Danny McMillan – Global speaker and host of Seller Sessions: The no 1 Podcast for Advanced Amazon Sellers
Danny is an international speaker on Amazon marketing optimisation and is an active ecommerce seller in the USA and Europe.
Danny has open collaboration and sharing at his core with a drive to dismantle, optimise and share his deep-learning, analysis, research and train wrecks with peers and the community so that you don’t have to.
He is a survivor of the former music industry and serial start up entrepreneur. For the last couple of years he has focused on Amazon FBA. Danny has appeared on numerous podcasts along with contributing to industry bible Webretailer.com.
Danny has been guest speaker at The Smart China Sourcing Summit, The European Private Label Summit, The Private Label World Summit and The Great Escape, AMZCon / Private Label Day to name a few.
00:00:26 Danny, can you introduce yourself? What are you doing and how do you help Amazon sellers?
00:01:36 Before we start, could you introduce us or remind the sellers to the most important dates for Q4 season?
00:03:26 Do you remember, or maybe Amazon, haven’t announced the date when you’ll have to ship your goods, your products.
00:04:16 What kind of content do you provide through your podcast?
00:06:00 We’re on Amazon advantage and also on vendor central. We want to bundle some books and they want letters to do that on advantage, but they say we can do it on vendor central. Do you have any tips on how to bundle?
00:06:31 Can a reseller appear twice as an FBA seller?
00:07:07 I have a new product that looks like it may be released in November, December. Do you suggest waiting to release it due to the hectic Q4 or wait until January?
00:08:00 Danny, what PPC strategy and structure would you recommend for a bootstrapped first product launch?
00:09:14 How do we get top ranking beyond paying for advertising? How does Amazon rank products?”
00:10:31 Will Amazon prevent you from sending inventory after mid October or it will only be slower processing times? What exactly is this cut off date in the mid October?
00:12:04 Can it mean that let’s say in the end of October when you go to seller central, you cannot even generate a shipment to ship to Amazon?
00:13:06 What is the best current strategy for quickly ranking for relevant keywords during the first few weeks after launch?
00:14:58 And you mentioned one day launches. It’s something new in the industry of which appeared few months ago. Can you explain what is the difference?
00:18:05 Is storefront URLs the same as two step URLs?
00:19:13 Are there any frequent beginner’s overlooked mistakes for Q4?
00:20:17 If there is a competitor that has the same product under 40 listings, different ASINs and slightly different pictures. His bullets and product descriptions are literally stuffed with keywords. He’s having keywords written one after the other without any sense. How does Amazon allow that and what is this competitor strategy?
00:22:01 Actually interesting you mentioned catalog team and of course beyond seller central support, the regular support, there are a lot of teams. Can you tell a little bit some most important teams which might be useful during your serious Amazon business?
00:24:09 And getting contact through these higher teams. Is it so easy you just ask seller support and they grant this request?
00:25:04 What do you think of Helium 10 Cerebro Product Rank formula as a launch tool to get high Amazon product ranking?
00:25:53 What’s your experience and thoughts on the short title, which is less than 80 characters?
00:27:05 What’s the best way to get the most out of the best deals (lightning deals)?
00:27:50 How much discount is optimal if it’s too steep, do you loose verified buyer status on the review?
00:29:52 Danny, can you talk one more time about your seller sessions, what Amazon sellers can find there. Is it for beginners still suitable?
00:31:32 What’s the best way to do best deals, so initial question was what’s the best way to get more out of it the most?
00:33:14 Due to not having enough cash, sellers might have problems with inventory. So have you faced this and if so, what is the good strategy to manage inventory and pricing?
00:37:12 There are more and more Amazon consultants now. Is that because it’s more profitable to give advice then selling on the marketplace?
00:40:38 Is it better to break the variation and list individually so that we can dominate the first pages with more products instead of one single listing?
00:41:17 When you are listing new product, Amazon gives you this rank juice star power for a couple of week?
00:42:19 What are your thoughts on Amazon seller fulfilled program?
00:42:51 Would you recommend using Famebit for finding influencers and do you tell them to use an Amazon associates link?
00:44:57 Can you elaborate on URL and how to use it on Facebook launch campaigns? So what kind of URLs to use when you are running Facebook ads for your launch?
00:47:20 Are there any bad recommendations you hear for Q4 strategies? Anything you should avoid doing?
00:49:30 What’s the main obstacle in Q4? Which solution you prioritize?
00:50:43 Is it too late now for this Q4 to launch product?
00:51:30 Actually you run the DATAbrill. We didn’t really talk in details. Could you elaborate? What is the service about? And are you accepting new clients?
00:54:07 Any recommendation for PPC automation software?
00:55:51 Actually if someone is interested to get in touch with you for your services or maybe even to offer interesting topic for your seller sessions, what’s the best way to reach out to you?
00:56:25 Is it better to use UPC or FNSKU?
00:57:06 If someone has a trademark in the works, but it’s under category which he’s not selling. His concern is, should he get a trademark in the actual category or wait until his product is successful because it’s his first product?
00:59:14 My account has been blocked because it has been linked to another account that is not allowed to sell on Amazon. And I have no idea what account they are talking about. What is the best way to solve this problem?
01:01:31 Do you recommend “Dollar off” coupons with the orange banner rather than discount codes?
01:02:08 Have you seen product reviews split up between variations?
01:02:47 What was the coupon code distribution plugin you were talked about?
01:03:08 If we were to bundle products and sell on Amazon and use our own GS 1 barcodes, will Amazon let you do that?
01:06:07 Aside from ads with 2-step and PPC, are there any other traffic strategies for Q4?
01:09:15 Can you tell us your opinion on Amazon’s new transparency program to prevent counterfeiters? Could you first explain to people who don’t know what is transparency program?
01:11:46 Do you think it’s a good idea to include a card with your product, which in the card is offering a discount if you go on your own website and make a purchase?
01:13:19 Is it a good idea to lower the price to improve ranking for a while, or it’s better to fix the price and then increase the PPC budget and bids?
01:14:55 How can you explain that someone with really bad BSR can stick to page one of a primary keyword for a very long time?
01:18:34 Is product innovation still the best way to break into an existing category aside from first in or new prototyping bundles?
01:19:50 So one more time, Danny, could you tell us what you do, what you’re offering, and how can people reach out to you?
[00:00:25] Danny: Hiya, how are you doing?
[00:00:26] Augustas: I’m good. Thank you. So before we start, everyone, you can type in the chat just to double check if you can hear and see us well. And meanwhile, Danny, can you introduce yourself? What are you doing and how do you help Amazon sellers?
[00:00:42] Danny: Okay, cool. I’m an Amazon seller selling the UK and the US, I have got various different partners. So we operate across multiple accounts in our partnership. Started on Amazon back in 2015, I think it was. And, I’ve got background in commerce, so originally from the music industry and went online in 2008. So I was involved in commerce through ticketing and startup companies and stuff like that. And as of today, obviously steady on Amazon, we also got the DATAbrill agency which you use for managing large accounts in terms of PPC, so it’s PPC automation, but it’s managed. We got our own algorithms and stuff, and I also run Seller Sessions which is a podcast that we published three times a week for advanced Amazon sellers.
[00:01:36] Augustas: And I think most audience probably know you from Seller Sessions. Actually, people could you type 1 if you know Danny and 0 if you see this person for the first time or you don’t really know, or haven’t heard maybe about Seller Sessions or haven’t listened to his podcast. But I really encourage you to listen. Many advanced sellers are listening to it. And this evening we’re both now sitting with Danny in Europe. So it’s evening for us. We will be talking about Q4, so Danny will be taking your questions. So be brave and just type your questions related to Q4 ideally. And, he will be answering to you. And before we start, could you introduce us or remind the sellers to the most important dates for Q4 season?
[00:02:31] Danny: Okay. So leading up to Q4, there’s a number of series of dates. One of the most important ones is to get your inventory in on time. I don’t know the exact date yet, but looking at your seller central account for alerts and stuff, but we’re looking probably around mid towards the end of October to make sure that you’ve got your inventory in. The next day after that is Thanksgiving, which is 22nd of November. And then we have black Friday, which is the 23rd of November day before my birthday. And then you’ve got cyber Monday on the 26 of November. And then you’ve got what I called Christmas last post, the 21st of December, thereabouts, you start to see things drop off and of course most beings done, it’s ours come the 24th and 25th before it starts to, you know, you see it drop off in some cases pickup, but in most cases, that’s pretty much your Q4 powerhouse period.
[00:03:26] Augustas: Do you remember, or maybe Amazon, haven’t announced the date when you’ll have to ship your goods, your products.
