#557 – Two Expats Turn Amazon Side Hustle into a Booming Business

Join us as we explore the incredible journey of Tom and Alex of Honest FBA, two UK expats who have made a name for themselves as Amazon entrepreneurs in the sunny climes of Spain. They’ve successfully launched a booming business that’s on track to hit a remarkable two million dollars in sales. Throughout our conversation, these innovative thinkers share their personal experiences, from their individual paths to Barcelona, where their paths crossed, to the strategies that propelled their Amazon venture to new heights. They offer valuable insights into the world of e-commerce, including a glimpse into Tom’s previous venture organizing bachelor parties and how they’ve navigated the complexities of Brexit as UK citizens abroad.

Listen in as these entrepreneurial spirits delve into the nuts and bolts of their business, from an inflatable games venture to a travel brand that was smartly sidestepped just before the pandemic. Discover how they succeeded in the pet space within the Amazon US market, generating impressive sales figures and expanding into content creation with a YouTube channel and coaching course. They provide actionable advice on inventory management and product innovation, recounting both their victories and hiccups, such as a costly inventory dimension miscalculation, while emphasizing the importance of adapting and reinvesting in the face of product failures.

The episode wraps up with a forward-looking discussion on brand building and the intricacies of scaling a significant e-commerce brand. Our guests highlight the vital role of a strong brand presence, not just on Amazon but across multiple channels, and the use of external marketing efforts to drive growth. They also tease an upcoming London event and a future Helium 10 event in Spain, marking milestones and networking opportunities that promise to inspire and connect like-minded entrepreneurs. So whether you’re an established seller or just starting out, tune in for an engaging session brimming with lessons and strategies to elevate your e-commerce game.

In episode 557 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Alex, and Tom discuss:

  • 00:00 – Expat Entrepreneurs Launch Amazon Business
  • 05:34 – From Lockdown to Seven Figures
  • 07:11 – Amazon Entrepreneur Journey and Strategies
  • 09:41 – Growth in Annual Sales Performance
  • 14:32 – Amazon Sellers Discuss Product Success 
  • 14:49 – Branding and Supply Chain Success
  • 19:12 – Thinking Outside the Box With Subscriptions
  • 24:13 – E-Commerce Brand Building Strategies
  • 26:40 – Amazon Seller Event in London By Honest FBA
  • 31:46 – International Event Plans and Goals

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today we’ve got a couple of expats from the UK who met in Spain and they launch an Amazon business together that’s projected to do about two million dollars this year. We’re going to talk about some of their unique strategies, such as sourcing products in the USA. 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 today, as we’ve been doing lately, we start off with a serious strategy for serious sellers out there. We start off with a serious strategy for serious sellers out there. So one quick thing I want to show you here. In Magnet, you can enter in any keyword and get a list of long tail keywords that have that key keyword as a root. So, for example, right here I can enter Gothic decor into Magnet and then, once I get these results of thousands of keywords, I want to go ahead and filter out the smart complete. Now, smart complete is going to give me all of the broad match keywords that could potentially come up in a phrase or broad campaign for PPC. But now I’ve got 151 long tail keywords of gothic decor that are potential PPC matches or things that I could use in my listing. So, make sure to use Magnet. For more information, go to h10.me/magnet. Now we have a couple of sellers on here, is it? Have you guys, either of you, been on the podcast before First time? All right, so we got Tom and Alex coming from now. You were just telling me you’re originally from the UK, but you both live in Spain now.

Tom:

Yes, we are, we’re expats. We came here about 8 years ago. We actually we met here. We came separately and then met here and had a shared kind of passion for business and then became, and then, yeah, it’s hard to leave. Once you leave the UK and you get blue skies every day, it’s kind of it’s tricky to go back, even though you can see our complexion. We’re not quite made for Spain, to be honest, but it’s good fun.

Bradley Sutton:

So did you know each other in UK?  Where were you guys born and raised, each of you?

