Product Searching and Launching, PPC and Reviews (Interview with Tamara Tee)
Our guest on the 8th of July, 2019, on the sellerboard show was Tamara Tee who is a 6-figure Amazon seller from Canada. She started her Private label business in 2017. Also, Tamara has her own YouTube channel, where she teaches others how to sell on Amazon.
Tamara is Tamara told us about her unsuccessful launch of the very first product, when she lost $5000 and how she managed to succeed with the second product. We talked about product selection, launch, external traffic, reviews and PPC. If you are starting your amazon business, picking your first product and preparing it’s launch, this episode is for you!
Speaker 0: What’s up everybody and welcome to the next episode of the sellerboard show my today’s guest is Tamara Tee who is a six figure seller from Canada and she started in twenty seventeen, two years ago. She’s selling products and has her YouTube channel where she teaches other people how to sell and how to start so this is going to be an interview about picking the product for beginners so if you have never sourced or picked any product before, then this is gonna be interesting for you she also mentions how to fail or rather know what she did wrong with her very first product which failed pretty badly on Amazon and how she managed to find another to source for very little money basically for just ninety three cents per item well so she was able to start off with well a low amount of cash. So well before we start check out our software sellerboard com our mission is to be the world’s most accurate profit analytics tool for Amazon sellers starting from nineteen dollars a month but we also have a couple other goodies in the package like an email campaign tool and inventory manager or the money back tool which finds lost and damaged inventory which you weren’t reimbursed for so make sure to check out our free trial link in the description now let’s start the show.
Speaker 0: Hello everybody and welcome to the sellerboard show my name is Vladi and my today’s guest is Tamara Tee, hello Tamara!
Speaker 1: Hey Vladi, how are you doing?
Speaker 0: Pretty good thanks, how are you?
Speaker 0: Tell me what time zone are you in actually?
Speaker 1: I am in the Pacific time zone in Canada so everyone I’m from Vancouver Canada.
Speaker 0: Nice, excited to know that. Cool so Tamara why don’t you introduce yourself to our audience.
Speaker 1: Hi everyone so as you guys know I’m Tamara, I started my Amazon FBA business in early two thousand seventeen so it’s actually been a little over two years now and so the products I can’t remember my first but it was a huge scale but after that I started selling consistently I found a few products that were really good in the market and we’re here to talk a bit about how to research, also late last year after I found success on Amazon after I was no longer going back to my boss because I had a nine to five job when I first started I’m sure that’s a lot of you guys for watching after when I never have to go back to my job I decided to create a YouTube channel and I also coach a lot of successful and happy sellers as well.
Speaker 0: Nice so tell me why did you actually start selling on Amazon how did you even come up with this idea?
Speaker 1: Yes for actually my whole life I always like I always had a lot of it all started when I was really young like ten years ago I had a lot of stuff laying around at home right like I had a lot of clothes I wasn’t wearing I had a lot of like you know like wallets and light stuff around the house that I want to get rid of but I do not really know how so I actually started on eBay store on eBay about eight years ago and I started to selling things and after that I was really interested because I was making money online right and I never thought that people even by my garbage like you know used clothes and like all that but people buy it so that kind of sparked my interest so after I had really good success on eBay many years ago I found Amazon but not one thing back then there was actually no SBA at bay only came out a few years ago so I knew about Amazon or FBA but I kind of I did really jump into it yet that’s how I kind of heard about us through eBay and I was just you know randomly searching things up but when I found out about it I finally took action in two thousand seventeen.
Speaker 0: Okay less and like did you start with your private label brands on straight away or did you have another model in between like online arbitrage or deliver trust?
Speaker 1: Yeah so on Amazon I started with private label right away I think it was because I was watching a lot of YouTube videos where there are other successful sellers doing this something called private label. Back then I was just so new to it that I absolutely had no knowledge of what private label I basically there’s a YouTube video on my channel that possible my first failed product but I didn’t do the research I knew nothing and I just kind of went with it because I was super excited but that it was private label and that was my unlike that failed completely but after that everything got a lot more simpler as time went by.
Speaker 1: So that’s interesting look the first question is you’re from Canada so are you actually selling in the US or in Canada or in both?
