Lessons Learned from My First Amazon FBA Q4

Lessons Learned
Today I’m sharing the lessons that I learned from selling in my first Q4 on Amazon.

Let me not bury the lead, I didn’t sell as much as I hoped I would during fourth quarter.

In this video, I am going to share the lessons learned during my first Q4 and some of the things that I plan to do better next time.


My biggest problem is that I didn’t get inventory in stock until December 4th, completely missing the first part of the holiday rush.  This is something that I have to remedy as my sales could have easily been doubled had I been in stock in November.

Pay Per Click

Another issue I ran up against was being unsure how much I should spend each day on PPC.  I really didn’t change my normal campaign and I think that my sales suffered as a result.  More to come on this soon.

Add Products

The more products you are selling, the more you can sell.  I know that sounds really basic, but if I had more products to sell, I could have sold a lot more product. Adding additional products to my business is crucial for a bigger Q4 in 2018.

Lessons Learned

Keep products in stock, study up on PPC and add more product lines.  Sounds simple, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.  I’m excited to see how much progress I have made come Q4 2018!

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

You can watch more videos from The Bootstrap Boutique here.

December Amazon Update

December Amazon Update
This is my first year selling during Q4 on Amazon! How’s it going?

Today I’m sharing my December Amazon Update.

Selling During Q4

This is my first time selling during the holiday rush that is Q4. I was late getting started due to being out of stock and waiting on a new shipment of products.

My supplier warned me that they were getting busy and that there would be a long lead time on production.  It turned out to actually be 55 days until my product was ready to ship to Amazon. Ouch.

This means that products weren’t checked in to an Amazon warehouse until the night of December 4th, or Cyber Monday. I was happy to see sales that same night, but sad that I missed out on Black Friday and that crazy first weekend of the shopping season.

It also meant my product sales were never going to be as good as they could be, because Amazon doesn’t immediately give you your ranking back when you get back in stock.

I’ve been back in stock for 2 weeks at this point and have sold about 1/3 of my inventory. Honestly, I thought it would be more and that I would be almost out of stock again, based on what I have heard about Q4 sales from other sellers.  There is definitely room for me to improve here next year.

Shipping Expenses Hurt Again

This production run is a lot more expensive for me because my shipping is more expensive.  This is supply and demand working against me as this is a busy time of year for transportation companies as well.

From the time I got my first shipping quote in August until when the products actually shipped in late November, the price rose by over $1,000.



Pay Per Click

Because my profit margin is lower than I’d like, I can’t be as aggressive as I’d like with PPC.

I’m currently running 3 campaigns, an automatic, a manual, and an exact match manual with a limit of $20 a day.


My main concern is maintaining profitability so that I can continue to order larger quantities of products and start hitting some quantity discounts with the suppliers. I’m also considering sea shipping for my next order, I am just hoping that I have a shorter production time to make up for that lag in sea shipping.

Product #2

We are officially in production! I am so excited to get started with a second product and to have 2 products selling on Amazon.  It should be ready in about 20 days and is a smaller and lighter product than #1 so should be much cheaper to ship. It has definitely been cheaper to produce.

Book Keeping

Gotta get on that so it’s ready to go early in January for my CPA.  I’m excited that according to Fetcher, I’m showing a small profit for the year!

Merry Christmas!

This is the last official video between now and Christmas, so if you celebrate I hope that you have a wonderful day full of all the people and things that matter to you.

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

You can watch more videos at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

Amazon FBA: Preparing for 2018

Planning for 2018
Today I’m sharing 4 things that I’m doing during the last 4 weeks of the year to get ready for 2018!

Preparing for 2018

It is time to begin preparing for 2018, because it’s almost here!

What are you doing to get ready for next year?

If you’re still trying to figure out if Private Label is right for you, take my free 5 day email course here, it helps walk you through that decision in just 5 days.

Here’s four things that I am trying to get done in the last 4 weeks of December.

Set up Product Launches for 2, 3, and 4

Product #2 is almost ready to go, I’m just waiting for a little more cash in my bank account, which will come from the sale of product #1 over the holiday season.

But I need to make sure that I’ve got the momentum going for products #3 and #4 so I can get them launched sooner than later.

Continue to add Sales Tax Permits to States with Nexus

I’m working through my larger liability states to make sure that I’m collecting and paying sales tax in states where I have more product sales.

Tax Jar is a software program I use that makes it easy to see where my exposure is amongst the various states, and I am working down the list.

My goal for the rest of this year is to have one more state set up, and then to continue adding next year.

Wrap Up Bookkeeping

I’m going to spend an entire day towards the end of the year working on my bookkeeping. It’s one of those things that you have to do as a business owner even if it’s not sexy or fun.  (Remember when I said that this is work?)

Take a Step Back

Believe it or not, I’m going to work on taking a step back from the Amazon FBA world over the Christmas season and get a refresh on it. I’ve worked hard this year on getting my business off the ground and I want to be able to reflect on and enjoy that fact. I have plans to spend lots of time with family and friends and enjoy this time of year.

There’s plenty of time in 2018 to get back on the grind!

That’s all I have for the end of 2017, what do you have planned for the rest of the year?

You can watch this video on The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel, here.

You can watch more videos at The Bootstrap Boutique’s Youtube Channel, here.

October Update – Amazon FBA

October Update Amazon FBA
October Update – What’s been going on in FBA lately.

October Update

Every couple of months I like to check in with a video to discuss all the little things going on that don’t warrant their own video.  Here’s what I’ve been up to!