[00:03:35] Danny: I’m not sure about the exact final date, but that’s why we say mid towards the end of October. It doesn’t happen to be the same day every year for every country. So it could be different for the UK to the US. But in reality, if you’ve not got your stock ordered now and you’ll bring it up on shipment, you’re going to leave yourself a very tight timeline is we’re in the beginning of the September already, so it’s very tight now. So hopefully anyone who is sending stock and if you’ve got small items and maybe sending in by air or you’re making your products domesticly, so your timeline is a lot shorter. But if you’re doing say shipments, you’re going to be on the bone even if you’re ordering tomorrow.
[00:04:16] Augustas: And I saw a couple of people type zero. So it means they’re hearing about your probably for the first time or haven’t listened to your Seller Sessions. What kind of content do you provide through this podcast?
[00:04:31] Danny: So for the podcast, it’s mainly a of a technical nature. So it’s like ranking, we cover PPC we cover IMS (Information Management System), were covered like advance strategy. We’ll talk about selling your businesses and we also talk about the state of affairs on Amazon, you know, like when we’ve seen a big, the takeover with the Chinese and what they’re doing and the mindset, the Chinese in that I defer to the European and the US or the western culture. So we kind of work on different topics like even down to suspensions, you know, but we don’t present it in such a way where like the sky is falling. It’s more about, I see sellers sessions as a community radio, if you like, where we get a lots of people within the FBI culture that come on and share information. So we don’t charge for it or anything like that. But it’s about having those common conversations that we all have. You know, we’ve done episodes on when is a guru a guru and should you bother doing courses, so we’ll try and keep it topical rather than get guests onto the podcast and might be through their life story. Talk about what they like the categories that are in on Amazon is lots of great podcasts that do that and there’s also lots of great podcasts that focus on a entry level, people coming onto Amazon, but there’s not so much information out there that free information that’s published three times a week for advanced sellers. So that’s our core audience.
[00:06:00] Augustas: Perfect. So let’s take the questions from the audience and I see Faith Baker, she was asking: “We’re on Amazon advantage and also on vendor central. We want to bundle some books and they want letters to do that on advantage, but they say we can do it on vendor central. Do you have any tips on how to bundle?”
[00:06:20] Danny: Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question. I really don’t know. That’s a good question. It’s caught me out. So the first question from the audience is one I don’t know. I apologize for that.
[00:06:31] Augustas: But also, books is not what Danny usually deals with. He does more of a private label. Greenvits EU is asking: “Can a reseller appear twice as an FBA seller?”
[00:06:45] Danny: I’m not sure what that question means. Does that mean can he run an upright two accounts or is he talking about the same product but different variations appearing twice?
[00:06:55] Augustas: Maybe about arbitrage?
[00:06:59] Danny: Please Greenvits, if you can, if you can elaborate on that and maybe I might be able to answer that a little bit better.
[00:07:07] Augustas: M.K. is saying: “I have a new product that looks like it may be released in November, December. Do you suggest waiting to release it due to the hectic Q4 or wait until January?”
[00:07:19] Danny: The problem you’ve got is that you’ve got to create visibility and what happened in generally speaking depends on what kind of product, especially if it’s a gift product, you see an uplift in sales in Q4, but there goes the budgets as well. So people are spending more money and I see that as one of the most important periods of the year because most people can two x three x four and sometimes six x depending on the products and so there goes the increase in sales. So you need to then try and fight that increase in visibility or trying to be smart as possible with it. But ideally if you’re going rank a product, you want to rank it before Q4 kicks in because it comes much more expensive as well.
[00:08:00] Augustas: Great. Thank you. And Matt wants to know: “Danny, what PPC strategy and structure would you recommend for a bootstrapped first product launch?”
[00:08:09] Danny: Again, this is going to come down to your product. You know, a lot of people talk about ACoS. ACoS in isolation is a poor metric to work with. And so everyone chases a low I cost. But the problem is that you can’t design products to fit your right costs and fit your needs. It either will or at one and often you find that once you’ve launched the main keywords that you want, especially in a competitive category, the I costs are going to be a lot harder to to achieve. So if I was to turn that question around, it would be what kind of products are you selling? If they’re super niche products and maybe they’re a bit more expensive in terms of the unit price, maybe they’re 30, 40, 50 pounds or dollars. In some cases your cost clicks are lower because there’s less competition taking place there as opposed to something that’s selling for 10.99, 11.99 and it’s a ubiquitous product like a me too product that comes in from China. There are a lot of people were selling because it’s cheap to manufacturer.
[00:09:14] Augustas: Faith wants to know about ranking. “How do we get top ranking beyond paying for advertising? How does Amazon rank products?” And she says an issue is: “We sell calendars and same title but new product each year and they seem to take time to rank higher.”
[00:09:35] Danny: What you’re saying are they calendars whereby they’re seasonal because I think Kevin King, you’ve had on, is in the calendar business as well and I think he gets to that last quarter where it does all the sales and then you can’t get rid of them in January. It’s the same with Halloween, so you have to have a plan in place in terms of ranking and you want to catch the ride as it goes up because you may find that you do your keyword research, but there isn’t any search volume in that short period, so you need to look off that historical data. Now, some people out there buying up data from various different places to understand what’s happened historically, if they haven’t sold that product before, so ideally you’re going to try and rank beforehand. Once you start building some sales velocity and getting some sales. Then when it does take off and you have got page one visitability on those main keywords, you can ride the storm there because you’re already in that visible position. You’re just waiting for that trend to change for it to kick in.
[00:10:31] Augustas: Paul is asking for a little bit clarification about this cut off date Amazon announces, so he says: “Will Amazon prevent you from sending inventory after mid October or it will only be slower processing times? What exactly is this cut off date in the mid October?”
[00:10:52] Danny: It will vary. Right? So there’s a cut off date, I think it was last year where they done anyone who signed up for Amazon FBA on a new account, they couldn’t participate in Q4 if I remember rightly. So if you’ve done the Rodeo a couple of times. I think the biggest concern is that you will get that backlog so you try and send stuff in, but everyone’s of the same thinking and ascending their stock in. And then that creates a backlog at Amazon. It always does. And so you might get stuff that goes in late and it might sit there until after Christmas when you’ve missed your main objective of getting it in there in time to take advantage of Q4. Once it all kind of starts from Black Friday onwards. So the answer to your question is I can’t guarantee whether your stock will get in on this side of Christmas if you after that date, but obviously they’re still ingesting and bringing stock in, so it’ll be safe to say that if you’re going to get your stock, get in early and don’t miss that deadline wherever they provide. And, and I would give yourself a buffer of at least a week before as well.
[00:12:04] Augustas: Can it mean that let’s say in the end of October when you go to seller central, you cannot even generate a shipment to ship to Amazon?
[00:12:23] Danny: Do you know what I don’t know because I’ve not tried that. I’m gonna need to look into this cause this year, what we’ve done because of the long term storage fees and just a regular storage fees, we’ve now switched our model. So we use the 3PL and we send in on a weekly or biweekly basis. So that is a good question because we have already ordered all our stock with what we’re doing. A lot of their stuff is in the 3PL, we’re also operating a lot more in the UK where we manufacturer a certain brand in the UK as well, so we don’t have that oversees thing, but I need to work out of our timings as well, which I’d like to come back and address that for you because we’re going to get to that stage where instead of moving out, send them in every couple of weeks, are we going to have that problem where we do have to send it all in and then put it after Christmas if it doesn’t sell through? So there’s always going to be that risk.
[00:13:06] Augustas: Cyber Alchemy wants to know “What is the best current strategy for quickly ranking for relevant keywords during the first few weeks after launch?”
[00:13:15] Danny: There is a lot of speculation at the moment that the store front URL is been become less effective. There’s a lot of people testing at the moment. Because I think what’s happened is people have noticed where they’ve been doing, like doing the giveaway things, sending traffic from Facebook, 90% count and then you run into a store front URL with like a rotating a handful of keywords. That’s become less and less effective over time, more so in the US than say in the UK or the EU. But even more so in last couple of weeks has come to light that where Amazon maybe adjusted their algorithm. There’s a problem there with rankin where it’s not only taking longer, but some people finding it very difficult to rank. So the answer, what is the quickest way to rank at the moment outside of doing crazy black hat tactics?
