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#366 – Product Compliance And VA Hiring Tips

Today, we got two podcasts in one. We’ll talk about two different subjects affecting Amazon sellers, which are product compliance and hiring tips for your virtual assistants.
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39 minutes read

In this episode, we welcome Gilad Freimann of VAA Philippines and Leah McHugh of EcommerceChris to talk about two different subjects that affect Amazon sellers, from how to avoid Amazon suspensions to the best hiring practices for Amazon virtual assistants for your business. What are the most common compliance problem Amazon sellers have, and how can you avoid them? Should you hire for the aspects of your business that you are “weak” at? What should you do if you’re having trouble with Brand Registry approval? We cover these questions and more! Both guests will be speakers at the upcoming Sell and Scale Summit, so make sure to sign up and catch their keynote topics in person!

In episode 366 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Gilad, and Leah discuss:

  • 02:00 – Leah’s Background And Area Of Expertise
  • 03:15 – Gilad’s Background And Area Of Expertise
  • 04:00 – How Did He Start Finding Virtual Assistants From The Philippines
  • 05:30 – Most Common Compliance Problems That Amazon Sellers Have
  • 08:30 – How Can You Avoid These Problems?
  • 10:30 – Gilad Shares His Topic For The Sell And Scale Summit
  • 13:30 – Should You Hire For Your Weakness?
  • 17:00 – Are These Compliance Problems Happening To Other Countries?
  • 21:30 – Brand Registry Approval Services
  • 23:00 – The First Steps In Hiring A Virtual Assitant
  • 25:30 – Sharing Your Amazon Account To Your VAs
  • 29:00 – Can You Start Multiple Seller Central Accounts?
  • 32:00 – Make Sure To Catch Leah And Gilad At The Sell And Scale Summit
  • 33:00 – Gilad’s 30-Second Tip
  • 33:30 – Leah’s 30-Second Tip
  • 34:30 – How To Get In Touch With Leah McHugh
  • 35:00 – How To Get In Touch With Gilad Freimann 

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today, we kind of have two podcasts in one, as we got two totally different people talking about completely different subjects, affecting many Amazon sellers. One is talking about Amazon suspensions and how to avoid them. And the other is talking about best hiring practices for Amazon Virtual Assistants. How cool is that? Pretty cool I think.

Bradley Sutton:

Are you looking to learn how to sell on Amazon? The Freedom Ticket course made by Kevin King is one of the most popular courses ever created for Amazon sellers. It’s got over 90 modules and 40 hours of details. Step by step training to help get you started on your entrepreneurial journey. Now, this course costs $997, but Helium 10 actually covers that cost of the course for any Helium 10 member. Find out why tens of thousands of students love this program by going to h10.me/freedomticket. Don’t forget that if you do sign up for a Helium 10 account, don’t pay full price. Use our podcast discount code SSP10 to save 10% off for life. Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of the serious seller’s podcast by Helium 10. I am your host Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS free unscripted, and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. We’ve got a couple of people who have never been on this podcast before Leah and Gilad. How’s it going, guys?

Gilad:

Hey, Bradley. How are you?

Bradley Sutton:

Pretty good.

Gilad:

It’s going great.

Leah:

Yeah, we’re good. How are you?

Bradley Sutton:

Pretty awesome. Now you two, have you ever met in person?

Leah:

No.

Gilad:

No, never

Bradley Sutton:

See we’re introducing people here on the podcast too. Yeah. Now, Leah, where are you located?

Leah:

Boston, Massachusetts.

Bradley Sutton:

Boston. All right, and Gilad?

Gilad:

Israel, Tel Aviv.

Bradley Sutton:

Excellent. Excellent. I used to follow sometimes the Maccabi basketball team over there. They had some good teams.

Gilad:

Until they sucked. Yeah. But now they’re back in business.

Bradley Sutton:

I was just talking about with Tomer right now that they kind of suck. Yep. All right. Now, what do each of you do? Let’s start with Leah. Where do you work? And what’s your subject of expertise?

Leah:

Yeah, I work with ecommerceChris. So working on account and ASIN reinstatements but I specifically specialized in product compliance, listing compliance, and Brand Registry issues as well as product safety, cuz that kind of fits into the compliance side of things.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, how long have you been in this field?

