Chris Guthrie and I have known each other for a long time. Back in the day Chris was out building Amazon affiliate sites and I was building Adsense affiliate sites. I'm not sure where we first crossed paths, but we've been in touch now for probably close to 5 years.
I had Chris on my podcast over 2 years ago. However, now his business has evolved so much that I wanted to have him on to discuss his latest business venture.
Chris is now actively involved in selling physical products on Amazon through the Fullfullilled by Amazon (FBA) program. In his first few months with his very first product, Chris has built his monthly revenue to over $12k per month with this business! (Profit is about 50% of that).
I know that sounds almost too good; however, Chris has been kind enough to privately show me his Amazon account with earnings and the product that he is selling on Amazon. It's a legit business.
So, Perrin and I sat down with Chris to get all his tips to start selling a physical product on Amazon.
In addition, Chris has created some software tools that can help you find great products to sell on Amazon. That software is AmaSuite.
Podcast Interview Notes
Below you will find the general questions and responses that were given during the podcast interview. This is not a transcript, jut the abbrieviated notes about what was covered in the podcast. For the complete podcast, please listen to the recording…enjoy!
Where are you spending most of your time in your business right now?
Currently, I'm working on lots of wordpress plugins for Boost WP. In addition, I've been getting more involved recently with Fulfulled by Amazon…selling physical products on Amazon.
What kind of recent success have you had selling a physical product on Amazon?
I've just started selling the past 4 months or so on Amazon. My last full month of October 2014 I made just over $12,000 in revenue and about half of that is profit. Those numbers should just continue to increase with the Holidays coming up.
How much time do you put into the Amazon business?
So, I don't even check my stats and for the most part, there is not much ongoing effort. Once you source the product and get it up; I'm only spending about 30 minutes per day. I spend most of my time finding new products that I can launch on Amazon.
What is selling a physical product on Amazon all about?
The way that I make money from selling products on Amazon is by sources products from China. Then making some basic tweaks to the product and putting my own label and brand and then sell.
I use a freight forwarding company that takes the product from China and ships to US. Then those products get shipped to Amazon FBA. Amazon then ships the products to customers when they buy. Amazon provides all the customer support, returns, and more.
The key is really using Amazon's warehouse. I don't need to go to the mailbox or have a warehouse.
I have acquaintances that are doing six figures a month and more. There is huge potential for scalability.
What are some examples of products that people are selling on Amazon?
First you need to start by looking at what is selling on Amazon currently. You should just try to find what products are already selling well by looking at seller ranks and product categories and then replicating that.
If you go to Amazon.com/bestsellers, you can see what the best selling products are right now. They break down these bestsellers by category.
I like to go after the products in the 500 to 2000 bestseller rank in the category. Then you can avoid quite a bit of the super-competitive products.
So, when you click on the individual product you can then see what the products best seller ranking is.
After you find a product that is selling well, what else are you looking for?
You want to look at the reviews and the product listing page and whether you can make it better. Many times companies do not optimize their product sales page very well because Amazon is only one avenue that they are selling on.
So, if you can improve on the listing and optimize better (better images, better description, better use of keywords), you can potentially sell better than the competition.
What other factors go into picking a product?
Once you've picked a product, you need to find a manufacturer that can make the product. You need to also make sure there is no patents involved.
If you go to Alibaba.com and search for the product. You should consider the size of the product, if its too large this can make things more difficult.
How long has the supplier been around? Have they been verified?
Look at the volumes that they report for revenue. However, you should usually try to talk to them. I usually contact them on Skype after 4pm.
Are you looking at the product pages from an SEO standpoint or a copy standpoint?
You want to look at both. So you look at the quality of the sales page and if you can improve the copy. But you also want to see how well the pages are ranking within Amazon. You can rank for different keywords within Amazon.
What do you ask a manufacture, to make sure they are legit?
I like to talk with them on Skype (text-chat). I look for their responsiveness and their ability to understand the project. Then you want to order a sample; preferably with your logo already put on it.
This will help you see the overall quality of their workmanship.
Do I want to change or improve the product from what is already on Amazon?
Another stage is to look at the negative reviews on Amazon. This can help you find ideas to improve upon the existing products. This might be adding padding, improve quality, change colors, or do something else to make the product a little bit better.
Because Amazon is very review driven you want a product that is high quality. If you just go with the lowest price option from Alibaba, you are likely going to get slaughtered in the reviews.
The risk is different if you create something 100% unique or just something that is a twist on an existing product.
How do you get your products to the US and then how to get it Amazon?
Some manufacturers will ask for really high MOQ (minimum order quantity). Once you are ready to order, there are several ways to pay. If you do mass pay through Paypal its only $20 for international payments.
You can find a freight forwarding company that will have an office in China that can pick up your order for you and then send it to the US for you. Then the freight forwarding company will then send it onto Amazon.
How do you get initial sales and reviews?
You can do a follow up email sequence to people that have purchased and ask for a review.
To drive initial sales, I like to price low organically. Sometimes you might need to do promotions of your product through other deal sites or other methods.
AmaSuite is tool that I built to help with this. The software will help you find the top reviewers in your category and their review rating and contact them. This is a way that you can get simple reviews.
AmaSuite has been around since 2012.
How do you ask top reviewers for reviews?
You pretty much send them an email and then go from there. Some of them are very used to reviewing product so its often as easy as giving them a free product. Now this should be disclosed in the review, but these initial reviews can really help.
AmaSuite can also help to automate the process of researching best seller rankings and much more.
Have you done any paid traffic to your listings?
I've only done some sponsored results on Amazon, but not very much. I very rarely look at and not much time or money is spent on that. Some people claim that there is an organic rankings boost for those that are spending money on sponsored ads.
What other marketing tips do you have?
If people have any additional questions, they can ask those directly in the comments below and I will answer.
A podcast that I did that answered a lot of questions about the business can be found at: EntrepreneurBoost.com/podcast22/
If you want to follow along with Chris and his business, you can go to EntrepreneurBoost.com
Live Webinar and Your Thoughts
Because Chris has had so much success with this business, we've decided to host a live webinar in just a couple of days about selling physical products on Amazon.
Here's some of the things Chris will cover:
- What a private label product is and why it's the single BEST strategy for profiting off the multibillion dollar Amazon marketplace
- How to uncover private label products to sell that most people aren't even aware of that are selling
- How to find a supplier to provide your products AND how to stand out from the competition while you do it
Overall, I hope you guys enjoyed the podcast, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
If you have any specific questions for Chris, he's agreed to answer those in the comment section below. So, if you have anything you would like clarified about this business, now is your chance to get your questions answered.