Out of Stock

Unfortunately, my product has gone out of stock at Amazon again.

The day that I went out of stock, I sold 18 units before noon!  That was exciting to watch.  I was able to turn off my pay per click advertising and the rest of the sales came in organically.

What is really interesting about this is that my traffic was not noticeably higher. My conversion rate, however, was well over double it’s normal percentage.

I wish I knew what caused that difference to try and see if it could be replicated, but Amazon’s business reports aren’t giving me much to work with.

Re-Order Inventory

The good news is that I re-ordered my inventory way back when this round of product landed back in August.  The factory warned me ahead of time that they were busy and the lead time was long, so I’d glad I put that re-order through so quickly.

It should be ready to go by the end of the month, which means it’s highly unlikely that it will be checked in for sale by the Black Friday cut off date.  It should still have plenty of Q4 sales days though.

Product #2

I found a potential second product that I’m pretty excited about.

I’ve ordered samples and have received 2. One is still on the way.  I also ordered the #1 seller on Amazon to see how they compare and what changes I may want to make.

One thing that is frustrating is that in my initial emails. I always share that I need to make a small test order first, of 250 or 500 units depending on how expensive I think it will be. I asked if that is understood.

One of the suppliers that I work with just came back and said they have a huge MOQ (minimum order quantity) that they won’t move off.  I wish that had come up during our initial emails as it would have saved us both lots of time.

Learning from the Past

It has been well documented that I made a lot of mistakes with product #1 that made it take longer to launch than it should have.

I have learned from those mistakes and started working ahead on the product listing for product #2. My listing is coming along nicely and I know better than to wait for all the products to come to my house before getting photos done this time!

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

You can watch more video’s from The Bootstrap Boutique here.

Jungle Scout Pro 2.0 UPDATED – New Features to Help You Sell More on Amazon FBA

jungle scout pro updated
Jungle Scout recently got a facelift, but the update isn’t just cosmetic. Check out the new features in today’s video.

UPDATED Jungle Scout Pro!

Jungle Scout recent rolled out a fresh new look for their popular Chrome extension.

Still haven’t bought Jungle Scout? Get your copy here.

The updated Jungle Scout Pro adds features that will help you make better decisions about what you should sell on Amazon.

I especially like the features that can help you make a quick decision when starting the product research phase.

I like to do my research by creating long lists of ideas and narrowing down from there.  With the new Opportunity Score and Listing Quality Score (LQS), I can quickly see what potential products need to be crossed off my list.

For example, if I wanted to private label a product, but the Opportunity Score was a low number and indicated that the product had medium demand but high competition, I might think twice.  If the LQS column showed that all my competitors have high quality listings, then I’m looking at a product that will be tough to compete against.  I can quickly move on to a new product idea.

Of course, Jungle Scout is a tool and not the final say (good news, that’s you!), so you should take all this information it is giving you with a grain of salt, but for making a quick decision early in the process, these new features can’t be beat.

Other Fun Additions

I’m also a fan of some other new add ons from the Jungle Scout team.

The Keyword Cloud will show you top ranking keywords from your competitors.  The larger the word the more popular the keyword.

Jungle Scout Keyword Cloud
Jungle Scout Keyword Cloud

I also like the Historical Monthly Sales that you can access by clicking a products sales number.  This is similar to the information that you can get in CamelCamelCamel, but by viewing it in the Jungle Scout Chrome Extension you are able to save yourself a few clicks.

historical sales data jungle scout pro
Historical Sales Data in Jungle Scout Pro

Jungle Scout’s New Look

I’m really excited about the new additions to the Jungle Scout extention.  The JS team is pushing to be the premier tool suite for Private Label sellers, and you can feel it in this update.

By adding tools and information to the chrome extension that allow you to quickly gather data and make product selections, Jungle Scout has given uses the ability to move efficiently through the product research phase of selling on Amazon.

Make sure you are using Jungle Scout – get your copy today. 


Amazon FBA Updates – June 2017

Amazon FBA Updates

It’s time for another update on what I’ve been working on here as far as Amazon FBA.

I also dig into a couple of books that I’ve been reading lately, more to come in videos about them later this summer!

Tools of Titans: http://amzn.to/2ia2f0R
Profit First: http://amzn.to/2rU7kzZ


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my hair’s huge today hey everybody

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welcome back for another episode of the

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bootstrap boutique where beginners build

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businesses and I’m glad you’re here

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today because we’re just going to do

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another Amazon update what’s been going

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on as far as making progress towards

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this whole unified sba thing we’ve got

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going on here seems like I do things

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about every two months that’s never

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really been on purpose it’s just kind of

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how it worked out and people seem to

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enjoy them so I will just keep doing

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them so the first thing I am thrilled to

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share is that my private label products

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are coming along really well the second

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order will be ready to ship any day now

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I am so excited I cannot wait to get

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back in stock at Amazon and get back to

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selling and making sure that that first

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order room wasn’t a fluke and I know you

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may be thinking low but you like too

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much to sell to nor just the unit’s are

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we really going to call that a success

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but just the fact that they sold oh yeah

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I’m going to call that a win one thing

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I’ve been learning lately is if you set

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the bar really low you can hit it so I’m

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becoming a really big fan at that so

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yeah the products are on their way to

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Amazon I have in the past couple of

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months set up a website for the private

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label brand to help drive traffic to the

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Amazon listing I applied for a trademark

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for brand registering which is a little

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bit terrifying I did it myself I don’t

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recommend that because I feel like I’m

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sure I did something wrong and it’s

