#562 – From Working 9-5 To Amazon Failure To 6-Figure Seller

Join us as we embark on a captivating journey with Clarence Cheang, one-half of The FBA Bros, who takes us through his inspiring transition from a full-time civil engineer in Singapore to a successful Amazon FBA entrepreneur. Clarence opens up about the rocky start to his online business back in 2019, where he faced a series of setbacks in the highly competitive niche. Despite facing compliance issues and patent infringement roadblocks, Clarence’s relentless spirit and innovative product research techniques eventually led him to leave his day job behind. His story is a testament to the power of perseverance in the face of adversity.

Listen in as Clarence shares a remarkable case study on the unpredictability of the Amazon marketplace, illustrated by the unexpected success of doormat sales amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The surge in home decor interest during lockdowns provided a boost for one seller, but also taught a harsh lesson in inventory management as stockouts led to a loss of organic ranking on Amazon. Clarence walks us through the seller’s recovery process, employing meticulous data analysis and keyword research, culminating in the serendipitous success of an egg pan product that turned their fortunes around.

In this episode, we delve into the nuances of product research and the strategic brand-building essential for standing out on Amazon. Clarence Cheang highlights the crucial role of competition analysis, discussing the tools and techniques necessary to dissect competitors’ keyword strategies and assessing product viability. Clarence exemplifies the success of this approach with his ‘egg pen’ product and underscores the importance of value addition through bundling, which propelled his egg pan to market prominence. We wrap up by exploring the advanced capabilities of Helium 10 tools and the pivotal insights provided by Amazon’s Product Opportunity Explorer, emphasizing their role in sustaining a product’s top-selling status amidst the ever-evolving marketplace challenges.

In episode 562 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Clarence discuss:

  • 00:00 – Amazon FBA Seller Success Story
  • 01:55 – Career Exploration And Amazon FBA Launch
  • 08:33 – Amazon FBA Success Through Product Research
  • 09:15 – Stock Mistake Leads To A Big Loss
  • 11:48 – Amazon FBA Success Through Research
  • 13:55 – Product Research Success and Brand Building
  • 19:17 – Strategic Niche Domination
  • 24:32 – Amazon Success and Helium 10 Tools
  • 28:24 – Competitor Conversion Analysis and Cerebro Queries

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today we have Clarence on the show, also known as one half of the FBA bros, and he talks about how he had over two years of Amazon failure but didn’t give up and then hit Amazon success and was able to quit his day job thanks to his new product research techniques that he’s going to share with us. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think. Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I’m your host, Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s completely BS-free, unscripted and unrehearsed. Organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. And speaking of serious strategies, we talk a lot about Helium 10 on this show. So if you are interested in giving it a try, if you’ve never tried it out, make sure you use our podcast discount code, SSP10. Ssp10. Go to Helium10.com, sign up for your account and save 10% off for life. Somebody who’s been using Helium 10 for a very long time and coming to us from the opposite side of the world, where it’s like almost midnight over there Go ahead and introduce yourself. It’s your first time to the show.

Clarence:

Yeah, so thanks for having me on board, Bradley, it is an honor. So my name is Clarence. I’ve been selling on Amazon for close to five years now, actually. I started in 2019. And at that time, I was just treating it as a regular side hustle, right? So I worked as a full-time engineer for the government and I was working in the civil industry Basically, it’s like construction, right, I think that’s the most common term for about close to five years. Yeah, so that’s really my background, and I dabbled into Amazon FBA in 2019 after about close to five years in the construction industries, and that’s where, as you can see, the rest is history.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So you born and raised in Singapore that’s right, that’s right, okay. And then went to university there Is being an engineer. Like at what age were you like, hey, this is what I want to do. Or did you just decide once you got to university, or had you been wanting to do that for a while?

Clarence:

Yeah, I mean it’s an excellent question because, for I think, majority of my life I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So it’s more like oh, my grades allow me to enter to this program, so why not just give it a try? So I was pretty much aimless, you know, for the better part of my earlier years. Only after that, when I went into the workforce and I realized, oh dang, I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life, man. So that’s the epiphany moment. And it took me about five years into the job to realize that I need to start a side hustle. And that’s why I started researching. And lo and behold, Amazon FBA came out.

