Get ready and listen in to one of the handpicked speakers that Howard Thai traveled across the globe to find. This gentleman, Norman Farrar, is no stranger to Amazon, and in fact, he's really no stranger to a lot of things. He has an expanded knowledge base of all sorts of things with products. From manufacturing and sourcing, to advertising and marketing, he has an experience on it. Norman also does a lot of ranking with a certain style that is different than other Amazon sellers. He does it through PR and the other blogs, working with press releases and rebates together. Stay tuned to find out more!
Topics Covered In this Episode
THE FIRST EVER INAGURAL PROFESSOR'S PANDEMIC EVENT
It will be live virtually online from the comfort of your own home on June 29th and 30th
Introduce Norman Farrar
Who is Norman Farrar and what is he an expert on?
The three pillars of launch and rank
What are the three pillars of launch and rank and how does it work?
TOPICS THAT YOU WILL TALK ABOUT IN HOWARD'S PROFESSOR'S PANDEMIC EVENT
Branding and perception, Amazon posts, the three pillars of rank and how to use them effectively, and product inspections and their importance or the HTS codes
Tips on amazon Posts
What basic tips can you actually give us here on this podcast?
Problems Amazon sellers have right now in 2020
What kind of problems do you see sellers are having?
what opportunities do you see for the sellers?
What opportunity do you see as a result of this current pandemic?
lEARN MORE IN THE FIRST EVER INAGURAL PROFESSOR'S PANDEMIC EVENT
We’re here to educate and hope that anyone can come in and join us on the PPE event
The Professor's Pandemic EventAre You an Elite Seller Ready To $CALE from 7 or 8 to 9 Figures?
Watch on YouTube
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Professor’s Podcast where we discuss the best strategies to massively improve the reach and bottom line of your business in the current virtual and economic landscape. Your host, Howard Thai, generates over $5 billion for his clients annually using innovative tactics, both on and off Amazon.
[00:00:21] Hey everyone, Hurricane Liz here, you're back for another Professor's Podcast. And with me, as always, my partner in crime, the man, the myth, the legend, Howard Thai. And Howie, today we've got a heck of a surprise for everybody. We got another speaker that again, you traveled all around the world, and for those that don't know.
[00:00:39] Howie holds four times a year mastermind that's held live and in person. And, it's one of the most coveted actual masterminds in all of the Amazon ecosystem. And the price tag to attend that event live and in person is typically $12,000. However, because of this pandemic and because of Howie's desire
[00:01:00] just to spread his Amazon knowledge onto all the people that haven't had the opportunity to join us live, we've decided to do a virtual online event that you can.
[00:01:08] attend in the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas. Like right now, you guys can't tell, but I'm actually in my pajamas and I know that there will be some people out there that want to attend in their underwear. Hey, that's all right. Just don't stand up. We'll be happy. You're allowed. We'll be excited to have you and listen in to one of the handpicked speakers that again, Howie traveled across the globe to find. And this gentleman that Howie's about to introduce you.
[00:01:34] Is no stranger to Amazon. In fact, he's really no stranger to a lot of things. He has an expanded knowledge base of all sorts of things with products. Earlier, he and I were talking about designer purses, designer shoes and things of that nature, but Howie, how excited are you to have this gentleman speaking at your first ever online virtual event and what are you going to be wearing at the event?
[00:01:55] I'm going to have my PJs on. How about you? I'm not sure what I am wearing, gonna wear, but I usually, I’m kind of chubby a little bit right now, so I usually wear black to cover myself from. Yeah. From the, from the angles. When people shoot it, hopefully I can look kind of skinnier than normal. I learned it from the girls, but I'm not sure if you notice that.
[00:02:22] So we have Norm here. He's from Canada. I met him in one of the masterminds, a high level mastermind that we went to, and it was interesting because he was one of the, I had, I had cigars with him and we started bonding, talking about life and everything. So I, and he's really interesting. Interesting, because he does a lot of ranking with a different style than everyone else.
[00:02:50] He does it through PR and the other blogs and things like that, so we'll let him talk about that a little bit further, but, but he's very interesting guy. That's why I had him come on our, our event today. So yeah. I'm excited. I'm excited for it. I know he's probably excited to get started. So, before we do get started, I just wanted to remind everyone that I will have details on the event.
[00:03:14] It will be live virtually online. Again, like I said, from the comfort of your own home on June 29th and 30th and at the end of this actual episode, I will tell you how to find out more information so you can see who's going to speak there. Just the other day, Howie and I interviewed a $50 million a year
[00:03:30] speaker that had some pretty interesting things to say about Amazon that I've never even heard of and I thought I'd been around the block. I'm sure Norm would agree. He's been around the block for quite some time cause I've heard his name tossed around through several people. Just never had the pleasure of actually meeting him
[00:03:45] through the magic of the internet, I'm going to introduce you all for the first time ever to Norman. And I sound like your mom, right? Norman, not Norman. Norm Farrar, and I always wanted to add I in the end, Norm Ferrari. That's just what I'm going to call you, Norm. I think that's a cool nickname for you. I like it for you.