Tom:

I’m from a place called Bath in the southwest of the UK, did a small town super nice, but once you leave and go somewhere a bit bigger, I kind of knew destined for bigger things. So yeah, I got out and came here.

Bradley Sutton:

Did you do university in that area?

Tom:

No. I went traveling, saw the world and then went back to it for a bit and got bored, so I got out and came over here.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, and Alex, what about you?

Alex:

I’m from a little bit further north. Yeah, I’m from Manchester, just outside of Manchester. Yeah, so I went to university in Manchester and then left the UK.

Bradley Sutton:

Manchester City had a rough time this week. I’m not sure if you care about that.

Alex:

Yeah. It’s funny because years ago nobody ever mentioned Manchester City. When I went abroad or anywhere, they’d say Manchester United, and now everything is Manchester City.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, things is different.

Alex:

Things are different now.

Bradley Sutton:

And how about you? Did you do university?

Alex:

I did, yeah, I went to university in Manchester. Yeah, complete waste of time. Shouldn’t have done it.

Bradley Sutton:

But what were you studying over there?

Alex:

I studied marketing.

Bradley Sutton:

Marketing okay, at least it’s somewhat. It’s not like you know. You pick something like philosophy or something completely useless. You know and then now both of you just were like just independently, obviously, like you said, you didn’t know each other, you’re like I want to move to Spain, or.

Tom:

 I used to arrange bachelor parties for a living when I was in the UK, so a bit uh part of the job. But one of the perks was you, you go and visit your destinations that you sell. So I went to Bulgaria, went to Portugal, went to Poland, came here for a trip like a research trip and you kind of you do like a one-man band stag, do with the kind of providers that are local and it I just loved it. So, on the way home on the plane I just wrote I was doing a note to myself, so I moved to Barcelona and then about six months later I was on the way back out again to do it here. 

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, Now what? How is it for somebody from the UK, you know, post Brexit and everything Like is there different things about you know? Can you just like pick up and move there? Or do you have to have a resident card? Like, how, how does that even work?

Alex:

It is different actually, like when me and I turned up with a backpack and that’s it and I didn’t need anything at all. But now if you want to move over here, you need. I mean, they’ve just introduced a digital nomad visa, which I hear is actually pretty good in terms of tax and stuff like that, so they’ve made it a little bit easier, but before they introduced that, like it was really difficult.

Bradley Sutton:

Now, tom, when you first moved over, there was this bachelor party business. What was your, you know allowing you to that was a make a living or did you have another job or what was going on there?

Tom:

Yeah, it was arranging bachelor. So, I didn’t tell a lot of people in the city that I met, because bachelor and bachelorette parties are quite annoying because I’m sure most people listening they’ve seen them out and about. So I wasn’t shouting about what I did for a living to a lot of people that I met but I felt like I was doing a bit of a service because I’d always tell them to go where we didn’t go. They were going to the touristy areas and then opened up another company around that, a bit like Takeshi’s Castle or like Total Wipeout, which is a quite popular TV show, maybe like a little bit of American Ninja Warrior kind of vibe opened an activity center where it’s all like inflatable games and you kind of fight in sumo suits and that kind of thing. So that was all kind of going well up until covid and then covid killed it. It kind of killed the business and then that’s when me and Alex actually we joined up. During lockdown is when I just started learning Amazon kind of flat out and replaced my 9 to 5 with this listen to this podcast a lot, watch a lot of YouTube, watch a lot of your series and other people, and yeah, I’ve been kind of doing Amazon non-stop ever since then okay.

Bradley Sutton:

So, when you say you started amazon, what was it there? In Spain, in UK or USA, or where was your marketplace?

Alex:

Yeah, so I originally started I think it was like the back end of 2019, I think around then or early 2019 maybe I started selling in Amazon Spain, which in hindsight was probably a bit of a mistake, but obviously I was a little bit wet behind the ears started selling Amazon Spain, and then it was when Tom and I joined up. We moved across to the UK market. We had a brand there, that did quite well, but then we launched a product in the U S market and that just took off, and then that turned into the brand that we’ve got now, which is doing, yeah, seven figures annually now.