Bradley Sutton:

Your first start was what year again? Your first product that you launched.

Clarence:

I launched in 2019. 2019.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, so pre-COVID still and you launched in Amazon USA, or did you try Amazon Singapore, or where do you launch first?

Clarence:

Directly on Amazon US, just because it’s the largest marketplace.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So at this time, you’re still doing your full-time job and you’re like hey, let me, let me go ahead and start researching products. Now, the product that you launched way back then. Are you still selling it, or did you get out of it before? What’s the situation there?

Clarence:

Yeah, I’ve gotten out of it already. It’s just when I launched my first products, I made a lot of mistakes and I realized that that’s actually not really the best niche to be in. Right, it’s in the lighting. What was it? It’s in the lighting niche for lighting OK room. Yeah, so that was a pretty brutal market. It’s high competition, you need compliance and literally like one year later I got slapped with this compliance issue that I need to show Amazon that I need to get ungated for this entire category.

Bradley Sutton:

So then pretty much your sales went to a complete stop, because you couldn’t provide that compliance? How much did you sell of that product before you had to get out though?

Clarence:

I sold about close to 1,000 plus units, and that’s in a matter of like two to three months. How much did you sell of that product before you had to get out though? I sold about close to 1000 plus units, and that’s in a matter of like two to three months, and, lo and behold, I thought I was doing well, and that’s where the ungetting email came in.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, so you’re still making some profit on it, right I’m? Assuming until you couldn’t sell anymore.

Clarence:

Okay, yep, and then so did you lose a lot of money, like did you have a lot of inventory that you just had to throw away? Or I didn’t really lose a lot, thank god, because it’s more of like, uh, I just need to get the ungating done. But that stopped me from selling in the q4 season because the email came in on october and I took one to two months to get the compliance issues are settled up. So I missed the q4 season and when I’m ungated it’s January and yeah, it’s back to normal.

Bradley Sutton:

So you were actually able to get the approval and everything for you. You didn’t have to give up on that product. No, I don’t have to.

Clarence:

Okay.

Bradley Sutton:

So now 2020. Was that 2019? Q4 you were talking about?

Clarence:

So this is now 2020, the Q4. I mean Q1 when I started selling in January. So I was I mean, I’m happy with that one product and I managed to launch another variation right. And then another tragedy hit, which is at around June, the June of 2020, I got hit by this patent infringement from a competitor, and that is like the last straw for me for this product, because it’s just, yeah, it’s tough, it’s tough, and eventually I found out that, yes, actually I was in the wrong. I didn’t do my research properly and somehow I infringed on the design patent that was already approved and somehow I didn’t find it out earlier. Yeah, so I spent quite a bit. My lesson here was I spent some of bit, uh. My, my lesson here was uh, I spent some amount of money, uh, to to fight out the case. I actually hired the? Uh, a lawyer to even help me write letters to Amazon and all these things, but it just got nowhere because clearly I’m in the wrong Right. So I think that’s my very first knockout punch on Amazon. Okay, yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

So at that point did you go to zero, or had you launched other products already?

Clarence:

then I had to go to zero for a while I was fighting this case. So I think the recovery moment was when Amazon asked us to recall all the units because it was just sitting there right, not selling. So it’s the right thing to do. We call everything back to our 3PL, the third-party logistics warehouse, and I had to make a decision to take out the offending design, which is just a stand it’s like a stand for the lamp and that’s the only offending design that’s been complained about. So I had to took that out, destroy all the offending design and get my supplier to send in more stands to replace it. So I had to pay a lot of money to get this product out and going, and I remember I had about 800 plus units just to get that retrofitted. And once I got it in, I sent it back to Amazon and I just told myself after this, I’m done with this product, I’m going to move on to the next one. Yeah, so I did sell all 800 and thankfully it is still not too great of a loss at least.

Bradley Sutton:

You sent the new product in, but then you still gave up on the product because you said you’re not selling it anymore today. Right, that one, no more already.

Clarence:

So as of 2021, I’m out of that market. Yeah, I’m done with that.

Bradley Sutton:

At what point did you start looking for another product, though?

Clarence:

That was when I started getting hit with the patent infringement. That was right. That’s my epiphany moment and, yeah, I know that I need to have a second product.