[00:14:12] Danny: We’re still trying to work on that at the moment in the sense that the URL with storefront, which was always the quickest way of doing it and even doing one day launches. So what I would do is instead of trying to jump in and do the one day launch straight off the bat, you’re going to need to make sure that you can rank for these keywords. And if this is your first Rodeo and you haven’t done it before, I wouldn’t go and spend a fortune on doing that at the moment unless you’ve got some proven track record. So my suggestion as it stands is to speak to some of the launch companies like Viral Launch, like SixLeaf and see where they are with their data at moment because I think he’s going to be super important to make sure you don’t do any launches until this has been ironed out.
[00:14:58] Augustas: And you mentioned one day launches. It’s something new in the industry of which appeared few months ago. Can you explain what is the difference?
[00:15:07] Danny: The standard was, you’re looking at the 30 days, you’re trying to work out how many units you want to give away on that particular keyword to go to page, one? Right. There’s obviously there’s a lot of moving parts involved here, so you have to make sure you distribute enough coupons. If you’re running Facebook ads, the ads need to be desirable enough so that you get enough uptake while you are giving away the coupons. So people try and break it into all these different levels of science. But ultimately it’s about the sales philosophy, selling on that keyword. So the idea would be is that if you need to give away 300 units over a seven day period, for instance, that’s what you do. You subdivide those down by the seven days. But what happened, these people do that and they don’t always give away enough units over that period of time and it can go up and down. So what people have experimented with as well as a one day launch. But again, you need to make sure you’re going to get enough impressions, clicks and conversions to pick up the coupon codes. So you may decide you want to take in 300 units and try and give them away all on one day. And then what happens is you get that kind of boost effects like a halo effect. So a couple of days later it’s got that whoosh, effective of selling those units through and then you would rank. But there is the other side of that, you do need to make sure you’ve got some good capital in the background because what I see with people when they’re ranking products, they save just enough to rank the product, but it isn’t always a linear path.
[00:16:36] Danny: So what happens is they might get it to page one and it starts to drop. So you do what I do, what I call top up campaigns. So you want to be looking at your organic sales and you would go, well, I might need to give away a few more coupons today to start matching no sales because you got to think about if units are sold, you’ve got to look at the average order size and you’ve got to look at the conversion history as well on that. And it has to have a conversion history to work from. That’s why we talk about the seven days, but then seven days attending the 10, attending 14. So it’s more and more, it’s got to the stage of where is it used to be. Oh yeah, we just rank those products on those keywords and you give away that amount of units and it would just happen, which has happened.
[00:17:17] Danny: There are more things in play here, so I’m finding that the, you just have to do a lot of top up stuff and experiment with amounts of coupon codes or a coupon codes or different value sets to give away in order to keep yourself placed. And another thing to take into consideration as well, just because you’ve ranked that product to get to where you want to get it to, it doesn’t mean it’s going to stay there. And so I hear a lot of people saying that the ranking doesn’t work and I just dropped back down. It dropped back down because the real Amazon buyers didn’t look at that page and go, “Yes, I want to buy that product, they sunk about that product that they didn’t want. It may have been your price, it may be your images are not right. It may be that the product is less than desirable to the other products on that page.
[00:18:05] Augustas: All right. M.K., he says, well he basically wanted to clarify, you mentioned storefront URLs, is it the same two step URLs?
[00:18:17] Danny: There’s loads of different names for different URLs, but if we want to break it down as the store front URL, which I think people do call a two step URL as well, is when you go to your storefront and you search your keywords in your storefront and your products appear and then from there you grab the URL and in that URL it’s got the keyword that you want to use and some people rotate those URLs as well. But as I said that there’s this situation now with the store front URL. I’m not, a developer, so you have to be aware of that here, but there are timestamps, been an attribute it to the URLs now and the theories is the Amazon is now tracking with those timestamps are using that information to determine, you know, that’s a discount that’s a real sale, etc. And this is why it’s become less effective in non technical terms.
[00:19:13] Augustas: Marc-Andre Martin is asking, any frequent beginner overlooked mistakes for Q4?
[00:19:18] Danny: I think the biggest thing for, Q4 for beginners, they may never know, like no one knows. No one’s got a crystal ball, how much stock you’re going to need. You might find that you do 4x, 10x or so nothing. It’s almost like a, what’s the word for it? Because there’s so many different variables. It’s almost like a pump sometimes you know, you’re not going to be sure. So I would say that if you want to be on the cautious side and you are sending a product that’s, you know, you’re not setting spanners and screwdrivers to businesses and they’re more gifty. You’re gonna look at three times, four times your average daily sales is the minimum those orders for at least 60 days of the 90 days. at Q4 to try and cover yourself. And that may not be enough, but it’s better to go out of stock and do well and be profitable than it is to have too much stock. And then you have to pull it out in the new year and you’ve got all the fees involved in that as well.
[00:20:17] Augustas: Alright, thank you. And Pushumic has a problem with competitor. He says there is a competitor that has the same product under 40 listings, different ASINs and slightly different pictures. His bullets and product descriptions are literally stuffed with keywords. He’s having keywords written one after the other without any sense. How does Amazon allow that and what is this competitor strategy?
[00:20:44] Danny: Sorry, say that again.
[00:20:45] Augustas: And what is the strategy of this competitor who has the same product?
[00:20:49] Danny: It’s something that we call it content jackin where there’s become a lot more apparent whether people would tying listings together or they’re hijacking old listings that may not have a say a brand registry on and they’re trying to take those listings over from reviews. Now, Amazon has been dealing with a lot of this as well. What you should do is try and get to the catalog team if it’s happening on your listings, go to Amazon, you got that for first line of defense as I like to call it and you want to try and get past them. A little trick that you can do is confuse them because they never want to let go. So my slight, you know, when I’m a guy and a girl go out dating. And then there’s this other guy comes along and it gets in the way all the time.
[00:21:32] Danny: He’s like blocking anything from happening. That’s what seller support is a bit like on that first wave of defense. So you should ask for the catalog team and if they won’t put you through, start confusing them and just saying, oh I need to change this because it’s related to the browse node and they won’t have a clue what they’re talking about. So find some technical term to catch them out. And then you can say to them, sorry, from my understanding this is narrows your expertise. Can you put me through to the catalog team?
[00:22:01] Augustas: Actually interesting you mentioned catalog team and of course beyond seller central support, the regular support, there are a lot of teams. Can you tell a little bit some most important teams which might be useful during your serious Amazon business?
[00:22:17] Danny: So I would say the most important teams that you want to be reaching out to where possible is to catalog team because they’re very technical and that often relates to your listings and any problems that you had there, especially if someone’s jumped onto your listing and have changed images and things like that. There’s a lot of black hat stuff going on there. There’s also the captive team, so if you don’t get anywhere, it’s like a code word in theory is that you can’t get with your ticket, dealt with and you’re going round and round in circles, then ask for the captive team. And then it’s basically a crew that’s a slightly higher up. And with that what they can do is I can start to solve some of the problems. Another thing is if your brand is registered, then there’s a different portal for that, so race tickets, through brand registry, as long as you can closely relate it as possible to the brand registry, to your listings and things like that, that is a good area to reach out to people in terms of getting good information back and you also want to try and find, depending on the country that you’re in and the time, the day that you found it, be really, it’s really important to think like, you know, I know that if you’re dealing with the US, you want to get someone domestically, you might not want to call centers in another country because they don’t necessarily have the same level of knowledge.
[00:23:35] Danny: So try and call them if you’re going to call them or reach out to them, try and raise these tickets or calls in the daytime hours. This is the same with the UK. You wanted someone in the UK, pick it up. Ireland really good. Outside of the UK, what we found is South Africa, they seem to be very knowledgeable as well, but not older these call centers if you like, all these third parties at work with Amazon under the seller central, necessarily knowledgeable, so pick your times in a day, it’s quite important.
[00:24:09] Augustas: And getting contact through these higher teams. Is it so easy you just ask seller support and they grant this request?
[00:24:17] Danny: Well, it’s not easy. Sometimes you have to keep pushing back and pushing back. You know, it’s like with the set of support and I think most people will agree here is like your eyes glaze over as soon as you got to speak to sell a support, you know, you’re in for a world of pain and it means that people don’t understand and you’re going round and this round robin and they closed the tickets because you know, they’ll communicate with you and then close the ticket, but they don’t answer all your questions because it’s easy for them to close it. Then answer your questions. Then you’ve got to reopen the ticket and then put in block letters:”Please do not close this as it’s not been resolved.” You know? And, and in some cases, from my understanding is that you’re not necessarily getting human contact. They’re using technology to answer some of the basic questions.
[00:25:04] Augustas: So we have another question. What do you think of Helium 10 Cerebro Product Rank formula as a launch tool to get high Amazon product ranking?