[00:04:04] You seem like not really a Ferrari type of guy, but I could be totally wrong about that and as Howie said you are in the mythical land of Canada. Which is like, it's almost like the USA, I would say, but tell me something, Norm. I'm going to basically pretend that you have just met Howard for the first time and you're obviously impressed by him.
[00:04:24] I call him the man, the myth, the legend, but let's just pretend you and him are an elevator and you've got two minutes to pitch yourself. What is so awesome about you that how he would want to put you on as a headliner at his first ever online virtual event, the Professor's Pandemic Event? Well, probably if I'm in an elevator with Howie, I'm probably talking about.
[00:04:46] My experience. So I go back. My first eCommerce site was back in 1995 so I had it up, started working with the first fortune 500 company, which led me to a bunch of other websites, got me into e-com early on, and then it got me into the contract or manufacturing. I've owned and operated multiple of manufacturing facilities in Canada.
[00:05:09] US, two in Taiwan, one in China, got into specialty packaging, which is really important. And the reason I'm telling you all this stuff is because it all comes together at the end. Sourcing company and logistics, a promotions company, which brought me into vertical integration, which everybody misses the concept on.
[00:05:28] And at the end of the day there was Amazon. So what I have, and the knowledge that I have is basically putting everything together, vertically integrated as well as I can knock it out of the park with perceived value. Everybody out there is, you know, they're trying to go for middle or I call it product cannibalization.
[00:05:48] I take that product and I bring it to the top so you can compete with the best and make the most profit. That's my speech. So I want to actually, you know, you were talking about all these advertising side and marketing side. Tell me what's most, where you consider yourself the most expert in regarding that section.
[00:06:11] Yeah. I've dealt with Amazon for years, so I understand Amazon. But where I've found, what I've found to be most effective and where I'm probably more the expert, is finding these little niches that people aren't targeting for like press releases, working with press releases and rebates together. They're killing it.
[00:06:34] Different levels and different styles of press releases that people don't understand. I can get you. The top of Google, but also like nail your, no, your listing and all white hat. Now this is the thing about it. You don't have to do anything black hat. It's old school marketing. But the other thing is I like looking at the new, like new announcements that or beta, uh, services that Amazon comes out, like Amazon posts.
[00:07:00] Nobody's taking advantage of this. And like for us. What I look at is launching rank. That's really my expertise. I have what I call the three pillars of launch and rank. We do this for people that want to listen, but it's PPC, it's rebate and PR, and then it's Amazon posts. If you do those three things together.
[00:07:21] You are going to have at least if you have a nice looking listing that's optimized, you will crush it in your category. If it's a $3,000 a month cap, then you're fine. If it's a hundred thousand dollars a month niche, you know, with a good search volume. Then you could, you know, you could maximize out at that niche with those three pillars.
[00:07:44] So I know you were talking about supplements with me recently, and that's a hard niche, right? So how is your three pillars or three pillars work with supplements? Do they do pretty good. You know what, we didn't talk about this. We just launched a supplement a few weeks back, very competitive, you know the category, and within the first week we got an on page one, some high volume keywords where you got it ranked between one and six and we started selling like we got it to about 50.
[00:08:17] 50 to 75 units a day, and that was using PPC and the PPC really hadn't kicked in yet. It was still in that window. We only launched it that week and PR, and we didn't even try the Amazon posts with it. Look, that's just with ranking with rebates and press releases, so you know what. The press release side of it, like I bought this company, this press release company that also does the rebate management and all that other stuff because of Amazon.
[00:08:47] It was working so well. And I hear people say, Oh, you know, press releases don't work. Well, yeah, if you go to a company that sucks, you know, it doesn't work. But if you go to a reputable company and you do the system properly, it could rank. So if, if you take those three components. And, and use any type of PR and with, with rebates, it'll work.
[00:09:09] And the other thing too, and I know, you know, this is not something, this is not about press releases, but you need to build authority and trust in your listing. So everybody has a micro brand out there. They want to think it's a big brand. It's not. It's a micro brand, so nobody knows who you are. You go to Amazon and what do they do?
[00:09:28] They click off, they go to Google. If you can show that you have a quality brand, if you can show that you're, you ranked number one on the page for bully sticks, right? Oh, okay, great. Now you see yourself on CNN, CBC, or you've got a great website and your social media is consistent with your brand. You're going to sell all day long.
[00:09:47] If you don't and you're, you're off the brand. Let's say like you go and you have some crappy website and nobody can find you because you've never done a press release, they're going to click off and go to somebody else. That means, that's my opinion. So regarding press release, I got a lot of like, we have a lot of big, big news, news or what do you call it, those like, like Wall Street Journal.
[00:10:10] We got Buzzfeed that was at our door of our masterminds, trying to get in and to learn what we kind of do, you know? So it's really interesting. There were like sitting outside the door waiting for us to like to like let them in and trying to see that if they can, can come in and stuff like that. So it was really interesting.
[00:10:29] And there was one, some of the, cause we signed NDAs and all our masterminds and stuff like that. And one of the lady from Buzzfeed's was asking one of our, the person that just came in, that was one of the attendees that came over, was asking questions and stuff, her questions and stuff. So it was really interesting how they were trying to find out what were things that we talk about in our press release, right?