Speaker 0: Yeah for anyone who’s watching I get this question all the time people are asking me and like which marketplace should I start on and now it all depends because certain market places in need to have demand for your product right because if there’s no demand you’re never going to see any money is just a simple as that but with the US I always heard it was the biggest obviously it is and it’s the fastest growing that’s not you know that’s true too so I sell in the US.
Speaker 1: Okay nice yeah okay okay let me ask you maybe a rather interesting question you mentioned that your first product was a failure can you give us a couple of tips or other and like anti tips on how did you fail and why did you fail?
Speaker 0: Oh man I think a lot of us when we are introduced to a new business like especially when you see a lot of people making money online you kind of start to do this it like you want to do the same we all want to make money right let’s face it but my biggest mistake when I started was I didn’t do any research like I had absolutely no idea I didn’t know how to pick products I didn’t know how to look at profit margins I didn’t know how to run PPC it was like I literally just pick the products from Alibaba, put it up on Amazon and that’s it and I was kind of like praying I was like praying so much like I’m just hoping someone will by my product because I didn’t know how to do anything so for all that beginner sellers who are watching this and you’re on your first product like just make sure you know how do you know what you’re getting yourself into before investing any money that’s a very important.
Speaker 1: So how like how many did you buy?
Speaker 0: I bought two hundred units but what happened was and by the way you guys that’s very little you should always buy more than five hundred five hundred units is even like I always tell my students to buy when you are certain about a product go for the housing units because you need it for your launch and you need it so you don’t run out of inventory but I bought two hundred two hundred units for my first product those huge mistake also it was so expensive I think it was eight seven or eight dollars a unit and Amazon was selling it for seven or eight dollars a unit so I didn’t even know what I was doing there.
Speaker 1: Well so yeah you’re competing with them Amazon’s private label brand or?
Speaker 0: Yeah that’s right I was actually I could I don’t have it here but it was a small handbag like a little cell phone case it was a cell phone case so you know you’re you’re not supposed to sell any products that are generic or super common like a cell phone cases just not smart yeah I don’t know what I was doing.
Speaker 1: Okay and did you like end up selling some of them at least?
Speaker 0: It actually sold out during Q. four and Christmas on but I remember it went live in September two hundred units September two thousand seventeen no one bought it like literally I had one sale every two weeks that’s how bad it was what I didn’t have support like I had no idea that there were Amazon and B. coaches I had no idea about any tools I absolutely have no idea but it’s sold out during two four thank goodness and then I started researching again for my second product the second product was the winning product.
Speaker 1: Let’s talk about this like what where do you start with your product research I guess maybe you mentioned one thousand units right so does that mean like you need a couple of thousand dollars to start?
Speaker 0: You do need a few thousand dollars so what I always teach people and you know for any people who are just starting a lot of us don’t have a lot of money to start right like a lot of people.
Speaker 0: Most one of the most common questions people ask is Tamara I just don’t have that much money is it still possible to sell and my answer is always yes because there are lots of products actually that you can source for super cheap so my first second product that was my winning products it was only ninety three cents.
Speaker 1: Well. Yeah and I bought a thousand units and that was just nine hundred dollars so you know I I really did the research I I made sure that okay I can’t lose any more money because the first failing the cell phone case I lost five thousand dollars. It’s just yeah it’s not like it’s. But so you know you have to do the research team you have to know how to do the kind of research how to kick your products how to look at numbers and most importantly how to watch your product.
Speaker 1: Okay so tell us your like product taking strategy what like I’m a new seller suppose I have a couple thousand dollars and like to start so what do I do first?
Speaker 0: So the very first thing you need to get your soft art tools so there’s a lot of tools if you guys ever you know there’s a lot of them out there I won’t mention this here but there’s a lot of tools that can help you look at data so the very most important thing is knowing you know one thing is you should never and this is going to sound weird you should never sell a product that you’re super passionate about and I know that sounds bad but that’s because. It’s probably not going to making money just because it’s usually you’re competing with very big brands are on so if you have the right tools and you know your math like which products will make you money how to look at competition how to you know just look at a market place that’s not overly saturated through keyword research it’s not just kind of research is keyword research to get to know your cure research then you would have a good products and there’s a certain criteria they have to fall by the way.
Speaker 1: Okay let’s talk about them so like what’s your maybe a set of criteria for beginners?
