Episode 1 – Introduction to Bradley Sutton and 2018 in Review with Manny Coats
Calling all fans of Helium 10 and the AM/PM Podcast!
If you love the AM/PM Podcast with Manny Coats, you are going to love our new home with a new host!
For those who have been following our content for a while now, you may be familiar with Bradley Sutton, one of our newer and most knowledgeable Helium 10 team members. He has been the shining beacon of Amazon knowledge in much of our content, including:
- Helium 10 Pro Training
- Helium 10 Ask Me Anything (AMA) Sessions on Facebook
- Guest appearances on the AM/PM Podcast and other prolific Amazon seller podcasts
Helium 10 is proud to introduce the Serious Sellers Podcast with Bradley Sutton, a new take on the AMPM Podcast formula that will focus on the hard-hitting truths of running a successful Amazon business for all the serious sellers out there. In the ever-changing, dynamic Amazon landscape, the goal of this podcast is to help Amazon sellers better understand what’s happening so they can stay ahead of the curve.
In our inaugural first episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley talks with none other than Helium 10 CEO and AMPM Podcast host Manny Coats!
Topics of discussion include:
- What is the Serious Sellers Podcast?
- Introduction of Bradley Sutton, Success Manager for Helium 10
- Serious Sellers Podcast: A NO-BS Zone
- 2018 in Review: What Happened with Helium 10
- The Amazon Search Shuffle: Amazon Search Results Go Berserk
- Amazon Closes Down Exact Search Volume Data Endpoint to Sellers and Tools
- How a Big Time Amazon Seller Stayed Successful After Amazon Removes Search Volume Data
- Trouble With Chinese Employees Selling Customer Data and More
- Amazon Cracks Down on Sellers Asking for Reviews
- Future Podcast: What to Do About Collecting Taxes as an Amazon Seller
- What to Expect from the Serious Sellers Podcast
- Help Promote the Serious Sellers Podcast and Win!
- Join the Helium 10 Community, FBA High Rollers on Facebook, and More
Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.
Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:
- Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
- Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
- 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.
- Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation.
- SellerTradmarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
Bradley Sutton: This is the first episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast, and in this episode, we’ve got Manny Coats. We’re going to do a recap of 2018 and let you guys know what we have in store for 2019.
Bradley Sutton: Welcome to the first ever episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10, the show where we talk about serious strategies for serious sellers to help you crush it in your private label business. Now you might have tuned into this podcast because you heard about our transition on the AMPM Podcast. And today, actually, I’m very happy to have the host and founder of that podcast and of Helium 10 Manny Coats with me today. How’s it going Manny?
Manny Coats: What’s up everybody? I am doing good. Bradley, how you doing?
Bradley Sutton: I’m doing just ducky.
Manny Coats: Drooling? Did you just say that? All right, so let me take over buddy.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, I can’t do this. I’m doing just, haha…no, I’m doing just ducky Manny.
Manny Coats: Perfect. So guys, like he just mentioned, I’ve come over here because of the AMPM Podcast. I want to mention if you haven’t been listening to the podcast over there, we are transitioning over to this podcast and by we, I mean Bradley. I won’t be on this that much Bradley, but I would love to jump on as often as I can, but one of the things that we’ve been talking about here at the company is how we can continue to bring a lot of strategies to the podcast without it always being about Helium 10 because there’s so many cool things that you can do with Helium 10 that over on the AMPM Podcast, I was like, “Man, you guys are always talking about Helium 10.” So this podcast is a Helium 10 podcast, right? We’re going to be bringing strategies. It’s sponsored by the company. It’s going to be no fluff, no BS, right? Right, Bradley?
Bradley Sutton: Even though my initials are BS, Bradley Sutton, we’re not. That’s the only BS that you’re going to have on this podcast.
