I recently got a Kindle and I love it.
The weighty feel, the texture of the virtual pages, the first seamless purchase directly to the device, and the fact that ereaders are to books what phones are to music: thousands of your favorite titles snugly in your pocket (and yes, ereaders will fit in your pocket if you try hard enough).
So today, I’m going to show you how to download free ebooks from any category on Amazon. And these really are the best books. A lot of them are high-quality titles that are normally $2, $5, $10, and this tool helps you catch them at the right time when they’re on sale.
So, to get started go to https://honestfew.com/free-ebooks/
Click the signup link and make an HonestFew account. You also get emails alerting you of limited-time free or discounted books, which is pretty sweet.
Ok, now that you’re in, you see the book finding tool.
On the left, you see every Amazon book genre ever, starting with “ALL GENRES” which is all books, to more specific categories like Parenting & Relationships.
Along the top, you choose the qualities you want in your books. Free Books is the obvious choice, but there are also bestsellers, most 5-star reviews, most-reviewed overall which tends to bring in the heavyhitters, and books that were released in the last 30 days for those of you who like to live dangerously.
Click on the checkmark and you’ll be sent straight to Amazon, so you can download free ebooks directly to your Kindle.
For example, if we wanted to get free books in Literature & Fiction, we just click the intersection of "Literature & Fiction" and "Free Books":
Click the checkmark under the “Free Books” column to view your Amazon results. These free books have also been pre-filtered for quality, so you’re getting the intersection between thousands of free books, but also quality titles. You can do this across all book categories, and the tool is always updating as Amazon updates, so readers consult HonestFew at least once a week.
And as a member, you’ll also get exclusive emails alerting you of limited-time free or discounted ebooks. So enjoy the book finding tool, have a ton of fun reading, and join HonestFew.com if you want to learn and grow as a person.
On October 3rd, Amazon banned the practice of trading free or discounted products for review. Vendor Central sellers can still do the practice through Amazon Vine, and it’s still allowed in the book category. But not in physical product sales.
That said, if you’re selling physical products on Amazon or are considering it, what do you do?
Is Amazon dead?
Is FBA no longer a viable opportunity?
It’s still a great opportunity.
Access to 80 million customers, and 24% of all American households and rising have Amazon Prime.
Going forward, sellers will need to focus on (wait for it): marketing.
You still need sales for visibility and reviews for trust, same as ever. So here’s a 5-step plan of action:
(1) STOP PROMOTIONS.
Obviously, if you have any promotional “sale for review” activity going on, you may want to stop it. Permanently. Forever. Remember, effective immediately, don’t tie the discount to the review. Buying at a discount and reviewing a product are two distinct, discrete events where no trade is implied, implicitly or explicitly.
(2) DRIVE TRAFFIC.
To get sales, you need a group of people who would be interested in buying your product. To do this, you can either build an audience of your own or get in front of someone else’s audience. Watch this piece with 26 different ways to get traffic to your listing.
(3) DROP YOUR PRICE.
Some people have started to buy and your Amazon visibility is improving. Make your price lower than usual (but still per-unit profitable) so that you can get some organic Amazon sales.
(4) ASK FOR REVIEWS.
Use the Amazon Buyer-Seller messaging service to send a message to your buyers, providing customer service and asking for a review. Make it clear that the review isn’t expected nor is it mandatory. Don’t ask for a positive review. Make it clear that you welcome both positive and negative feedback. And don’t overdo the messaging, either. I’d recommend that you only send the buyer one message asking for a review, and your messages should all be in the context of providing customer service. With so many sellers messaging buyers for reviews, this is another area that’s due for a crackdown.
(5) RUN ADS.
Once you have 10-15 reviews on your listing thanks to traffic and customer service messaging, turn on PPC advertising. Run an auto campaign, and also a manual one with suggested keywords. See what you get, and refine from there.
So that’s how to keep selling through to 2017.
When Amazon bans incentivized reviews, it's time to get down to: (a) getting your product in front of an audience and (b) providing excellent customer service.
Personally, I’ve been taking some time to update HonestFew’s offering. Content will resume again in the next few weeks-- including an interview with Sam Priestley, a successful Amazon seller with 5 million YouTube views and Kiri Masters, CEO of Bobsled Marketing who engineered product launches for Playboy, among other things.
HonestFew will continue to provide its Amazon listing optimization service, and will service Amazon book sellers. So, if you see content talking about how to launch and market books on Amazon, that’s why. But, we’ll likely develop service offerings for product sellers in the coming months, so don’t go anywhere!
A big policy shift…
Amazon no longer permits providing free or discounted products in exchange for reviews.
What’s HonestFew doing now?
Effective October 3rd, HonestFew shoppers are not requested or required to leave a review of Amazon products in order to get discounts (past or present). And going forward, discounts will not be offered, requested, or provided in exchange for a review.
What is HonestFew’s plan going forward?
HonestFew will focus on being a sales platform, not a review platform. HonestFew is still the best way to get more sales for listings, which Amazon sellers need to get momentum.
In accordance with this TOS update, discounts will not be offered, requested, or provided in exchange for a review. With that said, HonestFew shoppers can still buy discounted products just like any flash sale offer, deal site, or Black Friday promotion (and like any organic shopper, leave a review if they’d like to). Discounts aren’t being traded for reviews. It’s solely discounts for their own sake.
So I can still sell products using promo codes?