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going to be rejected and I just do it

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all over again but I really wanted to go

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through the exercise myself so was that

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a bad idea probably that whole brain

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register your process now that you have

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to have a registered trademark is kind

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of a monster now so I’ve been working on

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documenting every step that I’m taking

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and everything I’m doing to hopefully

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help people down the road you know once

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it’s all done I will put it together and

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put it out there for you guys so you can

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see what it actually looks like to go

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through brain registry now that it’s

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like this whole process inside viewers

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before is a lot more simple of a thing

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to do something I’ve been really making

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a focused effort on doing is spending

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less time on the Internet

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not for war purposes but like the

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mindless browsing of Facebook or Twitter

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or reddit or whatever that you do and so

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I really tried to replace that mindless

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browsing time with just reading more

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this is tools of Titan and I have almost

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finished with it it’s the library vocal

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it’s got to go back but I’m going to be

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buying a copy because it’s so hard to

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resist book and not go through and like

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highlight and sticky note and star and

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write notes in it so I want my own copy

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where I can do that this book has been

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so good over the last week or so that

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I’ve been reading it it has really made

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me think about so many things that

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otherwise I really wouldn’t have thought

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of and one of those things is meditation

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I definitely get too much in my own head

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and spend a lot of time thinking about

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things that I really can’t do anything

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about another problem that I have is

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that when my mind is on something like I

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can’t be distracted I have kind of so

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Matt and my husband before for never

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really reason it suffer I had something

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in mind I was planning on doing these

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just throws out a suggestion hey do you

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want to whatever and like no how could

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you how could you help you even think

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about doing that right now I’m going to

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do this is what I have to do and I just

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AM like ridiculous about it and so do

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you been telling me for a long time like

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Megan you need to meditate which has

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by that he meant Megan you need to chill

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out so let’s put that offer a long time

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because in my head it’s like I already

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have this long to-do list of stuff and I

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cannot put one more thing on it that’s

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what it was to be just doing one more

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thing on the to-do list but what I

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realized in reading tools Italians is

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that all these really smart people that

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are wait busier than I am most of them

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are making time to meditate at some

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point during the day or if they don’t

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meditate specifically they have

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meditation like practices that they

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follow and so it’s something that I

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started I’m only like a week and I

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downloaded the headspace app and I mean

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has it changed my life no but it is nice

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just to take those three minutes to just

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sit quietly focus on your breathing and

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not worry about other stuff I’m really

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excited about what this practice will do

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in the future it’s become something that

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I get more and more

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– and like more into doing so we’ll see

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we’ll see but I figured I kind of got to

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a place where I was like it can’t hurt

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and if it can help I’m willing to give

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it a shot because I will tell you I’ve

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had days over the past week especially

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or it’s like if somebody asked me to do

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one more thing I’m gonna lose my another

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book I’ve been reading that I’m going to

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dedicate like a whole video to is called

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profit first this is about how to run

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your business profitably which of you

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guys know you’ve been watching my videos

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I’m not really making a lot of money

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right now so it’s important that I set

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up my business in a way that is

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supporting me and what I want to do

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financially with the money I’ve earned

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from it I talked a lot about how my goal

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is not to put my day job but I would

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like to eventually pull money out of the

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business to you know pay off the

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mortgage or take a nice vacation or

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something like and this book is really

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open my eyes the title start doing that

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now even if it’s just a little bit then

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the chances of me doing it down the road

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our various one because there’s always

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something else you can spend your money

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on in the business so it’s all about

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prioritizing your dollars and my the

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author he recommends that you just start

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setting us at 1% for profit and if you

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can’t run your business off of 99

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percent of what it makes you can’t run

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it off 100 percent that isn’t such a

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good mine’s just for me to think about

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so I’m excited to do another video about

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this book and talk about how I’m going

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to implement it in the business got

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something really exciting humming next

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week last Friday I was able to attend

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the amazing seller meetup in North

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Carolina it was a blast but I don’t want

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to tell you about it I just want to show

00:05:50,970 –> 00:05:55,830
you so that will be next week’s video

00:05:53,310 –> 00:05:57,120
don’t miss it there is so many cool

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things that have been taking place over

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the last couple of months so it was

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really good to just take some time this

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week and reflect on how much I’ve

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actually been able to accomplish because

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if you focus on how much there is still

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to do then it’s really easy to lose

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sight of how much you’ve already done so

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I would love to see if you just take

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some time and think about how far you’ve

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come already congratulate yourself on

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all the stuff you’ve already gotten done

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on all the obstacles you’ve already

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overcome just get up pat on the back

00:06:22,140 –> 00:06:26,080
everybody you are doing

00:06:24,009 –> 00:06:27,969
a great job tell me all about it in the

00:06:26,080 –> 00:06:30,330
comment and I’ll talk to you next week

00:06:27,969 –> 00:06:30,330
take care

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

You can watch more videos at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube channel here.

Amazon FBA March Updates 2017

This week’s Amazon video is an update on a handful of things I have going on behind the scenes at The Bootstrap Boutique.  I talk about sales on Amazon, getting my first hijacker and the importance of having a correct commercial invoice from your supplier.

You can follow along with the transcription below.