Bradley Sutton:

How again did you guys meet at one of the bachelor parties or how did this? Where’s your guys out? Your bromance origin story here?

Tom:

Do you know? What happened actually was a bit, if people are watching this, we get asked if we’re brothers quite a lot. So we uh the guy I used to work for had had a bar in the city center and my then girlfriend was working behind the bar and Alex was doing some work for the same for the company. There’s like casual tour guide stuff I think he was doing. And he came into the bar and she at a glance thought it was me that came in. And then I came in a bit later on and I looked, I looked at him across the bar and I was like does this guy know that? Like he looks quite a lot like me. It’s a bit weird. We started chatting. We had some mutual friends and the expat community here is like fairly small. So, yeah, start kind of socializing together and then that being in Barcelona in your 20s is a bit like you’re a kid in a kid in a sweet shop. It’s kind of non-stop options to go out and have fun and do kind of the parties every day and things. So, we did that and then we started chatting about business. Alex told me obviously I was telling him about my kind of inflatable games business. And then you know Alex telling me about amazon and I was just like desperate to get involved. I wanted another, another income stream and he was in a position where wanted to grow the brand but needed some help with cash flow and I was like I’m down to come in. So, I think we went and played golf one day and I was just like on the way there I was thinking I’m gonna pitch him today like I want to get in there and yeah, kind of went on from there. We partnered up. We very nearly launched a travel brand in just prior to Covid we were looking at.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, I was about to say that that wasn’t exactly a good niche to get into during Covid, right there.

Tom:

No, it was actually travel pillows. We had some samples made. This is when we didn’t really know what we were doing at that point and we were really kind of set on that. And then, when Covid hit, we luckily hadn’t gone into that, but some of the brands we were looking at when they came up on my Instagram ads. Today I saw one of the brands. They’re called turtle and they’re kind of everywhere at the minute. They’re, uh, they just launched, I think, when we were looking at it, so maybe we could have rode the storm and made it. But, yeah, we’re in a different direction and now we’re, uh, in the pet space in the us instead the first product that you guys came up with.

Bradley Sutton:

Are you guys still selling that today?

Alex:

No, we’re not, I actually have one here on my desk somewhere oh, no so the. The very first product that we launched well, I launched it in Spain was a man’s wallet. There we go, and then we developed this one. This one was our second one that we launched in the UK. Actually, it went really well. It went really well and then we had the listing suspended. Some sort of stupid claim to do with I don’t know the materials we were using that got suspended. That was the first time that we experienced a bit of a hiccup in the journey, I guess.

Bradley Sutton:

You said, you started selling that one in Spain first?

Alex:

Yeah, so initially in Spain, and then it was when I partnered up with Tom that we moved into the UK market.

Tom:

What the plan was, Bradley, was we basically launched into the UK with the wallet and then we were like we need to finance the growth of this. So in the meantime, on Helium 10, I found a product in the US and we weren’t really looking at the US and we kind of didn’t know why because it’s you know, we’re not touching the products, obviously the beauty of Amazon being like being remote. So found this one product where only one other person was selling it on the whole of Amazon and we saw their listing. We were like, look, we can definitely do a better job than this. We didn’t really know much about the niche but did some research. We ordered that product just to finance the growth. Of the wallets was the idea. And then when the wallet listing got into issues and it was banned for like eight weeks, the first product we launched in the us, in the other, in the other niche, that started really taking off. So we just took a real look at that niche properly and it was a much bigger opportunity than we thought. That product is still selling today. Yeah, it’s been selling now for three and a half years non-stop and we’ve added on another I don’t know dozen products on top.

Bradley Sutton:

What was your peak year of sales? Which year, and then how much was it so last?

