👼🏻 Knocking on Heaven’s Door

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👼🏻 I was a baby knocking on heaven’s door

Three weeks into my first breaths, my life teetered on the edge in a Navy hospital amid the tumult of the Vietnam War.

My body betrayed me with pyloric stenosis, a menacing condition that barricaded food from transitioning from my stomach to the intestine.

Like a guardian angel, a skilled Navy baby surgical specialist arrived just in time to snatch me from death's grasp.

My father? A heroic figure who charted the dark, challenging waters of Vietnam during war. As a US Navy officer, he commanded six Light SEAL Support Crafts, leading 26 valiant souls. His elite rank placed him in the echelons of special forces.

Often, his daring missions involved transporting SEALS for strategic stealth operations, pulling them out from the jaws of blazing enemy fire. His fierce commitment? That every man under his watch would live to see another day, even if it meant sabotaging perilous missions.

Night curfews painted the river with tension. When the moon-lit silhouette of a gliding sampan emerged one evening, .30 caliber machine guns roared to life.

Amid the aftermath was a haunting reminder of war's cost: a photo of a mother and child in the pocket of a deceased Viet Cong, a stark parallel of my own family's potential fate of widow and orphan had the roles been reversed.

Decades later, I ventured to Vietnam with my father as a tourist. The very land that once echoed with gunshots now resonated with stories of resilience and transformation. Vietnam and neighboring Cambodia are today tales of rejuvenation and hope.

Every Veteran’s Day I message my father and thank him for his service. I extend that unwavering respect to every veteran I cross paths with.

No act is more noble than laying oneself down for one's homeland and humanity, whether you hail from Ukraine, the United States of America, or any corner of our shared planet.

So, when you next encounter today’s Billion Dollar Dream 100 inductee, let your heart brim with appreciation.

Salute her not only for her dedication to her nation, but for her leadership and for blazing a trail in the e-commerce world that we all now tread.

I'VE COOKED UP A 6-COURSE MEAL OF JUICY NUGGETS FOR YOU 
  • 🏆 This week’s Dream 100 inductee

  • 🌙 Does the Honeymoon Period Really Exist?

  • 🪅 Mexico is Becoming the New China

  • 🐮 Man & Dog Sniff a Bull Penis

  • 🇻🇳 Bringing Good Luck Belly Rubs to the Vietnamese

  • 🕰️ How to Easily Make Millions on TikTok

Miss Monday’s Newsletter about the A9 changes? Read it here 

Welcome Amy Wees to the Billion Dollar Dream 100

Amy Wees is this week’s inductee into the Billion Dollar Dream 100.

She served 18 years in the U.S. Air Force with high-level clearance (all she can say is the building where she worked had no windows).

She’s a brand building and SEO expert, and is one of the leading pioneers in combining AI with physical product sales. She also invented the SiftEase Litter Box Cleaner.

Amy guides other sellers through her company Amazing at Home, and she runs online events such as the upcoming Q4 Mastery Virtual Summit and she’s leading an in-person sourcing trip this October to phases 2 & 3 of the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, China.

Be sure to congratulate her for both her service to her country and the amazing generousity and guidance she provides to other e-commerce sellers.

Amy is also one of the keynote speakers at the Billion Dollar Seller Summit in Kauai, Hawai’i next May.

MAN & DOG SNIFF A BULL PENIS —> In the August 21 Billion Dollar Seller newsletter I wrote about how I crushed it selling premium priced bully sticks (a popular dog treat made of bull penises) on Amazon.

If you missed it (more than 3,000 of you did because you signed up after August 21), I recommend taking time to read the issue.

Some of you asked if I have any examples of the UCG or video content to complement the differentiating images shown in the original story.

Check out the UCG video below. It boosted conversions 46%. I sent him some bullet talking points with the product, and he did the rest. Cost: $100.

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💰 BILLION DOLLAR SELLER TIP do this, make more moolah

TIKTOK WILL HELP YOU FIND AFFILIATES

TikTok has launched a new affiliate marketing channel for brand owners to hook up with creators and pay them a commission on every sale they send your way using TikTok Shop (launched in November 2022 in the USA).