Bradley Sutton:

How did you do your research, trying to find a new product?

Clarence:

Yeah, I mean back then, you know, in 2019 to 2020,. There were a lot of advice, so I was just figuring things out along the way and I think I fell into this trap where I sell product that I think that it could work. Basically, my gut tells me to work. I mean, looking back right now for what I learned today, that is the foolish mistake that I have done right. So, in essence, the second product that I sold it was a home product like a very simple doormat right, something that’s for your, for your entryway, and that product, wow, is also tough. It’s a lot of competition, the PPC  cost is high and you can’t really raise your price as much. So I also learned another valuable lesson there all right, right.

Bradley Sutton:

So. So then you, you started selling this other product. Now you know some people. You know already a year, two years, a lot of problems, failures and headaches, and lawyers and stuff. You know. Might give up, uh, at this point. But what kept you going? We’re like you, just like no, I have to make this work.

Clarence:

Yeah, yeah, I mean, yeah, the things that I go through will probably allow like majority of other sellers to give up on Amazon, but I think it’s just. I know that this is a viable business model. I’ve seen it to work for other people and I just tell myself why not me, right? Why not just give myself another shot? So that was like the tenacity that I had in me to just want to make this work so that I don’t have to keep getting stuck in the nine to five red race. I think that was my main driving factor.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, so then you know all the time you’re still at your, your job. Now are we almost in in COVID times.

Clarence:

Now that’s right 2021, that’s when COVID hit and the sales boom right. So that was when I the second product, the Dormat product, that one really flew off. I mean that one flew off the shelf really well because of the COVID boom, All right, and I ran out of stock, the doormat sales went up during COVID Doormat of all products doormat.

Bradley Sutton:

Why, like nobody’s visiting your house anymore to wipe their shoe?

Clarence:

I guess I have more time spending time to decorate the house and doing, okay. So that was the time where a lot of people were doing, yeah, a lot of things at home. So one of the ways, all right, whatever, I don’t know. Yeah, okay. So now things are looking up. And then what happened? Exactly? And I ran out of stock. So this is my second mistake. I didn’t buy enough, right? The demand just spiked out of nowhere. So I ran out of stock for a good two to three months. And that is where I learned another valuable lesson on Amazon. As you know, right, if you run out of stock for a long period of time, the algorithm literally punishes you in terms of the organic rank. And I lost it all in terms of the organic rank and I thought the sales was good. I had this illusion where this product is doing great, right? So I literally ordered, like, like, doubled the number of inventory as the first inventory and, wow, that was a huge mistake, because I lost all my organic rank during the season where I sold very well. And when I restock, when I’m back in stock, I realized that, hey, my sales is I don’t know are no longer like 50 or 60 units a day. They were like trickling, trickled down to like five units or even like three units a day, and that was very worrying because I had doubled the number of inventory I needed to clear right. So that was another great learning lesson for me, which is, hey, manage your inventory well. I think that’s really-.

Bradley Sutton:

How many months were?

Clarence:

you out of stock. Three months, that was a long-. Okay, yeah, and I’m sure everyone recall that was the period where there’s a lot of shipping delays because of COVID and etc.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, so that affected me quite a lot, and that was your only product at the time, that doormat, exactly. Yep, all right, so now, another kind of problem. Now you invested so much money in all this inventory. It’s just sitting there. So now, what’s your next step?

Clarence:

So after that, we have like 2000 units of doormats right Stuck in Amazon and I just, yeah, I’m unable to sell it. So what I did was I tried to reduce the price. I did all I can, you know like, increase my PPC budget, reduce the price to even like, like it just doesn’t make sense to sell it anymore. So even then I couldn’t really sell it as fast as possible, so I had to liquidate that batch of uh doormats right. So that is my second product and it failed spectacularly.

Bradley Sutton:

yeah, all right. So then you went back to zero then at one point because you didn’t have another product going at the same time. So again back to zero. Are we already now in?

Clarence:

this is like round 22 or two zero.

Bradley Sutton:

Two to amazon, zero to me all right, yeah, now you’re two, or was it? Was this about q1 2021 or q1 2022?

Clarence:

we’re talking about. This is about q still 2022, roughly q3 yeah rightly okay.