[00:10:53] So that's for us, and I guess I really. I’m into like this signals, you know, we're talking about signals that signal predicts. That's why we, that's why I have where we have more than one signal. Like you were saying, PPC signals, you're talking about a PR signals and maybe Amazon post signals and rebate signals.
[00:11:12] You know, there's all these kind of types of signals out there that you're giving to Amazon to rank your products faster and better than just normal rebate. You know, you have, when you're giving them more, more, more power. Right. Yep. And, I mean, in marketing, you know, it's a, it's so seven touches, right?
[00:11:30] So it could be the PPC, the, the rebates, the post, but then you can go off and get the website. You can get the social media. So wherever you can show yourself as many, like if you do a blitz. And you're all over the internet, or you're in radio ads, and these are just different touch points that people are, can see your brand, and it takes multiple times.
[00:11:55] So that's why a lot of times people will do something once. They might do a launch in rank strategy, they might go to a viral launch or wherever and they do one launch. And Oh my, my launch didn't work. A viral launch is awful. They're not. I mean, it was, you have to continue. You have to monitor what you're doing.
[00:12:15] Yeah. There's so much competition, like especially in supplements. So you go and you do one launch, you give away 500 units or whatever it is. You might throw a few press releases against it, and then, Oh, three weeks later, you're, your main keywords, your long tails are starting to tank. You know, your whole silo of keywords.
[00:12:30] Are you starting to tank? Well, yeah. People are, you know, they're competitive. And if you're not competitive, and if you're not throwing maybe a few rebates and maybe another press release on these competitive terms, you're going to tank, you gotta monitor. Like I, I think one of the biggest problems that Amazon sellers have is that they think that once they do something, once it's done, one and done, and that could be your listing.
[00:12:56] You're optimizing, your images, you know, people throw up an image. I think I have a slide back and they think it's done. Well. What about adding that video? Oh yeah. I mean, I'll get to it one day. Does it convert? You know, or take your videos and like, I like calling it the Brady bunch effect. You, you take your one video, you put it where Alice used to be, and if you don't know the Brady bunch, it was this mixed family of a lady with three, with three daughters of a man with three sons.
[00:13:26] So it was his box of people that an Alice was in the middle, put your product in the middle. If you send it over to like a Pick Fu or usability hub, get them to vote on it. And if your pictures aren't winning, then you're doing something wrong and you better rethink your pictures or your titles or your, your bullets go through that whole cycle.
[00:13:46] And then, those three pillars. Once you do that to your listing, now your your listing, if you can't get people to convert on page one, then there's a problem. But a lot of people come back and say, Oh, I did something. You know, I, I spent $7,000 on a listing, we got to page one and nobody bought. Well, yeah, look at your listing.
[00:14:08] You did it with an iPhone, it looks horrible. You obviously haven't even taken one course and listen to anybody about your product listing, you know, it just was terrible. So just because, you know, just because you get on page one doesn't mean people are gonna click on your listing. Yeah, that's some great points.
[00:14:27] Norman. You know, one thing, I look at you and I hear you and I say like, here's a guy that knows a lot about a lot, like 1995. You've been in e-commerce that long, you're actually the first person that I've met that's been in eCommerce longer than I have. I think you've gotten beat by a little bit. And the one thing that I was really happy though to hear from you is that if you were in the elevator with Howard, you guys would not break out with cigars.
[00:14:49] That wouldn't, that wouldn't be a good idea. But typically in the live person masterminds, you know, we, we drink, we throw some drinks back. Howie's become great friends with Don Julio. Him and Don Julio are, are like this. I can tell you that from firsthand experience. I've seen it and as a result, secrets come out, but I feel with you, Norm, secrets are almost going to come out just naturally just talking to you.
[00:15:10] That's kind of how you earn the name Norm Ferrari, right? But the thing that I wanted to ask you based off of this, like extensive amount of knowledge that you've been able to amass since 1995. Tell me what three to five topics that you would be able to talk about during the professor's pandemic? It would absolutely get people on the edge of their seats.
[00:15:31] You know what? I'm going to say this. Your eyes are going to roll back and your head, you'll probably, Howie are you going to have a heart attack? I think. That there's not enough emphasis on branding. And by branding I mean perception, and I'm going to give you an example. So if this doesn't get you on your edge of the seat, then nothing will.
[00:15:51] So we've taken a, a simple product. It's a knife and it's a $16 knife. And we sold it at $49 not, not crazy about selling it at $49 so you're making some money and it was selling. Okay? It was in a plastic blister pack. I went back and I said, we got it. Like the perceived value is not there. We could do a lot better.
[00:16:14] We increased the quality of the packaging by about a dollar up to three bucks. And we put it back out on the marketplace. And we got, we got it up to $79 and I thought, this is really great. We got it up to $99 changed the packaging again, and now I think we're going to get up to around 200 bucks for this knife.