Yes. In their Seller Central FAQ from October 3rd, Amazon clarifies:
“Q: Can I continue to offer discounts and promotions to customers?
A: Yes. You may continue to offer discounts and promotions as long as they are not offered in exchange for reviews.”
How do I get reviews now?
As regular Amazon shoppers, our members will review products if they want to. But, in line with this TOS update, HonestFew shoppers are not requested or required to leave a review of Amazon products in order to get discounts.
Ultimately, getting reviews and seller feedback is a matter of providing good post-sale customer service to buyers. Period. When you run an HonestFew promotion, we give you the opportunity to run built-in customer service email campaigns for the shoppers who receive your product.
Why are HonestFew promotions more effective than ever?
Because Amazon sellers need sales to build momentum and attract organic customers. Promoting your product with HonestFew means
(1) Creating an offer
(2) Selling it to our 50k+ member community, and
(3) Following up with customers via built-in customer service campaigns. Our members aren’t requested or required to review.
Going forward, HonestFew is a sales platform that gives sellers the momentum they need to make more money.
If you’re currently running a promotion with HonestFew, we’ll be updating our systems over the next 24 hours to be in total compliance with the TOS update, and we’ll get in touch with you once we’re ready to proceed with your promotions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Where can I read more?
> Amazon’s press release: https://www.amazon.com/p/feature/abpto3jt7fhb5oc
> Amazon’s updated Community Guidelines: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201929730
Please get in touch by email with any questions.
We couldn’t find any hands-on, visual, free, entertaining Amazon training… so we made it.
NOTE: THIS IS A LIVING DOCUMENT.
HonestFew releases 1 piece a week, so this document will update over time. It’s like your personal business coach. Bookmark it and share it with your friends… they’ll THANK YOU FOREVER!
Follow the steps below and learn how to get an idea, and then how to source, ship, pre-market, position, rank, get reviews, and drive traffic.
Let’s get down to business.
You can do these one at a time, or ‘Netflix marathon’ them on YouTube.
(1) WHAT PRODUCTS ARE GOOD TO SELL?
First thing’s first: the product. When you pick, there are 2 main things to consider: physical specs and market conditions.
Physical specs: lightweight, fits in your pocket, $25-$100 retail price, 2x profit (e.g. make at least $15 on a $30 MSRP), not patented, brandable and customizable, can’t be bought at the local Wal-Mart, no instructions needed, can be re-ordered, simple technology, passes a stress test, 1 SKU. You don’t need all of these. Just most.
Market conditions: no dominant household names, the product has multiple keywords, it’s trending on Google Trends, you can build a future product line around it, your competition’s presentation can be improved, you’re a member of the target demographic for the product, some FBA sellers are already making (some) money in the niche, high RPR (this one needs some explaining, so watch the video starting at 6:30).
(2) HOW TO FIND PRODUCT IDEAS (MATRIX TECHNIQUE)
Simple brainstorming technique:
1. Look for items in your house that fit the “private label” criteria (see step 1).
2. Open an Excel document.
3. Put the items you found in Row 1.
4. Put “modifiers” in Column 1 (e.g. words like “mini”, “industrial”, “for men”).
5. Fill out the table.
6. Search the contents of the table on Amazon.
7. Get product ideas.
(3) STUCK? HERE ARE 100 GREAT IDEAS
I spent over 20 hours finding a list of 100 good business ideas and made a funny video about it.
Consider high-ticket items with low competition. It’s best to monopolize a small niche first, and then branch to related markets. For example: old-age care, CPR dummies, urns for ashes, pet rehabilitation, fraternity wear, slacklines, lie detectors, mermaid fins.
(4) COMPARE YOUR OPTIONS USING JUNGLESCOUT
We use a metric called RPR (“revenue per review”) to decide whether a niche is good or not.
RPR is the monthly revenue of a seller divided by the number of reviews they have.
A high RPR is good: it means that the seller makes a lot of revenue in relation to the number of reviews they have. If you sweep in with authority and page rank, you can make money.
A low RPR is bad: it means that the seller isn’t making a lot of money despite a high review count. This indicates a saturated market and should be avoided.
(4) SOURCE FROM CHINA WITH ALIBABA
I show 2 methods of talking to suppliers on Alibaba: buying requests and direct messaging. We learn to compile data from suppliers so you can accurately compare them against eachother. And then, we cover logistics: sampling, telling a re-seller from a factory, shipping, payments, and mass orders.
(5) SHIP BY AIR TO AMAZON WAREHOUSES
We dive into Amazon Seller Central’s shipping queue workflow for a step-by-step guide on shipping by air to Amazon FBA warehouses.
All the most annoying stuff: barcodes, ASINs, SKUs, FNSKUs, product labels, product case labels, warehouse destinations, and other things that will make you want to scream.
Share this guide with your supplier if you’re planning on shipping directly from China to Amazon.
(6) BUILD A PRE-LAUNCH AUDIENCE ON INSTAGRAM
We take example Instagram account “dogownersonly” from 0 to 1000 followers by engaging with actual Instagram users. Why not pay for bots, Patrick?
Because bots won’t buy your product at launch time. While your product samples are shipping, use the down-time to focus on marketing.
(7) POSITION YOUR PRODUCT
It’s time to think about marketing.