Leah:

I’ve been working with Chris since 2015. I’ve been in e-commerce since 2011, I think. So a long time.

Bradley Sutton:

How did you get into e-commerce?

Leah:

Accidentally as I think, most many of us did. I just took a summer job doing customer service and it happened to be for an e-commerce company and I eventually ended up being their operations manager.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Are you from Boston?

Leah:

Originally, I grew up in Australia.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Cuz your accent’s very weird. It doesn’t sound like Boston, but then there’s some like little things in there I’m like, wait a minute. Okay. Now Boston mixed with Australian. Okay. Now that explains that interesting. All right now Gilad you what’s your specialty and how did you get into the e-commerce same, same kind of questions.

Gilad:

All right. So I was gonna say, wait till you hear my accent. So yeah, I’m from Israel. So this is an Israeli accent and I’m the founder and CEO of VAA Philippines. We Virtual Assistant Academy Philippines. We recruit VAs from the Philippines and then we train them specifically to work with Amazon sellers. And we’ve been doing this for the last five years.

Bradley Sutton:

Well, did you see, I knew, see, I knew where you guys worked, but because of glad here, did you see my shirt? What I’m wearing today? Can you read it?

Gilad:

Yep, yep. I have the same one by the way.

Bradley Sutton:

Boracay I was just there a few weeks ago on vacation, my first time there. Did you know I’m half Filipino myself?

Gilad:

No, I didn’t know that.

Bradley Sutton:

Yes. So how did you decide to start this, this company, and then in the Philippines of all places?

Gilad:

Well, I’m an Amazon seller. It all started there. I mean, I needed VAs from my own company and it grew very fast. I started selling on Amazon in 2015 and people told me go find people from the Philippines. They’re really good. And this is what I did, but it went very wrong. So I learned from my mistakes and this is how it started.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, are you still selling on Amazon?

Gilad:

I we do have an account we sell, but it’s mainly really to see how things go and try a little experiment in order to train our VAs better.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Excellent. Now, Leah, I’ve had Chris on the podcast a couple of times, he writes blogs because you know, the, the thing that, the things that you guys work on, everybody’s goal is to never have to know who you are or Chris, because that means they never had to go reach out to you because their account got suspended or some crazy thing has happened. But unfortunately, it’s just a fact of the matter is that, one time or another you’re probably gonna run into something where you might be stuck you know, due to an Amazon policy or could be your fault, could not be your fault, whatever the case is. But, you know, I haven’t had Chris on here in a number of months. I don’t think it’s been quite a year yet, but I’m just wondering in the last, here in 2022, we’re already more than halfway through believe it or not 2022, right? What are some of the most common things that are happening now to Amazon sellers that they’re having to like procure your services for?

Leah:

I think the biggest increase we’ve seen is actually in abuse from other sellers. So more and more we’re either being hired to report something that a competitor’s doing or part of the ASIN and account suspension is actually due to abuse from another seller. Which coincidentally is what I’m talking about at the Helium 10 Summit in September. But, but yeah, we’re seeing a lot more abuse against sellers on seller abuse where like keyword abuse is probably the most well known form of that.

Bradley Sutton:

Like throwing stuff in the back end on some certain you know, like forbidding keywords throwing into their listing, then it gets their listing suspended, like that kind of thing?

Leah:

Right, and we see that a lot where they’ll do it on an international marketplace where the listing, maybe isn’t quite as locked down by Brand Registry and that will eventually filter over into whatever their main market is. And then we also see things like false IP claims, which has been happening for a long time, but we’re starting to see that more often than we were say a year ago. Mostly because Amazon isn’t really doing a whole lot to stop that from happening. They don’t really verify any of this before suspending a listing or an account. So it’s a very easy way for people to take out their competitors, especially around things like Prime Day or in Q4 when sales are that much higher for a short period of time.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. So, I mean, I’m assuming that since people come to you for this, it’s not the end of the world that this happens like that there is a way that you guys know to kind of like save the seller and reinstate things and things like that, right?

