- Billion Dollar Sellers
- 🐕 My dog Zoe almost died
🐕 My dog Zoe almost died
NOTE: if you don’t see images below, be sure your email reader loads remote images
🐕 It’s 3:16am on a Thursday morning.
I’m in the lobby of the 24-hour animal hospital in South Austin, anxiously waiting for news from the operating room.
Finally the vet appears and solemnly says I have two choices.
I can either put my little doggie girl Zoe down, or try a $5,000 emergency surgery with no guarantee of success.
She may die if there is a complication, and I was told to say my goodbyes.
I had rushed Zoe to the vet because at midnight I had let her out for a bedtime pee. But she couldn’t pee. She was hopping around the yard like a rabbit trying.
She had bladder stones completely blocking her urinary tract. It’s painful and can quickly become lethal to a dog as urine backs up into other organs.
The operation was successful, and she is full of life now, wiggling her tail and wanting to say hello to every stranger she meets.
Oh, and I did get a souvenir bottle of stones as a parting gift. $5K well spent.
As I left, I vowed I would never give Zoe a cheap treat that could cause stones.
I told you this true story to lead us into today’s Billion Dollar Strategy (below).
I hope you enjoy issue #3 of the BDSN.
BUCKLE UP GIRLS & BOYS, THIS ONE’S A DOOZY → today’s 10 minutes
🍹 You can come to Hawaii for BDSS 10 in May 2024 for FREE!
🐶 Selling premium products in a commoditized market
🇨🇳 How Chinese-based sellers are getting reviews, and mirroring?
🎞️ Massively boost brand searches on Amazon using this TikTok trick
🏥 A “Plan-B” for you if this Amazon gig doesn’t work out
🛫 Upcoming Shindigs and Roadtrips you gotta consider
💲 BILLION DOLLAR STRATEGIES → what works to make moolah
How can you turn a common dog treat into a luxury item that stands out in a sea of mediocre and commoditized products?
When I first started selling Bully Sticks for dogs on Amazon, most sellers sold a pack of 30 treats for around $30.
I manually analyzed the reviews of the top sellers (in the days before AI or software tools did it for you). I discovered people wanted USA raised meat, sticks that were not “hollow” from stretching, and treats that did not stink or leave a stain on the floor or couch after Fido finished it off.
Most don’t know this canine delicacy is a cow penis. “Bully Sticks” is the phrase you use with polite company. They come in 6 inch or 12 inch variations (kinda like what you see every January at the AVN show in Las Vegas).
I found a classically trained French chef who made bully sticks with a 15-step natural process from USA-bred bulls. No stink, no icky drip, no stains - and made in the good old USA.
They weren’t cheap. No way could I sell 30 for 30 dollars.
So what did I do?
I sold a box of three 12” sticks for $54.95, or five 6” sticks for $49.95.
I sold A LOT OF THEM.
One proud pet dad re-ordered 72 times, and subscribe-and-save was 🔥.
Amazon IS NOT always about the lowest price. You can CRUSH IT in some niches by being the most expensive.
Did I generate more revenue and have a better BSR than the top sellers?
But I took home more money (the kind that counts).
Yes ma’am. You read that right. Less gross sales and a worse BSR = more total profit in this case, other than the guys at the very top who often had to deal with shady tactics and competitors f-ing with them.
Could I rank on page one for the search term “bully sticks” - only for a few days when I did a launch (back then with Viral Launch or Zonblast).
But I was in the top results for terms like “Bully Sticks No Odor,” “Premium Bully Sticks” and “Bully Sticks Made in the USA.”
A smart marketer named Perry Belcher says,
“Shoppers on Amazon Buy Pictures. They Don’t Buy Products.”
Four key ways I made this successful:
1) Product differentiation
2) Premium packaging
3) Exceptional listing images and graphics (including cartoons)
4) Knowing my avatar (pet parents who treat their dog like a human child and want to spoil them at any cost).
You can read more details and see additional photos on my new LinkedIn.
BILLION $ QUICK TIP: When you are designing your products and packaging, the color you choose helps to convey the emotions you are trying to evoke. Here’s a chart that will help you zero in on the right color.
🌎 STATS YOU SHOULD KNOW → know your numbers, own your destiny
Six month ago, there were 215 websites using Amazon’s Buy with Prime.
As of last weekend, it’s still flying under the radar with 2,441 stores using it.
Amazon says adding Buy with Prime to your off-Amazon store can increase conversions on average by 25%. As a bonus, your Amazon reviews also show next to Buy with Prime products on your e-commerce site.
Buy with Prime also works on Instagram and Facebook social ads, and will do abandoned cart follow-ups after 4 hours with a Klaviyo integration.
Sellers such as Aaron Cordovez, who spoke at the last BDSS virtual event, says 10%+ of his website sales use Buy with Prime.
🔥 PRIME PICKS → Amazon’s sandbox
I used to sell a make-up brush set. The box was nice and sturdy, so it would sometimes ship to the customer without an Amazon smile brown box.