There are 6 ways to position your product so that people will choose you over the other guy:
1. Better: physical, product-based improvements.
2. Before: enter the market earlier than everyone else. If you paid attention to RPR in Step 1, you should be OK.
3. Brute: get more sales and reviews than them and become the authority. Only do this if you have money to spend.
4. Bundle: combine the product with another, complimentary product.
5. Brand: improve your listing and price high to be seen as de facto “best”.
6. Bulk: buy and sell the product in bulk (when everyone else is selling singles).
(8) OPTIMIZE YOUR LISTING (AMAZON SEO)
Build the ultimate sales machine by doing these 9 quick things:
1. Title: max out the character count with help from the Google Keyword Planner Tool; make it read like a sentence. Don’t use phrases that mention rank “#1 Best-Selling”.
2. Price: run a tasteful long-term “price slash” to spur buying behavior.
3. Photos: 1 main photo on all-white, 3 product detail shots on white, 3 lifestyle shots showing the product in use in a way that expresses a benefit.
4. Bullet Points: people care about benefits more than features. Trigger “Life Force 8” benefits in your writing: survival, enjoyment of life, life extension; enjoyment of food and beverages; freedom from fear, pain and danger; sexual companionship; comfortable living conditions; to be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses; care and protection of loved ones; social approval. #triggered
5. Description: use HTML tags to make it visually appealing and readable. Include a call to action at the end (e.g. “Click ‘Add to Cart’ now”).
6. Search Terms: include keywords that are relevant to your product that you haven’t used in your title, bullets, or description. No need for commas. For more technicalities, check out Amazon’s “Optimize Listings for Search and Browse”.
7. Keywords from PPC: once you start running PPC, take keywords with good ACoS scores and use them in your listing. It’s market-informed optimization. Thank me later. Cheque payable to “HonestFew Inc.”
8. Fulfillment: use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) instead of Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM, aka shipping orders yourself). You’ll get business from Prime Members, free up some time, and appeal bad reviews that pertain to shipping errors.
9. Reviews: just 50 Amazon reviews can increase sales by 4.6%. And, they’re a must if you’re running Amazon PPC ads. Times have changed. Customers always read reviews before buying; reviews are the new ads.
(9) TAKE A TOUR OF SELLER CENTRAL
We explain every button, box, and function of Amazon’s portal for third-party sellers: Amazon Seller Central.
If you’re a new seller and feel overwhelmed, watch this video. Welcome. Have some tea and cake. Gatsby will greet you at the door.
(10) MAKE SINGLE USE CLAIM CODES
When Amazon Sellers launch a new product, they sell units at a discount to get an initial batch of sales and reviews. But how do you give specific people a discount without leaking the deal to everyone? Single use claim codes.
Here’s how to make ’em.
(11) GET AMAZON REVIEWS (6 TACTICS)
NOTE: as of October 3rd, 2016 Amazon does not allow physical products to be sold in exchange for reviews: https://www.amazon.com/p/feature/abpto3jt7fhb5oc
More content about this is coming up, but know that this practice is no longer allowed.
However, that leaves sellers in a funny place: to sell on Amazon, you still need (1) sales (to increase momentum) and (2) reviews (to increase your conversion rate, build trust, and run pay-per-click advertising). So, HonestFew has pivoted to become a sales platform, instead of a review platform. As usual, we give sellers access to 50,000+ Amazon shoppers. We promote your item for sale at a discount, as if you got a press feature or were running a Black Friday sale. The shoppers buy your product, which increases your sales. So, that's taken care of.
As for reviews, we give you the ability to follow up with your HonestFew customers, providing excellent customer service and asking for an honest review of the product if you'd like to. But unlike before, there is no implied contract of "discount for review". Shoppers are allowed, but not required, to leave reviews on the product. We made a statement on the tail of Amazon's press release, which is here: https://honestfew.com/amazon-update-on-customer-reviews/
Especially in the beginning of a product’s life. No one’s going to buy your product if it has 0 reviews. But how to get them?
There are 6 methods:
1. Friends & Family: don’t do this. I don’t even know why I put this here.
2. Facebook Groups: public, free.
3. Forums: niche, manual.
4. HonestFew: invest up front, time-efficient.
5. Build an Email List: proprietary, good.
6. Customer Service on Amazon: slow, consistent, a must.
(12) RANK ON PAGE 1 AND STAY THERE
HonestFew has successfully landed dozens of sellers onto page 1 for their keywords. Supplements, dog chews, copper mugs… you name it.
All successful sellers do these 3 things:
(13) NOT MAKING SALES? TROUBLESHOOT HERE
If your product’s up but it’s not selling, don’t worry. You’re probably stuck in one of these 5 (very fixable!) phases:
Scenario 1: “Crickets”
> No visibility, no clickthroughs, no sales, and no repeat sales.
> Fix: jumpstart your product listing with initial sales and reviews.
Scenario 2: “Mime” (seen, but not heard)
> Visibility (i.e. page ranking), but no clickthroughs, no sales, no repeat sales.
> Fix: optimize your listing to make sure that it gets clicked when it appears in search results. so that means optimizing your 1 main photo, your product title, and your price.
Scenario 3: “No Cigar”
> Visibility, clickthroughs, but no sales, and no repeat sales.
> Fix: in Seller Central go to Reports > Business Reports > Sales & Traffic > Order Item Session Percentage (this number is your conversion rate). The average conversion rate on Amazon is 10%, so go for that (i.e. 10% of customers who visit your listing buy it). If they’re on your listing but not buying, it’s an optimization issue. They’re looking. You just need to convince them better. See “How to optimize your Amazon listing”.