Tom:

Yeah, last year was about 1.4 million. I think we went like quarter million, year one about 900,000. Year two, last year was 1.4 and then I think this year we’ll be up over two this year. Um, as we’ve been doing this, at the same time we’ve built out like honest FBA, so we’ve got our kind of YouTube channel and twitter following and things. So, we built a kind of coaching course and community alongside it, which has been really nice, but obviously it’s running two businesses at once is obviously comes with its challenges. So we’re looking to focus, kind of maximize both opportunities over the next couple of years.

Bradley Sutton:

So, if you hit 2 million this year on Amazon overall, what percentage is US compared to other marketplaces?

Tom:

99% I think.

Bradley Sutton:

So, you’re out of UK and Spain pretty much and just all in yeah so that. Why is that? You know like somebody might think like well, you’re in Europe, you got to take advantage of being based in Europe and it’s you, you could be crushing it over there. So why would two Europeans be focusing on US market?

Alex:

I mean the. The long and short of it is the pet brand that we’ve got. There’s not really any demand in Europe for this particular pet. There’s a lot of demand in the US market but there’s not in the UK. So, once we saw the success of this product we launched in the US market and also we realized actually it’s super easy to sell into the US market even if you’re based in Europe. It was literally just making the account, you know, linking it up and and then then we were off. So, once we saw the success of that first product, we had to make a decision like do we go all in on that one? Because obviously we didn’t. We didn’t have unlimited funds at that point. So we decided to basically sell through all of the stock in the UK with the wallet brand and we thought the opportunity was bigger with the pet brand in the US market. So yeah, that was the crux of it. Basically, we saw a bigger opportunity, but we would, I mean, we have sold a little bit in the UK market but it ended up not really being worth it because the demand was just way too small.

Bradley Sutton:

And you only focus on Amazon. Are you doing a website, TikTok, Walmart, anything like that?

Tom:

Bit of DTC. We’ve been focused on that over the last six months or so. We wrote actually about 50, or I say we wrote, we bought about 50 to 100 blog articles last year, so a bit of an SEO play that literally in the last couple of weeks that’s really started hitting. So we’re ranking around page one of Google for quite a lot of the terms that we were targeting now. So we’re getting a decent amount of growth, DDC, and we’re looking well. We’re moving into some subscription-based products.

Bradley Sutton:

Those blogs is it linking to a website or is it linking to amazon?

Tom:

Well, yeah, our website at the moment. We have also done some backlink work with our Amazon listing, which actually is works fairly well as well. So, that’s been pretty interesting. We’ve ranked. We’ve ranked fairly well off that. And then, yeah, plan is with this year, like subscription based products which obviously subscribe and save on Amazon. But also that’s our kind of DTC play for the next 12 months is go pretty aggressive on that, start running Meta ads. We’re working with some influencer partners at the minute. That’s gone. That’s gone nicely. We’ve kind of got some brand ambassadors and, um, and, yeah, kind of we were driving traffic to both platforms over. We want to win on both. Right, we think the brands were really viable to go DTC and we actually had to start a chat today about potentially moving into some retail stores as well. So, there’s quite a few options that we can do with a brand at the minute

Bradley Sutton:

 Sure, there’s plenty of people who have hit seven figures on Amazon, but there’s plenty more people who have not hit that amount. So, what do you guys feel are some of your strategies that helped you be one of the ones who can achieve the level of sales that you guys have?

Alex:

I think one of the key things that’s helped us always has been like super high quality, sort of like visual branding. I think we’ve got a great brand name but we’ve always had like the best listings in our niche and I think that has given us an edge. I think also we’ve done had like the best listings in our niche and I think that that has given us, given us an edge. I think also we’ve done a really great job always of really understanding the customer. So I think you can you can present the same product as other people, but if you understand exactly what that customer is looking for, it just helps you really stand out to, you know, to the to the customer, more than your competition. And it always reminds me of. I used to love your Project X and I and I absolutely loved like the. You know the, the coffin shelf and that sort of stuff, and I think you showed in that series as well the power of having that great visual branding and understanding who is it that’s looking for those products and what do they care about. I think we’ve done that really really well and just you know doing the fundamentals. You know um really trying to have good. You know, inventory management it’s not like the sexy side of amazon, you know the supply chain side, but it’s super, super important and I think we’ve done a great job of keeping stuff in stock, uh, forecasting uh you know forecasting stock levels and stuff really well, but also just kind of innovating with products like we. We had a product that like last year we, we were one of the few people that kind of brought a custom product to the market. So we, you know, we didn’t just do the regular sort of me too product. We, we did a small customization, um, but to the actual end customer it was really really useful and it meant that we just flew to being the number one seller at the peak time. So I think we’ve done a great job of, you know, the fundamentals of, like, the branding side, but also kind of staying one step ahead.