Leah:

Yeah. I mean, so, unfortunately, it’s not always like an easy process. But yeah, I mean, it is definitely salvageable. We actually only take cases on that. We think that we can get reinstated because we do project rates and otherwise we’ll be stuck with them forever. But, yeah, it is certainly fixable, but part of the issue, and I think part of the reason these tactics are so popular is that Amazon teams are much slower than they were say a year ago. So, Brand Registry–

Bradley Sutton:

That’s not very comforting. I thought it was getting better maybe.

Leah:

Well also like Brand Registry, you’re looking at at least 15 business days for a response. That’s actually what they put in the email, and product compliance is another team that now their KPIs are 10 business days for a response. So if you’re listing is incorrectly taken down, that could be especially around holidays and prime day, you’re essentially taken out for that period of time. So if you’re, if you’re trying to handle it yourself it could take even longer or, not knowing the right way to escalate that. So you’re not waiting around for a long period of time for it to get corrected by Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now, I know no matter what sellers do to protect themselves, there’s always gonna be a way that some kind of nefarious person out there will be able to still get in and screw things up. But what are some couple of things that can help people maybe even avoid this in the first place? Like I’ve heard some, some people talk about like making sure everything is uploaded by a Flat File first or something that even feels that you don’t use. Like, does that help or what are some things that you’ve heard that can help kind of at least lessen the chances that they can be attacked?

Leah:

Yeah. I mean, so I actually recommend people use Flat Files for all listing updates anyway, just because it gives you that paper trail, which Amazon can also access Amazon can’t necessarily access changes made by the API or at least the catalog team can’t. So, certainly, I would recommend using Flat Files anyway, filling in a lot of the fields does help. It doesn’t, it’s not foolproof like you said, but also, you know, maintaining Brand Registry helps a lot and maintaining Brand Registry in any marketplace that your product is listed in. So, I mean, most people just do the US, at least if they’re based in the US, because that’s their main marketplace, but it is worth the time and the effort to get that trademark internationally accredited. So you can lock down your listings in the UK, Canada, and Australia because that’s where we’re seeing a lot of this abuse come through because it’s that much easier without Brand Registry there.

Bradley Sutton:

Got it, got it. All right. Switching gears to Gilad. Gilad also is going to be speaking at Sell and Scale Summit. So one of the things that we’re doing that I think that almost, I have never seen this at Amazon conferences is, will sometimes have two different people who talk, who are subjects in a certain field, but, you know, they might even be competitors to each other or they just might have no relation where they’re two completely different companies and that’s what we’re gonna do for, for your topic, which is, you know, talking about how, you know, best ways to hire VAs, and we’re gonna have Saqib hopefully from Pakistan where there’s a lot of great VAs as well. It’s gonna be interesting to see the contrast, like, Hey, what’s the difference between looking for VA and the Philippines looking for one in Pakistan and other places. So that’s one thing that’s different in Sell and Scale, but as far as on your side, what were you planning to talk about in September at the show, Gilad?

Gilad:

So what, the thing that really unique about us is that we’re not just recruiting VAs from the Philippines and connecting them to the sellers. We are actually training them from scratch about everything they need to know about Amazon and we continue to support them, always, you know, all year long with updates, changes on the ToS of Amazon new features, and all that. So focused–

Bradley Sutton:

Helium 10?

Gilad:

Yeah, definitely Helium 10. We were trained by the team of Helium 10. Vince took our VAs and trained them specifically for Adtomic, for example. So we are there to make sure that VAs, they know Amazon and what I’m gonna talk about is actually not just about how to find good VAs, but more about how to train them, which tasks on Amazon, they can help you with, whether on PPC, social media, Sell Central in order to really scale up and, and increase your revenue on Amazon. That’s gonna be the focus of the talk.

Bradley Sutton:

I love it. I love it. Now, what is just some common questions, I imagine that some sellers have is, Hey, I want to hire somebody to help with my product research, with my keyword research, Hey, this is somebody maybe I can, you know, have them maybe 10 hours a week. I can give them kind of entry-level. You know, they’re not doing advanced PPC or they don’t need to have that Vince training on atomic and things like that. It’s just some like some basic knowledge, what would I expect to pay for something, like that is, is it like a contract? Is it that having them on a retainer? Is it just hourly? How does it work?