Manny Coats: Yeah, so this is going to be really cool. We are seeing a lot of garbage out there. We see so many people that are posting online, tons of misinformation. We see other tools out there and sellers that are posting stuff that just will drive you down the wrong path, the wrong direction. You come to me probably every day going, “Look at this. Can you believe these guys are saying this?” And it’s just definitely terrible. So one thing that you’re going to get with us is 100% honesty. We will tell you that we don’t know something if we don’t know it. If it’s something that can hurt your business and you shouldn’t be doing it, we’re going to say it. But we’re going to try to put all options on the table so you guys can go from there. For those of you that are tuning in and don’t know who Bradley Sutton is, shame on you. Bradley’s awesome. Bradley has been with Helium 10 for a while and I’m going to let him kind of tell you a little bit more about himself because he’s going to be the primary host on this show. You’re going to be hearing from him multiple times per week, and the guy is just incredibly awesome. So go ahead, Bradley, tell them about yourself.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So thank you guys again for tuning in. I’m very honored to be the host here. I actually started listening to the AMPM Podcast a couple of years ago. I was just getting into Amazon selling. I was a consultant for Amazon sellers, and it really helped me when I started listening to that podcast and start using Helium 10. It helped me in my business. My main specialty was launches, designing launches for different Amazon sellers and also doing listing optimization. I actually personally launched over 400 products before I started working here at Helium 10 so I have a lot of experience as far as that goes. And right now I’m the Success Manager here at Helium 10, meaning that I’m dedicated to the success of our affiliates, dedicated to the success of our users and just trying to make the Helium 10 experience really great for you guys. And I love this platform because you know, usually a lot of you guys know me from like the Ask Me Anything’s or the AMAs that Matt and I do on Facebook because those are our main customers. I’ve got to be really nice no matter if somebody says something crazy, I can’t really call them out. I was like, “Oh, you idiot, can you believe you said that?” But here on this podcast, you know, I’m going to be interviewing a lot of people and trust me, if they’re going to come with BS, I’m going to call them out on it. You know, they’re not our customer. I don’t have to be Mr. Nice Guy anymore like I do on the Facebook Live. So if you guys are listening to some interview and you on other podcasts and things that maybe made you guys pause and are like, “Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right.” You better believe that, don’t worry, I’m going to go ahead and call them out on it to make sure that you guys are getting accurate information because the name of the show, again, Serious Sellers Podcast. We only have serious information on here and that’s what you guys can be guaranteed to have.
Manny Coats: Yeah, you guys are in for a treat. I have already listened to some of the stuff that Bradley has done. He’s got a couple of podcasts in the bag here and they’re awesome. They’re not full of your typical fluff that you’re going to get in most podcasts. So let’s talk about 2018–the 2018 in Review. There was a lot of stuff, we’ll spend maybe just a few minutes here. Talk about the crazy stuff that happened in 2018, things that you probably, out of the hundreds and hundreds, actually had over a thousand questions coming on the AMA. Probably half of them had to do with these topics right now. So 2018 in Review. Let me first tell you about what we as a company have put out. First of all, if you guys don’t know about Helium 10–Bradley, tell them: what is Helium 10? Real quickly.
Bradley Sutton: Helium 10 is the most accurate, the most reliable, best value suite of tools for Amazon sellers, not only on the planet but in the universe. You know, there might be something on Mars that somebody has, but we’re better than them as well. And so you know, we help sellers rise to the top with Helium 10 and that’s what we’re dedicated to doing.
Manny Coats: Yeah, and if there’s something out there that is doing a particular feature better than us, we will be the first to admit it. We’ll say, “Okay, we’ve got to work on something.” But our tools are super awesome. It’s what we use here. You can’t go wrong. Definitely check it out. But we also put a ton of content, right? Because we want to make sure that people understand how to use the tools to their best effect because a lot of people don’t even realize that they have certain features. They might actually pay for another tool because they think they need that and they don’t realize that that’s already inside Helium 10. Helium 10 has over 20 different tools and probably hundreds of little teeny, I guess transactions and things that you could do that would blow your mind. Talking about 2018 the things that we’ve done: we’ve released 53 Ask Me Anything episodes. Bradley has come out with those with Matt. 71 Pro Training videos where we talk about how to use these tools to their maximum effect–you know, just crazy, crazy stuff. 11 tools were added or they’d been completely revamped. Okay. So that’s over the course of the year. That’s a lot. That’s more than most tool or tool makers out there have and their entire suite of tools, right? We’ve done 40 Amazon Seller Secrets Revealed videos, right? That’s been a–that’s where we get some experts that come on, usually about three or four people that will answer a specific question. On the AMPM Podcast side, we’ve done 62 podcasts. We’ve posted 93 blogs on the Helium 10 blog site. That’s what, Helium10.com/blogs. Is that correct?