[00:16:32] So why perception? And so a lot of people, when they come onto the marketplace, they don't look at the little things that you can get. I use a beard comb as an example. I bought a beard comb for 79 cents. Well. Okay, I got a beard comb. It's in a blister pack. Well, how can I bring the value of that beard comb up?
[00:16:52] Well, I can etch it. I could put it into a package. I could into a vinyl sleeve. I could put it into a leather sleeve. I could put it in a leather sleeve with a slit. That'll allow me to put my credit cards in it. I can put it in a nice box that opens up, that cost me 45 cents. I did that and I bought three.
[00:17:10] Three Combs. One was in a blister pack for 79 cents the other one was in a vinyl pouch for 11.95 and the other one was 17.95 just being this, being a guy with a beard, I would have bought that all day long because it's got high perceived value and the difference in price. The guy with the 79 cents a one was selling $3,000, the guy with the 17 was selling $30,000 so it's getting people's mindsets around.
[00:17:37] Perceived value and understanding how to do it. The other area that I, I think I, I know I'm an expert in is Amazon posts. People don't understand Amazon posts. They don't understand how they can use it to, how's this, Show up on your competitor's listing for free. I mean, it's, it's a freeway to go against, like you actually show up on your competitors list, which I'll take that all day long.
[00:18:06] It's free and it's shoppable, and at the end of the day we can show that there's a correlation between the engagement in a good quality review and people buying your product, your sales go up. I can talk about the three pillars of, of rank and how do you use them effectively or that you're using them with a properly optimized listing.
[00:18:26] And finally, like I do have a sourcing and logistics company, and again, eyes go back, we do things a company like completely different than probably 99% of the sourcing and logistics company out there. So one of the things I could talk about is product inspections and their importance, or the HTS codes, which, like for myself, one of the products I sell, so you know, simple soap, and I was paying 17% until I looked into the HTS codes.
[00:18:54] And yes. Or, just harmonized tax codes that when they come in from China, you know, or it could be coming from the US into Canada. We were charged 17% I changed it from this natural soap category to Castiel. It went down to zero. I saved zero 17% and I just, you know, made it back all day long. And we've done this recently for one company, we saved them 35%.
[00:19:19] And so that's something that's interesting. I think a lot of people aren't talking about even higher end sellers. They don't really know. They leave it to a Chinese manufacturer who doesn't necessarily understand English to set their HTS codes and they're, they're paying for it. So those are some topics that I think we could talk about.
[00:19:37] Yeah, those were all really good topics for me. The one that excites me the most, we actually had a sheen on the lawn here talking about it was the Amazon posting, because I think that for a lot of intermediate sellers, like we've heard about it. And like a lot of sellers like myself, I like to let other people kind of pioneer into it and like innovate and then kind of figure out what they're doing and then do it after they figured out and they kind of laid out for me, I'm kind of more or less like the lazier Amazon seller norm.
[00:20:03] So my question to you is, without spilling the beans, because I think that Amazon is a huge topic and I've never heard anyone talk about it. I'll put to you and Shane came on here. What kind of basic tips could you give people? Cause I'll give you an example. After Shane talks about it, I quickly went on the internet.
[00:20:20] I Googled it, and I didn't really find a lot of tactical, useful information. In fact, I logged into my brand registry. I couldn't even figure out how the hell to enable post or anything like that. So, for a complete dummy like me. What basic tip without spilling the beans, can you actually give us here on this podcast?
[00:20:38] Well, first of all, you're right. There's no information out there. You really have to dig or develop it on your own, but I think it's really important that you understand how to at least, get onto it. So the first thing you have to do is just go into seller central and go to settings and go to user permissions.
[00:20:57] It's there. You turn it on, you have to turn it on, it’s default at, it's turned off. Just enable it. Then go to posts.amazon.com and user's seller information. So at that point, what you're trying to do is you're, you're set, you set up a profile. I don't have to get into that. You just kind of throw your logo and your brand name up.
[00:21:16] There, and then it's like almost anything else. You try to create these posts that are very simple. There's a layout. You upload an image, there's three different types of image sizes, so you can experiment. But go back and experiment with your polished images, candid images. So let's say that you've got somebody maybe from like Thomas in or something like an influencer network that you've got to take pictures with your, with your product.
[00:21:43] They work really well. For our knives, for example, we sent them out to chefs. And we got really well known chefs to pose with them, and then we put them up. We had benefits and features. Then we used. The beautiful part about it is you can use images that are on your EBC slash a plus pages or your listing.
[00:22:04] You don't have to go out and spend a ton of money. On top of that, like you do want to have this social proof. So social proof is everything. Everything on Amazon is white background, right? You're going down your listing. It's white background, white background. Well, now you can drive your attention and it's, it's a pattern interruption.
[00:22:23] You can take a look and, Oh, there's somebody doing something with the actual product. So different, like a diverse type of, of images are something that you can look at. I can get right into it. Like where to go, what to do, how to do it. And you can also, let's say you're running a contest or you're getting people to tag you using your product on Instagram, you can use something like reposts, that's an app that you can just download and then upload it into posts.