Gilad:

Yeah. So basically when somebody approaches us and wants to hire our VAs, first of all, they need to decide where they need help. Like, there is a difference between hiring an Amazon VA who’s focused on Seller Central to a PPC VA. Who’s obviously all trained only on PPC.with PPC VA, for example, you know, the minimum would be two hours a day and the maximum is a full-time job. So it’s really up to you. You can start with two hours a day. What we see is that you start that way, but then after a while, you see, okay, wait a minute. It’s going well, and there are other things that the VA can help me with on, on PPC. So then you can always increase the hours later on. So it’s flexible. Oh, by the way, and to your question. So the rates vary between $5.50 cents an hour to $7.50 cents an hour depends on the department, depends on where you need help, but definitely affordable and to get somebody that you can choose to hire only for like two hours a day,

Bradley Sutton:

And then are they my employees or I’m paying you and you’re paying them? Or how does that work?

Gilad:

So you are paying us every month, according to the schedule that you decided, and the type of VAs that you’re hiring with, and what we do is we continuously, like I said, to support the VAs all year long, and we give you a guarantee on the VA. So if you want to even replace the VA with another, or improve something in the level of the VA, you have somebody to reach out to and talk to in order to give additional training to the VA or improve, or even replace the VA. Like I said,

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, now I have a question for you now. And this is, I don’t know, maybe kind of a controversial topic. And I don’t think there’s any “right answer or wrong answer” here. But one of the common debates I see is, Hey, what should I hire for? And some people will say, oh, hire for your weakness. Like, if you don’t know PPC, Hey, hire somebody to do your PPC, my opinion, kind of the opposite. Like, to me, I don’t think anybody should hire somebody to do something that you at least don’t know how to do yourself, because in my opinion, it’s kind of like, Hey, how do you even know? I mean, I’m not even, you know, I’m not even just talking about VA, I’m talking about, even if you have somebody, you know, in your office, you know, like how can you really gauge their work if you really don’t even know what it is? So what is your opinion on it? Like, should you hire for your weakness only? Or should you try and hire things that on stuff that you at least already know how to, how to do yourself, just so that you can be able to gauge their output?

Gilad:

So, I mean, I’m definitely on your side here and there, and but I’ll explain why. I mean when we talk, when I talk to our customers or the sellers, or if anybody else from our team is talking to a seller, first of all, we have to see that it works out. I mean, we have to make sure that the seller knows what they’re doing. They have already done this before themselves. And the reason that they wanna hire a VA is because they don’t want to forever keep doing the same things that repeats themselves a day, every day, and waste their time. They want to focus their time on, on growth. And, and that’s where it’s actually gonna be good to hire a VA because you know how to manage that person. You know, if that person is making a mistake or not, how to give instructions and to work together as a team with your VA.

Gilad:

And you’re not really completely you know, putting your faith on the person and your money on somebody. Who’s not an entrepreneur, he or she are not really risking their money. So that’s one thing that we wanna make sure of. And it’s especially true to those that are looking to hire VA to find new products to launch. I mean, if you’ve never done this before, I mean, because you could know PPC, but the PPC VA will be better than you that’s okay. Because you’d know, you speak the same language, you’d know what the VAs talking about, but, you know, if you’ve never, you know found a product yourself ever, and never launched a product on Amazon, don’t say, okay, I don’t know anything about it. Maybe I should hire a VA.

Gilad:

That’s not it, it’s not gonna work out in my opinion. However I personally always hire and use VAs to do tasks that I’ve never done before myself, but it’s coming from already an experience that I know how to do it, how to manage it, how to get them to report to me exactly what they’re doing and to give them instructions to make sure they really record for me, like the summary of what they do and, and what they, and what they reveal and so on. So I feel more confident in to give it again, to learn things that they never done before.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. Going back to Leah before she falls asleep over here, do you guys strictly do Amazon, or have you started doing like Walmart account suspensions and things like that?

Leah:

No, we are strictly Amazon. We are one of the few agencies that is not trying to be all of our places, all things.

Bradley Sutton:

Now speaking of Amazon, is it strictly Amazon USA, or are you handling things from Amazon Australia, Amazon Germany, Amazon Singapore like that?