Bradley Sutton:

Let me pause you right there. How much did it play a role of that you had an established brand like would you have been able to do what you just said you did like as your first product? Or it’s like, no you, you were only able to do that because you already had some brand awareness and some existing customers, or could you have done that from the from the get-go and had the same success?

Tom:

I think from the from the jump, you can do it for sure. I think we, like we, definitely made some mistakes and we could have. We could have progressed a lot faster than we have done. Um, I think every Amazon seller makes errors. We messed up with, we miscalculated dimensions on one of the products and that came in and that was just like about $10,000 tied up for six months because we got the dimensional weight wrong, which is something that I’ll never, ever do again. That was a horrible, painful realization. When we did that. 

Bradley Sutton:

What do you mean you got it wrong, like you had the wrong box size, or you didn’t calculate the profit and loss correctly beforehand?

Tom:

Yeah, so basically the product itself was it’s a quite a big, a decent size box and my logic was I was like, oh, it’s super light. I basically just ignored dimensional weight, to be honest. So I was like, yeah, it doesn’t matter that it’s light.

Bradley Sutton:

So you didn’t use the Helium 10 profitability calculator that would have told you that in other words.

Tom:

Yeah, I stupidly ignored it back then. And then, uh, yeah, it came in and the fees just ate all the margin up and we, you know, we one of those things where you’re early in business, you’re a bit, you’re a bit naive and we were like, no, we’ll still make it work, it’ll be fine. And then, like you know, the numbers don’t lie. I mean, what I will say is maybe a bit of a strength is, of course we haven’t every product we’ve launched hasn’t been a success in terms of hitting the absolute numbers we want it to. Some of them have been home runs, some of them have been singles and done well, but we’ve never had a product not sell. So, when we class a failure, a failed product for us is just not hitting the numbers that we expect. So, we’ve had products that are profitable. We’ve still killed them because for us we can see other opportunities in the brand. We’ll just free up that cash and we’ll go again. And we think that’s like a massive misconception on without people selling on Amazon is they’re like so scared of the failure. But if you do the fundamentals properly and you, yeah, use the Helium 10 calculator properly and understand your fees, then what generally worst case scenario is you’re going to sell it out. You can break even, maybe make a small loss, but then free up that capital and go again, and that’s what, that’s how we operate and that seems to have. That lesson was a good lesson to learn because it’s given us, like, a lot of confidence to launch kind of anything that we want within the niche.

Bradley Sutton:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe some, if not a good portion of your products you guys are actually sourcing in the United States.

Alex:

Yeah, we’ve launched two products in the past six weeks, so one was about six weeks ago. The second one went live on Monday, which is pretty cool, um, and they’re both subscription-based products, both sourced in the us. We kind of started to see, about 12 months ago, the same thing as a lot of people were seeing. You know that there’s increased Chinese competition on amazon and we’ve always tried to really try and stay ahead of the curve in terms of like what we’re doing with our brand and everything in the Amazon space in general. And when we started to see that we were starting to explore the options. Our goal with this is we want to have a seven or an eight figure exit over the next two to three years. So the first thing is that we wanted to launch products that are subscription-based because in terms of like, enterprise value and exit value, if you’ve got that recurring revenue, which is often something that you don’t really see talked about in the Amazon sphere in general, kind of in the beginner space. So, a lot of Amazon gurus will tell beginners to don’t go near products that are subscription-based or they’re consumable, for example. But we kind of just was like you know, to be honest, we actually thought that for a while. It was only really last year that we started to think a little bit outside the box. But both of these products are subscription-based, so we’re going to try and get as many people on subscribe and save as possible. But yeah, these are the first product that we that we sourced in the US, which has been amazing, it’s like. So I mean, Tom can dive into the, into the pros and cons, a bit more than I can, but yeah, both, both are sourced um on us, so and it’s great being able to slap a big American flag on the listing and say it loud and proud.