Bradley Sutton:

So about q3? Now you’re just like I can’t sell these things. So, but again, still, you didn’t uh give up. So what was your next step?

Clarence:

Yeah. So, after learning the actual ropes and I realized a lot of mistakes that I’ve made, which is, I need to go deep into the data before I choose a product, make sure that the competition is not too great, so that I can win them in PPC in the keywords. So I really learned a lot, Bradley, in that year. It was probably one of the lowest season of my life in my Amazon FBA journey and this is like my final chance, right? If this doesn’t work, that’s it. Man, I’m stuck in my nine to five right, so I have to make this work. So, and thankfully, when I launched my third product and this time around, it finally took off. So this one is actually one of the more public case study, which is the egg pen right, which I showed that off in a lot of my social medias and even on YouTube channel. So with that launch itself, it set the trajectory that, hey, this is a system that we actually, after we take the inputs from many sellers, we combine it together and we didn’t just take it wholesale right, we also tweak it in a way that we want to test some, some items so that we can rely on this proven system to keep launching products on Amazon. So now yeah, by the way, that’s 2021, right, that’s when we started launching our Egg pan and it became a great success, all because we note down on product research and keyword research. I think these two items really make the breakthrough for us.

Bradley Sutton:

The FBA. So how did you find that specific opportunity Like, how did that come Like? First of all, let me tell you, I probably never would have found it because I hate eggs. It’s funny because now I sell egg trays in the Project X but, like, I hate anything that does with eggs. But how did you find that product opportunity?

Clarence:

Yeah, that’s a great question really, because the egg pan product came to me when I was just I’m just walking around in Singapore. There’s a lot of malls, right, there’s nothing much you can do other than go to malls after malls and in one of the shops I encountered this Japanese kitchen store. Right, it’s just a store that specializes in Japanese kitchen items and, lo miho, I just took a photo of the category out there Basically it’s an owl and I went back home and did my research on all of those products and, lo and behold, I found the Japanese egg pen to actually pass our funnel, which is our product research funnel that we have developed.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, talk a little bit about that. What are those? I know you have something completely fancy. I’ve even seen the videos. Somehow you have some bots that connect to Discord and connect to Helium 10 and a lot of crazy stuff. But like in a nutshell, like what are the things that you are looking for? That means, hey, there could be some opportunity here.

Clarence:

Yeah, I mean, I think one of the big deciding factor in choosing a good product is the competition level, which I think a lot of sellers may have missed out in the earlier stages of their product selection. So how we deep dive it is by the use of Helium 10, Cerebro too. We compare or we picked out the top 10 competitor in any of the niche because basically they’re doing well, right and we want to learn from them. So by analyzing their keywords and how many of the keywords do they rank on page one and we can have the. It’s a very beautiful Excel sheet that we have developed in a way that it allows us to show us how strong each of the top 10 competitors are in terms of keyword strength, right? In fact, I went through that in great detail in one of my YouTube channels I mean YouTube videos, right. So when we did that, we realized it’s an epiphany moment, right? Because we realized, oh dang, now we have this tool to analyze competition level for any market on amazon.com. And that is so powerful because it allows us to, even before we invest money into the product, we can roughly tell how easy it is to defeat the top 10 competitors and if it is easy to defeat them roughly, we can win the market. So that is really the initial epiphany moment in our product research journey. And the egg pen right, bringing back to the egg pen, that is one of the products that actually showed us that there’s actually like eight in the top 10 competitors. There are eight really weak competitors, as in they don’t rank very well on Amazon, and two of them it’s just okay, they’re good. They’re just ranking about 40 to 50% of the overall keyword for this market. So I think that’s a no-brainer decision for us to enter.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, so you’re looking, hey, at their strength. It’s not just, oh, I mean, which also is a case like, oh, these people don’t even have A-plus content, they don’t even have a full image, their listing sucks, but you’re also looking at the keyword level. Um, you know, how strong are they in like their, their, their, uh, their SEO and things like that, right, all right, so I’m actually, um, while you were talking, I went and I found your product on Amazon and, and, yeah, you’re like still the number one seller on this, so that’s pretty impressive. But let’s just take a look at your listing here Now. Did you start off with all of these like little accessories at the beginning, or did you like develop this over time? How did you know, like, not just to come up with just the pan, but to have all of these little things as well?