Scenario 4: “One-offs”
> Visibility, clickthroughs, sales, but no repeat sales.
> Fix: boost customer LTV (lifetime value) by using automated customer service software for Seller Central, collecting emails using packaging inserts, and seguing from email to social media. Also, consider cross-selling your items among different listings.
Scenario 5: “Scale it!”
> Visibility, clickthroughs, sales, and repeat sales.
> Fix: to scale, simply add more (closely related!) products to your store. Remember we said that the perfect product has a future product line around it? Buy Amazon PPC ads for more keywords. Improve your customer service. You’re on your way!
(14) DRIVE EXTERNAL TRAFFIC TO YOUR PRODUCT
When you’ve got consistent sales coming from Amazon customers, increase your ranking by marketing off-platform.
We divide driving external traffic into 3 branches: (1) sales tactics (e.g. deal sites, email list, contests), (2) working with influencers (e.g. YouTube and Instagram sponsorships), and (3) content marketing (i.e. creating your own media to drive traffic to Amazon). (#ididntneedtoknowthat use i.e. = “id est” when you’re starting a synonym for what you’re talking about and use e.g. = “ exempli grati” when you’re mentioning an example of what you’re talking about).
(15) EXPAND TO AMAZON UK
Think you’ve maxed out Amazon?
Amazon UK is a 9 billion-dollar market, and British spending is actually up post-Brexit. Plus, we compare the same product niche on Amazon US and Amazon UK with some telling results…
(16) PREVENT AMAZON SUSPENSIONS
HonestFew interviews the Amazon Seller’s Lawyer himself: CJ Rosenbaum. CJ has 20 years of law experience, has won cases against McDonald’s and KFC, has 2 million views on Quora, and bought Apple shares for $22 in 1996.
CJ shares what he does to appeal an Amazon suspension (given that the appeals team is now based in India instead of Seattle):
What the perfect product to private label for Amazon FBA?
The product that hits page 1, sells, dominates, and makes you feel like…
The perfect product has 2 things:
(1) Great physical specs and
(2) Great Amazon market conditions.
So today, we’re going to look at what specs and market conditions you should look for, then I’ll give you some actionable tips to find product ideas.
A few pounds, max. The lighter, the less money you lose in shipping and duty fees.
> Fits in your pocket.
Or at the very least, a shoebox. This avoids excessive shipping and Amazon storage fees down the line.
> Profitable to sell.
Buy low, sell high. Aim for a retail price of $25 to $100. This leaves room for profit, but isn’t expensive enough for buyers to have to consult anyone before purchasing. As for margins, aim to make at least $15 in profit on a $30 product. Remember to account for product cost, shipping fees, duty fees, Amazon fees, and currency exchange rates (if applicable). For example, the Canadian dollar is weak right now. Go Raptors.
> Not patented.
Check out Google Patents to get a sense of whether your item has been patented, or has other IP issues. Of course, Google Patents isn’t an exhaustive patent search nor is this isn’t legal advice; consult a licensed attorney.
> Brandable and customizable.
You can improve the physical form without great expense. For example, you should be able to add a brand logo to it (hence the term “private label”), a helpful modification, a handle, a protective case, a foam coating. Fixed form factors like diecast metals and plastic made from molds leave less room for differentiation, which is bad.
> Not at Wal-Mart.
Ideally, buyers can’t get this item in big box stores and are forced to buy online — which means Amazon, which means you.
> No instructions needed.
The customer should know what to do straight out of the box. Go ahead: include your free PDF guide. But ultimately, your product should be drop-dead simple.
> Can be re-ordered.
Better yet: it’s something that can be used, enjoyed, and then re-ordered. After all, the second sale is easier to make than the first.
> Simple tech.
Consider avoiding charging and batteries, as more can go wrong. Tech that doesn’t work will hurt reviews down the line.
> Passes a stress test.
Can it survive a drop from a building? Yes. Is it safe in the hands of a toddler? Yes. So it won’t break during shipping, resulting in better reviews and fewer customer service issues.
> Single SKU.
Imagine you start out with 3 sizes and 3 colors: small red, medium red, big red. Small blue, medium blue, big blue. Small yellow, medium yellow, big yellow. That’s effectively 9 products to keep stocked at all times. Start with medium red and if it does well, roll cash into variations.
Let’s look at a perfect example of good physical specs: silicone wedding rings.
Fits in your pocket.
No IP issues.
Wal-Mart does have them, but only 5 listings right now.
Intuitive to use.
Won’t break in shipping and could survive being dropped from the CN Tower. Go Raptors.
Sounds great! Why don’t we all private label silicone wedding rings?
And now the market looks like this:
Still potentially profitable, but competitive.
Which brings us to the other half of the equation: market conditions.
A good product without the right market conditions won’t sell. So what does a perfect Amazon market look like?
> No household names.
If there’s a strong brand that people associate with the product keyword, stay out. Duracell. Kleenex. Sharpie. This isn’t always the case, though. Sometimes a dinosaur market needs an asteroid or two.
> The product has multiple keywords.
The product is searched for, found, and purchased through various keywords. Synonyms, if you will. You’ll benefit from this when it comes time to optimize your listing for search and run Amazon paid ads.
Check Google Trends for the product ideas you’re considering. Is the trend going up or down? If they’re ascending because of consumer preferences or current events and the trend will continue, that’s good. If it’s in decline, stay away.