Leah:

Yeah. We work in all marketplaces on Amazon actually, when Chris worked for Amazon, he did both us and France cuz he’s fluent in French. So yeah, we do all the marketplaces.

Bradley Sutton:

So then, I’m just curious, like you mentioned, what’s a common thing happening here for Amazon USA? Are there other countries that have like certain things that are unique to them, like are only happening over there or, or that, that main common problem that you talk about is kind of a universal issue?

Leah:

Yeah. I mean, keywords are abuse is definitely a universal issue as is IP complaints. The main area that we see a difference in issues that sellers have, and also just Amazon policy is more around product compliance because those laws are so different in each marketplace. So that’s also an area where a lot of sellers unintentionally break the rules because they’re familiar with the compliance rules say in the US not realizing that they’re slightly different in Canada or in the UK and they don’t really realize it until Amazon asks them from the documentation that they don’t have.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Something just came to mind when we’re talking about international marketplace, my mind works in a million different ways. Are you familiar with our Project X that we did on YouTube a while back? Have you ever heard of that?

Leah:

I don’t believe so.

Bradley Sutton:

No. Okay. So Project X was something that we did like maybe three years ago where we as Helium 10, like we made a YouTube kinda like a reality TV show where, where we started our own product. And actually one of them is a coffin shelf and one is an egg tray. Like we’re like, we just, we showed people the A to Z on, on how to find them. And then–

Leah:

Did we say coffin shelves?

Bradley Sutton:

We launched in their real products. Yeah. A shelf shaped like,

Leah:

Oh, a shelf shaped like a coffin.

Bradley Sutton:

I used to have one.

Leah:

Okay, got it.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. I have it kind of up there on the top of my, I think you can’t see it, but yeah. A shelf shaped like a coffin and we’ve sold thousands of them, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s crazy how many people buy that kind of thing. But anyways, these are real products, you know, we sell them, we use it for our case studies and be able to test different things on it. But what happened a couple of years ago and was I tried to, you know, expand to the Europe market and then I got this message like we got suspended like right away, but thank goodness. Only on the Europe side says, oh, I think it was something like we’re we think that this account is related to another account that got suspended or something like that. So we’re not gonna let you sell in Europe. And I was just like, okay, whatever, you know, we finished the reality show. I was just gonna try and do some experiments but now, you know, like people have taken over our ASINs over there and everything. So I’m like, you know what? I think it’s time that we expand that. So is that something that I can reach out to you guys and you guys can help me figure out why they’re not allowing us to expand to Europe?

Leah:

Yeah. Block for related is a pretty common suspension. It’s one. I think that people are more likely to post about publicly because there’s no implication that they necessarily did anything wrong themselves. So it’s one that you see talked about a lot on social media because of that. But yeah, usually the first step with the relation is figuring out which account Amazon thinks that you’re related to and then figuring out why. Exactly. Yeah. That relation usually it’s an employee or a third party service provider that you’ve used, who was also working with other sellers. Sometimes it’s even your warehouse that can cause that sort of relation.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. I mean, I think what it is, what I was thinking it could be was, you know, especially at Helium 10, you know, we have sellers come into our place, but one of Manny Coats, the founder’s, brothers had one of Manny’s accounts and I think something might have happened to it.

Leah:

Okay. Yep.

Bradley Sutton:

But, but because probably something on the back and like an address or something like got related somehow, but I was just shocked that our US account never got suspended, but what would the process be like, cuz I’m literally gonna do this after like a call I’ll email you and we’ll get the process started, but I’m sure there’s people out there who might have a similar situation. Like what is it, what are the steps? Like I just email you guys and then are you guys gonna need like a sub-account into our account so that you can see the error message yourself or are screenshots good enough or how do we even do this?

Leah:

Nope. We don’t need account access. Usually, the first step is showing us the notification that you received from Amazon and sort of a summary of what you’ve done so far to try to fix it. Unfortunately, sometimes if too many things have been done, it’s a bit too much of a mess for us to be able to take over. Particularly if you’ve escalated it to multiple managers before sending it our way. But yeah, so that would be the first step, just knowing what you’ve done so far, seeing what the relation or sorry, seeing what the notification is, and then we’d have to work with you to figure out where that relation came from, which it sounds like you already have a pretty good idea of where that came from and then it would just be showing Amazon that even though you are sort of related, you’re not actually the same business.

