blog-headBy: Daniel Audunsson

7 Biggest Advanced Amazon Seller Mistakes

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In this article, I’m going to share the seven biggest mistakes advanced Amazon sellers make. If you’ve had some experience selling private label products on Amazon, but you’re still trying to master your skills, then this is for you…

You’ve probably read my article about the five biggest mistakes I’ve made selling private label products on Amazon. If not, be sure to check it out here.

Now, in this article, I’m going to cover seven more mistakes that people make when selling private label products on Amazon. But this is geared specifically for more advanced users.

Ready? Let’s get started.

 

Mistake #1: Selling Products with Low Profit Margins

Mistake number one is selling products with low profit margins.

One of the best ways to make a lot of money on Amazon is to sell products with large profit margins. For some reason, most sellers are fixated on selling products in the $15 to $35 range. But this is a big mistake.

Why? Because when it comes to private label products on Amazon, you can actually make the most profits with products in the $50 and above range. That $50 and above range is where you have the highest profit margins and the lowest competition. In other words, it means you’ll see success faster and easier.

Now, here’s a bonus tip. If you can find even just one product with a high price range, a great profit margin, and low competition, you can easily maximize your profits by creating multiple private label products for that one product. Think about it.

Once you find that one great product, you can easily create 10 different brands all selling the same product. There’s no reason not to do it, and it will multiply your profits many times over. Seriously, finding one really profitable product is the most valuable thing you could ever do on Amazon. So find it. It could literally be a life-changing discovery.

When I discovered the power of higher-priced products on Amazon, it truly transformed the way I approached private label selling on Amazon. It’s probably the number one thing that has been responsible for most of my profits.

Profit, Not Revenue, Matters

It’s not how much revenue you generate, but how much profit you keep that matters.

If you really want to reap the rewards of having your own business selling on Amazon, focus on higher-priced products with high profit margins.

If you only focus on products that have a low price and a low profit, you will face much more competition, you will work much harder to earn substantially less, and you’re much more likely to engage in price competition.

You may be able to scale your revenue, but your profit will probably still be very small. So avoid making this mistake.

Make more money, and make it more easily, by focusing on higher-priced products with higher profit margins.

If you do, you’ll end up with incredible cashflow that you can use to more easily scale your business. It will also mean that you’re less likely to run into some of the previous issues and mistakes that I mentioned in the other video, like running out inventory.

 

Mistake #2: Not Leveraging a Sourcing Agent

Mistake number two is not leveraging a sourcing agent.

If you’re sourcing products from China, all the work, like communication, logistics, you name it, can and should be handled by a sourcing agent. Very few people suggest doing this, but I 100% suggest you do this from day one. Why? First off, it saves you money on sample collection. Instead of having to find all these different suppliers on Alibaba and deal with the pain of international packages, you can have your sourcing agent take care of it.

Sourcing Agents = Efficiency

A sourcing agent will find the manufacturers for you, then collect the samples, potentially even for free, since they’re located in China. Then they’ll pick out the best samples and ship them in one package to you wherever you are in the world. Not only will this pay for the cost of hiring a sourcing agent, but it will also save you money overall, and it will lead to a faster, more efficient process.

But that’s just scratching the surface. There are a ton of other benefits to working with a local Chinese sourcing agent. You get much better deals on products. You’re less likely to be ripped off. You can find much better options than you would ever be able to find on Alibaba because the Chinese sourcing agents have access to many more manufacturers and resources on the ground in China.

The benefits far outweigh the costs. Plus, researching and dealing with suppliers through Alibaba can be one of the most time-sucking and frustrating tasks in this entire business model. So why not pass that part of the process over to someone who can do it better and faster than you?

A sourcing agent can also be super beneficial in terms of quality control, negotiations, shipping, research… you name it. Imagine how great it would be if you could simply remove that piece of the process from your plate entirely. Imagine never having to deal with it yourself.

Sourcing products is by far the biggest time suck and headache for most sellers on Amazon.

But if you can get rid of it, you’ll have a massive competitive advantage.

And trust us, I speak from personal experience. I’ve sourced products on my own, and I wasted so much time doing it myself. And remember, wasted time equals wasted money. Don’t make the mistake of spending a tremendous amount of your time and energy dealing with suppliers and communication issues. Don’t risk being ripped off. You can avoid all of those headaches and grow your business so much faster if you use a sourcing agent. I really urge you to consider hiring one from day one.

 

Mistake #3: Not Leveraging Processes and Delegation (Not Understanding Time vs. Money)

Mistake number three is not leveraging process and delegation, or not understanding what I like to call “time versus money.”

What is your time worth? Really think about it. It has monetary value. If you can learn to appreciate how much your time is worth, you will make so much more money and you will be much more successful way more quickly. Here’s a golden rule that will serve you really well in your business: never repeatedly do something that (a) you don’t have to do, or (b) someone else can do better than you. If you ignore this rule, it will only hurt you in the long-term.