> You can build a brand around it.
The product you pick must be the start of a cohesive product line. Don’t make it a one-off, then sell something in a different category. Make it part of a larger vision because you can cross-sell customers who buy initial product A with similar product B.
> Presentation can be improved.
You can improve the branding, presentation, packaging, and information of competitors. You’ll know if this is the case because page 1 for the keyword will look… well, ugly. Unoptimized. Short titles, poor quality photos, priced too high, priced too low.
> You’re an insider.
If you’re a member of the target demographic for the product, you’ll know what the market needs, and that’s an advantage over Jim in marketing who sells yoga mats but has never done downward dog pose and doesn’t know what kale tastes like. Study your bank statements for the last 6 months. What hobby or niche have you spent a disproportionate amount of money on? Gaming? Superfoods? Fashion? Whatever it is, see if you can find a product that fits the physical specs we talked about.
> Thriving FBA sellers.
You want to know that someone’s succeeded in the niche as a proof of concept. Not too successful, but somewhat. You can be the Apple to their Samsung. Samsung does it first, Apple does it better. Add 999 units of the product to your cart every day for a week, so Amazon gives you the inventory count. Use the Chrome extension Keepa to track BSRs of various Amazon products over time. In Keepa, you’re looking for a history of low BSRs. The lower the bar is (i.e. the closer to BSR #1), the better the product’s performed over time.
> High RPR.
“Revenue per review.” The idea is this: high revenue is ok, but high revenue and low review count is better. To calculate RPR:
(1) Find the market leader’s monthly revenue (e.g. the top seller makes $24,000).
(2) Divide their revenue by the number of reviews they have (e.g. $24,000/45 reviews).
(3) The RPR (revenue per review) is $533. That’s a great RPR. What does it mean? If you compete with a similarly optimized listing, for every review you get you “earn” $533 if you eventually overtake that competitor.
Not a perfect metric, but produces clear ‘YES/NO’ decisions when looking for private label ideas.
Just know: low RPR is bad, high RPR is good.
And now, you know what to look for: the ideal specs and the perfect market conditions. And now, tips on finding new product ideas.
– go to a Wal-Mart or Target and browse the shelves. Now that you know what to look for, you can find physical objects that fit that description.
– look outside of the Western world, at local Chinese supermarkets. Sometimes they’re ahead of the curve. And if there’s no Chinese supermarket nearby… yes there is because Aliexpress.
– don’t look in Amazon’s top 100. Everyone looks there. Find niche products that appeal to a specific type of person. It helps if you are such a person. Anyone can think to sell a soccer ball but what about darts? Boomerangs? Rock climbing stuff? Boating accessories?
– Keep clicking. Maybe start in the top 100, but click away to product after product. Go layers deep, and find the untapped markets.
– add modifiers to searches. For example, instead of just “backpack”, search: “industrial backpack”, “commercial backpack”, “bulk backpack”, “kids backpack”, “novelty backpack”, “special backpack”, “backpack accessories”, “backpack alternative”, “better backpack”, etc.
– use auto-completion. Start typing a product name or category, and see what Amazon fills in for you.
And there you go! The keys to finding the perfect product to private label for Amazon FBA.
Get product reviews with HonestFew. We can sell your product to thousands and thousands of certified reviewers with just a few clicks, so you don’t lose the race to the top.
Get in touch at email@example.com or call us toll-free.
Leave a like and subscribe, and I’ll see you in the next one.
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Amazon.com, everyone’s favorite online money-maker.
What’s not to love?
Source a product, ship to Amazon, get reviews, and sell to Amazon’s millions of loyal customers… all while Amazon handles shipping and customer service for you.
It’s the biggest B2C online selling opportunity in human history.
But with the spotlight on the US, it’s easy to overlook one thing: Amazon.com is just 1 of 11 different Amazon markets.
There’s Amazon Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, and India. Millions of customers waiting to buy what you sell — all you need to do is be there.
But integration isn’t easy.
Each country has its own Amazon set-up process and laws on importing and taxes. So, one does not simply start selling on all 11 platforms at once.
So, what first?
Let me explain why Amazon UK should be your lead domino. Grab your passport. We’re going across the pond.
First off, how many potential customers are you getting?
US | Population (2013): 316 million
UK | Population (2013): 64 million
To be fair to the UK, look at the relative land masses.
But my question to whoever made this map is why put the UK there? This map makes it look like the UK’s ready to vote Trump. Anyway…
How much money do you stand to make?
US | Amazon.com revenue (2015): $107.01 billion
UK | Amazon.co.uk revenue (2015): $9.03 billion
This means that the UK is 8.4% the size of the United States in Amazon revenues.
So naturally, many sellers dismiss it: “8.4% as big? That means I’ll get 8.4% of the sales that I do in the US.”
And… that’s where it ends.
Because for better or for worse, there’s been a lot of hype about selling on Amazon’s US market.
This creates a cycle that positions American FBA as the best and only Amazon opportunity. More success stories and marketing, more sellers enter, more success stories, more sellers. And it’s true — you can make a lot of money on Amazon.com. Remember: in terms of the number of customers within reach, this is the greatest sales opportunity in history.
But this leaves Amazon UK, a $9 billion dollar Amazon market, largely neglected by sellers since everyone thinks: smaller market; not interested.
All the savvy sellers (including international brands from Europe and Asia) focus their efforts on Amazon.com, a large affluent market. Good move.