Speaker 1: So I like to look at products I don’t I always tell people if you want to have a good product and you want people to buy your products you need to create a unique product like product differentiation we all heard about product differentiation right but the problem is a lot of people think when they’re bundling something its product differentiation when you’re including like an extra gift or an extra you know. Something extra you’re cutting you think it’s practice you can but it’s not the most important thing to understand and is unique there needs to be. Ask for it because people will always be customers will say I I I wish it was bigger I wish it came in read I wish the maternal sticker I wish like their song many thanks so you gather that idea and you follow that and you try to fix those problems with their supplier another set of criteria is looking at best sellers rank you want to look at certain best for me I look at products under fifty thousand best sellers rank his best sellers rank the higher it is the slower it sells so if you’re looking at parents are moving too slow well chances are your parents going to move just low so actually this we can go super deep into this but yeah like there’s certain criterias that you must follow in order to find profitable products.
Speaker 2: Okay so tell me. What should you rather would you rather going to this competitive market like phone cases? Or something which is flying underneath the radar so to say?
Speaker 1: So my second product which was my winning product it was kind of saturated as well it was kind of like and when I see saturated the term stock traded it means there’s already like five top sellers with thousands of reviews that are like dominating the market place my second when the product was sort of like that but I was able to sell it because as I did might watch properly so whenever you have a product it’s not just about the product you have to know how to market you have to know how to advertise using PVC you have to make your products you know stand out so in my case my my second product which was the winning product I was the only seller that had that product like out of the whole market so and eventually there are a few copy cats but they didn’t last long you were not ranked they didn’t know how to watch it so they eventually gave up but yeah my second wind because it just looks different when you see my products like she’s never seen us let’s buy it.
Speaker 2: Okay so these BSR what kind of sales philosophy doesn’t matter is it like ten per day or fifteen per day what’s on what’s yours?
Speaker 1: Depends, like usually from experience you know what I tell people to not look at products over fifty thousand BSR because that would kind of mean you’re selling like five or five six or seven minutes a day and that to me that’s not good enough right of course. Some sells better than sales but I always tell people you know why would you source a product that’s moving so slow when you’re spending the same amount of time to source a product that can you know like yes so you much more so I always say that fifty thousand BSR anything over fifty thousand and best sellers rank obviously there’s a lot more research that goes into it but you should probably stay away from.
Speaker 2: Okay and like the eastern and lower bone as well like it or you would say okay anything below one or maybe five?
Speaker 1: Yeah well everything I think everything closer to zero is nice but anything around a thousand as you know spectacular your supply selling like a hundred units a day right you know this is just your experience but I try to stay between like the thousand to fifteen thousand trying to. And there’s tons of products that you sell around there right but again if the product is majority if for example if I’m selling a garlic press my god most of the garlic presser only over are over fifty thousand and yes our that’s probably a good product just nobody wants it so.
Speaker 2: Okay so what should we look at like review wise you mentioned the wherein each where the work couple of days for global reviews so well does it does it tell us anything at all about final how how well the product is or or no number?
Speaker 1: So review this is basically your social proof I mean even when I’m shopping when you’re shopping a lot of us so we want them most popular coolest product with a lot of reviews by. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it should scare you off because for myself and for some people that I coached we all are up against sellers to have over a thousand reviews like there’s always going to be a few top sellers that are dominating a certain market place a certain each but that gives you an opportunity to really stand out with your products so if you are selling in a very competitive a saturated market place which I don’t suggest you do if it’s your first product you have to make sure that your product stands out and I don’t mean by I don’t really mean by like us through quite like obviously has to be through quality but you know any commerce no one can touch your products online so you have to make sure that your listing in your images look super amazing even if the product is just average you have to make sure your product listing in your images look amazing.
Speaker 2: Are there any specific categories you would suggest to avoid or maybe others see what’s just to go into?
Speaker 1: Yeah I actually don’t recommend anyone is selling anything in the home in in the home category if anything that goes in your mouth like supplements or like you know anything they eat because there’s a lot of regulations around that and Amazon’s really strict with that basically anything that goes in your skin like lotion or anything it goes in your mouth you will probably need some really good insurance for that because if you know if someone tries to say Hey I got sick your supplement or you know I got a really bad Rashmi skin like your you can get sued right so not to scare you but it is possible so I would say if this if you are a beginner and you’re on your first second or maybe even if their product I would not recommend selling anything that goes in your mouth we’re going on your skin.
Speaker 2: Okay the network can be smaller big or heavy or are like light weight?