Bradley Sutton:

So how did you find a supplier?

Tom:

So, yeah, we dabbled with the US a few times in the past and ThomasNet is really popular, you see it spoken about quite a lot as a place, as a resource. Honestly, we never had any success there. There was a time when we were the MOQs are always insanely high and there was a product previously that we agreed to the MOQ. It was something like 10 or 20,000 units. It was pretty big and we were like, okay, we’ll go for it, but can you just repackage them into a different kind of mix. And they just said, nah, nah, don’t fancy it. And we’re like, right, okay, so we’re kind of banging our head against the wall. So now a little-known site called Google is honestly the best bet, so like, but I’m not talking page one at Google, you’ve got a big, so put on a VPN. If you’re somewhere like we are, like in Spain, put on a US VPN and then get down to like pages five, six, seven, eight, get in there. And then I just hammer a lot of emails out, but a lot of the websites that you find down in those stages or those pages, they’re not. You know, they’re not good at SEO, they’re generally kind of old sites, but you’re finding older, established businesses, so often you’ll find a phone number. So, one of the best lessons I say is like get on the phone and just ring them up and you can. You can save months of time, like the guy who ended up. One of the guys we ended up working with had a phone call with him on the first day. I found it and we ended up. We’re now doing two products with him. Already. We’ve got another three lined up and he had nothing to do with the niche we’re in. He was in. He was in, so we’re in pets, he was in humans, he’s in in food. I just gave him a call explain the brand vision, what we’re trying to do. He got really excited. He’s now helping us source new ingredients. He’s coming to me with product ideas. He’s now going to do a whole range of products for us. So that was one of the beauties is like having that, having that communication line and being able to really explain yourself. It’s been massive. We are still sourcing in China, by the way, like we still think it’s a really viable option, but having this US option as well is there’s so many, yeah, so many benefits to it,

Bradley Sutton:

So, I imagine that just the manufacturing price of this product is a lot less in China. You know, like you know, obviously labor in China is a lot less than US, but is it still more expensive, even considering the less shipping cost and then you’re just willing to deal with it because of the benefits of made in USA or is it almost the same once you consider the savings in importation and customs and shipping?

Tom:

For these particular products it was the same pretty much, to be honest because the angle we’re going for with our is we’re definitely hammering the us sourced angle and it’s they’re quite natural the product. So we’re looking to play into that kind of health angle and like locally sourced, so it works really well and then as well. One of the other benefits is like the cash conversion cycle is so short, so obviously from China your cash is tied up for potentially two, three months. Yeah, difficult to get payment terms sometimes out of China. Obviously after a while you can get them in the us. These guys on the first phone call like do you offer terms? Yeah, net, net 30 from day one. That was unbelievable. So, that to us is like it makes it so much easier to handle the inventory management. You can make smaller orders more regularly as well and you’re getting that cash back in your pocket so you can grow the business, so you can almost accept, you can actually accept lower margins because you’re getting that cash moved through so much quicker. 

Bradley Sutton:

Part of the whole cash flow thing also is how sellers are now having to pay more attention to, you know, low inventory fees and also the you know, shipment, placement fees and things like that how you know, it’s still very, very new at the time of us recording this, this podcast, but how have you guys been? How has that affected your business, if at all? Like have you had any shipments since these new things are coming into place with the placement fees? And or, I know amazon hasn’t charged the low inventory fees yet, but have you looked at those previews to see if you would have gotten hit this month with those? And it’s what’s? What’s your game plan like? Some people are like oh, my goodness is the end of the world. But I think other people are like okay, yeah, you know it actually kind of offsets with the lower fees and I can do this, that and the other thing to kind of offset it. What’s your game plan like?