So in the UK, there are fewer savvy sellers than in the US and less international business focus, yet there are millions of similarly affluent customers who need your product.
See the opportunity?
In the UK there’s less competition but the same type of online shopper.
A study found that US shoppers spend, on average, £1,120/year. That’s, uh, let me see… call it $1485 USD/year.
The UK shopper spends, on average, £1,174/year or $1556 USD, which is actually more than the US shopper.
And reports, like this one from Business Insider, indicate that Brexit hasn’t killed British spending.
In fact everyone from the BBC to the Guardian to Reuters to the credit card companies themselves say sales are up.
So here’s what we know so far about the UK.
(1) fewer savvy sellers, both local and international, to compete with
(2) yet, the same customer profile: an affluent English-speaker who actually spends more than their American counterpart
(3) and, UK retail sales are up despite Brexit.
Now, we’re going to look at some Amazon niches in a second, but as if this wasn’t enough, your product can use the same ASIN, and be managed from the same Seller Central account.
And, by signing up for Amazon UK, Amazon lets you sell to all 5 of Amazon’s European markets: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it and Amazon.es, which gives you millions of additional buyers on top of UK traffic.
Ranking on page 1 and making sales on Amazon UK requires less up front investment in terms of initial sales and reviews.
Let’s look at some popular private label niches and look at what it takes to get onto page 1, first on Amazon.com and then on Amazon.co.uk.
On the left, we see a market where there’s tons of cash, but getting thousands of sales and reviews is the norm.
On the right, the UK. With no one over 1000 reviews.
And remember to multiply the UK revenue numbers by 1.30 to convert to US dollars.
And I’m using RPR, a metric that HonestFew uses, to quickly assess how potentially profitable the niche is. It’s the monthly revenue divided by the number of reviews on the listing, effectively telling you how much getting each review is “worth.” Not exact, but an excellent way to sum up an Amazon listing in 1 number.
US: Top seller makes $23,547 USD with 1658 reviews. RPR = $14
UK: Top seller makes $14,932 USD with 435 reviews. RPR = $34
Supplements will be competitive wherever you go, but it’s much less so in the UK, with each review being “worth” more to the bottom line.
US: Top seller makes $60k with 4500 reviews. RPR =$13
UK: Top seller makes $8.3k with 460 reviews. RPR = $18
US: Top seller makes $300k with 15,000 reviews. RPR =$20
UK: Top seller makes $78.6k with 3095 reviews. RPR = $25
US: Top seller makes $4100 with 509 reviews. RPR =$8
UK: Top seller makes $1600 with 73 reviews. RPR = $22
You can pick pretty much any niche, and the story’s the same: you need fewer reviews to get to the top.
And HonestFew can help you get to the first page, both in the US and in the UK markets, by selling your product to our community of certified product reviewers. We’ve done this for our clients again and again, so why not you?
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 1–855–707–2395 to rank your products on Amazon.co.uk now, rather than later. The timing’s perfect. Expansion is an excellent investment in yourself and your business, and we’re here to help.
Now, explaining the technical aspects of setting up a UK account is something for a different time. But you know that HonestFew always delivers.
For a breakdown on signing up for Amazon UK, I dug up the 2 best guides:
First, a LinkedIn article from Kiri Masters, who’s an excellent writer and aQuora rival of mine:
And second, this article from Tom (just Tom, out of politeness), which talks about being a US seller expanding to Amazon.co.uk. I’ll link to both of these guides in the video description.
So here’s the strategic plan for the UK:
Amazon.com is profitable, and has a lot of attention. While everyone’s focusing on that, now’s the time to expand to the UK, taking advantage of less competition and increased consumer spending. Reviews that you get in the British market are automatically worth more in terms of long-term ranking. Consolidate your lead now, and opt into all of Amazon’s European markets.
So, you sell on Amazon.
Maybe you’re launching a product. Or, you have one and know it could do better.
“If only I could get to page 1 I’d make sales and my problems would be solved!”
But is that true?
Can simple keyword ranking solve your problems?
The data says… yes.
One Click Retail, an analysis firm with clients like Unilever, P&G, and Nestle, found this Amazon data…
Page 1’s first 3 items get 64% of all clicks.
Page 1 in general gets 81% of all clicks.
And only 30% of shoppers look past the first page. Ever.
So if you appear on page 2 or lower, you’re losing 70% of all potential sales. Ouch.
It’s imperative to reach page 1.
HonestFew, my company, has successfully landed dozens of sellers onto page 1. Here’s what we do in 3 steps.
(1) Make something of quality.
Many people skip quality in favor marketing tactics, i.e. the acquisition of new customers. But quality should come first.
Because all of your To Do’s become easier or unnecessary as quality increases.
Quality is a force multiplier.
Quality causes more repeat business, better reviews, fewer customer service issues, fewer returns, and more word-of-mouth referrals.
Quality multiplies marketing ROI because the lifetime value of every customer increases.
Quality is so important to Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky that he designed a step-by-step visual storyboard of what the perfect Airbnb experience looks like, hired a Pixar animator to draw each panel, and hung them in the office. The project was code-named “Snow White” after Walt Disney’s storyboard approach to his first feature-length film.
Share in the magic: identify each step in your buyer’s experience, then imagineer (it’s a Disney term) ways to make each step better.
The customer types a search query into Amazon, and their story begins.