Bradley Sutton:

All right, cool. Well, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna work on that together and I know like you’ve written blogs for us, I think, but either you or I will write a blog on this whole process and we’ll show people like, hopefully, there’ll be a good result at the end, but even if it’s not a good result, at least we can show people like, Hey, this is why we got denied. You know, we waited too long or we did it the wrong way originally or something like that, but we’re gonna do something in real life.

Leah:

Yeah. that sounds great.

Bradley Sutton:

Cool. Cool. What else do you guys only work like on like suspensions and things like that or do you help at all with ungating or people not being able to get their Brand Registry approved? And are there any other things that you guys work on?

Leah:

We do work on Brand Registry not being approved which is–

Bradley Sutton:

Well, what are the common reasons of that, and what are the solutions?

Leah:

Usually, Brand Registry is a fun one because no matter what, if they deny your Brand Registry, they send you a message that says it’s due to abusive behavior. That’s just their denial email. So even if there was no abusive behavior, that’s the email you received from Amazon? Usually, it’s something small, like say you signed up for global selling at one point didn’t actually sell globally. And then like your Mexico account was suspended or something like that. That’s usually the reason for that kind of messaging. Otherwise, it’s just incorrect messaging and you submit their appeal and they approve it.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. All right, cool. Going back to Gilad now you mentioned, we can have start people at two hours a day or we can, you know, do up to full time. Like, how do I know me? I’m just saying me, hypothetically as an Amazon seller, how do I know what I should do? Or when I’m ready for a full-time employee, and should I just get somebody that specializes in PPC or should I get one of these A to Z ones who can like handle different aspects? Like maybe I’m a seller, who’s I’m in the high six figures now. And I’m like, okay, I know that I need help because I’m working 20 hours a day. What’s my next step. Can you talk to me and how I can know what my first step should be.

Gilad:

So first of all, I don’t really believe in this Superman VA that can do everything. I mean when we recruit people, we see a completely different character between for example, a social media VA, who’s gonna be really creative and really good in expressing themselves in English, in writing and would love social media and compared to PPC VA who’s really almost the opposite, like really into numbers, excels analyzing data. And if you want them to write a blog or post on Facebook, you’d not read it. So, it’s different person and this is why we separate it. So I think first of all, you have to decide like where you need help. Maybe you should not start with everything and you should focus on one type of VA that you wanna start with.

Gilad:

Once you’ve got that covered, you can already move to the other VA. And like I said, it, you don’t necessarily need to hire somebody full-time job straight away. Now, usually, I ask myself always questions, like what to delegate. I mean, what should I decide if I should give this to a VA or not? Usually, the best thing that works for me is to ask myself, like, if, is this thing that I’m doing now, is this something that only me as the founder of the business, as the seller, the one who knows everything about where I want to take this business to can do only me by my myself, or is it something that somebody else with the right training with the right attitude with the right capabilities, but somebody else can do it for me.

Gilad:

And if the answer is yes, then I delegate it and you start to make a list of all the things that you’re doing now, and that you could delegate under this test. And, and so you’re left only with the things that only you as the entrepreneur of the business should, should focus on in order to grow and everything else should be, you know, already switched to a VA. And you can start one by one, I mean, little by little giving, more and more task to the VA and getting more and more experience into how to delegate correctly.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Now glad that this next question is kind of a little bit has to do with what Leah does, but, you know, one common kind of like fear that maybe some Amazon sellers have is, well, Hey, you know, this, person’s not full time. You know, maybe they’re working for 10 other Amazon sellers. Like what if they’re logging in and Amazon can see that and then one of these other accounts is related to mine or something like that is the answer to this fear. Just, Hey, make sure they’re all logged in under sub-accounts and that there should never ever be any issues with this, or have you ever seen any problems like this come up?