March Update


00:00:00,000 –> 00:00:07,259
just feeling super casual today hey

00:00:05,490 –> 00:00:09,150
welcome to another episode of the

00:00:07,259 –> 00:00:11,010
bootstrap boutique where beginners built

00:00:09,150 –> 00:00:12,509
businesses I allows you’re here today

00:00:11,010 –> 00:00:14,580
because we’re just going to do an update

00:00:12,509 –> 00:00:16,500
video there’s a lot of things that I

00:00:14,580 –> 00:00:18,900
wanted to talk about that don’t really

00:00:16,500 –> 00:00:20,670
ruin their own video but because I’m

00:00:18,900 –> 00:00:22,260
like all about full disclosure and once

00:00:20,670 –> 00:00:24,750
you guys to know what’s going on and

00:00:22,260 –> 00:00:27,180
where I am so it can help you know what

00:00:24,750 –> 00:00:28,380
to do to take your next step I just

00:00:27,180 –> 00:00:30,720
thought let’s just put it all together

00:00:28,380 –> 00:00:32,340
in one will call this our March update

00:00:30,720 –> 00:00:34,050
haven’t done a video like this since

00:00:32,340 –> 00:00:36,480
back in January and at that time I

00:00:34,050 –> 00:00:38,760
wasn’t even selling products on Amazon

00:00:36,480 –> 00:00:41,790
my product had not even shipped to the

00:00:38,760 –> 00:00:43,920
states yet and it’s quite different now

00:00:41,790 –> 00:00:45,989
I have a product selling on Amazon it’s

00:00:43,920 –> 00:00:47,579
pretty exciting stuff and that’s one

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thing I wanted to talk about our sales

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I’m happy that pretty much every day I’m

00:00:50,010 –> 00:00:53,820
able to what I call get on the board

00:00:51,570 –> 00:00:55,680
make a cell or two but I’m finding that

00:00:53,820 –> 00:00:58,920
that’s kind of worm leveling off them

00:00:55,680 –> 00:01:00,570
not sure why so I when I first started

00:00:58,920 –> 00:01:02,699
when this product for his lunch i was

00:01:00,570 –> 00:01:05,129
having days with a lot more sales

00:01:02,699 –> 00:01:07,890
activity happening i would had a couple

00:01:05,129 –> 00:01:10,080
of days six sales i have one of 11 four

00:01:07,890 –> 00:01:13,080
or five was pretty much where I was and

00:01:10,080 –> 00:01:14,400
I just haven’t hit that again since i

00:01:13,080 –> 00:01:15,720
went out of stock that time and i

00:01:14,400 –> 00:01:17,490
traveled out of state while i was gone

00:01:15,720 –> 00:01:19,140
my products sold out and all that stuff

00:01:17,490 –> 00:01:20,970
so i just had not be able to get back to

00:01:19,140 –> 00:01:23,189
that level even though i now have

00:01:20,970 –> 00:01:24,840
reviews on my powers I have five star

00:01:23,189 –> 00:01:26,520
reviews so my customers have been very

00:01:24,840 –> 00:01:29,280
happy with what I’m selling which makes

00:01:26,520 –> 00:01:31,439
me very happy but I’m still kind of

00:01:29,280 –> 00:01:34,079
stuck at that two to three sales a day

00:01:31,439 –> 00:01:36,150
range now I have been lucky in my

00:01:34,079 –> 00:01:38,130
reviews my customers have told me what

00:01:36,150 –> 00:01:39,720
they’re using this product for because

00:01:38,130 –> 00:01:41,220
there’s a couple of different things

00:01:39,720 –> 00:01:42,780
that you could actually just call it for

00:01:41,220 –> 00:01:44,340
and the customers and their reviews are

00:01:42,780 –> 00:01:48,630
saying that I’m using it for this and I

00:01:44,340 –> 00:01:50,280
love it it’s so perfect whatever so I’m

00:01:48,630 –> 00:01:52,560
going to go back and do some work on my

00:01:50,280 –> 00:01:54,540
listing to kind of optimized around that

00:01:52,560 –> 00:01:56,670
area because I want to be able to pick

00:01:54,540 –> 00:01:58,740
up people that are doing that also make

00:01:56,670 –> 00:02:00,570
something yet this is the product i need

00:01:58,740 –> 00:02:02,430
if this is what i want to do another

00:02:00,570 –> 00:02:04,770
reason why sales have been lower is

00:02:02,430 –> 00:02:06,180
because i had my first hijacker yay now

00:02:04,770 –> 00:02:07,680
I talked about this a little bit of a

00:02:06,180 –> 00:02:09,119
periscope video and if you’re not

00:02:07,680 –> 00:02:10,140
following me on Twitter make sure you

00:02:09,119 –> 00:02:11,610
are because

00:02:10,140 –> 00:02:13,770
this is an ID I got from my buddy

00:02:11,610 –> 00:02:15,150
Stephen over at full-time FDA was to

00:02:13,770 –> 00:02:17,760
just go on periscope and be a little

00:02:15,150 –> 00:02:19,440
more visible there and I share some

00:02:17,760 –> 00:02:21,630
content and some information there i’m

00:02:19,440 –> 00:02:23,010
kind of using it almost like this you

00:02:21,630 –> 00:02:25,319
know if things don’t want an entire

00:02:23,010 –> 00:02:27,030
video by their updates that I want to

00:02:25,319 –> 00:02:28,800
share I’ve just been kind of uploaded in

00:02:27,030 –> 00:02:32,580
the periscope getting on doing a very

00:02:28,800 –> 00:02:34,410
raw unedited live cat but I don’t

00:02:32,580 –> 00:02:36,630
interrogate los lunas like guys I had my

00:02:34,410 –> 00:02:38,220
first hacker I can’t even believe this I

00:02:36,630 –> 00:02:40,319
didn’t know that I was sawing enough to

00:02:38,220 –> 00:02:43,110
warrant a hacker however here’s what was

00:02:40,319 –> 00:02:45,360
weird about this hijacker not hacker

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here’s what was weird about that though