Clarence:

Yeah, I love that you bring up the screen here, right? So, like I have all the different bundles to the egg pan, so one of the amazing tool is basically to answer your question. I have all of those bundles right from day one, right? That’s how I really win the competition in terms of adding a lot of real value to the market. Yeah, so I found this through Helium 10 Blackboard’s product targeting, using a comparison of the top ASIN and see Amazon’s frequently bought together items. So this is one of the way to think of some bundles for me to get into.

Bradley Sutton:

So like people were buying the other competitor’s pan but with like the serving plate or spatula and stuff like that Exactly.

Clarence:

And, to be honest, those smaller items are not really expensive. They are less than like 20 cents USD each. So I can just bundle it together, add a lot of value and at the same time, still sell for a decent profit in this market.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, Okay, cool. So you found this opportunity. Now, what kind of sale. You know, I see that you’re selling. You know, looks like you know five, six hundred units a month. Now, back when you first started, what were the main competitors doing as far as sales? Like, were the top ones selling also this many, or was it less? Was it more? What’s going on?

Clarence:

So the main competitor right now is going to be it’s this neon color, pink color competitor, right? I’m not sure if you can search that up also on Amazon they’re probably still there. So initially when we did our research, that guy is the top selling competitor, so he was doing close to about 600 to 700 units a month, right. But if you look at, I think today because the seasonality do change along the way and I think he’s doing close to 200, 300 units a month right now, I think yeah, I mean, we basically snatched a bit of its market share.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah.

Clarence:

So that’s true from the first week, right the moment we launched, when we have zero reviews, just because we understand keywords and we differentiated a little bit. In terms of bundling, yeah, we managed to get like the top the best selling in terms of sales velocity in a matter of one week for this market.

Bradley Sutton:

Wow, wow. All right, what was your launch strategy in those days? Was there still like search, find, buy and stuff back in those days, or was that already past the time where you’re not allowed to do that anymore?

Clarence:

I can’t do SFB. It’s gone already. Those methods are.

Bradley Sutton:

So then, what was your launch? Just PPCs is what got you there, to page one for those things. That’s right, PPC. PPC only launched?

Clarence:

Yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Now what’s kept you at the top? You know, like anybody can find a new niche, right, or not new niche, but a niche where there’s weak players, right. But then usually somebody comes in and does the right thing, even if they have the right bundle and they got the right keywords. Now the other competitors like, oh man, we better step up our game. And now we’re, we’re, we’re doing it, but but you’ve still kind of staying almost near number one. Um, here you know, two years later. So what, what has helped you?

Clarence:

to do that, do you think? Yeah, yeah, great question. In fact, the observation that we had was the moment we launched into this market. I mean, the competitors got spooked right and they will definitely improve their product bundling or even in terms of offering. So we did see new entrants number one, that came into the market. Number two, we did see our current competitors improve, basically, their offering. So, to combat this, I think the number one thing is understanding the keyword basket for this market. So, like example, we did our research and we found out there’s actually 241 relevant keywords for this specific market and we definitely want to get page one on all those 241 keywords. And I think that’s where our advantage comes in in terms of a keyword basket for ranking, because a competitor will come in later on. They, he or he or she may not understand that there’s 241 keywords to rank for this market, but we do and we already know it at our product research stage. Yeah, so we keep doing that again and again and use PPC to rank for them and it has been doing us, yeah, a lot of success so far. Just okay excellent.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, at this point you know, like you, you got a lot of success. Did you start other accounts and start selling other uh products? Or what was your, your, your next step? Because you know you could have one successful product, uh, but this one successful product maybe is not enough to like, make somebody like, yeah, okay, now I can quit my engineering job, you know yeah, yeah, it’s not.

