Episode 4 – Crazy Private Label Product Demands, Counterfeit Products, and Product Pickup on UK Buses with Sean Elias
We know you love to hear juicy Amazon news as well as successful selling strategies, and we have some good stories to talk about!
In this episode, we bring on Helium 10 Affiliate Manager Sean Elias to discuss trending Amazon news stories with Success Manager and Serious Sellers Podcast host Bradley Sutton. As 2019 gets into full swing, some new policies and changes to Amazon may be coming down the pike.
Also, we are debuting our new favorite segment “Outrageous Review of the Day” in which we find one of the craziest reviews on an Amazon we can find and read it for giggles.
In episode 4 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Sean discuss the following news topics:
- Shoppers Want Amazon to Offer Private Label Branded Products Such as Computers, Prescription Drugs, Medical Marijuana, and Cryptocurrency in 2019
- Ways Major Retailers Are Trying to Create Private Label Branding Solutions to Compete with Amazon
- Problems On Amazon: Counterfeit and Pirated Products
- Will Amazon UK Customers Be Able to Collect Ordered Products on a Bus?
- Outrageous Review of the Day: Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears
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- Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
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- Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
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Bradley Sutton: Medical marijuana on Amazon? Amazon warns its investors over the dangers of piracy. Picking up your Amazon product from your local bus? We’ll go over these and more on this episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast.
Bradley Sutton: All right guys, how’s it going? This is Bradley Sutton. I’m joined by my partner in crime here, Sean Elias. Sean, how’s it going?
Sean Elias: Yeah, very good today. Thank you.
Bradley Sutton: Awesome! So we’re going to go over on these episodes like just the latest news, some interesting things that you guys might find unique about Amazon. How they’ve been in the news lately and right now we’re not going to be talking about the supposed nude selfies that Jeff Bezos has been taking. You know, that’s been kind of played out in the news, but there’s a few articles that I found here that I think might be interesting to our listeners. So let’s go over the first one right here. This is from a marketwatch.com and the title is “Shoppers Want Amazon Brand Prescription Drugs, Medical Marijuana and Cryptocurrency.”
Sean Elias: I’m not surprised. Amazon do have great prices whenever they do their own brand.
Bradley Sutton: Marijuana two days or two days or less. But most people want it right away, so you’d want the Prime Now–probably for that one, so you can get it in one hour.
Sean Elias: Right.
Bradley Sutton: Something interesting in this article though. What did most respondents in this survey say that they would be interested in having something Amazon branded?
Sean Elias: Amazon branded computer.
Bradley Sutton: Amazon branded computer. 72% of the people said they would be comfortable buying an Amazon branded computer. Interesting.
Sean Elias: There’s already one that’s almost so right there, the Amazon Fire?
Bradley Sutton: That’s not it at all. They have the tablets. They tried to make a phone and that totally bombed. But I don’t think they’ve ever made a computer, so that would be interesting.
Sean Elias: Yeah.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So it says here there’s an Edge by Essential report from December that says Amazon has been selective about adding to its list of private labels. So I’m not sure about that. I mean, it seems like their private labels have been going full force lately. I’ve seen it more and more in the Amazon search results. So that’s pretty interesting. That article said that they don’t think that 2019 will be the year that Amazon takes a deeper dive into the private label business–I mean I think that’s completely wrong. I mean it seems like everything I see is them pushing more and more into their own private label.
Sean Elias: For sure. I think the only thing that they’re requesting more of is certifications for certain types of products. I mean that’s the only thing that they are already doing.
Bradley Sutton: Yup, and it talks about–this article it goes on saying, “competing retailers, including grocers, have focused on private labels as a way of adding something unique to their shelves and build a more expensive moat between their offerings and what can be found on Amazon. It gives an example of Target; actually it had more than 20 private label brands available during the holidays with A New Day, which is a woman’s clothing brand. Interesting. All right, so that could be a way that some people are trying to compete with Amazon, but yeah. What do you guys think? Let us know if you’re watching this on YouTube or in our website, you can leave a comment, let us know. What do you think 2019 has in store for Amazon and would you buy cryptocurrency, prescription drugs and medical marijuana from Amazon?
Sean Elias: I never actually pictured Amazon selling cryptocurrency, but only opening up their shop to people being able to purchase items with cryptocurrency. I do know, I think sometime last year they bought some crypto URLs ready for when they maybe potentially took the leap into cryptocurrency. But I haven’t heard anything about that recently.
Bradley Sutton: I was one of the dumb ones who got into cryptocurrency a little bit right when it was near its peak and then of course it fell out before I could sell it all. So I’m hoping that it goes back up or otherwise I’m out a few thousand dollars. But, oh well.
