🍺 Living the Good Life

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THIS WEEK’S ROUND 2 OF DROPPING KNOWLEDGE BOMBS
  • 🏆 This week’s Dream 100 Inductee

  • 🧠 Cracking the Code on the A9 - Gaps Filled In

  • 💵 Get Ready to Bank some Cash this Q4

  • 🙋‍♀️ Create Hyper-Realistic Influencers

  • 🥧 Master Guide to Amazon Pi

  • 🇺🇸 America the Beautiful

STUMP BEZOS

Chinese companies Temu and Shein exploit a USA import law that excludes taxes and duties from being collected on packages valued at under $800.

How many packages are they collectively sending into the USA EVERY DAY tax and duty free?

[ Answer at bottom of email ]

Living the Good Life

Last Friday evening I received a text from a woman I hadn't interacted with in three decades. We were neighbors during my university years in the late 80’s at Texas A&M.

My college apartment was reminiscent of the John Belushi film Animal House. I shared it with Zebbo - the fourth team Aggie quarterback, Phil - a Brit with an accent that got him all the girls, me making stupid money tutoring and financing the partying - I went by the nickname Ushooz, and a larger than life German guy from Hamburg named “Wolf.”

We had a policy of taking it easy on Tuesdays. That was movie night when the latest VHS movie from Blockbuster came out. All other days were fair game for boozing, dancing to loud music, playing games and flirting with girls.

Often our parties got a little loud, and neighbors would call the cops. We had a tradition of each time the police came to quiet us, a different roommate would take a selfie with the officer.

There were no recreational drugs. Just alcohol. We kept a keg in the frig and I had a complete bar set-up with a recipe and tab program I wrote in BASIC on an Apple IIe.

There was a pizza place nearby calld Double Dave’s that had a “Beers around the World” contest. You drank 100 beers from 100 different countries and got a passport-like thing stamped for each country. We completed it.

Wolf (left) and Kevin (middle) in 1989 in the “Animal House”

While it might seem I was heavily into drinking, in reality, I was almost always the designated driver. I only drink socially, and never alone. Rarely have I ever been drunk.

After college, Wolf served in the German Air Force, then came back to marry Kathy, the next door college neighbor. That was the last time I saw or spoke to her until last Friday night.

She and Wolf divorced after three years of marriage. Years passed, and in 2011 Wolf and I re-connected in Austin. I chose him as the best man at my wedding in 2017. He even financed some of my early Amazon products on his credit cards.

Sober, the dude was an awesome guy. Everybody’s “Bruder” (German for brother). However, his drinking spiraled. He often vanished for days, and his alcoholism strained our friendship.

In March 2021, I made the tough decision to completely distance myself from him. Cutting all ties with friends or people you grew up with can sometimes be necessary for personal growth.

You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. I also believe there is some truth in “you are a product of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Last week, Kathy's text brought tragic news: Wolf had been found dead in his Austin apartment, age 56. Neighbors alerted the police after noticing a package had not moved for weeks, and a foul odor was coming from the apartment.

Inside they found a heavily decomposed body amidst empty liquor bottles and a neon beer sign flickering on the wall that said “Live the good life.”

Surround yourself with good people. Live your life to the fullest. There may not be a tomorrow. And never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them. It may the last time they ever hear it from you.

Rest in peace Bruder. Hopefully they have a Ushooz Bar in heaven.

Welcome Vanessa Hung to the Billion Dollar Dream 100

Vanessa Hung is today’s inductee into the Billion Dollar Dream 100.

Vanessa immigrated to the USA from Venezuela. She boasts a rich history in marketing and product production.

Her significant shift to e-commerce began in 2017, overseeing more than 10,000 SKUs and handling every aspect of their product lifecycle, from product listings to inventory control to PPC campaigns.

Adept at fostering entrepreneur communities, Vanessa frequently organizes workshops and trainings. She is also currently an ambassador for Carbon 6, representing them at multiple events.

I first meet Vanessa in late 2020, during the peak of the Clubhouse app's popularity. With nowhere to go, Amazon sellers would congregate for hours on the app talking shop. She was a regular in the chats.

In 2020, Vanessa developed a passion for one of Amazon selling's often overlooked yet vital areas: managing and manipulating flat files. While most sellers avoid them, Vanessa thrives on them. She’s a data-driven and insightful problem solver who loves to help sellers find solutions.

She noticed that many sellers neglect essential, albeit less glamorous, elements in their accounts because they don't result in immediate high ROIs, reduced ACOS, or numerous reviews. So she chose to focus on three core areas on Amazon: catalog, inventory, and account health.

Vanessa was a speaker at the BDSS 5 Virtual Event in February 2022 and secured the second spot in the voting, which was a notable achievement given the intense competition.

One of her next big speaking engagements will be at BDSS 10 in Kauai, Hawaii from May 18-23, where she'll be one of eight female speakers.

She just started a soldout flat file training and is in the process of launching a podcast in Spanish and building out her agency.

Plus, she’s now one of the cool kids because she decided to move to Austin, TX.

Cracking the Code: 
Anthony Lee’s Deep Dive into Amazon’s Search Algorithm and What the BERT Era Means for Sellers and Software Tools

A few of the article’s key points:

  • Talks about introduction of the Honeymoon Period & how it has changed

  • How product launch strategies have changed from single-day huge sales to consistent growth over days and the impact of sales velocity and conversion rates

  • How Amazon started sorting search results into four categories: Exact, Substitute, Complement, and Irrelevant

  • A9 evolved into NLP, query-independent features, and offline calculated scoring plus the 2019 introduction of a multi-dimensional approach to relevance that also factors in stock levels

  • How BERT reduced the need for humans at Amazon to tweak results

  • Evolution of transformers to provide enhanced semantic understanding and evaluate 'absolute utility'

  • Potential two-stage ranking for better search results combining BERT and Listwise Ranking

  • Keyword software tools will need to adapt to provide nuanced insights, semantic analysis, real-time monitoring and predictive analytics

Grab a glass of your favorite adult beverage and read Anthony’s Excellent Analysis here (fills in the gaps from Danny McMillan’s article and the Billion Dollar Sellers Newsletter article from 3 weeks ago).