[00:22:51] So if you're going to do it, you want engagement. And they do have a very basic report. You can't gauge sales. But I can guarantee you that if you see, you know, 200 clicks going over that you're going to see your sales go up. So one of the other areas that I can tell you about the Amazon post is you have to do it multiple times a day.
[00:23:11] This is where you get the real, the best effect of it. When you, when you will not believe the engagement. If you're in, especially if you're in a competitive niche, like we're getting anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000 impressions in three days. The 200,000 impressions. So that was during the holiday time. But right now we're doing an average with the one product at 20,000 impressions over three day period, and the engagement.
[00:23:40] So Amazon's done something really smart. It's multiple clicks. So for us in the e-com business, we would say, Oh my God, that's horrible. Well, no, it's not. You click on the post, you go to another post, you click on show product, which is going to give you a summary. You click on the show product and then you go to the listing.
[00:24:01] Well, what's that? What is it doing? It's getting rid of all those people who are tire clickers. And what it is is Amazon wants the person to convert. So if they're going through three clicks or four clicks, guess what? Your conversion rate is going up. So it's going to improve your conversion rate. I'm talking probably 30 plus percent conversion rate.
[00:24:22] It's incredible. Like you'll instantly see it go up so. If you, if you continue to do this and you can monitor in your reports what is working and what's not, what's getting you the most engagement, and just focus on that. And the cool thing it’s about, you can go in and you have up to 2200 characters. Like for us, let's publish once a week a recipe so you can get people to come back.
[00:24:45] And it really is Amazon's way of getting back at Nike. Nike said that they left because they couldn't build a brand. They couldn't build a community around their brand. Three days later, guess what comes up? Amazon posts, and so now that they are building it, there are some negatives. They're still in beta and you can't
[00:25:04] Comment, you can't vote. You know, there's a few little things that I'm sure you're going to be able to do, but the bonus is it's free and you can, you can't target a competitor specifically, but Amazon's algorithm will put you into a related category. With the specific, with different competitors and in categories that you never knew that you were relevant in, which is really cool.
[00:25:31] That was amazing, Norm, I think you went into so much detail there, like you gave me a great starting point as you probably gave a lot of listeners a fantastic starting point. But right about now. I'm so excited for this event. It's almost like you were waving a steak in front of a rabid dog. So I look forward to hearing you speak more about that and I truly appreciate you sharing all that information.
[00:25:49] How about you Howie? What do you think? Great. Well, the reason why I have him here, Norm here, is because this event is all about, is all about this new, new technology and also external traffic that he's pro in, regarding PR and other things too, especially the post where you could throw some of these posts, links, I guess, outside to get more traffic.
[00:26:13] So Norm, I wanted to ask you what, right now we're in 2020 on the pandemic, what kind of problems do you see sellers are having.
[00:26:25] I'm seeing that they're making problems for themselves. They’re, they're not going forward. A lot of sellers are afraid of expanding going overseas. I mean, as long as you are careful with what you're doing and like approaching suppliers and you know, not just going to any old supplier, I would, I would definitely.
[00:26:46] Go to a sourcing agent right now, any good sourcing agent, and we'll make sure that you screen your suppliers over in China. The other thing I'm seeing is that they're not being, they're, they're not controlling their inventory properly. This, this crisis has brought a tent, I've always preached that you needed to have a warehouse as well as set over, set your product over to FBA, and if you did.
[00:27:18] And anybody who ever listened to me to do that, they were half safe without not running out of inventory. But the whole inventory strategy right now, you have to change. So let's, I'll, I'll try not to confuse people out there, but this is something that people, if you do it now, if people are doing it now, this will save you also for fourth quarter.
[00:27:39] So you bring in your product, and let's say it's a thousand units, 500 go over to Amazon, 500 go into your warehouse. You save some long-term, or you save some Amazon storage fees. And then once that, once that product starts to sell, you move over to the 500 but right now it's a perfect time. Chinese economies, you know, it's, it's tough right now.
[00:28:01] You can negotiate not only terms, you can negotiate incredible terms, but you can also negotiate putting product into their warehouse. So what we've been able to do, for example, is we've negotiated with our suppliers, and we've negotiated on some cases to put a thousand units, like let's say, knives into storage without paying a penny.
[00:28:24] We've on, on most cases, we've said, okay, you know, we'll, we'll pay 30% deposit. So you're paying 30% as a backup. Okay. But we've negotiated terms on the thousand that went over to over to our warehouse. So anyways, what we were paying was the standard 30 70 now we've got either 30 60 sometimes even 90 day terms on the initial order.
[00:28:50] So that 5,000 units that went over to the warehouse and over to Amazon, we have terms on, now we've got the other thousand units. Sitting in a warehouse in China, and once those 500 move over those thousand move over automatically to the warehouse, then a new order gets placed and it's just, you know, it's perpetual.
[00:29:12] So you never run out. You're never going to run out in fourth quarter. You're never going to run out. If this crisis happens, it's going to be like you've got a backup, plus you've got better cash flow. So these are things that you've got to ask. So what's happening right now is people are afraid to ask, or the other thing is.