Sean Elias: I think it will.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Next article today, it’s from qz.com, from Quartz, and the title is, “Amazon Has Finally Admitted to Investors That It Has a Counterfeit Problem.” So this is very, very interesting because CNBC is reporting that this is the first time that Amazon has actually acknowledged sales of counterfeits and pirated items as a risk in it’s annual earnings report to its investors. Now, take a look at this actual direct quotation from this report. What did it say here?
Sean Elias: It says, “Under our seller programs, we may be unable to prevent sellers from collecting payments fraudulently or otherwise. When buyers never received the products they ordered or when the product’s received materially different…” Wait, what was that?
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, “materially different from the seller’s description.” So why are they saying that they’re unable to prevent that? Oh yeah. Okay. So they’re basically saying that somebody could go on there, and sell a fraudulent product and they cannot keep that seller from getting their money. And look at this next line here, pretty interesting.
Sean Elias: Yeah. “We also may be unable to prevent sellers in our stores or through other stores from selling unlawful, counterfeit, pirated or stolen goods. Selling goods in an unlawful or unethical manner, violating the proprietary rights of others or otherwise violating our policies.”
Bradley Sutton: So we all know that this has been going on for a while, but it’s kind of hopeful that Amazon is actually reporting this now. So if they report it, you know that they’re trying to work on something. Hopefully, I would hope that they’re trying to work on something. They mentioned also here in this earnings report that under the A to Z Guarantee, the cost of that program is going to increase. It could negatively affect Amazon’s operating results and in addition it say, “to the extent any of this occurs, it could harm our business or damage our reputation and we could face civil or criminal liability for unlawful activities by our sellers.” So on one hand it could be that maybe they’re just trying to cover their bases and say, “Hey, this is going to happen. There’s nothing we can do about it.” But I’m hoping that this is going cause an outcry maybe among the investors and then they’re going to force Amazon to take some more better steps because–for those of you guys who are Amazon sellers, you know all the kinds of things that you’re having to deal with as far as counterfeiters, pirates, hijackers, etc.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, I think that’s still big business. I mean, that was my first experience with Amazon like 15 years ago, getting textbooks for college–but my son now is taking a class at the local college and oh my goodness. It was–this huge book, it cost like $180 for a textbook. And that was used, like new it’s like over $200. I’m like, man, this is still some big business here.
Sean Elias: Yeah.
Bradley Sutton: All right, last article of the day. This is right up your alley. Retail Gazette from the UK, Retail gazette.co.uk and the title is, “You Could Soon Collect Your Amazon Package”–Oh, I need to say this in another way. “You Could Soon Collect Your Amazon Package on Your Daily Bus“
Sean Elias: Harry?
Bradley Sutton: All right, so what is this about Sean? What’s going on and what’s potentially what’s happening in a Amazon UK?
Sean Elias: Yeah. Hell, this is what they’re imagining. So you can get your packages off of a bus.
Bradley Sutton: Potentially. It’s a–because of this patent, right?
Sean Elias: Right.
Bradley Sutton: The thing that gets me is this right here, it says, “using GPS to track the package and be alerted via text message when it’s approaching.” So I mean like what? It’s on the number two bus, right? Oh, that bus is almost here. You better run to the bus stop. I mean, I don’t understand how this is going to work. Is that what you guys call it? You guys call it bus?
Sean Elias: A bus stop, yeah.
Bradley Sutton: You guys call the subway something different.
Sean Elias: Oh, in London, yeah, we have metro station.
Bradley Sutton: Isn’t it called like the tube or something like that?
Sean Elias: The tube, yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Sometimes I get confused with English-English. Like the tube here is what people used to call the TV. Okay, so I guess you know, who knows, maybe on the tube, all of a sudden your Amazon package can be picked up if like you’re always taking the certain bus and you can tell them, Hey, put this on the seven o’clock bus to Southampton.”
Sean Elias: The sad thing about this is if you miss the bus, it’s not like you can get the next one.
Bradley Sutton: I don’t know how this is going to work, but reading this article, I’m not sure if this is ever going to happen because in the fine print here they say, “this latest patent was reportedly filed five years before it was being granted and it will expand its reach to customers who don’t want items delivered to their home or are often on the move.” But even now here in the states, there’s different ways you can pick up. Have you ever got something from a locker?
Sean Elias: A locker? Yeah, in Whole Foods, yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, Whole Foods, but then also they have these like package lockers where Amazon will deliver it to this locker that you go there
with a code and you can pick up your package right there. So, who knows? They’re always talking about different ways to deliver your products from drones, to–what else did we see? People can–like the Amazon driver can like go inside your house now if you have one of those special locks.
Sean Elias: They get very creative with the ways that hoping to save money with having it delivered to you.
Bradley Sutton: Exactly.
Sean Elias: Which is very cool.