[00:25:13] Danny: These are like, they’re just various different ways. If you’re talking about the calculation for ranking. Yeah, but there’s a lot of moving parts in between so you can follow that exactly to the t, but you may make a step wrong where you might put your price up or your product doesn’t have great imagery, you know, just things like that. It doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to work, but it’s a good formula to work from is your benchmark. So you have something to work from because not everyone knows how many units to give away and how to go about it. So if you use that as a formula and then you can elaborate on that formula and make adjustments.
[00:25:53] Augustas: Thank you. And the Ellie wants to know: “What’s your experience and thoughts on the short title, which is less than 80 characters?”
[00:26:00] Danny: There is two sides to it isn’t there? With the short title, you are more concise with what you write, a bit like twitter and you want to focus your keywords at the very front of that title and it makes you work that much harder to write a better title because you’ve only got a limitation to work with. And eventually Amazon’s going to make that standard practice across all the categories in some categories they are. You’ve noticed as well in some of these categories they’re forced into as your brand name at the start the title. So if you’re open university challenge something, something you’re going to eat up all your title as a brand name. So it’s important. Now if you are launching new brands, keep the brand name short because they insert that in front of the title of that, force it to be in there. You’re still working with that small amount of characteristics in terms of 80 characters. But on the flip side of that, it helps you write a better title because if a lot of sales are taking place on different platforms like mobile devices and stuff, you’re going to get truncation on your title anyway. So you want to be able to influence as much as possible within the first 80 characters.
[00:27:05] Augustas: Great. Devin wants to know “What’s the best way to get the most out of the best deals?”
[00:27:13] Danny: What is the… Could you elaborate on that for me?
[00:27:17] Augustas: Yeah. Devin, please. I was thinking it’s maybe lightning deals, lightning deals. What’s the best way to get the most out of the best deals?
[00:27:26] Danny: Honestly, I barely run lightning deals nowadays. I just focus on PPC. And up until recently it was giveaways. So lightning deals I haven’t done for a long time. Obviously you’d want to work on your timings. You don’t want to end up being the deaf at night. So think about when your lightning deal to run a what time periods they work in, and what time slots if you got a and just try and optimize for that.
[00:27:50] Augustas: Right. Cyber is talking about giveaways. How much discount is optimal if it’s too steep, do you loose verified buyer status on the review?
[00:28:04] Danny: Well, couple of things. Two reasons. It depends on when you’re doing the discounts. If you’re doing a launch for a launch company, it’s a different story. If you’re doing launches and you’re doing giveaways from Facebook and your goal is to rank bearing in mind we’ve got to put aside the store front URL for a moment, so let’s just put that aside, but in theory if you go onto Facebook and offer someone 50% off, it’s not a fantastic proposition. Because you’re going into a place where you’re disrupting someone who’s seen an ad. So that’s disrupted advertising. It’s not like when you go onto Amazon and you type, because that’s searcher’s intent. So what happens, I’ve noticed quite a lot people try and skimp and scrape by not doing a 90% discount off and then spending a lot on Facebook clicks and not getting the conversions because people look at and go, yeah, but I may not have a prime account and it’s going to cost me $8 plus shipping it no longer becomes sexy, but if he’s going to cost them a dollar and they got a prime account, then they’ll take that all day long.
[00:29:09] Danny: Yeah. So I would say depending on your Facebook skill set, if you really good at split testing and stuff, go for it. Maybe do 50s%, 60s% discounts. Maybe you’re so good that you find a way of narrowing down that bandwidth in terms of your targeting to really make it pop. But generally the skill level I’ve seen on most people using Facebook ads is quite early doors, so just stick to doing the 90% discounts. Then that way is even if you don’t always make a great deal with your copy, you still got a compelling price on there, and so that gives you more chance to allow for your mistakes, for not having the high level skill set.
[00:29:52] Augustas: Great. We have a lot of questions. That’s great. And I see a lot of people joined us a bit later. And so Danny, can you talk one more time about your Seller Sessions, what Amazon sellers can find there. Is it for beginners still suitable?
[00:30:11] Danny: It’s not that we turn anyone away. So Seller Sessions is basically for advanced Amazon sellers, we will cover ranking. We have various different guests that we, we published three times a week and we work on topical stuff. So you’ll get Shawn Smith, Bryan Johnson, Liran Hirschkorn, Brian Burke, Kevin King. A lot of people are regulars on the show because it’s like a community show and I tend to bring on people that are more technical driven who do a lot of testing so that we can talk about, you know, the one day launches, we can talk updates in IMS, we can talk about new PPC strategies and discuss all those kinds of things. But we also look at topical stuff. We talk about issues with sales tax and we talked about like a VAT fraud and stuff like that, so more topical stuff.
[00:31:02] Danny: So people that are, they’ve got busy lives but at these questions in their head all the time. We try and answer those questions and we keep these shows nice and short. 15, 20 minutes long, rather than shows where we get the big long drawn out intros and, and in the middle you’ve got like four minutes of stuff that you really want to get to. So what we try and do is just slammed straight in 15, 20 minutes, focus around the topic and then people go off and get on and run their business basically because we’re all busy people.
[00:31:32] Augustas: And very soon you Danny, have been running and hosting sellersessions.com podcast for almost two years. We had the question about what’s the best way to do best deals, and Devin said that he got an email to submit best deals and he explains that in the email they say best deals allow your products to be featured on the Amazon deals page and it has to be at least 15%t off. Then you get the template to submit a deal and to be featured on the deals pitch. Initial question was what’s the best way to get more out of it the most?
[00:32:14] Danny: I’ve not run a deal so be honest with you, but if I was to run the deal, the first thing I’ll be looking at is that the deal page, and I’ll be looking at how many products are in my category, what kind of discounts they give in, what are the imagery they’ve got there? Because ultimately you’re going to do a sales page for a reason. You’ve got to think about what are your benefits on it. It’s not keyword driven, so are you looking at some sort of halo effect or you try to dump stock for instance. And then you’ve got this, you’ve got to determine like what are the benefits you’re going to try and get out of it and what kind of discount that you can offer. So if you’re working off a 25% margin, you’re not going to want to give a discount with 50% off because you’re going to lose money on it. So think about the benefits from it. But I would definitely think it’s important if, I don’t run these, so I’m just assuming, but if there’s, if it’s in a timely fashion, you don’t want to be having been sequenced to publish that at midnight. You want to look for a prime time and work around what you want to achieve with it and build that into strategy.
[00:33:14] Augustas: Great, thank you. And Yanique says the third year they’re selling on Amazon. It’s 100% to their channel and Q4 has been the biggest season where they make 10 times the revenue, but now they are worried because due to not having enough cash, they might have problems with inventory. So have you faced this and if so, what is the good strategy to manage inventory and pricing?
[00:33:41] Danny: What are we talking about? Raising cash for inventory or…?
[00:33:45] Augustas: I think they have limited cash so, and it’s Q4 the most important and how to leverage the inventory limit and the pricing. Maybe they want to sell a bit for higher price.
[00:33:59] Danny: So you got a couple of questions there. So if you might need money for inventory and you know, you don’t want to be at the bank for it. So unless Amazon is offering loans, there’s loans company out there, but obviously the rates are quite high. So I would always say to people if you can, unless you a desperate for it and you guarantee these that you want to try and operate off your own cash as best as possible. So if you are, you know, you’ve been on for three years and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be ambitious, but you got to think about the implications. Like you know, you can look at it in a way that you could push all of your money, like you’re going into a, you know, you’re spinning it on the table, you know, you put it on radar, you putting on black. So it’s about making the right informed decisions. If you don’t have a lot of money for inventory, you work with what you got and if you can and you’re selling products where you can increase the price. So you said you make more profit per unit, you can look at that as well. It’s just working out how you want to raise capital. I don’t raise outside capital for anything that I do. One of the things I have done recently, since we’ve been doing more products based in the UK is the, we are using our supply chain to agreed terms so we’ve got a product where we use three different suppliers and everything’s brought together under one roof. One of the suppliers now gives us 30 days terms and I’m planning to do terms with the other two suppliers as well. So eventually as you are launching more and more of these products, you’re literally working of their cash flow because if you work 30 to 60 days terms and Amazon’s paying you every two weeks, as long as you don’t make too many mistakes, it’s a good way to leverage the cash basically without using your own money.