Their experience with you can be better or worse depending on your listing content, photos, review count, the types of reviews you’ve received, your customer service email sequence, packaging, packaging inserts, return policy, the product itself, and post-sale service.
Plot it out and make changes accordingly.
Seriously, don’t neglect this. Increasing quality is simple advice. So simple, in fact, that people skip it.
Now that you’ve got quality, you need customers.
Your job in step 2 is to…
(2) Reach escape velocity.
Rockets need a certain velocity to escape the gravitational attraction of Earth. It’s the same thing with your Amazon listing.
When you create a new listing, it has 0 reviews and 0 sales. Gravity is pushing, pressing, bearing down.
No sales, no velocity.
And if you don’t do anything, it’s going to stay that way.
So how do you get velocity?
With enough sales, you can free yourself from Amazon’s gravitational pull and float on page 1. Ever noticed that products on page 1 tend to stay there?
It’s a cycle: the more sales you’re getting, the further up the page you go; the further up the page you go, the more sales you get. Therefore, fighting to get to page 1 is harder than staying there.
But it comes at a price.
Amazon won’t rank your product on page 1 unless you’re matching the sales levels of the others on the page. Makes sense, right?
But you can artificially match page 1 sales levels with an Amazon product promotion. In other words, find people to buy your product at a discount in exchange for reviews. This can be achieved by building your own audience, recruiting reviewers on Facebook, or by using a product launch service like HonestFew.
This gives Amazon’s ranking algorithm what it wants: sales and reviews.
But how many sales and reviews do you need? The numbers depend on your competition.
1. How many sales?
Watch your competitors on page 1 for a while and figure out how many sales they do to achieve “escape velocity” on page 1. This will be your minimum effective dose of units sold for review. This can be done with a product research tool that estimates sales, or you can just add “999” of a competitor’s item to your cart every day, and see how many they have left over from day to day.
2. How many reviews?
In addition, you’ll want to match the review count average, so that shoppers will perceive your item as a viable option. If you shop on Amazon in addition to selling there, how often do you buy the option with the most reviews? Of course. Why wouldn’t you? No one wants to take a risk on the less-reviewed model. They want what’s popular.
(3) Maintain momentum.
Once you’ve got promotional sales and reviews, you need to keep the momentum going. If not, your ranking will drop and everything will be in vain.
So, how do you maintain your sales levels?
Drop your price.
As price decreases, the quantity demanded increases. Thanks, Econ 101.
You see, promotions temporarily improve your BSR. But if the promotional sales stop, then your ranking falls as well. To compensate for this, you can lower your price, increasing the quantity demanded by organic, everyday shoppers. This effectively replaces the sales you were getting in your promotion with organic ones.
Calculate your break-even price point, and charge just above that. That way, you aren’t bleeding cash with every unit.
- product cost
- shipping cost and duty fees
- Amazon pick and pack fees
- Amazon referral fees
- and conversion rates if you’re selling in a different currency
Use Amazon’s FBA Revenue Calculator to help you predict Amazon fees.
If the price drop isn’t working as you’d like or you want to supplement it with more sales, you can run Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
Don’t hold back with the ads. Target the top keywords in your category. It’s the raw amount of sales that matter at this stage; you can fine-tune your keyword selection later. Don’t worry if you’ve got an ACoS only a mother could love.
And once your organic sales are consistently high in comparison with your competition, you’ll secure your place on page 1. Keep going. The best way out is through.
After you’ve consistently matched and exceeded your competition’s daily sales for weeks on end, you should start to see permanent page 1 ranking.
From here, you can raise your price back to normal and start profiting.
There you have it: how to rank on page 1 and stay there.
This article "How to rank on page 1 on Amazon" was written by Pat from HonestFew.
HonestFew has successfully landed dozens of sellers onto page 1 with the exact methods laid out here. If you need a partner in getting your initial sales and reviews, we can get your product in front of thousands of product reviewers. Visit honestfew.com or email email@example.com to get started.
Here's how to make single use claim codes in Amazon Seller Central, updated for 2016. Some of the steps in making promo codes have changed, but we at HonestFew have got you covered.
There are 2 ways to make more money on Amazon: on-platform and off-platform. Here’s the video version of this article, by the way. If you’re more of a visual learner…
Things to do on Amazon’s website to increase your sales.
On-platform methods are divided into 2 branches:
(1) “on-page”: optimizing your Amazon listing title, bullets, description, photos, and backend keywords. And…
(2) “off-page”: getting more sales and reviews for your Amazon product. And, Amazon pay-per-click advertising.
If you haven’t optimized your Amazon listing and got product reviews yet, stop here. Do well on Amazon before driving external traffic. I define “do well” as predictable monthly profit that aligns with your goals.
If you’re not there yet, let’s hang out in a different URL. Read those articles, or watch these videos:
On-platform sales are nice, but you’re competing with other sellers for a spot at the local swimming pool, straining for space.
But if you know how to drive traffic from external sources, you’ve got your own private beach. On your private island. Behind a 19-digit password-protected gate, surrounded by fire, guarded by your own personal SWAT team and Goro from Mortal Kombat, who only obeys you. The point is, only you can access it.
Things to do off of Amazon’s website to increase your sales.
Let’s break down off-platform tactics into 3 branches:
Disclaimer: do all of these techniques work?
Will they all work for you?
Because everyone’s got a different product (well, most of us…), a different target market, and a different skill set as a business person.