Why you should care:

  • Over 71% of users shop for a product after seeing it on TikTok

  • Consumers in the U.S. are currently spending $4 million per day on TikTok Shop, up from $500K-$1 million per day just a couple months ago (June).

  • TikTok expects this to exceed $10m/day by the end of the year

  • In Southeast Asia, TikTok Shop already does $50-60 million per day, with expectations to grow to $90 million per day by year’s end.

  • You can research ads running on TikTok by country and topic, including how many people saw the ad, their demographics and audience size.

58 percent of TikTok users use the platform for shopping inspiration

Helium 10 Elite member Elizabeth sold $100k in her first week on TikTok Shop, and sadly it could have been a lot more because as a new seller they throttle her to 200 units per day. She was hitting that by 9am every day.

In just a few months she has sold over $2 million dollars on TikTok Shop - no small feat since she did $6 million on Amazon in 2022.

NOW is the time to get serious on TikTok before the masses. TikTok just launched “Fulfilled by TikTok” in the UK using their own warehouses. Sellers have to be based in the UK right now to participate. TikTok has same day, automated fulfillment for all orders made by 7PM Monday to Saturday and a next working day premium delivery service.

TikTok says it has hopes to make “Fulfilled by TikTok” widely available in the US next year. They are currently partnering with a handful of 3PL’s for testing.

TikTok has a longer-term goal to sell its own Amazon Basics-like products through TikTok Shop to U.S. users as well.

TikTok is not a shopping app first, but it should be on this list

☠️ YOU GOTTA SEE THIS

MEXICO IS BECOMING THE NEW CHINA

The US-China trade war began in 2018 with the “Trump Tariff” placed on most goods, causing an 8.5% reduction in trade between the two countries. COVID-19 then came along causing supply chain chaos.

This recent 20 minute video does a good job explaining what is happening and why you need to start paying more attention to Mexico.

US Import trade value in billions of dollars

Here are some of the key points:

  • US-China Trade War & Global Disruptions:

    • In 2018, the U.S. began a trade war with China by imposing an extra 25% import tax on several Chinese products.

    • This move, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues in 2021, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, highlighted the vulnerabilities of global supply chains.

  • Shift in China's Economic Landscape:

    • Rising living standards in China have led to increased wages and manufacturing costs.

    • The physical distance from the U.S. affects supply chain reliability.

  • Decline in Globalization:

    • Recent events suggest a potential decrease in globalization, leading businesses to consider alternatives closer to home.

  • Mexico's Rise as a Manufacturing Hub:

    • Mexico, with its close proximity to the U.S., has become a favored alternative despite its internal challenges.

    • Initiatives like the Hofusan Industrial Park has become the home of Chinese companies in Mexico.

    • Notably, companies like Lenovo and Hisense are establishing operations in regions like Nuevo León.

    • Historically, Mexico's manufacturing appeal existed due to systems like the Maquiladora, attracting global companies. A maquiladora is a factory that operates under preferential tariff programs established by the United States and Mexico.

    • By 2012, there were over 5,000 Maquiladoras in Mexico, providing employment to more than 2 million individuals

  • Mexico’s Benefits and Challenges:

    • Mexico offers benefits like low labor costs, closeness to the U.S., and strong IP protection.

    • However, challenges like violence, poverty, and a lack of federal focus on industrial growth persist.

    • Cartel violence in Mexico indirectly leads to an increase in skilled Mexican workers immigrating to the U.S.

  • Trade Dynamics:

    • Mexican manufacturing is primarily replacing Chinese rather than American manufacturing, which benefits the U.S. and Mexico alike.

🎲 AMAZON SELLER FEUD → Test yourself against your peers

BDSN polled 160 Amazon Sellers.

Take your best guess what your fellow sellers thought the answer is to the question below (not necessarily the correct answer).

TODAY’S QUESTION: 

Name one of the companies Amazon has bought over the years.