Speaker 1: There’s a little debate about this and I I talk to other big sellers I know of other sellers that sell really big products and when I say big I mean over two pounds and can oversize now when you’re just starting I don’t recommend selling anything over two pounds I don’t recommend selling anything that’s oversized only because it’s a lot more risk it’s more expensive to source your FBA fees are a lot higher and it’s just marks capital they need so I don’t suggest that if you’re a beginner however if you are an experienced seller and you have gone through like the whole round and you have your successful when it had already it’s actually a good idea to source oversized product because oversized products have less competition less competition because everyone’s trying to source like a little product but if you source a bigger one it’s just easier to sell to buy you a lot more capital.
Speaker 2: That’s interesting so what we know what you’re doing you can now take more risk invest more money in then you’re going to going to a less competitive category?
Speaker 1: Exactly exactly and I always suggest asking your people Hey like if this is your first. Just make your life easy right like don’t try to complicate it’s really not that complicated it’s kind of a little common sense you know don’t source electronics first don’t source supplements first don’t source like a really big how to act. It’s just gonna be more complicated for yourself and really when you’re starting you just want to learn the whole game right so. Easiest easier the better if you are a beginner.
Speaker 2: Call so I like your idea about sourcing Wicca and ninety I think it’s a ninety three cents.
Speaker 2: That’s awesome that’s that’s perfect for beginners like maybe. Now probably I would have well I guess I would try that I actually won the seller in the past I did have a couple of products in that range but for me it didn’t work but it wasn’t because of flaw the product I guess it was yeah all the rest so you need to get the whole the whole process all right let’s talk a bit about launching like you know you said you started twenty seventeen and older guys who are saying okay before twenty sixteen everything was much easier because it was easy to get reviews because you could like give away products for free views and actually the last time I was launching a product myself there was still possible for that was exactly my lunch and just give away only hello two hundred basis then you get one hour previews and your five stars and best seller already you know just test after this giveaway I’m so what are you doing what color you’re launching?
Speaker 1: So the giveaway like the launch strategy what I find it since I started has changed so much I mean one thing about Amazon is you have to stay up to date with the changes and everything that’s happening a lot of us bigger sellers we were always up to date with that because better strategies and better ways to launch they keep popping up right you see all the successful sellers and you’re wondering how the hell are they selling hardly making money well one of the reasons is because you’re still up to date with the newest like better strategy so if this was two thousand seventeen I would say give away service you know like Hey it launched service a few hundred dollars yeah give away your units get on the page one that was the easiest in two thousand seventeen if we fast forward to two thousand eighteen and two thousand nineteen what I started doing was I still do some giveaways but it’s not as effective as going organic so if you want your product with PPC which is within Amazon on terms of service organic traffic at the love of PPC. I find it more effective long term because you’re playing on Amazon’s field and you’re giving them money for advertising so they obviously love that another way to launch a product that I’ve been doing is driving external traffic so that Facebook ads using chatbots many chat and you don’t have to mark it off at that much you don’t have to market often ninety percent off like sixty percent fifty percent is more than okay on Facebook ads so there’s better strategies today compared to two years ago and one very important thing I want to tell people is never truer light on just to watch service you still have to run advertising you still have to consistently keep up with the sales of velocity if you want to stick to page one.
Speaker 2: Well what do you see for a little so basically supposed to source the product, it would put your listing up you have your product on Amazon but because your reviews is that where you already start on the advertising or would you recommend all you know to find somebody who can give you at least one or two reviews?
Speaker 1: Yeah I completely forgot that so we’re with reviews it’s actually not as complicated as everyone makes it funny so when you first see my inventory gone into the warehouse today the very first thing you should do is turn on automatic PPC because automatic you see we’re just gathering information right we’re just gathering organic search terms that real customers are checking into the Amazon search bar to look for your practice you need the information for a few weeks in order to launch your product very aggressively using PVC so you don’t need reviews when you’re running on a mac PC but if you are now ready to launch you have all your key words ready you know which key words you want to target you could get on to page one you need a few reviews it’s not hard to get your first five to ten reviews it’s usually you ask family friends early reviewer program by Amazon it’s you know it’s really not that hard but when you have your first few reviews I always say at least five reviews you can then watch a product it’s always it’s not smart to watch with zero reviews like well at least half right. But yeah I mean after that you would just run really aggressive PPC if you like or you can drive external traffic with Facebook ads you can do a giveaway but if you do a giveaway you still need to work on PPC.