[00:35:56] Augustas: Alright, let’s give a break to Danny that he maybe can drink of water or something. I wanted to ask the audience. So I see quite a lot of people are watching, could you tell in a number? Will it be the first Q4 or second or third? So basically just type the number 1, if it’s your first Q4 season for Amazon business. So it’ll be interesting to see where our audience is and type 0 if you’re just a beginner and you are interested in launching and you are just launching your product and you just want to listen to this webinar just because you want to learn something new before you start your business. So people are typing 1, 3, 1, 2, 7. Oh wow. Ramy has seven years on Amazon or ecommerce. Someone says 15. Wow. Amazing. So 2, 1, even someone says 0. So thank you Adam for listening.Those who have less experience probably listening to this session.
[00:37:07] Danny: Yeah, there’s loads of questions. So happy to answer them.
[00:37:12] Augustas: Continuing with the questions. So Chris was talking, he wants to touch a different topic. Actually you mentioned that sometime ago, in your podcast you had a session which guru is a guru or something like that, right? And Chris says, I know that there are more and more Amazon consultants now. Is that because it’s more profitable to give advice then selling on the marketplace?
[00:37:39] Danny: Do you know what? I’ve, for last three years I’ve turned down lots of consulting gigs myself. And I can understand it’s like why have all these people doing courses? And to be honest with you, I don’t like courses because I used to teach back in the day, I still teach audio engineering and I still hate writing the course notes and you’d get to a stage where you’re updating the software, because we used to do music production. I’d work across multiple softwares from Logic to Cubase to Ableton Live to Reason and you can’t see update all this stuff. And I couldn’t see the enjoyable aspect of doing it. But my forte is that with the podcast is I talk, I don’t write. And it’s the same that some people prefer to use the written pen, but without going off track too much, I think the reason why people do that is to diversify their income off of Amazon.
[00:38:33] Danny: I have three businesses, they’re completely different. I’ve got the Amazon business that eats up all your cash. I’ve got a DATAbrill which is an agency which is a reoccurring payment business whereby we have clients that pay on a monthly basis on like on the contract and now I’ve got a construction business. So what that comes to down to is that you’ve got consultants that are doing this because it diversified their income. Like I know a lot of seven figure sellers and I ended up buying their tea or their lunch because they’ve got no money because they’ve got no cash flow, cause it’s all tied up in Amazon. I don’t do seven figures. I do six figures. I’ve run three six figure businesses and I rather do that because it’s got diversified income. So the answer to your question is there are people that don’t sell on Amazon. That turned into consultants. There are people that are consultants and they sell on Amazon as well and they’re doing that to diversify their revenue because ultimately in a day they’re entrepreneurs.
[00:39:33] Augustas: And I would say also some people just have this feeling that they want to interact with people and give away in a personal communication rather than through the product.
[00:39:43] Danny: You mean if you look at some like Seller Sessions? I don’t charge for it. I don’t do courses. I do public speaking work. I turned down more consultancy work then I take on. But why I like about doing the Seller Sessions is, I get to meet lots of different people and share, and because they share ideas on the show. For me that’s how I built a network of really great people so that I can learn, I like to learn all the time and it’s almost like when I’m doing Seller Sessions, people can sit over my shoulder. So it is surprising to me when people ask me about consultancy because they can go to sellersessions.com and there’s normally like a thousand words or so on each show all done in bullet points and they don’t need my time, but they prefer to put it all together. So I am doing more and more of that recently. But my mindset with before was why did people do that? And then I realized it was because they were diversifying their income because Amazon does eat up a lot of your cash.
[00:40:38] Augustas: Ramy has a question about variation. So they have a successful variation product. So question is: “Is it better to break the variation and list individually so that they can dominate the first pages with more products instead of one single listing?”
[00:40:54] Danny: Well, one it looks spammy. So Amazon’s going to want to clean that up sooner rather than later. So you can get away. Two, you’ve got to rank each individual ones which could end up being a bit more expensive. So I would say go with the variations as a parent child.
[00:41:17] Augustas: MK says, when you are listing new product, Amazon gives you this rank juice star power for a couple of weeks.
[00:41:26] Danny: The honeymoon period? I’d say it’s longer than few weeks. And again we’ll work outside of Amazon. We don’t have access to the A9 algorithm, so what we do is we’re running tests, so we’re not gurus, we don’t know for sure, but all we can do is test the absurd and currently what people see, you get a honeymoon period. It’s like Amazon’s gives a chance to see if your product’s going to work on that. You didn’t normally get longer in a few weeks up to a couple of months, but you may have say I had an issue before where you’ve had a product. It started off well and then it died on his backside and then you’ve got loads of history sales history where it’s like barely any sessions or barely any sales, and then we call it waking the dead. So sometimes you’re better off just relaunching that ice and again from start. Then trying to bring one back from the dead, but obviously the algorithms changing all the time so that could change in the future.
[00:42:19] Augustas: Great. Thank you. Chris: I got approved for Amazon seller fulfilled, which means that he can fulfill prime orders from his own warehouse and he got 100 orders within two weeks. What are your thoughts on this program?
[00:42:34] Danny: Do you know what? I’ve been trying to find someone to come on the show to do Seller Fulfilled Prime because I don’t do it. I don’t do a Merchant Fulfilled in any way, shape or form, so I don’t have to answer that question, but if there’s anyone out there wants to talk about it, it will be great so it can share with the audience.
[00:42:51] Augustas: Great. Haggai says: “Would you recommend using Famebit for finding influencers and do you tell them to use an Amazon associates link. For those who don’t know what FameBit is, I think it’s a service where you can find Youtube influencers to promote your products.
[00:43:08] Danny: I would say find your own influencers because a lot of the time people, they’re using bots, they’re inflating what they’re got. I would focus on finding your own influences. Now, one of the, a little trick that you can use for free to find in guys on say Youtube is that if you, you’ve run yourself a Youtube ad, so if you’ve got a Adwords account, if you sit up in there and you go and open a campaign to do a video ad on Youtube, there is a search function on there where you can search with keywords through video or through channels and from there you can look and see, well how many views did they got over a period of time. So you can take the publish date and you can look the total amount of views and sub divide that down and get an idea of like the true engagement in certain senses from like afar and then approach them directly and try and do a deal with them.
[00:44:05] Danny: That’s what I would say there for that. It’s a similar thing on Instagram. It’s not always easy to understand on how much impact that they’re going to have. The other thing I have, not against the influence of thing as opposed to something that cyclic like PPC. If you’re using an influencer, you are going to get a rush of traffic, then it dies off so you do all that work to get that boost and then it dies off. So if you’re going to do the influence of thing, you want to rotate influencers, find two, three, four of them that you can utilize because this your time is money, isn’t it? Finding them and then at different campaigns for these guys so that you’ve got a knock on effect after because when you’re running PPC on certain keywords, you’re just going in there and adjusting the bids. The ads can show up as long as they enter the auction. Whereas doing the influencer stuff, it’s like a one time show, isn’t it?
[00:44:57] Augustas: Sam is asking, “Can you elaborate on URL and how to use it on Facebook launch campaigns?” So probably the person who is asking what kind of URLs to use when you are running Facebook ads for your launch.
[00:45:12] Danny: Let’s pretend that everything’s fine with the store front URL, so you would take your store front URL. So what we do is we have a WordPress blog and on that WordPress blog, we send a traffic campaign from Facebook that goes to the landing page. That landing page, we use a plugin to distribute coupon codes. It’s like 60 bucks, it’s one off the, I can’t remember exactly, ams coupon server. So what we ended up doing is that you’ve got the URL that takes it to the landing page from Facebook. Now we used a link tracking company called gene.us. And what that allows you to do is to rotate your link. So if we’re running a Facebook campaign within 90% discount off, we are basically as of now, last few months, we would basically send the traffic to the landing page. From the landing page, when they sign up and grab the coupon code that link there, we have a rotating URL. So we would have three different keywords in three different URLs, which are all from the storefront. And then what we do with that, is that we focus on mobile devices only. So when people click on that URL there on, say an iphone, they’re on an android or they’re on a windows phone is an example. So what you’re trying to do is depending on the devices that they’re on, you’re sending them for different keywords so that when it goes, when they do go to the storefront on Amazon, Amazon sees the traffic from coming from a different platforms with different keywords. Does that make sense? And I think I need to share you a video of setting all this stuff up because it’s quite a lot of moving parts there. Up until now we’ve been using the store front URL. We haven’t run any promos for awhile because there’s is concerned around the store front URL at the moment that a lot of our guys in, within the Amazon and community are running tests on now to see if there are any workarounds.
[00:47:20] Augustas: Since this webinar we wanted to do about Q4 mostly. I will jump a little bit further through the questions. We’ll come back to other ones. But Marc-Andre is asking: “Any bad recommendations you hear for Q4 strategies? Anything you should avoid doing?”