- You sell clothes for 13-year-old girls. LinkedIn may not work. Try Snapchat.
- You’re an extrovert, so use your charisma to market. Interviews, videos.
- Your product’s expensive, so you can spend more to acquire a customer.
That said, try many tactics to discover the 20% of activities that produce 80% of your sales results.
The time and money spent finding what works is the cost of entry.
It’s like a great relationship: you’ll endure a few bad dates to find one but once you do, every bad date was worth it in a weird, cosmic sense.
Let’s get started.
Old-school techniques that make people buy.
(1) Build an email list.
Use MailChimp, create web-based sign-up pages, store your subscribers in an email list, and start sending offers. You may choose to send only sales/“buy now” offers, or mix in some value (like blog posts, how to’s, and videos).
(2) Post to deal sites.
Run a “sale” with a deadline, dropping your price on Amazon for a limited time, and post the opportunity to a deal site. Check out Lifehacker’s best 5 deal sites: Slickdeals, Dealnews, Woot!, FatWallet, and Brad’s Deals.
(3) Run contests and giveaways.
Trade product for eyeballs. Three examples:
- “Share the link to my Amazon listing in your Instagram bio and tag me in a post @companyname for a chance to win a free product.”
- “Subscribe to my company YouTube channel, where I’ll be picking 3 lucky subscribers to win free products this week!”
- “Enter your email in this box and instantly get 50% off my product.” Again, you can execute this with MailChimp.
(4) Sell through affiliate marketers.
For those unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, it makes it so that people (mostly bloggers) can share a link to your product. And if someone from their audience clicks the link and makes a purchase, they get paid. The Amazon Associates program makes it all possible, so you can try targeting them in forums to see if they’ll help you promote.
(5) Customer lists.
Buy a list of customers and email them your Amazon offer. To give you a sense of what’s out there, check out Salesforce or Leadroster.
Go to Craigslist and make a post selling your product. If you give a discount on the sticker price, even better.
(7) Buy placement.
Google your niche and then add the word “blog” after it. Then, try “podcast”. Try the same thing on YouTube, but with the words “vlog” or “review”. There are people in your niche right now who have audiences. They want products to review publicly. You want an audience. It’s perfect. Send them free product or buy product placement spots with them. Give them a coupon code (say, 10% off) that’s particular to their audience so that you can track performance.
(8) Instagram sponsorship.
Use websta.me to find Instagram influencers to send samples to. You can also just look at keywords in the Instagram app and get a sense of who’s influential in your space. Then, approach those users directly using Instagram direct messaging.
(9) YouTube sponsorship.
Replicate this “find and sponsor” approach with influencers making YouTube videos in your niche. This will work well for products that need some demonstration like make-up, tech, and toys.
Find relevant journalists using Hey Press, and ship them product samples.
(11) Compilation post.
Once you’ve compiled some top influencers in your niche, create a list in blog form. Say we sell shoes for dogs, so our post is “Top 10 best Shih Tzu Instagram accounts”. Email the article to those influencers. Tag them on Instagram. Break the ice and segue to a sample.
Help a Reported Out (HARO) sends you daily emails with requests from journalists. Sometimes, you’ll see a publication putting together a story in your niche. Reach out, and see if they want to quote you and your brand. Most of it won’t be relevant, but it’s worth keeping an eye out.
(13) Online coaches.
Contact Udemy, Skillshare, and Meetup.com instructors in your niche. If your product fits with their curriculum, they might recommend it. Class discounts are recommended!
Writing, audio, photos, and video to sell product — and, where to post it.
Set up your own website through Shopify or Wordpress and create written content to help prospective customers. Make it good, distribute it, and send the reader to your Amazon listing at the end of each article.
(15) Guest posts.
Contributing a piece of writing to another blog for the purpose of selling to their audience.
If your niche appeals to businesses, publish posts on the platform and send messages to prospective customers. Also consider SlideShare, a LinkedIn product for the social sharing of presentations, infographics, and documents.
The question-and-answer platform founded by former-Facebook employees. Answer questions in your niche to establish authority, then link to your Amazon listing in your bio and answers.
A social blogging platform. In other words, a great place to duplicate your blog content to help it be discovered.
Use the search bar, find subreddits in your niche, and engage the community over time. Best used not for direct marketing, but for asking for feedback.
If you’d prefer to speak, make episodic content pieces in your niche. Link to your product in the show notes.
A social shopping site with the highest average order value in the social media arena.
Build an Instagram following of prospective customers. Don’t know how? Follow along in this 0 to 1000 followers case study, where I get 1000 prospective customers for fictitious pet brand Dog Owners Only.
Make an account and create “boards” of images that can be discovered by your demographic. For some good visibility, post content to shared boards with lots of followers.
Make use of fan pages and especially groups, because they facilitate engagement. Facebook is putting a heavy emphasis on video going forward. Speaking of which…
Increasingly popular center of attention for teens and young adults, Snapchat (like Instagram) is social media that exists purely on mobile. If you’re selling to a younger audience, this is your platform.
Whether you’re vlogging, unboxing, or screensharing like me, products that need some demonstration are best served by video. Link to your Amazon listing in the description.
That’s all for now. I wanted to give you a top-level view of what’s out there, as opposed to diving too deep into any particular topic. Now, you can do some research and decide where to go next.
Question of the day: what tactic or platform would you like to know more about?
If you need help making more sales on Amazon, contact HonestFew at the email or phone number on screen.
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