00:02:45,360 –> 00:02:50,580
usually hijackers are selling your

00:02:48,000 –> 00:02:52,890
product for a higher cost because that’s

00:02:50,580 –> 00:02:56,130
where they’re making money however this

00:02:52,890 –> 00:02:59,400
hijacker was had my product listed for

00:02:56,130 –> 00:03:01,110
six dollars which is like a seventy-five

00:02:59,400 –> 00:03:02,880
percent discount offer what I’m selling

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and I was on periscope saying I don’t

00:03:02,880 –> 00:03:07,470
understand that how does anybody expect

00:03:05,040 –> 00:03:09,239
to ever make money off of it and what

00:03:07,470 –> 00:03:11,220
someone commented in the periscope feed

00:03:09,239 –> 00:03:13,320
was that this person probably has no

00:03:11,220 –> 00:03:14,579
intention of actually selling the

00:03:13,320 –> 00:03:15,959
product they’re just going to go out and

00:03:14,579 –> 00:03:17,670
get as many sales as they can before

00:03:15,959 –> 00:03:19,799
amazon shuts and downs now that’s

00:03:17,670 –> 00:03:21,959
pitiful that is pitiful that people do

00:03:19,799 –> 00:03:24,000
that but I guess we shouldn’t be so

00:03:21,959 –> 00:03:25,980
surprised without it unfortunately

00:03:24,000 –> 00:03:27,660
there’s another guy actually the

00:03:25,980 –> 00:03:29,190
contacting you via Twitter he’s like is

00:03:27,660 –> 00:03:33,000
this person your hijacker and I was like

00:03:29,190 –> 00:03:34,500
oh my gosh yes it is and I had sent them

00:03:33,000 –> 00:03:35,549
and not a seasoned justice whatever

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better like I hey you don’t have

00:03:35,549 –> 00:03:38,820
permission to resell this and i haven’t

00:03:37,110 –> 00:03:40,980
sold it to you so you need to take your

00:03:38,820 –> 00:03:42,750
listing down and the southern person

00:03:40,980 –> 00:03:44,700
actually contacted amazon and when i was

00:03:42,750 –> 00:03:47,430
telling my husband about the hijacker

00:03:44,700 –> 00:03:49,079
that night while you’re laying in bed I

00:03:47,430 –> 00:03:50,459
pulled it off the plate I’ll just show

00:03:49,079 –> 00:03:52,110
you what I’m talking about confuse like

00:03:50,459 –> 00:03:54,180
Heidecker what the heck are you talking

00:03:52,110 –> 00:03:56,640
about I’ll just show you so I pull up my

00:03:54,180 –> 00:03:58,829
phone they’re gone so I was very happy

00:03:56,640 –> 00:04:02,519
and the next day myself came back now

00:03:58,829 –> 00:04:03,780
what I don’t know is how many people got

00:04:02,519 –> 00:04:05,310
dudes in the thinking they could get

00:04:03,780 –> 00:04:07,859
this product for six dollars and they’re

00:04:05,310 –> 00:04:10,560
never going to actually get that product

00:04:07,859 –> 00:04:12,359
and what that’s going to mean for my

00:04:10,560 –> 00:04:15,090
listing for my I mean I didn’t sell it

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so hopefully it doesn’t affect me or my

00:04:15,090 –> 00:04:18,660
account but I just don’t know so if you

00:04:17,459 –> 00:04:20,630
know please leave it down in the

00:04:18,660 –> 00:04:22,430
comments and tell me another kind of

00:04:20,630 –> 00:04:27,860
anything that i noticed i was looking at

00:04:22,430 –> 00:04:29,780
my pay per click and they may i spent on

00:04:27,860 –> 00:04:32,870
paper quite over the past week has not

00:04:29,780 –> 00:04:35,030
changed which seems unusual seems weird

00:04:32,870 –> 00:04:36,710
and i take and both of my campaigns that

00:04:35,030 –> 00:04:38,390
have an automatic in the manual they’re

00:04:36,710 –> 00:04:40,490
both running so I’ve got to spend some

00:04:38,390 –> 00:04:42,200
time digging into that on pay per click

00:04:40,490 –> 00:04:44,300
and trying to figure out why my ads I

00:04:42,200 –> 00:04:46,580
mean show more click on more and

00:04:44,300 –> 00:04:48,380
converting into more sales so last thing

00:04:46,580 –> 00:04:49,850
I wanted to talk about and again this is

00:04:48,380 –> 00:04:51,500
something that I think it’s important to

00:04:49,850 –> 00:04:53,450
talk about to share with you but it

00:04:51,500 –> 00:04:56,270
doesn’t mean it some video is the

00:04:53,450 –> 00:04:58,130
importance of getting a correct value on

00:04:56,270 –> 00:05:00,380
your commercial invoice when your

00:04:58,130 –> 00:05:03,230
manufacture chips the product to you

00:05:00,380 –> 00:05:05,270
when my manufacture night were talking

00:05:03,230 –> 00:05:06,650
about prices we agreed that the cost of

00:05:05,270 –> 00:05:08,330
goods was going to be fifteen hundred

00:05:06,650 –> 00:05:10,070
dollars shipping was going to be

00:05:08,330 –> 00:05:12,680
seventeen hundred dollars and that’s off

00:05:10,070 –> 00:05:14,060
fedex express shipping via air and so

00:05:12,680 –> 00:05:16,070
we’re looking at a total of thirty two

00:05:14,060 –> 00:05:18,770
hundred dollars so the value of goods on

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that is only fifteen hundred dollars so