[00:47:37] Danny: I mean I would definitely avoid trying to rank things in Q4. Ideally you want to get your products, there’s a difference between getting stocking for Q4 and have been launched products you know, you’re like racing against the clock now to get good position. Like some of the things that we’ve been experimenting with recently, is the exact match PPC. So I launched a product where I spent about 3000 pounds on one keyword and with that one keyword we took it up to page one. So it’s very expensive outside the giveaways. And what we’d done was because, the way I see it is that you’ve got a product and when you put it onto the bottom of the Amazon jungle, you’ve got no history whatsoever in terms of sales. So what we’ve done is we, put it in the keyword tracker, we took five or six keywords, but we only use one keyword that we tracked, right?
[00:48:33] Danny: And that was the exact match. And we spent 150 a day on that converting sales through that keyword. And once we run our reports, we’re able to see that all these other keywords which are called rise in tights. So whilst they were quite related in relevance, they weren’t just the long tail version. So the way I worked with that is that I spent over time. Now I know that that product will probably end up going from doing 30, 40 units a day to 100 units a day at Christmas. I would never attempt to rank that using PPC then because it would just be too expensive and even with my skillset of launching and stuff, it would probably fail. so always say to you is to do all your ranking works outside in the main periods.
[00:49:17] Augustas: Great. Devin, who got answers from his questions, says, thank you Danny. I really appreciate your podcasts.
[00:49:29] Danny: Thank you.
[00:49:30] Augustas: The Marc-Andre is still asking more questions about Q4 and he says: “What’s the main obstacle in Q4? Which solution you prioritize?”
[00:49:43] Danny: So the key thing for Q4 is have you got the right products? Have you ordered your products on time and can you rank and compete with those products? So think about your pricing optimization. I always say to people, that you need to be careful of as well is that you can fall in love with your product, but ultimately the story is told, especially if you are doing giveaways and you ranked page one and it starts to drop down, the people have spoken. So you need to make sure more than ever is that you’ve got high quality product and you have to be honest with yourself. So I would definitely focus on high quality product as a primary, but you need to make sure you can compete in that market because there’s a lot of people I see, you know, they might go and try and launch spatulas even in this day and age. It’s like the numbers just don’t make sense. You still at 12.99 and your average cost per click is say $5 or $4. Then you convert every 10 clicks. It’s never going to make you any money.
[00:50:43] Augustas: Actually continuing with this topic, Raja says it’s his second Q4 but at the moment has zero products. Is it too late now for this Q4 to launch product?
[00:50:53] Danny: I would say you are leaving it very, very light, but it depends what you’re launching. You might be in a like a subcategory that no one really knows about. It sells 10 or 15 units a day and you’ve found that niche. There’s not a huge amount of them left because everyone’s got these software tools now that they’re all fishing from the same pond. It’s very hard to say is it too late? But if you are in a competitive product in a category and you haven’t ordered your product yet, you might get away with saying if it’s domestic, but literally you’ve got four weeks now to really put the graft in to get your visibility right before everything starts to pick up.
[00:51:30] Augustas: I see a question about PPC automation. Actually you run the DATAbrill. We didn’t really talk in details. Could you elaborate? What is the service about? And if you accepting new clients?
[00:51:42] Danny: We are accepting new clients, but what we normally focus on is our motto is that we work with large clients, with hundreds of SKUs because when you build a piece of technology trying to solve a problem and it’s very difficult for people that have got hundreds, if not thousands of SKUs to manage them and a lot of the agencies like Shawn Smith and Brian Johnson stuff, they’re not necessarily going to want to take on that kind of workflow because they’ve already got those kind of clients. So I worked with my partner is Ellis, he is one of the algorithm guys behind Jungle Scout, a very smart guy and basically, we’re focused on, like larger clients to solve their problems because the problem with someone who’s got a thousand SKUs is different to someone who’s got a set of 30 SKUs. We also do a multi language PPC for our technology and we’re able to onboard people and we also do a split testing as well as part of our setup.
[00:52:40] Augustas: And your service basically is PPC optimization?
[00:52:45] Danny: Yeah, PPC optimization. But they worked with me on strategy as well. So for instance, we’ve got a client who’s in the US and in the UK. So we manage all their PPC there, but for instance, like last week we had a concern, he got a suspended, so we worked together on a strategy and within two days he was back reinstated. We had to write POA, you know, we put together a plan of action. We went through the key attributes of the issues that we faced and then we bullet pointed everything and is very key to get those rights. So what I ended up doing with our clients is it’s not just the PPC to help grow their businesses though that we do strategy calls as well because you got to treat the business as a whole. So on one side PPC could do bad or well and then you don’t know what’s going on the other side. So the way we structure these is, our technology is plugged in both into the advertising API and into the seller central account. Plus I have access to their seller central account because then I can monitor and see what’s going on as well in terms of the strategy side. So we’re not strictly a PPC agency even though that’s what we branded as, which is true and that’s the bulk of our work, but we do a lot of the work in terms of strategy with our clients as well.
[00:54:07] Augustas: And I started talking about PPC, because someone is asking your recommendation for PPC automation software?
[00:54:13] Danny: Okay. So I’m not being biased in any way here. Our PPC platform that we do, it’s a managed service, right? Although we’ve got a standardized algorithms, we do recode for specific clients. Some of our guys are doing like 10 million a year, so it’s important to bang on and right. Now it’s only 90% or so play Ellis is a data scientist as well. So smart about marketing is a data scientists as well and so that we don’t do 100%t because we don’t believe that the technology’s there to do it. There’s just too many moving parts and there’s too many things outside of data that you need to look at in terms of simple things of looking at the search results pages and analyzing there for problems with the campaigns, for the troubleshoot.
[00:55:06] Danny: So if you are going to use automated software, you must understand the calculations behind it because there are lots of software out there that does automation and people come to me all the time saying, look, I’ve been using x software and he’s been blowing up my account and now my campaigns have gone off on a off route, but that’s because they haven’t always fully understood what the calculations are behind it. So if you’re going to use automation software, use it because it makes your life easier and you know the calculations. Don’t use it because you think he’s going to solve your PPC problems and maybe you’re not knowledgeable about PPC. I’m not saying don’t use them, but just make sure you know what’s happening because you can’t blow your account.
[00:55:51] Augustas: Great. And actually if someone is interested to get in touch with you for your services or maybe even to offer interesting topic for your Seller Sessions, what’s the best way to reach out to you?
[00:56:03] Danny: You can go to for Seller Sessions for topic, feedback and stuff like that. email@example.com. And if you want to reach out for us, anything related to PPC like the agency you can do firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:56:19] Augustas: Perfect. And, do you still have time Danny?
[00:56:23] Danny: Yeah, I’m happy to answer questions.
[00:56:25] Augustas: Cool. Let’s take a short question. Cyber wants to know is it better to use UPC or FNSKU?
[00:56:43] Danny: So basically on your packaging. So yeah, instead of having the label for Amazon, if you do at the factory level because it’s easier that way on your packaging put your FNSKU on there and then when you send them into Amazon then you’re with inside of their facility network rather than paying Amazon, what is it, 20 pence or twenty cents a unit? I don’t remember now,
[00:57:06] Augustas: MK says that he has a trademark in the works, but it’s under category, which he’s not selling. His concern is, should he get a trademark in the actual category or wait until his product is successful because it’s his first product.
[00:57:25] Danny: Okay. So I don’t know where he’s selling. But to give an example, I’ve done a trademark for a UK brand. Now, with the trademark in the UK, it can take 8 to 10 weeks instead of 6 months in the US. And if you’re using the trademark purely for brand registry, you can use that as a tool to open brand registry in the US. I’ve raised a ticket with the support team and I confirmed it in the major countries that you can cross reference as long as you’ve got a trademark. Now the UK trademark doesn’t cover you for the US, it just opens brand registry. So in the UK I’ve got two classes on the trademark. Think about when you starting brand as well, is that you don’t want that opposition.
[00:58:06] Danny: So we completed the paperwork in like 20 minutes and then we come up with a name that’s not related. So if you’re in sports and outdoors, you don’t want to call yourself super sports because you might get opposition there. You might want to call it Davy Jones, you know I’m being ironic there or come up with a name that doesn’t relate to, and I’m not a lawyer here by the way, that category, so it’s got less chance of being pulled over for review or being a opposed. So if you go and do a search on the UK, you’re based in the US. You can still purchase UK trademark, just go to the UK trademark office, follow the steps, it takes 20 minutes, make sure you select the right classes that you are in. You’ll get a submission email. You pay 224 pounds, and then make sure you chase up like you’re not mentored, but there is an email address in there because there’s like a little wait period where they’re doing the admin, but generally it takes about eight weeks. So I would say to anyone for that amount of money, if you’re serious about your business and product, just get a trademark anyway.