Miss the August 28 issue of BDSN talking about the A9?
Read it in the Billion Dollar Sellers newsletter here.

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

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Affiliate marketing software purpose-built for Amazon sellers

They have over 1,000 top affiliates eagerly looking for products to promote, especially in upcoming holiday gift guides. They can reach out to you in the platform, or you can directly invite up to 50 per day to your product.

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The average commission is 20% (flexible) + a 3.5% gold level Levant member fee. With brand attribution bonus, you get 10% of that back.

A 13.5% net ACOS and a massive amount of traffic to your listing!

Startup Ella Bella created a $1m revenue stream with just a few clicks on Levanta’s affiliate marketing tool. Look what they did mostly last month:

Acquco unlocked a massive new revenue stream with Levanta

Don’t play grab ass and wait. It takes a a few weeks to get ramped up, so click the link below to START TODAY and be ready to CRUSH it during Q4!

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☠️ YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
CREATE HYPER-REALISTIC AI INFLUENCERS 

Amazon product sellers are starting to use AI generated influencers to promote their products rather than paying huge sums to real people.

In this mind-blowing tutorial, delve into the world of hyper-realistic AI influencers. You’ll be guided though a step-by-step process of crafting incredibly convincing AI influencer profiles and videos that will leave you questioning reality.

From gathering source images to creating jaw-dropping face swaps and videos, this journey will redefine your understanding of artificial intelligence.

AI generated influencers are easier to make than you think

🎲 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: 

Amazon started out selling just books. What product was one of the next ones they started selling after books?

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

🛠️ FEATURED TOOLS and RESOURCES
 → all the kool kids use these

🐦 THE 40 BEST AMAZON SELLERS TO FOLLOW ON X (aka TWITTER)

Nate McCallister has compiled a list of his 40 favorite X (Twitter) accounts to follow for great advice in the Amazon selling space.

I didn’t make his list (I have totally ignored Twitter, but that is about to change), but I would be in good company if I did. Included on his list are FBA, wholesale and arbitrage folks - someone to follow for everyone.

Nate also shares some of his favorite tweets from several of the accounts, and there are some great nuggets buried in his list.

📘 MASTER GUIDE TO AMAZON PI STORE & SEARCH ANALYTICS

This is a little-know platform used primarily in India that influences everything Amazon does around the world. By reading up on it, you will discover a lot of strategies you can apply to the US and other marketplaces using the Search Performance Report, Market Basket, and much more.

For example:

Amazon Pi is an Amazon analytics platform for brands selling products on Amazon with deep insights on different aspects including customer search terms, search ranking, share of voice, brand recall, sales by geography, search analytics and alternate purchases. 

With the help of Amazon Pi insights, sellers can leverage data for Amazon organic and Amazon ads, and define a robust strategy to drive more sales on Amazon store with lower ACOS. 

This guide will help you to understand Amazon Pi.

🗣️ COMMUNITY SHOUT-OUTS
 → Tidbits from fellow newsletter readers

 🎉 HEADED TO THE CANTON FAIR IN GUANGZHOU NEXT MONTH?

Don’t miss the seller meetups hosted by Chris Davey and FBA4U at the 1920 Bar & Restaurant in the heart of Guangzhou.

His parties are back for the first time after a 3-year hiatus during Covid. It’s great networking with sellers from all over the world who you don’t meet at other events. Usually 100+ show up.

It happened to be my birthday at the last one I attended before Covid. I got a little surprise cake in the face from my now ex-wife.

Cake in my face at Chris’s Seller party in China during the Canton Fair

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🎄 GET READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH THE Q4 MASTERY SUMMIT

Hosted by Amy Wees and Vincenzo Toscano, the Q4 Mastery Virtual Summit has an all-star line-up of speakers to help you get ready for the holiday season.

You’ll learn all the latest tech tools, tips, techniques and strategies to make this Q4 your most profitable one yet.

The event started yesterday, but continues today (replays are available). If you are around this afternoon (4:50pm EST), come say “hi” as I will be on a live panel with some of the other speakers.

50% off code: kevinq4 (not an affiliate code - just to help you save a buck)

Want to be featured in this section? Use your referral link at the bottom of this email to refer at least 10 active subscribers, then email me to get your event, course, webinar or tool “Shouted-Out” free.

🧳 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.

America the Beautiful

11 mins of America the Beautiful

At times, it's essential to play the role of a tourist in your very own hometown or backyard.

Many of us often dream of jet-setting to distant corners of the world in search of breathtaking experiences and beauty, not realizing that some of the most awe-inspiring wonders can be right under our noses.

The United States, in particular, is blessed with a diverse array of stunning natural landscapes. Yet, it's a sad reality that many Americans have not ventured out to see much of what their own country has to offer in terms of natural beauty.

Over many trips I have captured many of the incredibly picturesque natural wonders in the United States.

I hope you find as much joy watching this video as I did filming it.

🥃 PARTING SHOT

“Stop waiting for happiness - generate it.”

The answer to today’s STUMP BEZOS is 600,000 packages a day

✌🏼 Thanks for coming along for the ride today.

See you on Monday!

P.S.

The people you spend time with determines who you become. Love your family, choose your peers.