Delegation Is Key

The good news about private label selling on Amazon is that every single component can be handed off quite easily. When you start off, of course, you should be heavily involved in the process until you understand everything. In the beginning, you are learning how to do things, and that has tremendous value.

That is a good use of your time. But once you understand it, then you should delegate as much as you can afford to. And you should continue to delegate more and more as you grow.

I should also mention that you can hire people from countries like the Philippines to do excellent quality work for very affordable rates. I actually went to the Philippines and started his own office. And at its peak, this office eventually grew to 50 people. I lived in the Philippines for about two years and have travelled there countless times. Now, I’m not suggesting that you should do the same thing and relocate to one of those countries. It’s definitely better to delegate all of your work remotely when starting out.

The cost of not delegating work is that you lose both time and money, when you could be leveraging your money to gain time and make more money. So make sure you don’t make this mistake. If you do, it will cost you a lot of money, and it will tremendously slow down your growth.

 

Mistake #4: Not Leveraging Pricing as a Promotional Strategy

Mistake number four is not leveraging  pricing as a promotional strategy.

You’ve probably figured out by now that I am a fan of high pricing. In fact, I have favored premium pricing since the very first day I started selling on Amazon five years ago. Have you ever seen products on Amazon that have the word “PREMIUM” in all caps at the beginning of the title?

That has sort of been my hallmark when selling on Amazon. I created titles like that for more than five years and that has been the biggest constant in how I have branded and marketed my products on Amazon.

Product Giveaways

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use low pricing to your advantage. Most sellers only use this sort of pricing strategy with coupons to offer products in return for higher sales velocity and more reviews. This is also known as product giveaways.

But there is an even more powerful way to use pricing, which is to leverage overall price drops in conjunction with other promotional activities. If you create promotional periods in your business, it will generate a significant boost in sales velocity and overall ranking for your products. Doing this is literally as easy as pressing a button.

It only takes you a minute, and it doesn’t cost you a penny. So take advantage of it. It’s the oldest marketing trick in the book, doing periodic price drops on any one or even all of your products at once.

I’ve personally made the mistake of spending a tremendous amount of unnecessary time and money on other seemingly more fancy tactics that ultimately did not yield good results.

When you make this mistake, you’re missing out on opportunities, you’re missing the point, and you’re missing the simplest and most powerful promotional strategy of all. Don’t waste your time, energy, and money on tactics that may seem great but really aren’t.

However, when you leverage pricing properly you have the most powerful promotional strategy of all at your fingertips. And you can apply it from day one without spending a dime.

 

Mistake #5: Paying Too Much for Promotions and Giveaways

Mistake number five is paying too much for promotions and giveaways.

A big mistake sellers make — and this is related to the previous one — is over-emphasizing the importance of promotions, especially product giveaways. Most sellers believe you need fancy strategies and tactics to succeed on Amazon. And yes, some of those may work in the short-term.

But when you dig into it and look at the long-term ROI, almost all of those shiny tactics tend to be less valuable and less profitable. They can even put you at risk, because your seller privileges might be taken away from you. Do you really want to risk getting kicked off Amazon and losing your entire business?

When you do a product giveaway, you basically give away products for free to increase your sales velocity and hopefully get a lot of reviews in return. While this is a valid strategy, it must be used strategically, not blindly.

The Giveaways Technique

To do it correctly, you have to consider the giveaways technique itself, especially the timing. You have to target the right audience and have a specific measured ROI in place and as the reason for doing the giveaway. If you do a giveaway incorrectly, it can both cost you and harm you. You can end up wasting money on a lack of results, you can risk running out of inventory, and you can even cause your business to explode.

Basically, it’s just a waste of time and money if you don’t do it correctly. Your account might even get shut down.

However, when used correctly, product giveaways are a very powerful tactic that virtually guarantees number one rankings for any search term. Yes, it really is that powerful when done correctly. But before you engage in an expensive promotional tactic like a product giveaway, make sure you know what you’re doing and have fully capitalized on other much more simple and cost-efficient promotional strategies first, such as pricing, advertising, and listing optimization.

Being at this for a while has made me much more appreciative of the simple, old-school strategies that are available to us all as Amazon sellers. There are so many tactics you can take advantage of essentially for free before investing in more expensive strategies.

Oftentimes, especially when you do your product research right, all you need are inexpensive (or even free!) super quick and easy strategies to promote your products. These strategies can also be easily scaled by delegating all of the work to team members.

Realizing that oftentimes the simplest tactics have the highest ROI truly transformed the way we look at running a business, and it can do the same thing for you.

The cost of making this mistake is that you can spin your wheels, you can dig yourself into a hole, and you can essentially put yourself out of business by wasting money on fancy tactics and services that will severely hurt your ROI in the long-term.