Clarence:

it’s definitely not enough. You definitely need a lot more products. So with this first launch, in a way, it’s like a proof of concept to our research formula and we are repeating it again and again. So to date, I think we have close to at least I think we have 10 different products right now across multiple stores. So our brand building strategy is very simple we want to launch one store in one niche and grow that product line right. So basically, let’s say, the egg pan niche, right, or the Japanese kitchen niche, so you will launch other products that’s in a similar niche for the brand Yamomnom. So, similarly, we are also launching other brands. Like, we just recently went into this camping and outdoor brand and is selling a lot of these kitchen utensils for outdoor camping. So we have been seeing a lot of success in that area as well. So, yeah, that’s our brand building strategy there.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So did you already quit your job or you’re still doing your job? I’ve already quit long ago. Already Quit long ago. So now you get to just enjoy being an entrepreneur and not having to work the nine to five. So now, uh, now you get to just enjoy being a entrepreneur and not having to work with the nine to five. So your original purpose of getting into Amazon finally got fulfilled. Now talk a little bit more about your, your strategies. You know, like. One thing is about, you know the, the, the keywords, but is that the only thing you’re looking at for the validation steps, or are there other steps of your, your validation? Or is just, hey, looking at the keyword strength? That’s, that’s enough for you.

Clarence:

Yeah, um, it’s definitely keyword strength is just one of our many criteria to look for in a product to launch. Uh, we have like up to 14 different criteria that we look at. Uh, one of them uh, maybe the easier one is like a return ratio. We don’t want to enter into market with, uh, let’s say, higher than 5% return ratio, right? So the egg pan shows us it’s only about 2.86% return ratio, so that was perfect for us. So that’s one of our criteria. The other criteria is like the seasonality and the kind of the trending kind of a season for the product. So that’s something that we want to avoid as well. The other one is like the differentiation opportunity. Are we able to find improvements to the product? Can we add value in terms of bundle? How about the premium packaging side of things? Yeah, so we do have a lot of criteria in our research funnel right now that we have tested for many years and we have seen a lot of great success coming out of this funnel.

Bradley Sutton:

Actually, yeah, now this funnel, actually, yeah, now, some of your you know, you also do a lot of out there and you have a big, you know a lot of students, um, you don’t, you don’t have to mention their name or their product or anything, but can you, can you describe like one of the success stories, like somebody who came and they had no idea what was Amazon. They found this product and now they’re selling this amount or something like that.

Clarence:

Yeah, yeah, I’m truly very proud of this student. He’s based in the UK and he just recently crossed the seven-figure mark on Amazon using the exact formulas that we have teach him. And, yeah, we have so many success stories just by repeating and reusing this formula that we have developed. And, yeah, at the moment, our students like one of them based in Singapore as well. He’s just, like, I think, 19 years old. He launched his first product on Amazon ever following this product research funnel that we’ve created, and he instantly made like 30K sales revenue in the first month of launch. So we’re very proud of a lot of these success stories and we’re always fine tuning this research funnel. We’re not perfect. We’re not saying that we have made it there. It’s just I think we’ve got something going on and we are always open to test the system out to make sure that we refine the criterias so that we can increase our probability of success when we launch products on Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

You don’t get a little jealous sometimes of your students where they get success right away and you had to have three years of failure in Amazon?

Clarence:

I mean all power to them. And yeah, I always tell my students right, don’t do the same way as me. Invest in someone who has been there, done that, and you catch up the learning curve and they really have All right yeah.

Bradley Sutton:

So let’s talk about you. Know how you got connected with Amazon, like, like, how did you get on Amazon’s radar? Because you know I’m wearing my like, uh, my project X hat right now. We actually did a filming with Amazon Singapore, but actually in Vietnam where we were filming a new show called project X mini, not out yet, probably be out in a couple of months, based on when you’re listening to this. But how? How did you get like on Amazon’s radar where, now that you know, they invite you sometimes to their headquarters there in Singapore and doing trainings and stuff like that?

Clarence:

Yeah, yeah, I mean it’s interesting that you brought it up because, to be honest, we we do not know until today, right, I mean David is my business partner as well. I’m just one half of the FBA bros, right, and I mean David runs the social media and the business development side of things for us. Yeah, that’s out of blue. One day amazon just reached out to us, I guess I believe that’s from social media. And, yeah, and I think one of the one of the employees I believe her name was Yuri, right, so shout out to you, Yuri, for organizing all of this together. And she saw one of my TikTok videos. I was in Egypt and I was just filming some FBA content near the pyramids, and I went to the dead sea as well and just filmed some FBA contents, right, and I think she took some inspiration from that and proposed the entire project and it turned to be Project X Are you talking about Yuri from Amazon Singapore.