Alex:

If you spend any time on Twitter like the sky is falling, you know, and people are really panicking about it, like I mean, we’re yet to see the kind of the full extent, I think, of exactly what it’s going to be Like. I think a lot of the fees are still really confusing, even for people that have been in the game for, you know, 10 years. What we’ve always tried to do is we’re always looking for a way to gain an advantage and I think if you’re still doing Amazon in the traditional private label way, I think you can still make money. There’s always going to be an opportunity to do that. But if you really want to go for it and have big swings and grow seven and eight figure brands, you’ve got to be a little bit more sophisticated. And I think honestly, a lot of the old school Amazon dinosaurs that are complaining about a lot of this stuff they’ve not stepped up and sort of evolved. I don’t think A lot of them are still doing the traditional private label route. What we’re trying to do now is we’re trying to build an actual brand, not just selling products on Amazon. So, we’re looking to move into retail, we’re looking to build a D2C presence. We’re looking to run external advertising work with influencers. I think one of the key things that you can do to really have a competitive edge is drive branded search on Amazon. So if you look at a lot of the big supplement brands these days, the way that they win those categories is because they’ve got 40,000 people every single month already searching for their brand. So, whilst everyone else is scrambling around about placement fees and I’m not saying that doesn’t impact their business either but whilst everyone else is fighting for organic position number one and these PPC battles, battles and stuff, those guys are driving branded search. Now that’s a whole another sort of ball game, but that’s kind of where we’re going with our brand and I think that if you really want to have longevity in the game, I think that’s going to become essential now as you move forward. So that’s kind of our approach to it is. You know, everybody is going to be facing the same thing. Everybody’s going to be facing these new fees. I think the prices are just going to get. They’re just going to rise on Amazon in general. I don’t know if Amazon is going to react. There’s a lot of noise about, you know, petitions and complaining to you know, the CEO and all that. There could be a chance that Amazon might roll these fees back, which would be amazing. But I think what’s going to happen is consumers are just going to end up paying higher prices, because there’s not really an option if your margins are just getting compressed. But yeah, we’re trying to stay ahead of it by building actual brand awareness, brand equity, where people are actually searching for our products, so then we can afford to have a little bit of a higher price, because if people are searching directly for us, then we don’t need to be as price competitive.

Bradley Sutton:

Basically, Now, before we get into a couple of your strategies, you guys have an event coming up in the UK. It’s not going to be in Spain, but in the UK is it?

Tom:

On May, the 9th? We are hosting an event in central London, so it’s going to be. We’ve got a bunch of speakers going to Amazon experts, people that are seven and eight figure sellers, people that have had exits yeah, kind of a high level, a bit of a mastermind. So, it’s a bunch of our members are going to come down and then it’s open to the public. We’ve got a few tickets left and then we’re going to have. We’ve actually hired a most of these things are normally like a conference room, so we’ve actually hired an underground archway nightclub which is quite cool. So we’ve gone big on the venue, um, gone big on the vibes

Bradley Sutton:

I think an amazon event hosted by somebody who does bachelor parties, that could be wild, um so okay, don’t threaten me with a good time.

Tom:

Some surprises and, uh, yeah, a bit of a bit of an after party as well. Of course, we’ve got a few professional DJs in our in our mix, which is cool, but, uh and yeah, Helium 10 have kind of, yeah, sponsored it. So there’s some. There’s an amazing prize we’re going to hand out at the event. So, if you are in the UK, uh, or you’re, honestly, actually people are flying in from the US for this. So, we’ve got, we’ve got three or four people that have put tickets to fly over, so anyone’s welcome.  I guess we’ll put a link or you jump on our website and you can, you can grab a ticket. But, yeah, excited to meet you know. 