[00:59:14] Augustas: Gabriel, it’s his first Q4, but he says: “My account has been blocked because it has been linked to another account that is not allowed to sell on Amazon”. And he has no idea what account they are talking about. “What is the best way to solve this problem?”
[00:59:31] Danny: The problem you’ve got there is that they take that very seriously. So you want to go a email@example.com and deal with the performance team there. But it might be tough because if someone’s been selling on that other account and they’ve done black hat or counterfeit goods, etc. you’ve been pulled down with it and the chances of getting your account back can be very difficult.
[00:59:55] Augustas: And how can it be that his account is linked, this person has no idea to which account?
[01:00:00] Danny: I don’t know, maybe, I can’t speak for his position, but if he’s purchasing account or he shared the account with someone else, he had it previously under joint business. I don’t know his situation, but if you’re going to link an account, they’re going to link somehow and that’s going to be maybe through IP where he’s been in the same vicinity and they’re operating Amazon accounts there. But you can normally explain that off to people. Like we, I operate across numerous accounts are linked to my Amazon, US and UK accounts. But I made it as a user so I’ve got a certain level of privilege rights to the account and our work under the same ip. So it’s no problem for me. But if I started training to black hat and doing counterfeit goods, then that’s going to have a knock on effect to me.
[01:00:48] Danny: But from my understanding, from speaking with Chris McKay, he said that if you were to get suspended on your account, let’s just say it’s a safety complaint or something. I asked him about the knock on effect to my other clients and he said they wouldn’t, it only be, that wouldn’t affect their accounts, but it may, if you were taken down affect the shut off the access to those accounts, if that makes sense. So it seems to me, and I don’t know enough about it with his questionnaire, it seems to be quite Amazon seems to be taking it quite serious. So I would, utilize that seller performance email address and see if you can engage with them. But the chances are I think might be quite slim.
[01:01:31] Augustas: Pipolino wants to know, “Do you recommend “Dollar off” coupons with the orange banner rather than discount codes?”
[01:01:41] Danny: I think numbers, and this is the personal thing and the test I’ve done, but I don’t have enough datasets. But, from my tests in what other people were tested, people found it more effective to, instead of saying 5% off something, say $1 or $2 off, it seems to be a bit more striking. So the tests I’ve done, they seem to, to convert the best when we’ve worked the percentage crossed over with the dollar amount.
[01:02:08] Augustas: Cristian is asking, have you seen product reviews split up between variations? It happened to one of my parent ASIN only in France and they don’t know what to do to link their children, again, support saying it’s new feature.”
[01:02:26] Danny: Ignore support, just go to the catalog team, just fight past them. And if they don’t like it, just go to the captive team or ask for the captive team because they’re clueless. They don’t know what they’re talking about. So if there’s something along with your listing and you got a problem, just go to the catalog team. It’s a pain to get there in some cases. But that’s what I would do.
[01:02:47] Augustas: David wants to know “What was the coupon code distribution plugin that is?”
[01:02:54] Danny: IMZ coupon code or IMZ coupon server. You do a search for that wordpress plugin. Do a search for that and you should be able to find it.
[01:03:08] Augustas: Chris says: “If we were to bundle products and sell on Amazon and use our own GS 1 barcodes, will Amazon let you do that?”
[01:03:20] Danny: If they use their own, their either GS 1 barcodes or they’re going to be third party barcodes from somewhere else. There are companies out there that that cell barcodes cheaper than having a license, like being a member of GS 1. They’re actually generating codes that are GS 1, if that makes sense. But I would definitely say if you’re past the first stages of your business, sign up for GS 1. I think in the UK, it’s only like a hundred and some pounds for signing up. I believe there’s different packages, different levels. It’s not super expensive. That that’s the route I would go instead of working with third party barcodes because I got caught out with the product which are still selling now that didn’t have a GS 1 barcode and I’m downturn like changing over and I’ve actually spoke to GS 1, as I’m a member by said prior, it was one of the first products. We didn’t have a GS 1 barcode under our account name. My concern is if you tell Amazon, it’s like russian roulette where you’re going to get at the other end of the call, they’re either gonna say: “Yeah, we can change that over”, or you’re going to have a different problem where they’re gonna say: !Oh no, you can’t use that barcode”, and then take you out the game. And then you’ve got to re rank that product. You’ve made stranger inventory, you’ve got to bring it back. So it could end up being a bit of a nightmare.
[01:04:51] Danny: Sorry. I just seen it. I haven’t purchased or shared. Is this Gabrielle? I haven’t done any black activities either. Sorry, I wasn’t accusing you anyway, it was just saying that if there’s any relationship there, the best thing you can do is to speak to a seller performance team. All I’m saying to you is when they link accounts like that and they suspend you, it’s not always easy to get back in and in good grace. You could try a suspension company but they cost a lot of them cost a lot of money, you know, like 1500 to two grand and there’s no guarantees in most cases. So it depends on how much you value on that account. What you could do is that you could team up with other sellers who sell on that account and then you almost get paid out as a consultant, like what we do with some of my partners instead of me being named under limited company on their accounts, we do what’s called the 80/20 rule. So if I hold cashflow, I’ll take 80% of the profits. They take 20%. If they hold cash flows, vice versa. And then what we can do is work out what is owed at the end of the year in terms of the profit. So one account, maybe I have x amount of thousands and the other has x amount and then the differences then paid across.
[01:06:07] Augustas: Oh, right. I see one question for Q4r topic. David says, aside from ads with 2-step and PPC, any other traffic strategies for Q4, please?
[01:06:21] Danny: Other strategies for Q4. Traffic, external traffic. Maybe you could experiment running Bing ads, Google ads. Bing ads, Google ads. I think that could end up being quite expensive. If you think about third party traffic, right? You need to add, make sure you’ve got enough margin now when you’re sending traffic to Amazon, it’s not always easy to track it because it’snot like you can drop like a conversion pixel on your page. We don’t have access to that. So you all my flying a little bit blind now I know that you can tag stuff by sending traffic to your branded page. But still, that’s not still got the same experience as being on Amazon and being within the infrastructure with card payments, et cetera, because you’re sending traffic from outside.
[01:07:16] Danny: So if you’re going to do third party traffic, you still need good quality, high converting traffic. So I would look to maybe Adwords. Do Adwords, maybe look at doing Bing ads. But I think once you start getting into stuff like Pinterest and stuff, it can start to get a little bit more expensive. there is Facebook. But if you’re not doing discounts, again, you’re on a social network, aren’t you? Which is not a place necessarily doing commerce. And, and depends how strong you are with Facebook ads as well with determine your success.
[01:07:50] Augustas: Great. And Cristian who was asking about his variations being split and you suggest to contact the higher teams. He says, “Thank you Danny. Your fountain of knowledge.”
[01:08:04] Danny: Thank you. Well, I don’t know everything. And then most of the stuff I’ve learned through the guests coming on the show. So I’m just passing it on.
[01:08:12] Augustas: And Gabriel also says thank you. And I see one more question about Q4. Adam says: “I have a couple of product ideas, but a total newbie. Do you advise that I try source the products and get them for Amazon in Q4. Is that even possible?”
[01:08:30] Danny: It’s a bit late to do anything now or you’re planning should be for the New Year. And another thing guys about the Q4 thing, don’t forget, you’ve got so much focus on Q4 by the time you burn yourself out. We’ve got the, you’ve got the Chinese New Year in January, so you got to think about you’ve got to have one eye in the future as well on reordering any products there and not missing the boat there because you don’t want to have a great Q4 and then be out of stock for three or four months because there’s a backlog in China and you know that your manufacturers, they’re going to take your deposits off your day and promise you the earth that it’ll get out in time. But there’s no guarantee. So you want to be thinking about placing your orders in December, if not a little bit earlier, to avoid issues in January.
[01:09:15] Augustas: Thanks. And Yanique says she wants to ask you your thoughts on Amazon’s new transparency program to prevent counterfeiters. Could you first explain to people who don’t know what is transparency program?
[01:09:29] Danny: I don’t use it, but it’s a paid for program where from my understanding that you are literally imagine that your product’s been tagged. It’s almost like another barcode from my understanding, so correct me if I’m wrong. And so it’s putting into place the stop inauthentic activities taking place and you pay a certain fee for it. I’ve not used it yet and I don’t know how strong it is. Amazon are often launching programs like the account manager. So they, you know, for me it’s like, do you really want to pay 42 grand a year to have an account manager that chances are knows less than you do about Amazon. And when you look at the quality control of the first line of support, I would say you need to focus on that before you start selling third party services to sellers.