Gilad:

Well, we, we haven’t seen any problem like this from the very beginning of VAA, which was a 2017 as long as we’ve seen problems if the user permission was not done correctly, I mean, if you give to your VA, your username and password, for example, instead of giving them your, you know, create for them user permission and send all the documents that you want, that Amazon is requesting from you do it, especially in the UK, by the way. So then we see problems, but we haven’t seen problems with you know, related accounts yet, but, you know, it doesn’t mean that it cannot happen, so you should be prepared for this. But for now, it looks to me like Amazon knows what they’re doing maybe, Leah, see things differently because she’s working on it all the time.

Gilad:

But for now we haven’t seen any issues like this. I think if you’re doing things legit, and you’re hiring VAs and so that’s usually what happens that VAs are working with several sellers and that makes sense. And Amazon sees that as well. So yeah, something could happen. And, you know, when I was selling on Amazon, every, you know, things can happen and you can get restricted and then you work on it and you continue to sell. So that’s pretty much what it is. But I think you should be prepared for when you wanna grow your business when you start to delegate, there are certain risks that you’re taking, but the benefit from delegating and giving, you know, responsibility to other people is that this is the way to grow your business and scale up.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. One last question for you Gilad is let’s say, I start getting, or I have ambitious goals for a foreign marketplace be it Amazon, Japan, Amazon, Germany, you know Amazon France. Do the VAs that you all train do, do any of them have, like, these kind of, I would say, not common bilingual, you know, almost every Filipino speaks English, for example, but do you have people on staff who can make a listing in Japanese or in Deutsche or something like that, or do you suggest going to like companies like the YLT translations, Jana been on the podcast a few times those kind of other language needs,

Gilad:

Well, especially, you know, for creating the listings and YLT are great for that and especially if you don’t have like thousands of products and you want to invest all your efforts into a limited amount of products and you want the listings to be, you know, topnotch. So definitely go there. We do have VAs that are working with sellers from non-English countries especially Germany. And they don’t speak German. The VAs in the Philippines, they speak, yeah, they speak English very well. They speak Tagalog. Sometimes they speak Chinese. So the sellers are using them to find the suppliers but mostly not German or Italian or French and a lot of time, what we see is that it’s still okay for the VA to do customer service.

Gilad:

For example, in German, they use Google translate, and probably there will be some mistakes over there, but they always start their letter with something like, hi, my name is John I’m from the Philippines, for example, or I’m not German born and I probably, I’m gonna make some small mistakes in my German, but I still wanted to give you the best service in your own language, please. Hope that’s okay. And then, you know, you just get a better attitude after that. So it’s it’s okay.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, cool. Last question for Alia you know, something that, again, I’m not sure if I would call this controversial, but I hear differing opinions on this is, you know, back in the day, it was kind of common knowledge that, Hey, if you want to open up another Seller Central account, you need to get permission from Amazon, you know, to do that, just to make sure you got all your ducks in a row, and sometimes if you don’t want Amazon to even know that this is your account, you go ahead and just start it with all your different information and never log in on, you know, always use a virtual server or something like that. Never log in under your home network. But you know, about a year or two ago, a lot of people started saying, even though there’s kind of conflicting documentation in Amazon, where no, no, you don’t need to ask Amazon anymore. As long as you have different information, just go ahead and start as many Seller Central accounts as, as you want. What’s the real truth in 2022.

Leah:

So they did change the policy. So you don’t need to ask for permission anymore. But what you do need to have is a legitimate business need as Amazon puts it for that additional account which means that you can’t sell the same products on the same, on your multiple accounts. And like I said, there needs to be some sort of need. So for example, if you’re selling children’s products and then maybe you’re also selling some adult products, it would make sense for you to have two separate accounts for those two businesses. I mean, another legitimate business reason would also be. A separate business entity. But again, you don’t want there to be too much overlap in what you’re selling on the same accounts, because ultimately Amazon gets to decide what’s a legitimate business reason. So even products within the same category, they could consider not a legitimate reason for a separate account.

Bradley Sutton:

So you haven’t seen anybody lately who didn’t ask, get like suspended or something happened to them?

Leah:

For not asking?