Bradley Sutton: So let us know guys in the comments. You know, you can’t do it on iTunes, but if you’re watching this on YouTube or our website or somewhere else, let us know what the comments: How would you like to see your packages delivered or what do you think about some of these new ways? Would you put your product on a bus to deliver it to somebody? Let us know. I doubt it.
Sean Elias: Maybe train dogs with backpacks.
Bradley Sutton: Drop dogs with backpack.
Sean Elias: The Amazon dogs.
Bradley Sutton: Or like sharks just like in Austin Powers.
Sean Elias: Everybody sees the Amazon dogs whenever a listing is not available. They could just put backpacks on them and train them and send them into houses.
Bradley Sutton: Hey, I’ve seen crazier things. You never know. All right, let’s close this episode out with the Review of the Day. This is where we don’t get serious. This is a Serious Sellers Podcast, but this is the non-serious review of the day where we take a look at real reviews direct from Amazon listings that are absolutely outrageous and the review of today.
Sean Elias: Kids and grownups love it, Sir.
Bradley Sutton: It’s from Hari–How do you would say this, Haribo?
Sean Elias: Haribo
Bradley Sutton: Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears. This is the listing for the 5 lbs. bag. Alright. What’s the listing’s heading?
Sean Elias: The listing heading is “Just don’t. Unless it’s a gift for someone you hate”.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. This is by Christine [inaudible]. This is a verified purchase, one star review. All right, this is a long, long review. Let’s read just a little bit of it here. So I’m gonna read the first two paragraphs. It says, “Oh man, words cannot express what happened to me after eating these. The gummy bear “cleanse.” If you are someone that could tolerate the sugar substitute, enjoy. If you are like the dozens of people that tried my order, run! First of all for taste, I would rate these a 5. So good, soft, true to taste fruit flavors like the sugar variety. I was a happy camper.” Okay. So far so good. Right?
Sean Elias: It kind of reminds me of the Coke, the green Coke, that Coca-Cola came out with.
Bradley Sutton: Green Coke? Oh my goodness. I didn’t even know about that. I remember Crystal Pepsi. Alright, what’s the second couple of paragraphs here of this long review?
Sean Elias: “But, or should I say, “butt…”
Bradley Sutton: With two T’s…
Sean Elias: “Not long after eating about 20 of these, all hell broke loose. After eating 20 of these, I had a gastrointestinal experience like nothing I had ever imagined. Cramps, sweating, bloating beyond my worst nightmare. I’ve had food poisoning from some bad shellfish and that was almost like a skip in the park compared to what was going on inside of me”. You want to do more?
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, keep going.
Sean Elias: “Then came the flatulence. Heavens to more [inaudible}.” I don’t know how to say that. “The sounds, the trumpets calling the demons back to hell. The stench like 1000 rotten corpses vomited. I couldn’t stand to stay in one room for fear off succumbing to my own odors.”
Bradley Sutton: But here, this is almost a quote from Manny Coats here. Listen to this, it says, “But wait, there’s more. What came out of me felt like someone tried to funnel Niagara Falls through a coffee straw. I swear my sphincters were screaming. It felt like my delicate starfish was a gapping raw projectile vomiting a torrential flood of toxic waste, 100% liquid, flammable liquid, napalm. It was actually a bit humorous (for a nanosecond) as it was just beyond anything I could imagine possible. And it went on for hours.”
Sean Elias: Can we rewind this and put parental guidance advised?
Bradley Sutton: Goodnes gracious, yeah. Her next thing is like, “I felt violated when it was over, which I think might have been some time with early morning of the next day.” All right, so this one actually goes on and on and on. But anyways, those of us who are desperate for reviews, we hope that we never get a review like this. But who knows, maybe it’s a review like this might cause, you know, some funny–some virality to our listing. Now everybody’s going to search for this review by looking for the Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears 5 lbs. bag. But there you have it guys. If you have any crazy, crazy reviews that you guys have seen on another product or on one of your own products, make sure to submit them on our website and we’ll try and get those other show. But anyways, let us know what you guys thought of this episode. Again, this is the very first one where we talk about just some interesting news stories that have to do with Amazon and always try and keep it light with one of our reviews of the day. So what do you think Sean?
Sean Elias: It was fun.
Bradley Sutton: It was fun. Now are you going to go out and get these gummy bears now?
Sean Elias: Um…
Bradley Sutton: You don’t want that torrential, something of Mordor coming through?
Sean Elias: Yeah, I think she was trying to sell me, so I might skip on that one.
Bradley Sutton: Alright guys. Well, thank you and tune in to the next episode where we would go over the news in about a week or week and a half. We’ll see you guys later.
Sean Elias: Oh, Voila.
What is your opinion of the Amazon news we covered today? Was it helpful? Found a crazy review you’d like us to feature in a future episode? Let us know in the comments below!