Bradley Sutton: Exactly.
Manny Coats: So if you guys want to go check out some really, really cutting edge information, check that out. We are the first ones typically to announce things and then everybody else will follow. So, not in every case. We try to be really, really good about it. But yeah, you’ll see us posting things like crazy over there. But that said, let’s talk about all the craziness, all the good stuff, the bad stuff that happened and 2018, and a lot of it was not super fun. I’m gonna let Bradley jump in here and kind of talk about these things.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. One of the big things that happened towards the end of the year was what we coined on the AMPM Podcast: A-S-S, alright?
Manny Coats: ASS!
Bradley Sutton: Yes. So what that stands for is “Amazon Search Shuffle” where you could have different browsing scenarios, right? And in the same exact moment, based on these browsing scenarios, whether they’re logged in, whether they’re not, whatever browser that they’re using, whatever location that they’re in, you could have on the search results, a product coming up on the very first page. But at the very same moment somewhere else it was on like page 10 and it’s going up and down. Their keyword tracker looked like a Richter scale, right? So this is something brand new and people sales were being cut in half and they had no idea why. And then they realize, “Well, half the browsing sessions, Amazon is throwing them on page 10.” And so that was kind of a big story. The biggest one recently, just a few weeks ago, and we were the ones to break the news to everybody was exact phrase search volume was gone. A lot of tools were using this and a lot of sellers were using this metric as something to help them in their product research and keyword research. And now Amazon closed that down and sellers were freaking out. But you know, I’ve been trying to tell people, it’s not as big a deal as some people are thinking. And actually, something really interesting guys: another reason for you guys to subscribe right now is in one of the first few episodes I’m going to have here, I’m going to be interviewing a big time seller that even in the last year that search volume was made available–he actually said he didn’t even look at search volume and still, he was able to crush it. So how did he do that? It’s something that you might want to learn about because now that there’s no search volume, we’re going to have to emulate sellers that are like him. So, what about some things, Manny, like things that were going on with a Chinese sellers?
Manny Coats: Yeah, the Chinese are at it again and they’re still doing it, but not as much as they were last year. It was crazy. So the Chinese employees at Amazon, were selling customer data. So you could go in there and you could buy your competitor’s PPC campaigns. You can find out what the click through rate was. You could find out what their add to cart ratios were. The conversion rates on specific keywords, find out what’s actually converting. I mean, how awesome would that be to take your top competitors and have all their data–data that they don’t even have, right? For example, you don’t know which of your keywords organically is specifically converting or adding to cart or of the abandonment rate of those keywords. So this was internal data from Amazon that they were actually giving you. You could actually buy for a few hundred dollars. The other thing you could do is you could pay these services, these Chinese services or insiders to remove reviews. So if you’ve ever had, for example, you launch a product and then one of your very first reviews is a one star, that’s like a death stamp, right? Because it’s so hard to overcome that when you’ve got two reviews and one of them is a one star, or if you have one review. So you could go to these guys, pay a few hundred dollars and you could actually have them remove a negative review. You didn’t have to down vote or do any of that kind of stuff. So you could do other things too. Like you could actually get your product to appear in different category nodes. So instead of having one or two category nodes, you could be in as many as you want. And, and we’ve seen products like that. We’re like, “How are these guys showing up in four or five different product nodes?” Right? It’s just crazy. And the biggest one, and this was happening a lot recently during the holidays, during Cyber Monday and Black Friday, is your competitors, especially if they’re from China, would come in and they would pay these guys on the inside to actually change you (if you’re one of their major competitors) to be in a completely different category. Like they would move your product into the–
Bradley Sutton: Adult category sometimes!
Manny Coats: Yeah, the adult category where you don’t even show up anymore, right? And then you’re essentially screwed. That sounds bad with the adult category–
Bradley Sutton: No pun intended.