00:05:18,770 –> 00:05:22,130
as the gym that was being cleared

00:05:20,420 –> 00:05:25,400
through customs i got these phone calls

00:05:22,130 –> 00:05:26,960
from the fedex people that do the

00:05:25,400 –> 00:05:28,760
clearance for you and they’re saying due

00:05:26,960 –> 00:05:30,440
to the high cost that good we need some

00:05:28,760 –> 00:05:32,360
additional documentation and as what we

00:05:30,440 –> 00:05:34,940
need high cost of goods what’s up with

00:05:32,360 –> 00:05:36,320
some threshold for that they said well

00:05:34,940 –> 00:05:37,820
three thousand dollars and several

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perfect i’m at fifteen hundred dollars

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you don’t need all that information for

00:05:39,260 –> 00:05:43,400
me and usually no no we do because your

00:05:41,300 –> 00:05:45,080
commercial invoice says that the cost of

00:05:43,400 –> 00:05:47,630
your or the value of your goods rather

00:05:45,080 –> 00:05:50,180
is thirty two hundred dollars and I was

00:05:47,630 –> 00:05:52,400
like that’s not right I said in my first

00:05:50,180 –> 00:05:54,320
disorder sin of all the documentation I

00:05:52,400 –> 00:05:57,830
had and because what was on the

00:05:54,320 –> 00:05:59,600
commercial invoice was not correct and

00:05:57,830 –> 00:06:01,610
they didn’t really care about my first

00:05:59,600 –> 00:06:03,770
disorder or any of that stuff and so I

00:06:01,610 –> 00:06:06,440
was not actively fill out all the

00:06:03,770 –> 00:06:08,390
section for documentation so now at the

00:06:06,440 –> 00:06:11,810
end of the world that you do pay taxes

00:06:08,390 –> 00:06:13,580
on the value of your good so i ended up

00:06:11,810 –> 00:06:16,370
paying two hundred and twelve dollars

00:06:13,580 –> 00:06:17,780
somewhere in that Paul bark and I assay

00:06:16,370 –> 00:06:20,480
what I really should have paid was maybe

00:06:17,780 –> 00:06:22,850
half it up so if we say okay a hundred

00:06:20,480 –> 00:06:25,340
and six dollars is what I overpaid right

00:06:22,850 –> 00:06:27,320
so I email my supplier and I asked for a

00:06:25,340 –> 00:06:28,940
revised and updated commercial invoice

00:06:27,320 –> 00:06:31,610
and they sent it in the next day like I

00:06:28,940 –> 00:06:33,150
don’t think they care what they put on

00:06:31,610 –> 00:06:34,860
it which is wise

00:06:33,150 –> 00:06:36,570
the important for you to make sure that

00:06:34,860 –> 00:06:38,520
you’re getting the right value put on

00:06:36,570 –> 00:06:39,600
your commercial invoice because they

00:06:38,520 –> 00:06:42,060
were like oh yeah here you go whatever

00:06:39,600 –> 00:06:44,430
so I opened a claim with fedex and I so

00:06:42,060 –> 00:06:46,050
here’s an updated invoice it was not

00:06:44,430 –> 00:06:47,940
correct before it here’s the purchase

00:06:46,050 –> 00:06:50,070
order showing that this was the value of

00:06:47,940 –> 00:06:51,720
goods that we agreed on and fedex drove

00:06:50,070 –> 00:06:53,910
back in there like yeah but the original

00:06:51,720 –> 00:06:56,880
invoice says this if you want us to file

00:06:53,910 –> 00:07:01,290
a claim for you we can do it for $75 and

00:06:56,880 –> 00:07:02,880
done another though that sounds like no

00:07:01,290 –> 00:07:05,100
because think about it you’re going to

00:07:02,880 –> 00:07:07,050
spend 75 dollars for them to start that

00:07:05,100 –> 00:07:09,660
claim I don’t want to get to it on some

00:07:07,050 –> 00:07:11,070
kind of list with customs patrol I don’t

00:07:09,660 –> 00:07:13,020
know how I happen or not that I want to

00:07:11,070 –> 00:07:15,150
risk it I will just pay the stupid tax

00:07:13,020 –> 00:07:18,420
the frustration tax of one hundred and

00:07:15,150 –> 00:07:21,120
six dollars and move on but had I gotten

00:07:18,420 –> 00:07:22,890
that right amount on the initial invoice

00:07:21,120 –> 00:07:24,840
this would have been a discussion

00:07:22,890 –> 00:07:26,430
nothing in the world does something to

00:07:24,840 –> 00:07:28,380
be aware of make sure on that commercial

00:07:26,430 –> 00:07:30,120
in which you have your right dollar

00:07:28,380 –> 00:07:32,250
amount otherwise you’re going to be

00:07:30,120 –> 00:07:33,870
paying too much in taxes you’re going to

00:07:32,250 –> 00:07:35,670
not be able to get it corrected

00:07:33,870 –> 00:07:37,380
apparently and it’s just going to be

00:07:35,670 –> 00:07:40,110
adding so make sure it’s right the first

00:07:37,380 –> 00:07:41,730
time that’s my tip of the day alright

00:07:40,110 –> 00:07:43,530
guys that’s just a little update of

00:07:41,730 –> 00:07:45,120
what’s going on with me what I really

00:07:43,530 –> 00:07:46,740
want to know though is what’s going on

00:07:45,120 –> 00:07:48,930
with you so make sure you leave me a

00:07:46,740 –> 00:07:50,910
comment down below tell me what’s going

00:07:48,930 –> 00:07:52,740
on how you doing are you making progress

00:07:50,910 –> 00:07:54,570
whereas you stuck I want to hear all

00:07:52,740 –> 00:07:57,710
about it tell me everything and I will

00:07:54,570 –> 00:07:57,710
talk to you next week take care

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique Youtube Channel here.