[00:29:29] You don't have to, you don't have like, and we've, we've noticed at the beginning everybody was worried that, you know, the sky was falling in. That was, that's wrong. You can go out there and sell. You can, like, people are afraid to raise their price. You know, you can raise your price all day long. As long as you've got the perception there just to do it.
[00:29:50] Other things that people are, are not doing that they have to do is being able to like make sure that you get that product inspection before it leaves, before it leaves China. That's, you know, an important part of doing everything and you don't have to get a hundred percent inspection. You can get 10% or 20%.
[00:30:09] But that's an insurance policy for 300 bucks or whatever it is, you know, that I would do. But the pandemic right now, a lot of people are also getting into the wrong products. You know, the, the, the categories that I wouldn't be getting into travel, believe it or not, I own travel products and I put a hold on it. But I've got my inventory ready to go because once people are ready to get outside, well guess what?
[00:30:38] You know, I was telling you just before, you know Howie, before the event. Or the call, there's people out. They want to get out and start playing and picnics and this, I'm not giving up on my travel products and this isn't the end of the world. People are going to travel. So if there's a lot of people, I hear people saying, Oh, you know, I'm stuck with all this inventory.
[00:30:59] Well just wait. You've got a gold mine not in your hand. So those, I mean, those are a few things that it really is mindset. Like there's so many people that are afraid of this Covid that it's affecting their sales. Like they're, you know, you're sitting at home. You've gotta be able to get out there and continue doing your business.
[00:31:22] I mean, this is a perfect time. Think of it. I'm, I'm, I'm a SOP guy. Like, if people know, like my background, I built 400, uh, policies and procedures for my company. I've got a five page policy on how to make a cup of coffee in our office. So, I mean, I, I'm, it's crazy, but do that. Yeah. All these entrepreneurs that are out there right now, you've got time on your hand.
[00:31:46] Oh, you know, I don't, I don't have anything to do. Build your policies and procedures, you know, what are you doing? What, what? What are you weak at? Check out, maybe outsource those to see what you're doing on a re on an ongoing, repetitive basis. You know, I call them the C tasks. Build an SOP for them, you know, and an SOP is really simple.
[00:32:07] Just document your task, go and get an, an app like loom. You can do it for free. Videotape what you're doing or video tape. That's how old I am. Videotape, record your screen and then, you know, put it aside, save it in your hard drive or in your Google drive or whatever, and then send it over to a VA when you're big enough.
[00:32:29] So there's lots of things going on right now. The other, the other area too is, you know, people have to take a look at their numbers when they're doing this, right? I mean, it's the old, everybody says, you know, look at your numbers. And a lot of people will say that for PPC, but they don't talk about in general business.
[00:32:48] You know, being able to, like, if you're tight on cash right now and you lost your job and you're trying to finance a new Amazon business. It's really tough. I don't know if I would do it, but some things like I've done is I've floated it off credit cards, which is the worst you could do, you know, paying 30% but little things, little bit.
[00:33:09] Finding, finding a Forex bank. No, that's going to save you from Amazon. If you're an inter-, if you're, if you're an international seller, they're going to charge you 4% on like a Forex bank. You'll get nothing. Like, I don't, I don't get any charges for wires or ACH is I just pay us slightly over the, you know, whatever.
[00:33:31] The exchange rate is slightly over that and I've saved thousands of dollars just by doing that. There's so many things you can do to cut back or save money. People don't realize it, you know, starting right from sourcing all the way through to like from a to Z, and you probably can see it. We have, we've, we've got one person that we work with that we've saved them over 60% of their cost of goods.
[00:34:00] Just, you know, 60% what does that do for your cashflow? And it was stupid things, you know, just that, Hey, you have to look outside the box. And that's what it is right now. This time as allowing all these Amazon sellers to look outside the box. So that's a long winded way of saying, yeah, do something. Well, you're, you're in commerce, right?
[00:34:22] In 1995 right. So I started in 20, 2003 so it was well back out there, I guess. So we're kind of the old, old school style where we need that warehousing and stuff that were pretty. Knowledgeable in that area, you know, for building a warehouse and everything. But I agree with the warehouse, you have more control than, than having everything with three PLs or with Amazon directly to save money.
[00:34:50] There's a lot of things that you can save money. I said it before, you know, the shipping costs. You can actually negotiate really good with the DHL global mail, UPS and My Smart Posts. Those are those, those are those third parties that you can actually negotiate really below USPs rates by a lot. I'm talking about 30, 40 even 50% off.
[00:35:14] So I'm also like what you're saying about cashflow. If you know, if you can negotiate really well with the factories, you know you're talking about your ROI is going to go up the roof. You know, you can actually grow faster. You're being productive. You know the amount of time you do something, you'll get like more return and you'll grow.
[00:35:35] Bigger and faster. And also if you want to exit, it's a great, it's easier to scale up, scale your exit plan. So, yeah. You know, one of the things that we tell people, like we tell the, when we're negotiating, one of the reasons why we want to do this, like they're saying, why would we do that? Well, they want a reason, right?