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. For not asking

Leah:

Well, they don’t actually have a queue to request permission for it anymore. They used to get bumped to performance, the performance team, but support can’t do that anymore. So there really is no avenue to request that permission. You just need to make sure you have all that documentation or reasons showing why you needed that additional account, having it as collateral in case one of your accounts is suspended. Isn’t considered a legitimate business reason by Amazon.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. Well, we’re gonna get into your guys 30-second tips here in a second, but, you know as you guys probably heard out there, both Gilad and Leah are speaking, but they’re not speaking at the same time. Like I said, we’re having different people on at the same time, but we’re not gonna have account suspension and VA on at the same time, that would be a little bit interesting. We can do that a podcast, but not on stage at a show, but you know, they’re both speaking at different times at the Sell and Scale Summit. So if you guys haven’t gotten your ticket yet, make sure to go sign up h10.me/s3, h10.me/s3. Anybody who actually signs up for that using my discount code, you can get a hundred dollars off by using S3BS100. What I want you to do if you sign up, like in the next week after hearing this, I’m gonna send you an $80 Helium 10 podcast microphone, right?

Bradley Sutton:

If you sign up for Sell and Scale, so you would just need to send customer service kind of proof that you ordered it right after this episode airs and, and show that you use the coupon and then we’ll hook you up. I’ll have my assistant send you directly one of these Helium 10 podcast microphones. All right, let’s go to Gilad first. What’s we have something we call the TST, I actually learned this because of my Filipino side, whenever my mom would call and call me, or my grandfather they’ll be like “tst” “hali ka”, like they would say that, so this is the “TST”, but it stands for TST 30-second tip. You don’t have to keep it to 30-second, but like some kind of quick-hitting strategy about maybe hiring VAs or something that you’re familiar with that you don’t think a lot of sellers know about, but they should be doing

Gilad:

30 seconds. All right. So I think the best that they should do is do not think that you should do everything in your business by yourself. I know it’s confusing cuz people are in front of the computer, they can do everything by themselves. They were given a course that teaches them everything. And then you fall into this trap and what we see from sellers that grow their business, that they manage to go beyond that and really learn to delegate in order not to be falling into this trap and doing everything themselves, even they could that’s the difference between a real business like outside of Amazon and falling into doing everything yourself. And that’s your way to freedom actually.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, excellent. Leah, same. Thank you. What’s your 30-second tip for us?

Leah:

Yeah. I like to quote office space, which your listeners may or may not have seen. Whenever you’re planning on doing something on Amazon think, is it good for the company? The company being Amazon. We see a lot of people get in trouble because they do a Gray Hat tactic thinking that it’s okay. Just think if all sellers did this on Amazon, would it be good for Amazon and their customers? And if the answer is no, don’t do it.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, Leah, I’m gonna need to see those TPS reports.

Leah:

Yes. Somebody got my reference.

Bradley Sutton:

There we go. All right. I guess we just aged ourselves here a little bit with that, but guys, that’s a timeless movie. If you haven’t seen that, y’all need to take a look at that right now. All right. Not very applicable to Amazon world, but somehow Leah was able to apply it to the Amazon world. So I love it. All right. Still with you Leah, like how can we reach out to you if people have some questions or find you on the interwebs out there?

Leah:

Yeah. So you can reach me at ecommercechris.com. [email protected] We’re on all the social medias, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, you name it. We’re there.

Bradley Sutton:

You gotta get a Subdomain, like e-commerceleah.com or something like that.

Leah:

I’ve been threatening to do that for April’s fool for about five years now.

Bradley Sutton:

I love it.

Leah:

There are no domains available.

Bradley Sutton:

Excellent. All right. For now, it’s [email protected] All right. Gilad, how can people find you guys out there?

Gilad:

So www.vaaphilippines.com that’s our website, or send an email directly to me at [email protected] That’s the best way to reach directly to me.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome. Well, I look forward to seeing you guys at Sell and Scale Ssummit, and as, you know, make sure to come on the 19th early, so that the 20th in the morning, I’m doing my Zumba fitness dance class and I expect both of you to be there dancing the buffet that you guys ate the night before away. All right. Can I count on both of you guys to be in my Zuma class?

Leah:

Absolutely.

Gilad:

Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. I’m and it immediately, after the 17 hour flight that I’m going to go to in Israel

Bradley Sutton:

Gilad, you can’t outsource this to your VAs to coming in your place. No, you’ve gotta come yourself. All right, guys. Thank you so much. We’ll be seeing you.


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