Manny Coats: Yeah. That would happen. So, but yeah, that was one of the big things with the Chinese.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, another thing that we saw in 2018, especially towards the end, is some other tool makers in our space, you know, unfortunately went out of business. You know, we hate to see that because these are some of our colleagues, but what happened was a lot of tools were built around different functions that now Amazon is cracking down on. Like, for example, it trying to find out who made the review or certain email followup sequences, you know, are no longer allowed. Like what was it before you could do three emails asking for review within that. That’s not a one now, right?
Manny Coats: That’s down to one. Asking for a review. Back in early 2018, I guess you could do, or maybe, I think it was 2018. It might’ve been even the year before that. But you could say, “Hey, hopefully none of you guys are doing this, [but] you could say you sent out an email [that] says, “If you like my product, click here and leave me a review. And if you did it, you know, do this.” So you were actually diverting the bad traffic somewhere else. Like to seller feedback instead of to a product review. And Amazon cracked down. They started banning accounts. But yeah, basically one of the big things that Amazon doesn’t like Bradley is they do not want their customer data leaked. So if you can go in with a tool and you can–somebody you know is under the assumption that they’re posting a review anonymously, right? Their name is CaliGirl55 and then you can click a button on a tool, and then it says, “Hey, this belongs to Sarah Johnson.” You know, and it can actually match it to a specific order. You can imagine that person being freaked out if they suddenly get an email from you saying, “Hey, why don’t you leave me a bad review?” So they completely banned that stuff. Tool makers have been shut down that basically if you are a tool maker that only had that feature, you’re kind of–you’re done.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. So another big thing that’s been happening recently, I’ve been seen on the message boards a lot is [that] a lot of people are wondering about taxes. And especially like California, they’ve been getting nasty-grams from the state of California about taxes and everybody’s like, “Oh man, what do I do about taxes? Do I need to collect taxes in every state?” Well, we’re going to have an expert on that on a future podcast probably in the next couple of weeks who’s going to talk specifically about that so that you guys can know what is the BS that’s being spread out there. And there’s a lot of it out there and what’s the real situation with what you’d need to do, what you don’t need to do as far as taxes go.
Manny Coats: You know what, Bradley? They actually–I’ve seen some posts by–I don’t know if they were tax attorneys or, you know, high level CPAs that deal with the Amazon industry and they are telling people to do specific things related to these tax laws. And so many people [think] it looks good. So many people are following this, but it’s the complete opposite of what the guests that you’re going to be having on talks about. He thinks these guys are crazy, so you’re going to be bringing in a whole different perspective. You guys, you need to listen to this because a lot of the people out there saying you have to comply and you have to do this or you’re going to get in trouble. Okay, checkout what Bradley is going to be talking about. It’s insane. So that said, let’s talk about very quickly, cause we kind of talked about this earlier, but what can they expect moving forward from you?
Bradley Sutton: Alright, well my goal is to have great interviews, have great guests on here with no fluff, no BS. We’re going to have different features too that you might not have had on the AMPM Podcast such as weekly news reports about anything Amazon or private label related. We’re going to have at least three of these podcasts a week, whether they’re interviews or different snippets about news. We’re going to have funny segments as well. You know like funny Amazon reviews. I’ve already been researching this and there’s some great things that you guys are going to get a kick out of. But we’re not just going to interview the six, seven and eight-figure sellers. I mean those guys are important because those guys have the best serious strategies that you serious sellers are going to need. But also you don’t have to be a six, seven or eight-figure seller to be a serious seller. There’s a lot of you out there who maybe have trouble relating to guys on that level because you’re just doing this on your spare time or you have a full-time job and you want to be able to see how others like you are crushing it in their business, you know, on their scale. And we’re going to have sellers like that on here who may be only so like, you know, $500 a month or $1,000 a month. And how do they juggle a full-time job with selling Amazon? We’re going to have people like that on the show as well.