[00:35:59] So we just go back and say, look, it's tough. You know what's going on right now? We're trying to promote your company. We need to take those marketing dollars. That would have been to promote, you know, the, to promote your product. We've got a double that or triple it. And if we don't, we don't have the cashflow by you helping us out and, and look, we'll either pay nothing over there or you know, 30%.
[00:36:24] This will allow us to take that cash and put it into marketing, which is going to drive up the sales to buy more product from you. And a lot of the times, as long as you mentioned that, that works. Understand. Yeah. So last question here, like in 2020 what kind of opportunities you see. Oh, it's tons. And I always look at trends.
[00:36:50] Excuse me. I always look at trends, but there, there's so many opportunities in e-com and e-com services that I got my kids, my kids, you know, they went to university for something completely different during this crisis, and now they're back working with me because e-com is where it's at. We've seen increased sales.
[00:37:10] All over the map, no matter what you're in, except for travel or, you know, a couple of the direct hits that were taken with, with Covid. But everything's moving. You know, if you're taking a look like for us, we're looking, okay, what's happening in the baby category that's going to boom. You know it's going to boom.
[00:37:27] I'm not going to get into baby clothing, but what can I do that might be able to sell in that category? I'm trying to streamline things while this is going on the opportunity right now, I hate people who say Amazon is saturated or, you know, it's the big bad, you know. You don't want to get involved with Amazon.
[00:37:46] Well, if you don't get involved with Amazon, you're crazy because it's got the largest captivated audience there is, for buying. It's the largest search engine out there, but where the opportunities lie right now are in other areas. eBay has got an incredible platform. I've got three products that are selling over $150,000 a month on eBay. People say
[00:38:07] They can't do it. eBay has got a great spot. You've got other areas like the Walmarts, your own. We have a, we have a product that we're selling. And the pet industry doesn't even touch Amazon, and it's a, it's a very good seller. Never touched it. It's 19 months. It got into eight figures, hasn't touched Amazon.
[00:38:30] So being off Amazon is fine. You can survive, you can, you can get out. The key is whatever you're doing in 2020, Liz, you're a big SEO person right. I used to be. Yeah, definitely. Content, content, build up content, get people to come to your website, have a good looking website, and then drive those people over to Amazon.
[00:38:56] So there's so many opportunities right now on Amazon. You just have to make sure that the cashflow is there. But I can't see. And this is one of the bigger opportunities in the world right now. It's international. You can sell, you can first direct. If you're worried about going over to China, there's so many manufacturers opening right now
[00:39:17] Back in the US you can source great manufacturing. Even packaging the opportunity. Like a lot of times we used to go overseas and you'd have to buy huge, large amounts of packaging if you didn't pay through the nose, there's incredible digital packages right now in the US that are very competitive with China.
[00:39:37] So let's say you're doing, you're kitting and assembly at a warehouse in the U S. You don't have to bring in the, the product from China. You can like rigid packaging and it's cost a ton to bring in. Now you can do it in the States. That's an opportunity. So there's, there's just a lot of different opportunities in almost every niche that you just have to sit down.
[00:39:59] Do your competitive analysis, make sure that the price point is half decent. You know, if you're selling a $10 bar of soap, like me, idiot, you're not, you have to sell a lot of soap, but if you're selling something for $50, you're going to make some profit. Now the other thing is there's more people coming online every single day than any time in history.
[00:40:24] We've never experienced this ever, and it's, it's, it's a boom. There's gonna be more. When the crash happened in, in the twenties, I'm not that old, but when the crash happened in the twenties, more millionaires were made during that time than any other period. And then you take a look right now. There's a lot of opportunity for people to become millionaires, and Amazon is a gateway.
[00:40:48] I mean, I love it. I'm not going to guarantee anybody be a millionaire, but if you work hard, you get knowledge. You go to events like yours and gain this kind of knowledge and the network. Then you can expand, and if you don't, then the opportunity will be there, but it won't be an incredible opportunity.
[00:41:09] Yeah, that's interesting. But what you're saying, what do you, do you have any last words before we call it, call it a day. You know what, I got like a little quick story and if it's okay, I'll tell it cause it's right behind me. I don't know if you can see that ship. Okay, so I got the ship back.
[00:41:30] There's a tall ship. Opportunities are around every corner. So I was in Vietnam, I was looking for furniture to buy to bring into retail into Canada. And then while I was going, the guy that was taking us through the factory said, Oh, you know what? You want to come into the back. Walked into the back. And there was a ton of people making tall ships.
[00:41:52] So these, these are one of the ships go over here. And they were about, I don't know, three feet long. They had other sizes. And so the Miami boat show was coming up in a little while, so I, I bought a container and I bought a container boats. I brought them to Miami boat show first two days, nothing happened. On the second day
[00:42:10] At the end of the day, this lady came over and says, what's wrong with your boats? And I said. What, what do you mean? She goes, well, your boats look nicer, but they're way like there were very inexpensive. There are $750 compared to the other guy selling, which was about $3,500 so I whipped over and it was a Chinese seller that had these really crappy, horrible ships, tall ships.