I’ve seen a lot of people give up and abandon their Amazon businesses because they got all caught up in fancy tactics that didn’t work or were used incorrectly. However, if you can avoid this mistake and put your focus and energy into what really matters, you’ll be profitable much, much faster and much easier without all the stress and the headaches.

 

Mistake #6: Not Focusing on Relevancy and Specificity

Mistake number six is not focusing on relevancy and specificity.

For some reason, most sellers take the approach of more is more on Amazon, but as the old adage says, “Less is more.” It’s definitely true when it comes to selling on Amazon. Why?

It’s all because of the way Amazon’s A9 search engine is built. It’s designed to bring up what people are most likely to buy. It makes sense when you think about it. What makes you want to return over and over again to Amazon? A big factor is finding what you want, quickly. Amazon understands this, and they have designed their site for conversion — as in, they’ve designed it to make as much money per visitor as possible.

Product Relevancy

One major way to do this is to show people the most relevant product possible when they search for something. Amazon’s A9 search engine is designed to bring up what people are most likely to buy. As a seller, you can take advantage of this by aiming to get your products at the top of the search results for specific searches.

It is nearly impossible to do this for a ton of different search terms at once, especially right from day one. Instead, when you’re starting out, you should start very specific and ultra-targeted.

Work on getting your product to be the product people are most likely to buy after just a few search terms.

Once you achieve that, you will be selling and profiting, and then you can expand what search terms you’re going after.

Again, this just means you want to do whatever you can to appeal as strongly as possible to a very specific set of buyers. This way, you also laser-target your marketing, and you’ll have a much higher ROI. It’s easy and faster to find success this way. Everything can be measured, as well — in other words, it’s scalable. When you have a brand new product, start with just one to five search terms that you identify through product research, and eventually grow the number of search terms you focus on to let’s say 20, at the most.

If you do this in a scientific and data driven way, it’s very likely to work and it’s totally accurate. To further illustrate how this is true, Amazon has even been introducing new terms of service in the last year or so, clearly showing that this is the way they want sellers to do it. Their terms of service are even limiting the number of search terms used.

Most people try to rank high for a lot of search terms for their products. Don’t make the same mistake. The most powerful and profitable way to do it is to do less. Less is more. If you make the mistake of not focusing your search terms, it will completely derail your efforts, and most of the time inhibit and prevent you from finding success on Amazon. You can be stuck on the wrong path forever until you give up, or you settle on mediocre results.

If you can avoid this mistake, you’ll obviously see much greater profits, be successful more quickly, have greater peace of mind, be more efficient, and have greater scalability. There are so many benefits.

 

Mistake #7: Not Properly Tracking, Analyzing and Optimizing Your Products

Mistake number seven is not properly tracking, analyzing and optimizing your products.

This final big mistake one I estimate probably 99.9 percent of all sellers are unaware of. In fact, since no one else was doing it I invented our own system to do this efficiently for our Amazon business. It’s understandable that more sellers don’t do this because it took us a while to figure this one out.

Amazon offers a lack of tracking ability, so unlike traditional funnels on your own webpages that can be measured and optimized, it initially seems as if you can’t properly track, analyze, and optimize your products on Amazon. Everyone just assumes this is so. But through the little that Amazon does provide, it actually is possible to track, analyze, and optimize your product over time. It’s possible through the implementation of your own set of KPI’s.

Measuring On Your Own

Here’s what you do: attach numbers to your Amazon business and measure it on your own.

This will give you much greater insight, control, and tracking ability to analyze and optimize your product listings for sky-high conversions. And that will ultimately will lead you to Amazon domination and number one best-selling and ranking products. More details on this can be found via our crash course. It’s completely free, and in it, I take you through all the main components of our proprietary system for selling on Amazon.

If you make this mistake, you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunity. You will never be as successful as you could be, and you won’t ever have the true power to create bestsellers over and over again on Amazon.

But by tracking your products and discovering exactly what works best for each of them, and actually working on optimizing your products consistently over time, you’ll gain a massive competitive advantage, the biggest one of all, over literally almost all of your competition.

No one else (well, besides our students) is doing this properly and to the maximum benefit. Over time, you’ll always dominate and win over any competition.

You’ll feel like Amazon is your playground and you can create all the success you want.

Literally, how much money you make will become a choice. You can just rinse and repeat the system. That is the incredibly powerful truth of it.

So there you go. Those are the seven biggest mistakes that advanced Amazon sellers make.

I hope you found this article helpful. If feel like you still need some help with your business, I have some good news for you. I have a great resource that you can take advantage of, and best of all, it’s free. I’m talking about our free Amazon FBA Crash Course, which uses proprietary methods that will help you succeed with selling private label products on Amazon. It also includes a step-by-step blueprint for success – and it only takes a few seconds to sign up.

Last but not least, if you know someone who would benefit from learning about the mistakes I just shared, be sure to share this article with them. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, check out this video and others, and connect with us on social media.

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