Bradley Sutton:

What’s the website to go see, uh, the information. 

Tom:

If you jump on HonestFBA.com. Or you can jump on our YouTube, HonestFBA and you can. You can find us.

Bradley Sutton:

Nice. All right, uh, speaking of events in Europe, hopefully I’m going to see you guys at our uh locally to all, near locally to you, in Madrid, Spain, on May 28th. So if anybody’s interested to uh first ever Helium 10 event in Spain it’ll be on May 28th and for tickets that you can go to, h10.me/elitespain. We got some amazing speakers, like Leo Sgovio, uh Alina, Carrie’s going to be speaking there. I’ll be there. Would be great to see everybody there, and you can meet maybe Tom and Alex in person as well. So now uh something I ask everybody on the podcast is what is favorite Helium 10 tool or feature and why.

Alex:

I don’t mind straight away, I absolutely love it. It’s when you click I don’t know the actual name of it, I don’t know if it does have a name, but it’s when you click on the Chrome extension. If you type in, like a coffin shelf, it’ll load up this box and it just shows you all of the related keywords and it shows you all the search volume. I guess it’s just a part of X-ray, right. But yeah, the search expander, it’s honestly like just so insanely useful for research because you see all of the connected like broader keywords around the main keyword, but then it just throws off. Like I remember going down a rabbit hole of like weighted blankets and then kids weighted blankets, and then you just find so many niches by seeing like 50 keywords. That just pops up. Um, and I don’t know how long it’s been there, but when, when we first started Helium 10, I don’t think it was there. So I think no, no, yeah, it’s only been there for about a year I was going to say for me that’s, that’s probably my favorite part of the tool, for sure yeah.

Tom:

For me, like another, the simple ones are the classics are the classics for a reason the review insights, honestly, like it’s. That was the reason we did our first customized products was just delving into the review insights and seeing a super common complaint that was so easy to fix and that, doing that honestly, like I saw it, saw the review insights, you can feel it so easily just checking the one stars, the common theme, the common words that were always coming up, and then, like watch that sketched a drawing in my notebook, sent a picture to our supplier a few months later with this customized product and that, like that, changed our business and that kind of made it made it real. So, yeah, a lot to thank Helium 10 for that.

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome, awesome, all right now. What about your from? Each of you like your 30 second tip of the episode. Alex, you first.

Alex:

Focus on learning skills and getting really good at individual skills and you will make money.

Bradley Sutton:

Tom, you’re up.

Tom:

Yeah, something that we see a lot. We call it kind of the game show test with, with copy, and I think really often when you read copy on people’s listings, if it reads like it could be like an 80s game show voiceover reading out a prize, a potential prize. That isn’t good copy. It’s really cheesy. I think when you, when people write copy, it should be written to like the direct avatar, like one single person. Who’s our direct avatar? So let’s say it’s you sell like fishing gear. You should be right thinking of Derek, he’s mid-40s, sat in his lazy boy having a beer, looking for a new fishing rod and you should picture him. You shouldn’t say things like Tom’s Premium Material Rods are great for anyone and like anyone and anything but galvanized titan. I don’t fish. I’m losing myself a bit here, but you know they’re lightweight so anyone can carry them. And people say, like anyone and these, you could do this, but you should go, like, directly to that one person. Picture him reading it, because that’s how people are shopping, right, and that’s how you should write copy right like write like you speak. Don’t write like a 80s voiceover, because it kills me when I read it. It might be me to be honest, but I think it’s better copyright in practice to think that way. 

Bradley Sutton:

Awesome, awesome. Well, thank you guys, so much for joining us. You know, have fun at your event in the UK. It’ll be nice to meet you in person in Spain, potentially end of May, and we’ll be seeing you. Maybe come back next year and see if you were able to hit that 2 million mark this year or not.

Tom:

Awesome. Thanks for having us. Thanks for having us mate.


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