[00:42:33] So I went to whipped over to Kinko's at the time, change the pricing, but this ship from seven 750 up to 2,500 bucks, and the product. Sold out, we had seven ships left from the container, and we did it three more times before people caught on and they started doing the same thing. So the reason I'm saying this is that was my best, by the way, my, those are ships cost me 85 bucks landed and we were selling them at 2,500 so it was a great profit.
[00:43:04] But the other thing is, it comes back to my point at the beginning about perceived value. If the perception's there, people will buy it. And matter of fact, if it's too low, like $750 people question it and they won't even look at your product. But because I priced it properly in between, those sold out. So that's what I thought.
[00:43:26] And I guess, you know, on a podcast it's hard. They're tall ships, they're beautiful, they're wooden, very detailed. But anyways, that was my, my story of there's an opportunity and if you can take that opportunity and couple that with perceived value. They’re around every corner. Yeah, it's a pretty cool story, Norm. I actually just recently saw a movie, it's an animated movie, but it did talk about those tall ships.
[00:43:49] It's one of the centerpieces of the actual animated movie. It's really good. It's about a detective and his cute little white fluffy dog, but that's totally off topic. But I will say this, the Miami boat show is in my backyard, so it's just literally down the road from me. But I think that's a great story that shows how.
[00:44:06] When you create this perceived value, you can literally sell anything for any price. Like one of my products that does extremely well is twice as high as all the rest of the competition, and every year like clockwork, a million dollars from this one product that sells like hotcakes, no matter what page I'm on.
[00:44:22] So I'm excited to start the posting. I'm like, I don't even think I'm on page one for my main keyword. But because of the fact that I'm the highest priced product in the whole niche in general, it just sells like crazy. So took a lot of notes while you were talking. I'm super excited to hear you speak at the event and I wanted to give everybody the details on how they can virtually attend, like I said, live in the comfort of your own home in your pajamas.
[00:44:46] Wear whatever you want, wear your undies, like Howie said he might do. Get crazy, go crazy. There's actually a bestselling book right now on Amazon called veggies in their underwear, so it can almost be like an event in your underwear, so to find out more information, you can just go directly to the actual order form.
[00:45:03] We already have it up. It's a9mastermind.com/secure-PPE or for the lazy Amazon sellers like myself, a9mastermind.com/ppe. Either way, we'll get you there. It just might take an extra step, and if you're like me right now, the way we are independent, if I walk a whole 10 feet, I'm breathing heavy.
[00:45:24] The Darth Vader, when he tells Luke he's his father, so we don't want to have to do that. We want you to stay in shape, even if it's in your underwear. Do whatever it takes to get to that event on June 29th and 30th where I will be joined. I'm lucky enough to be the emcee I've attended for six of these and I will tell you this much.
[00:45:42] It has added a lot of money to my bottom line. And I get to listen to these 15 gentlemen that will be speaking there alongside with the professor himself, that we'll all be dropping, not only knowledge strategy, but also will be there to answer your questions and comments and you'll be able to see them.
[00:46:00] Just like I'm seeing you right now, live in online. Again in the comfort of your own home so you don't have to have lunch with us. You don't have to do any of that uncomfortable stuff. In fact, the last time when we were in Mexico, a girl just walked by us. It was like 10 of us sitting at a table and she walked by us and she said, are you guys Amazon sellers?
[00:46:17] And I was like, wow. Well thinking in my mind, did we really stick out that much? And I turned around and told her, no, we're here for the fitness model convention. Couldn't you tell? And obviously couldn't hold it in. I began to laugh hysterically and she knew I was pretty much like called out. I'm an Amazon seller, and so we will get to spend some memorable time just like that on the live in virtual event.
[00:46:39] Howie, again, any last words from you? I think I've said a mouthful there, but that just goes to show how excited I am to hear Norman Ferrari's or Farrar. I know I'm just kidding with you, but I love that, Norman Farrar’s presentation as long as the other 14 how about you Howie? Well, I just want to say Norm.
[00:46:57] Yeah. You’re old. We have a lot of things to learn from you.
[00:47:05] Let's see what you have to offer. Hey, Howie you were on e-com too from like 1990 something Howie, so it takes one to know one. You see talking about the pot calling the kettle black here, Howie. I’m still 18.
[00:47:22] I'm sure your wife would disagree with that, your wife of 20 some years, so we'll save that for the actual event. However, Howie, any last words before we say goodbye here? I’m a man of few words. So I would say no. I think I said enough today. Awesome. Amazing. Again, Norm, thank you so much for joining us and anybody needs to find out more information.
[00:47:44] Remember, it's eight, a9mastermind.com/ppe for the lazy Amazon sellers, or a9mastermind.com/secure-ppe for the ones that just want to take a shortcut, and that's what you'll be getting when you attend this event. So I look forward to seeing you all. I look forward to the fun that we will have with my virtual vodka shots.
[00:48:05] So see you guys soon. Bye. Welcome to the Professors Podcast where we discuss the best strategies to massively improve the reach and bottom line of your business in the current virtual and economic landscape. Your host, Howard Thai, generates over $5 billion for his clients annually using innovative tactics, both on and off Amazon.