You can watch The Bootstrap Boutique YouTube Channel here.

AMAZON FBA Update – January 2017

Amazon, Amazon, Amazon.

Hi, welcome back for another week of The Bootstrap Boutique, where beginners build businesses, glad you’re here.

So I thought I thought today that I would just give you an update on what I’ve been doing with the Amazon FBA Private Label product business line that I am starting. Because I haven’t talked about it for a while.

Wire Issues

I have some sort of issue with my bank where when I send a wire to my supplier in China, it takes forever for them to get it.

So I go in, and I fill out the paper work and you sign your life away and send all your money to China and then it’s like…crickets. And it’s not that my supplier is going dark on me, it’s just that it takes forever for them to get those wires and their expectation is that I say, “Hey I’m going to go send you a wire today.” They’re like, “cool, I’ll let you know when we get it,” and then they don’t get it.

And it takes weeks. And with the Christmas holiday and the Fed Funds wires I guess down for the Christmas holiday it’s been taking even longer.  I sent a wire to China to my supplier about the mid…the first week of December? I mean, it’s been a while and uh, they don’t have it yet.

So… I’m not freaking out. I’m not freaking out. Not going to do it.


Because you guys know I like to share the warts and all approach to how I am starting this business I wanted to tell you about something that I realized that I did wrong for this first shipment and it’s not the end of the world, it’s only a 500 unit test order, but just to make sure that its something that you’re aware of. Because you don’t want to do this too.

So when you label products to sell on Amazon, there’s a few things that you need, right? You need the name of your company, you need the name of the product, you need what its made out of, you need country of origin or where its made, so Made in China. Those are all pretty basic things, UPC code, you need those to sell anywhere.

Amazon has another identifier that they use also called a FNSKU.  And I’m not sure, because if I was sure I would have done it already, if that has to be on the actual label or just on the bag or like, where that needs to be. So probably it should be on the label that is going to go on the outside of all of my bags but it’s not. I don’t have that actually set up yet with Amazon so I don’t have it.

So I think what I’m going to have to do is actually make my own labels with just the FNSKU on them and affix them to each of the 500 bags by hand. See what I mean?  Its, its…I can do it you know, 500 is not like 50,000 but  really could have saved myself some time if I had researched that first.

New Seller Restrictions Lifted

I guess the good news is that the December 19th, 2016 deadline has come and gone and Amazon is now letting new sellers sell there again but its not like I just had products sitting here waiting to go out, I did not get a product launched in 2016.  2017 is going to be my year, right?

So that’s where I am with the Amazon stuff and that’s why I haven’t talked about it a lot because I honestly, for a month almost have been waiting on a wire to go through  My product is in China ready to be shipped and I can not wait to get it here but that’s what I’m doing right now is waiting.

Office Tour

A couple of other things, I should probably address the elephant in the room.  We’ve moved.  We moved over Christmas because we are crazy people and this is my new office space. The seller kindly left this tapestry handing on the wall. It is not gorgeous but it’s covering the fuse box so I guess it will stay there.  It’s the only soft thing in the whole room right now, theres no carpet, there’s no drapery, or anything like that, so I apologize for the sound I’ll work on trying to research a little mic to make our sound better.

But I’ve got my work computer over here, my laptop and this whole space is a mess. I wish you could see it. We also have a weight rack over here, a squat bench set up. I should just do a fun little office tour for you guys so you can see what I am working with right now.  It will get better, but it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. One of those things.

The End

So anyway, that is an update on what’s going on in my life as well as my Amazon life and I can’t wait to have an update for you soon to show you some boxes and be like, “Hey guys, my products are here, I’m super excited” but that day has not come yet. Make sure you’re subscribed to the channel, I post new videos every Monday and Wednesday and I know you don’t want to miss one. Would love a thumbs up on the video if you enjoyed it, down in the comments below just tell me this time, whats new with you? Are you launching a new FBA product are you also working and living in a disaster area? I’d love to hear all about it and I will talk to you next week guys. Take care!

Amazon No Longer Allows Reviews For A Discount. Now What?

no more reviews for a discount at Amazon
Amazon no longer allows sellers to offer discounts in exchange for an honest review.

Watch the video at YouTube here.

Well this changes everything.  Or does it?

Hey welcome back for another episode of The Bootstrap Boutique where beginners build businesses.  My name is Megan and I just wanted to put out a quick video because yesterday Amazon dropped some really big news.

No More Reviews For A Discount

And that is that they are no longer going to allow incentivized reviews on product.  Here’s the background on why that’s important.

There are a lot of people online teaching you how to launch private label products on Amazon, which is one of the reasons I don’t really get into that to much.  I’ve told you before, you can listen to Scott Voelker he does an awesome job telling you how to launch a private label product on Amazon.  But pretty much everybody follows a step by step by step process.  And one of those processes is the launch process, by which you give out a number of free or substantially reduced products to people in exchange for their honest review.