Customers left me bad reviews because they were buying the brush set to give as a gift. It was ruined when it arrived with delivery stickers plastered all over it like a 3 year-old got a hold of the box.
Now Amazon has made it official. When possible, no more outer boxes. The primary reason is to be more profitable. Currently 11% of all orders ship in the seller’s box, and they want it to be 25% or more.
They’re now letting customers choose if they want items “shipped in own container” or not, just in case it is a gift.
Amazon just expanded Sponsored Product Ads to a select group of third party platforms and websites. You can now can advertise your products on sites like Pinterest, Buzzfeed, Mashable and more.
Check your Sponsored Products Placement Report to see the performance of each placement as they roll it out.
Placements will be determined by context and relevancy. For example, you could have your dog supplements appear in an article about taking care of aging pets. Clicks will lead directly to your product page.
💰 SPARE CHANGE → immediate impact tips
Ranking can get competitive - zombies, review manipulation, listing take-overs & more
On a recent Elite Seller Society Mastermind, 8-figure Chinese-based seller David Doo shared some valuable insights for Westerners (David has also spoken at a couple Billion Dollar Seller Summits too).
David says there are about 200,000 Chinese companies selling on Amazon, most of them with 10+ seller accounts under various names. They employ over 2,000,000 people in China. The typical company has 24 employees (some as many as 6,000). The average employee salary is about $1,000 per month.
Chinese-based sellers are obsessed with getting reviews he says. Their three favorite ways to get maximum reviews at launch:
1) Postcards by mail (I presented on this in the USA & China in 2019)
2) Stacking Vine reviews
3) Using Zombie accounts (see last Thursday’s newsletter)
Plus, if they are a dark side seller, as long as they can change a brand name, they can make other seller’s reviews theirs.
“Brushing” used to be popular (see photo below) using Amazon stealth accounts (not recommended). But its use is fading. The latest hot tactic is called “mirroring.”
I cannot share the tactic here. But you might be able to learn about it at the Elite Seller Society Secret Island Mastermind in Thailand.
TikTok is the best platform for product discovery. A successful TikTok campaign increases the search volume for a brand on Amazon.
Paul from Rankster (check out his newsletter) says if TikTokers see 5 users talking about a product, they will usually check it out. So he says always hire at least 5 influencers, then boost their content with ads targeting a small audience.
This makes it look like everyone is talking about your brand and users in the small audience you targeted will see your ads a lot. Now that’s TikTok gold.
🛠️ FEATURED TOOLS and RESOURCES → all the kool kids use these
This awesome rolodex (that’s a contact list for you youngsters) has over 1,700 curated Amazon services and tools, access to thousands of brand influencers, intros to vetted VAs and more. Easily compare the top services and tools in the “selling on Amazon” game.
This online tool is the easiest background remover ever. Quickly and easily (for FREE) get a transparent background for any image, or even completely change an image’s background to anything you want.
🏻🏽 SHINDIGS and ROAD TRIPS → meet & hang out with your people
Upcoming events in the next month to meet sellers and learn stuff …
Party Like It’s 2023 (Putting on the Ritz)
Have Cash, Ready to Spend It (London Bridge Calling)
Save Money. Live Better. Sell More (we’re going to Wallyworld!)
Say “Open Sesame” (and behold the treasures)
A.I., Oh My! (Queen of AI PPC & a guy who knows nothing ‘bout nuttin’)
Your Biz will Get Murdered or Get Rich (so says this country boy)
🎧 LISTEN UP - Latest AM/PM Podcast episode 🚗 ✈️ 🏋🏽
Tony Robbins says “proximity is power.” Despite that, did you know roughly 90% of Amazon & e-commerce sellers never join an e-com community or go to in-person events?
Athena says you cut short your max potential for success by staying home.
She’s been involved in the Amazon industry for 8 years, first as a seller and now as a master networker and the co-founder of the Titan Network.
Often misunderstood and misjudged, this podcast episode makes it perfectly clear who she is and what she's about. Kevin & Athena also explain in detail why it’s important to visit your factory and attend sourcing shows.
Athena says there are 3 things she notices contribute to the greatest chance of success in this business:
Speed of execution
Thirst to learn
🏆 This is one of the best AM/PM podcast episodes of the past year. Hopefully you have a chance to listen to it.
🏴☠️ AMAZON ACCOUNT SUSPENDED? → here’s your Plan B
Created by AI for the Billion Dollar Sellers newsletter in a comic book style
If this e-commerce selling thing doesn’t work out for you, you could always become a Youtube Course Guru go work as a delivery driver for UPS. The new contract the teamsters union just negotiated will enable UPS delivery drivers to make as much as $170,000 per year delivering boxes (some of them over 70 lbs!).
The best perk: drivers get air conditioned trucks as part of the deal, and they no longer need gym memberships. Running up and down stairs with an armful of boxes all day will suffice. Plus, drivers sometimes get fresh cookies from the little old ladies they deliver to.
YOU COULD COME TO HAWAII NEXT MAY FOR FREE!
Use the referral button or link below and earn awesome rewards!
✌🏼 Remember to tell a friend about the newsletter today. See you Thursday!