Manny Coats: Cool. All right guys. So that’s it. We’re gonna keep this one short. Tune into episode number two because that’s where the serious information starts. But we want to mention one thing here guys. We want you to help promote this podcast. It’s a new podcast. Like I said, AMPM Podcast has transitioned over to Serious Sellers and the podcast over at AMPM podcast will probably continue, it’ll just be super rare that I jump on there and do a podcast; maybe once a month or something like that. But, we want you to promote this. We would love for you as a new podcast to help us get some reviews, right? That always helps in the beginning. So if you can leave us a review, we’re going to actually have a contest about this. We’re going to do a short contest and Bradley is going to tell you about that in just a second here. And then maybe, and I’m just going to throw this out there–maybe once every and, I don’t know, six months, we’ll have a massive prize. Something really, really cool that that’s worth a ton of money that we go back to the reviews, find somebody, even if it’s five months old or four months old, and we can pick those, but tell them what they can do in the meantime and what we’re going to be doing.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. So for the next month, guys, what I want you to do is if you’re watching this on your iPhone or iPad, scroll to the bottom of this episode. There should be a little button that says, “Write a review.” So go to “Write a review,” click how many stars you want to put. I’m not going to do incentivized review necessarily here. You know, even though we don’t know if that’s even allowed on iTunes, we know that’s not allowed on Amazon, so I don’t want you guys to get used to something like that. But put whatever honest review about the podcast that you’d like right there at the bottom. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to enter you into a contest for the next month, alright? We’re going to go back each week and we’re going to pick a random review. You’re going to get a free Helium 10 T-shirt sent to you, completely free of charge. One per week, and we’re going to choose from the reviews. But as Manny said, as you leave reviews, even if you’re watching this or listening to this podcast, you know, a couple months down the line, you’re going to be entered into a contest where we’re going to bring you something really, really cool and we’ll give you the details on that in a future episode.
Manny Coats: Yeah, make sure you guys subscribe so you don’t miss anything. Turn those alerts on and you want to tell them where they can actually go to like be part of a community? Where they get more information, where they can watch your Facebook Lives, where they can do all that kind of stuff, real quick? We’ll throw those all out.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah, absolutely. Go to Facebook guys and search for Helium 10 Users. We just this week hit 10,000 Helium 10 users who are in that group and they’re all helping each other out. And twice a week we have our Facebook Live Ask Me Anything on there. We have a lot of interaction. That’s the best way to contact me if you get on there and just tag me in there. I reply to everything that I’m tagged in, so make sure to reach us on there. And even Manny sometimes is available on there, so make sure to go again, Helium 10 Users right there in your Facebook.
Manny Coats: So they just search Helium 10 Users in the search field.
Bradley Sutton: Exactly.
Manny Coats: We need to get a link. I don’t, maybe we already have one on Helium 10 as well, that’ll just redirect them there. You know Helium10.com/facebook, I don’t know, something like that.
Bradley Sutton: I believe actually if you are a Helium 10 user–on your user dashboard, there’s a Facebook button and you can just hit there and it’ll take you right to that group.
Manny Coats: Perfect. Guys. Also, if you guys want to join and even larger community of just general Amazon sellers, we’ve got about 60,000 people (actually more than 60,000 I believe) in the FBA High Rollers group. And again, you can do that or you can get there by typing in “FBA High Rollers” in the search field on Facebook and yeah, we’re all in there. Bradley’s in there, I’m in there. But guys, I’m super excited to see what Bradley is going to be doing with this channel, with this new podcast. It’s going to be awesome. He’s got–I’ve already seen the list of speakers he’s got coming on. He’s already said, “Hey Manny, this is not gonna be any–there’s no fluff. You know, I’m calling people out.” You know, they say something [like] “Hey, I got a 62% profit margin,” and he’s like, “Prove it. Show me. How? That’s impossible. What are you doing?” You know, he’s just calling them out instead of going, “Oh yeah, that’s cool. That’s great. That’s better than most people.” He’s not doing that so stay tuned. It’s going to be good. You might get some people that don’t like you after these interviews. Bradley.
Bradley Sutton: Too bad, too sad!
Manny Coats: But it’s going to be cool. So, all right guys, that said, Manny Coats is out of here. Bradley, you get last word.
Bradley Sutton: All right guys, make sure to subscribe and I will see you on what’s going to be the go-to podcast for you guys who are serious sellers out there. We’ll see you guys later and make sure to tune into episode two.
Excited for the debut of the Serious Sellers Podcast? Let us know what you think in the comments below!