Wait a few seconds for the photo below to reveal the top answers.

🛠️ FEATURED TOOLS and RESOURCES → all the kool kids do this

GET READY FOR Q4: The on-going strike in Hollyweird has boosted the amount of unemployed acting talent offering up their services on Cameo by 2,400 over the past few months. You can get Lindsey Lohan to do a video for you $25,000, or Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank) for $6,500.

But my favorite is Cameo Santa. Christmas is already ramping up - searches for “Christmas decorations outdoor” have increased 3,364% in the last 90 days according to a report released today from Jungle Scout Cobalt.

For just $399 Cameo Santa make a personal video you can use on Amazon or social media telling everybody this Q4 that his workshop is busy making (insert your product name). He can’t wait to delivery them to make your friends and family smile this Holiday season. It’s only 12 bucks if you just want Santa to say something to your buddies.

Cameo Santa will make promo video for you for Q4

WANNA GO ON A HONEYMOON after launching your product?

Is there really such a thing as the honeymoon period on Amazon?

The term was originally coined by Anthony Lee while working at Zonblast (one of the original ranking and review companies) back in 2015.

Bradley Sutton, host of the excellent Serious Sellers podcast, flies on his own dime to the Maldives to do a honeymoon update episode every 50-100 episodes (version 4.0 coming soon).

Here’s a general consensus:

1/ There's no consistent length of a "honeymoon period" on Amazon - it varies by product and category. This period relates to how long Amazon takes to understand a new product and how it should be ranked.

2/ The honeymoon period might differ based on product type and category. For instance, a new, unique product with little prior data in Amazon’s system, like a “holographic watch” might have a long honeymoon period, while a “wireless earbud” product would have a short one due to Amazon already having a lot of data on such products.

3/ Amazon occasionally gives new products the "benefit of the doubt" to see if they gain traction. This is documented in Amazon's literature. They admit they sometimes tinker manually with rankings too to boost products.

4/ Amazon scientific data published suggesting Amazon may even adjust product rankings based on user behavior within a single search session, changing in real time how they are ranked.

🧳 TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE → here’s looking at you kid

My “why” has led me to visit 94 countries and all 7 continents. I create my life and work around my why. Not my why around my business.

I hope to inspire you in your journey of business and life.

Bringing Good Luck Belly Rubs to the Vietnamese

Click photo to watch a short video I filmed in Southeast Asia

3 minute visit to Southeast Asia

Vietnam is a nation with a rich history. For over four decades, from 1946 to 1989, the country was engulfed in wars against the French, Americans, and even internal skirmishes, along with aiding Cambodia against the Khmer Rouge.

Returning to Vietnam with my father was a poignant experience since he had served there during the war. Despite the biased anti-US propaganda in Vietnamese museums, which depict Americans negatively, the general populace harbors a fondness for Americans, often influenced by relatives in the US narrating tales of hardship in Vietnam.

Our personal guide in southern Vietnam had endured almost four years in a "re-education camp" after the US departure. He harbored deep resentment for Ho Chi Minh, the leader of Northern Vietnam, but maintained discretion to avoid government backlash. In the North, my guide was the son of a celebrated North Vietnamese pilot, now enjoying state privileges.

Billboards in US military camps during the Vietnam War

Vietnam is incredibly cost-effective, with the Vietnamese even favoring the American dollar over their currency in many cases. I had a bit of a fat belly when I visited, sort of resembling Buddha. This made me an instant sensation in Vietnam, equating to celebrity status due to local beliefs associating larger stature with prosperity and luck. Everywhere I would go people would come up to me, rub my belly for luck, and smile.

Now you know: The common Vietnamese name “Nguyen” is pronounced “win” - not “nuggen”. And the popular soup “pho” is pronounced “fuh” not “faux”.

🥃 PARTING SHOT

“Die with nothing left to give.”

✌🏼 Thanks for taking a ride with me today. Don’t forget to tell your friends and colleagues about the newsletter —> www.BillionDollarSellers.com

See you on Monday!