So why is that important? Because reviews are social proof.

They help people make buying decisions, one product versus the other. And these discounted products have never been a problem, there’s just a few requirements that you have to follow.  One is that you cannot offer a product at a discount in exchange for a four or five star review.  So you couldn’t say, “hey buyer, I have this twenty dollar product, I’ll sell it to you for one dollar if you leave me a five star review.”  You couldn’t do that, you could in no way influence the way that people review your products or the star rating that they give you.

Now on the reviewer side, you had to give an honest review and you had to disclose that you had received the product for a discount.  So a lot of times at the end of these reviews you will see something that says, I don’t know, like, “I received this product  for free or a discount in exchange for my honest review.” Simple enough, right?

And there’s a ton of groups that you could use that would give you those reviews, so you could have anything from a free group on Facebook to paid services like ReviewKick (now called JumpSend) or GetBSR.com.  Here’s the problem with those reviews: Amazon was noticing many customers, and I’ll be honest, myself included, didn’t really trust those reviews, because when you are incentivized through a free or discounted product, studies have shown that you are much more likely to give a more positive review than you otherwise would.

So I know when I would shop on Amazon, and I always look at the reviews, I would kind of scroll past the top five or six or so because you know that those are going to be the discounted ones.  When you have these overwhelmingly positive reviews that don’t seem very well rounded it does create a lack of trust.

Amazon takes issue with that because Amazon is an extremely customer focused company.  I don’t know if they were coming under criticism for allowing this type of review system or what, but at the end of the day, they’ve decided they are just no longer going to allow it.  Of course they are still going to allow you to use Amazon Vine which is their own internal review club basically, but this is their sandbox, we’re just playing in it.  That’s what they are going to do.  Ok, we’ll find another way.

How To Get Reviews on Amazon Now

So what does this mean if you are an FBA seller or thinking of becoming an FBA seller?  A few things.

Number one, Amazon has said in a Tech Crunch article I read this morning that they will go back and delete prior reviews if they are deemed excessive.  Now who knows what “excessive” means or if they’re actually going to do it, or if they are just going to get rid of anything that has that disclaimer in it.  But at the end of the day that is going to help established sellers with established products because even if they have a thousand of these reviews, if Amazon doesn’t deem that excessive that means they are still going to be there while you as a new seller or a less established seller are going to have to kind of claw and scratch your way back up the review chart.

Number two, it is going to be more difficult to launch more products.  Everybody that I have read that’s talked about this new policy has said that yeah, it’s going to become a lot harder to get new products launched.  And that is because its going to be harder to get that social proof.  You have to rely on people that are not discounted or not incentivized buying a product, using it, coming back and reviewing it.  The conversions for that are very small.  So it is going to be a lot more difficult to get those reviews going forward.

Review Request Emails

There’s a couple of pieces of software that can help you with that, one is Feedback Genius another is SalesBacker, I’m sure there’s others, but they will send out auto-response emails to people that purchase your products and ask them to come back and leave you a review.  So I predict that those two companies are going to become a lot more popular going forward.  And I’ll put links to those down below so you can go check them out if that is something you think you need to start using now.

We’re also just going to have to find other ways to market.  A few ideas would be Facebook ads, blogger outreach, have bloggers do reviews of your products and link back to Amazon, youtube marketing could be a new way to do that.  I’ve seen someone say that they used to just back in the day write thank you cards to every person that purchased their product.  That’s a little time consuming but its not a bad idea, I like real mail.  Could be fun.

But at the end of the day we’re going to have to find new ways to do it because this incentivized review program is no more.  And here’s the main thing that I really want you to take away because I have read this in a lot of different Facebook groups over the past 18 hours or so.  Do not try to find a way around this and continue to offer discounted reviews.  Amazon is going to go Liam Neeson on you.  They will find you, and they will ban your account, and then you’re going to be really sad.

My Launch Strategy

Can I tell you a secret.  I was never planning on using reviews in order to launch a product.  I know.  I know that sounds kinda crazy when this has been in the past a proven way to do it, but I just wanted to try something different.

You’ve been watching my videos for a few months now.  You should know, if you don’t know anything else about me, that I’m a little bit hard headed and have to kind of do things the hard way.

My plan was always going to be to use a mix of pay per click within the Amazon platform and also YouTube marketing.  This is a big part of why I’ve been doing these videos, is because I want to practice getting better on camera.  Still needs a lot of work.

The challenge now is that a lot of other people are going to be using these tactics also, and so that’s just going to make it a little more crowded.  However, I think there’s also going to be a lot of people that just drop out, hands up, “This is a step too far Amazon, I’m just not going to do this private label thing anymore.”  See ya.

Here’s the thing guys, it is important in business to be optimistic.  Haven’t you read Good to Great by Jim Collins? What is one of the most common traits among those successful companies? Undeniably optimistic leadership.  So when the game changes, change with it.  It didn’t go away, its just, yeah some of the rules have changed.  But is there still opportunity? Yeah, there is.  Is it going to be harder?  Yeah, it is.  But that’s life.

Leave me a comment in the description below let me know what you think about this new policy by Amazon.  Is it totally screwing you up or are you excited about the opportunity that is to come?  And hey, it can be a little bit of both, we’re not so black and white here, right? But I look forward to hearing what you have to say, I look forward to seeing what changes are going to come and what new innovations people are going to have.  It’s just a new opportunity guys, let’s grab it.  I will talk to you next week, take care.

You can watch this video at The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel here.

You can watch The Bootstrap Boutique’s YouTube Channel here.