[01:10:19] Danny: I mean if we just take, for instance, Prime day, Brian Johnson and Shawn Smith with discussing this on Seller Sessions a little while ago that Amazon reps, were setting up campaigns that just has a budget of $600 a day with super high bids to give a visibility and then following them up a couple of days before to make sure they’ve launched their campaigns. Then campaigns would have never made any money at all that will last the clients a lot of money. So Brian and the other guys who manage accounts had to put them down. Now put it in perspective. If Any of us done that, we would be called, it’d be like gorging basically gorging off your client. And if you look in another sense, if we’re Amazon’s customers, would they treat the customers that are on the front end they buy from the store the way that they treat their sellers?
[01:11:13] Danny: I don’t think so. I’m always skeptical of any new Amazon program that comes out and the transparency, I suppose I’ve kind of got blind to it now. When they launched some new I’m thinking, right, okay. Why don’t you get your house in order first before you launch these things. So the short answer is I don’t know enough about the program, but if it’s like most of the programs I’ve seen Amazon launch, they’re not always a fully developed, you know. They don’t normally have like sophisticated team behind it.
[01:11:46] Augustas: Cyber wants to know, “Do you think it’s a good idea to include a card with your product, which in the card is offering a discount if you go on your own website and make a purchase?”
[01:11:59] Danny: That’s against TOS. So basically what you’re saying is you put in an insert inside of your packaging, right? And what you’re doing there is you’re guiding an Amazon customer off of Amazon. So it makes it very difficult. That’s why inserts as much as we try with them, unless you’re going to go that route of against TOS and hope you don’t get caught, it’s hard to build a funnel to drive people to your website. We know you can do a warranty and it’s not that great, but you’re not really allowed to take an insert and then guide people off Amazon say you must leave, you know, leave here and come over here and I’m giving you an incentive. It doesn’t wash with Amazon and I don’t think people get fully suspended for it unless they’ve got a sophisticated back end. I mean, I’ve seen some great funnels for the reviews which are from the supplement world, which is obviously that’s a big business and there’s a lot of competition there and a lot of affiliate market types who work in that category as well. So they’re used to dealing with these kinds of things. But I think if you’re basically FBA is within Amazon’s facility centers, there is a chance that you may get caught, especially if you’ve got breakages and stuff. So I’d be careful there if you want to protect your account.
[01:13:19] Augustas: Ramy is asking: “Is it a good idea to lower the price to improve ranking for a while, or it’s better to fix the price and then increase the PPC budget and bids?”
[01:13:30] Danny: Whenever I launched now through that PPC, I didn’t finish off earlier, but the exact match thing. What we did is we put a coupon code we sold at 9.97. We gave a two pound off. What we did those, we started at 7.97. and then we offered with the two pound off. Plus we went hard on the PPC because I want you to get sales velocity and because of the product, because of the nature of it, it was really like there’s good value for money because it was so cheap compared to the other sizes on the page. So when you consider about what the customer got, they got double if not triple what others would normally sell at that same price. So I did that and lost money for a period of time, and then it went to breakeven because slowly we got rid of the coupon code, it went from the 2 pound off to 1xpound off I think it was, and then we slowly pull out the price to full price and selling it. And then at the end of it, we did tape it off on the PPC bids because once we got the conversion ratio done down of the amount of organic sales to PPC sales.
[01:14:35] Danny: So when you’re starting out your ratio is about 100% and then it’s 90%, then it’s 80, then it’s 70 starts to change up. Once you start getting better ranking positions on your keywords, then you can start to taper off your bids and then you become less reliant on that.
[01:14:55] Augustas: Great. We’re approaching the end of the questions finally. And Odedzurinam is asking: “How can you explain that someone with really bad BSR can stick to page one of a primary keyword for a very long time?”
[01:15:11] Danny: Because It using dirty black hat tactics to do it. That is far as I can say. But there’s a lot of stuff out there that people don’t know about. There’s a big underworld of black hat that goes on. People have seen it, you know, where there might be their listings have been attacked and taken over. I mean, I give you an example the other day, it’s a lot of what we call the content jackin where some people are going onto the listing and changing like the bullet points and the titles and stuff. We had a guy, Michael Hartman on the show the other day it was, and we called it listings under attack. And so basically what happened was, he woke up one day and he found out the product had been moved out of this category and the content of his listings changed.
[01:16:00] Danny: So he went to the catalog team and he changed it all back and then the hijacker contact him and basically said, if you change it again, you were in trouble and basically said, f you, who do you think you are? So he then changed all the content again on these listing and he’d done it across the few of them because it’s related to the store. He then moved his products to not only a restricted category that needs certification that you can’t reach in Amazon. It also disabled the stocks are basically, he’s stopped with set adrift and then when he contacted the catalog team to put it all right. They were scratching their head because they said, look what they’ve done here can only happen from the inside so you have to make up your own mind about it. So there is a lot of stuff out there that’s going on with black hat as well as gray hat stuff. So that, going back to that question there that it is a common tactic. But eventually these people tend to get caught up on.
[01:17:01] Augustas: Recently I’ve heard that Amazon is really taking this serious and they will be shutting it down all of this hopefully.
[01:17:10] Danny: What happens is a loophole closes, another new one opens. And I would say definitely it’s about focusing on building the business rather than the short term. A lot of people focus too much on, oh, how much margin, how much margin. Now another thing that you should look into as well if you’ve got a bit of cash flow to work with, is that everyone fishes from the same pool, so they use all these software tools showing all the same products over and over again, and then I look at the margins and I look at and they go, okay, on this product here, I’m not gonna make any money because they are thinking about the first shipment. When I look at launching products, I think of the third shipment because when I think in that sense, because I know it’s going to take me longer to recover than what other people were looking at is like, oh, that’s not got no margin. I’ll skip that product. That’s got no margin. I’ll skip that product because they’re not running three spreadsheets.
[01:18:00] Danny: So if you run this free spreadsheets for the free shipments, what you may look at is that your first shipment, you’ll lose, I don’t know, a couple of thousand dollars or a thousand and then, you might second shipment, you break even, and then on the third shipment you get say 20% margin and then slowly you might get up to 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. And I know a lot of people talk about, oh, I want a 50% margin, but when you take out all your real costs, you know, there’s not many products out there that give you a 50 or 40% margin.
[01:18:34] Augustas: There is one more question which I really don’t understand, but maybe I will read to you, David is asking, is product innovation still the best way to break into an existing category aside from first in or new prototyping bundles?
[01:18:48] Danny: So to break that out a bit, innovation in a sense, if you design a new will, basically the problem you’re going to have is that when you put it on Amazon, if there’s no keywords for it, then you’ve got no search volume. Amazon’s about supply and demand, isn’t it? People want to find it. You go into a category where you’ve either got a niche where you can run in there or you can into a competitive niche where there’s some sales volume in there. So you don’t want to take a brand new product that there’s no keywords for because it’s very difficult and now they’ve got Amazon launchpad, but once you start getting into the stage where I call neighboring keywords, where you try and make this spoon in a spatula related, it’s going to cost you more money because the lack of relevance, but what you should be looking at is product innovation in terms of building a better mousetrap.
[01:19:37] Danny: So your product is going to be superior to what’s out there. You need to make improvements on that and establish those improvements. Come out with a good price and good quality. That’s the best way I would say to do it.
[01:19:50] Augustas: Perfect. Great. So one more time, Danny, could you tell us what you do, what you’re offering, and how can people reach out to you?
[01:20:00] Danny: I’m not here to say I’ve done this for free because I want to help the community, but if you want to reach out to me as I say, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org, it’s about topics and stuff, if you’re a large seller and you’ve got hundreds of thousands of SKUs and you need to take care of that, have a chat with us at email@example.com. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed today and I’ve hopefully answered as many questions as possible.
[01:20:23] Augustas: And yes, people are saying thank you big time. Thank you for this conference. Thanks Augustas and Danny for your time. Great talk. Thanks for your insights. Bye bye guys.
[01:20:31] Danny: Thank you.
Augustas Kligys is the host and creator of several popular virtual summits for Amazon sellers. The first one is European Private Label Summit, which covers a lot of important topics for those willing to grow their Amazon FBA business in European Marketplaces. The second - AMZ Seller Summit - an event, where experts shared their Amazon business optimization secrets and mindset, which helps to elevate your business to the next level. Augustas also hosts weekly DEMO MONDAYS video series, where Amazon seller tools are demoing their products.