Bradley Sutton:

She’s Korean. Yes, that’s her. I was just with her in Korea. As a matter of fact, we’re doing another film and I was. I was just talking to her, like literally two hours ago on Kakao, talk about hey, when is our project? I didn’t realize you. You, she was your first connection, also with Amazon way back.

Clarence:

Yeah, so you raise the. It’s the main guy right, the main person that’s in charge of this entire thing. So yeah, kudos to her Okay.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, cool favorite tool in Helium 10 is probably Cerebro. So so tell me, why is Cerebro your favorite tool in Helium 10 and what’s your like your second favorite tool then, next to Cerebro?

Clarence:

Yeah. So I love Cerebro because I mean, frankly, it has made us a lot of money. I think the investment that we made in Helium 10, which is a no brainer right. I mean, we’re just paying, I don’t know, sub $200 plus a month, but we’re getting close to 10 to 20,000 plus in profit every single month. So, yeah, I think it makes sense. So why I love Cerebro? Because it works right. It helps us to identify all the keywords, like what I mentioned earlier 241 keywords. Even before we invested into the eggpan market, we found it through Cerebro, right. So we have a certain way that we adjust the filters to bring out all those keywords. Yeah. So second tool I love I have to give Amazon their own shout out as well. Amazon’s product opportunity explorer. I think that one was. Yeah, it’s really a good tool because it’s directly from Amazon. The data is, I think, as close as you can get to accurate and, yeah, they display a lot of valuable data.

Bradley Sutton:

So, I love what are some of your, your, your, the things that you like in Product Opportunity Explorer to look at Awesome.

Clarence:

Yeah. So I love two main metrics that I see over there. Number one is it will tell you when you search for any of the keywords and Amazon will niche it down for you. It will tell you how many competitors are there or are you going to be competing with. Right. For example, there’s this number that said the top 90% of the clicks and there’s a number right, so that number itself is going to be a foreshadow of how many guys are you going to be fighting with in terms of your PPC campaign, because these guys are getting 90% of the clicks right and you’re probably going to be fighting out with them. So if that number is as low as 25 or lesser, that means you don’t have a lot of competition to fight and thereby your Amazon PPC bids will be a lot more favorable. Right, below $1 per click, right. So that’s my number one favorite matrix to look at. Number two is when you go to trends under Product Version Explorer, you will see the average search conversion right, and this is something that is a very valuable data, because this shows you, out of the basket of competitors, how well are they converting for that market right. You can even go down to keywords and it will show you the individual keyword search conversion rate itself and when you compare it to your own business reports, especially your unit session percentage, it’s like a yardstick for you to measure how well are you performing compared to your competitors. So I always go back to that matrix to see hey, do I need to improve in my conversion rate?

Bradley Sutton:

so let me see and compare to my competitors okay, now going back to Cerebro, do you have like a diamond account with helium 10 or higher? I, I think I got a diamond account. I’m so sure have you ever used? Then the new I mean actually just recently got to diamond but the, the Historical Cerebro, where you can like kind of like look back over time where somebody was ranking any time in the last two years. Oh, yes, yes, I’ve seen, I’ve seen that, yeah, and I think I tested. So then you know, like, like, what are your thoughts now on seasonal products? Like, do you stay away from seasonal? Or now that you know, like now that there’s the historical Cerebro, you can kind of really understand what were they making sales for in their season, or do you like only products that are like evergreen throughout the year?

Clarence:

I think it depends on the level of selling journey that you’re in. Like for me, after I’ve launched a few products already, I’m a little more confident now. So I think I’m willing to go into the seasonal product niche, like the camping niche. That sells out very well in summer and in December, but for the rest of the year it was a little slower right. So I think we’re fine with that. But if you’re new and you’re just starting on Amazon, I will not recommend you to go into seasonal products, just because there’s a little more nuances in inventory management. So I love that tool that you mentioned. It allows you to instantly see literally how many units you need to buy. You know in advance in terms of your inventory management based on your competitors, and that is yeah, it’s a very helpful tool.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay Now the other question I asked my guest who used Helium 10 is if I give you the keys to the kingdom, like hey you, you get to direct the product team to make some new tool or some new feature that we don’t currently have, what’s the first thing you’re going to tell them to do, like what’s on your Wishlist of something that Helium 10 doesn’t do for you right now that you’d like?

