every single part of the business by yourself. Liran put it this way in the podcast – “I like to focus on the $100, $500, $1,000/hour tasks of the business. The $10 or $15/hour tasks I try to outsource as much as I can.” We are in the business to make money, right? And for most of us, we want to make good money! So we recommend focusing on the tasks that produce the big money and outsourcing the low-income earning tasks. Some areas that we outsource include photography, logo designing, listing copyrighting and account management services. Not only can we save time by hiring services for these processes, the services do a better job than we could alone.
If you are looking for account management services that can help you get reimbursements back from Amazon, manage stranded inventory & remove negative seller feedback, check out the Reimbursement Ninja service.
If you are looking to get professional images done, check out the Amazing Freedom Photo service here. You can see an example of what the service does below:
How Do You Handle Hijackers & Counterfeiters On Your Listings? (Private Label Questions)
- The first step to take is to contact the hijacker directly and send them a cease & desist letter to remove themselves from your branded listing. We recommend giving them a 24 hour deadline to comply before you will report them to Amazon. This works about 50% of the time typically.
- If they don’t comply within about 24 hours, we move on to the next step. Amazon states that you need to order their product and provide proof it isn’t your branded product. So you may need to place an order from the hijacker. Then, what we do, is contact the seller again after ordering and let them know you have placed a test order. Tell them that if you do not receive the trademarked and branded product exactly as it is advertised on Amazon they will be reported. However, if they remove themselves you will request to cancel the order. This seems to work pretty often.
- If this still doesn’t work and you are sure they are not selling your branded product, you may want to file an infringement case with Amazon.
When Should I Invest In Courses Or Training? (Private Label Questions)
You will often hear different opinions on this topic. That’s because there really isn’t one right answer.. it depends on your situation! Here are our thoughts:
- There is a lot of material that can be found for free about selling on Amazon. You can check out the rest of amazingfreedom.com, our podcast episodes, our YouTube channel and the Amazing Freedom – Amazon Sellers Facebook group, and our free private label course to name a few sources!
- That being said, it can be difficult to know where to start and who to trust. So we do think it is a good idea to invest in the right tools, resources and courses. As long as they are good! You just will want to avoid loading up on too much all at once. Also, if you only have enough for education/tools or inventory, pick inventory.
Don’t miss the next episode of The Amazon Seller Podcast.