Clarence:

Yeah, I love that because, um, I mean, the one thing that I would love is I I wish there’s a way that we can automate product research. Right, like I mean, ai is all the rage we can go through the funnel, like the funnel that we have, and if there’s a software right, I’m praying Helium 10 will be it If there’s a software that we can just put the top 10 ASINs in there and it will tell us okay, this is your top 10 competitors. They are ranking for this amount of keywords. They are not very strong in a keyword rank, so maybe that’s an opportunity there for keyword competition. Maybe another one will be return ratio. Pull the data from Amazon and say, oh, this is the average return ratio, it passes this criteria. Let’s move on to the next check and then go all through the 14 checks and at the end it spits out the answer for you it’s a pass.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, Well, hey we actually we started something like that. It’s called Product Launchpad, not fully exactly like you said. I’m going to connect you with our product team and maybe you can help guide that tool. But yeah, we do have an AI powered product research tool that is like 50% what you said, so so maybe you can bring it now to 100% with your direction there. So I’m going to connect you to a Vincent for that. But anyways, what about last 30 or 60 second tip of the day? Our 60 second tip? What is a? An Amazon strategy you can share with the community that you think is beneficial for them?

Clarence:

Yeah, TST right, 30 Second Tips. So I think number one is I think we as Amazon sellers, after we sell for quite a while, we tend to be very detached to the customers because it’s all the numbers, right. We download Excel sheets, we look at Helium 10 data, we look at Amazon’s data. So I think the number one thing is always go back to the human being, because you’re actually selling to the actual human being on the other side of the computer screen. So understand them, right. Like, really, you’re selling your products to, let’s say, a mom or a father who’s buying a gift, right? So if that’s your customer profile, then make sure your listing resonates with that as a customer profile. So I think the biggest tip that I can leave you guys is understand your customers, create your customer profile and make sure that your listing speaks to them directly, because the first trick is always click-through rate. Yeah, I mean, click-through rate is a little easy to get, just get your main product, I mean your main images and your pricing right. But the moment they are on your listing right and a lot of customers do bounce away sometimes from. So you need to find out why are they bouncing away from your listing? And this is one of the way customer profile and create images that speaks to them directly. All right?

Bradley Sutton:

Well, people want to reach out to you, get more information. Find you on the interwebs. How can they find you out there?

Clarence:

Yeah, so that’s. You can search us on either Google YouTube the Google YouTube or Instagram the FBA Bros. So I’m Clarence, so the FBA Bros, as in T-H-E, f-b-a-b-r-o-s. So that’s our handle on Instagram, tiktok and YouTube. So feel free to follow us for a lot of the advanced level tips that we share. And we don’t hide things, right. I mean, we show our products. We even launched the egg pan in a mini PPC series on our YouTube channel. So we even go through the steps on what we click to launch the product. So I think there’s a lot of value that you can learn from there as well. Looking forward to add value to that.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome. Well, clarence, thank you so much for joining us, and I hope to be invited again to speak at the Amazon Singapore conference that they usually do in fall, and so maybe we can connect again at that time. But don’t try and serve me any eggs in your egg pan because I can’t eat eggs. All right.

Clarence:

I will see you later, man. Yeah, thanks for having me on board, Bradley.


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 iTunesSpotify, or wherever you listen to our podcast. 

Get snippets from all episodes by following us on Instagram at @SeriousSellersPodcast 

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. 
  • Helium 10: 30+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon or Walmart 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. 
  • SellerTrademarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
author-photo
Director of Training & Chief Evangelist

Bradley is the Director of Training and Chief Evangelist for Helium 10 as well as the host of the most listened to podcast in the world for Amazon sellers, the Serious Sellers Podcast. He has been involved in e-commerce for over 20 years, and before joining Helium 10, launched over 400 products as a consultant for Amazon Sellers.

Published in:
Published in: Serious Sellers Podcast

Achieve More Results in Less Time

Accelerate the Growth of Your Business, Brand or Agency

Maximize your results and drive success faster with Helium 10’s full suite of Amazon and Walmart solutions.

Accelerate the Growth of Your Business, Brand or Agency

Software for Amazon FBA and Walmart Sellers