Speaker 2: So when you’re saying give away do you mean like an external you away service or giveaways within the Amazon platform as well right?
Speaker 1: Yes so if you guys are I so just to make it very clear when you’re using Amazon’s giveaway service they don’t rank for keywords it’s basically the gist marker cut off at a certain discount and people if they see it they’ll buy it but the most important thing when you’re doing your log on is you need to be hitting your targeted keywords you have to know which keywords you want to be on page one for I never recommend Amazon’s giveaway platform ever.
Speaker 2: Okay so let’s talk about external traffic you mentioned Facebook and manychat so like what kind of Facebook ads are you doing is it’s like an arms I think there’s a thing called Facebook offer ads right. Is that good idea? So what Facebook ads?
Speaker 1: How I do it and how I teach others it’s a little more it’s more for experienced sellers now the reason being is if this is your first products or your second product what you have to do with these ads is make sure that you have customers from ends up first you have a few hundred like usually two hundred customers bought your product you can download the customer information from seller central upload that customer information on to Facebook we’ll look back targeted audience and then promote to them because what that does is it am Facebook is matching the profiles with your Amazon customers so when they see your product they already know you they’re just gonna buy it and that’s worked hundred percent of the time a very powerful thing with external traffic on Facebook ads is lookalike audiences so you downloaded your charger customers from seller central uploaded that audience to Facebook you can do a lookalike audience from that audience and it just keeps going and going you can grow your email list you can grow your chatbot subscription like it’s it just gets better from there.
Speaker 1: Cool.
Speaker 2: So is there like you mention many check other any other tools you need to use from this or is it just Facebook and many?
Speaker 1: Not really I mean no I mean for the Facebook app itself is really straightforward offer for newer people and maybe a little challenging to kind of get everything in place and it’s very step by step right if you missed a step and may not get properly so but you don’t really it’s not that complicated but it’s not you’re just trying to but you know given offer a long story short you’re just giving an offer to go overseas or at our Facebook saying Hey you know we have our garlic press today for fifty percent off our message just right away and we’ll give you the coupon and that’s it.
Speaker 2: Okay and then click something many chat sense in the coupon code right is it like a one time coupon code or omission applicables for for everybody said the same for everybody?
Speaker 1: So there’s two different ways to do this I’ve done both so one way it depends on how speaker discount is because if your discount is about fifty percent off you can just create a code in seller central and use that same code right we like I add garlic press today for fifty percent off and you people can keep using that same code but it’s a very steep discount like eight seventy five eighty percent you know you might want to create a unique codes because it will start sharing the same code you can get your inventory wiped out right away so there’s two different ways of doing it the safer way to go the safer way is unique codes by much more hard to set up or you can just create a general code so easy to set up but the risk is a little higher.
Speaker 2: Okay got it, one more question like what’s your experience this the amount of discount that you give for you know it has some implications at least on the on the review right so if they leave a review with a high discount code and maybe we’ll get like an unverified tech or other look at Ameritrade or maybe it won’t even be published but in terms of ranking like.
Speaker 2: Did you mentioned earlier notice any difference between big discounts at ninety percent and fifty percent or thirty percent terms of helping your own product to rank on the keyboard. Traffic externally.
Speaker 1: Yeah so not just external traffic but when you’re doing a giveaway are we have their tools they’ll tell you and extensions that will tell you how many need to give away in order to get the page one now usually them out is really bad right I mean I get to give away a lot of units to get out page one when you’re doing extra traffic I’ve been giving away like you know my units at like sixty fifty percent off but it doesn’t it’s still the same amount if I were to do it at like ninety percent off that fact to get the page one is exactly the same however if you do PPC this is crazy when you do PPC it’s so much faster and that’s because it’s still a full price purchase so yeah so myself and my students who have launched just with PPC Amazon sees that a hundred percent as a full price purchase because the market from an ad you’re not doing anything funny you’re not doing fifty percent off and after ninety it’s a full price purchase that will rank you up definitely I believe that hundred percent when everything’s full price it ranks you up a lot quicker the ratio between. You know the facts this and like you know how many more units is unknown like I really want to know if the ratio but I just don’t have one all I know is full price definitely ranks you up like quicker and more effectively.
Speaker 2: Yeah that’s that’s cool! We’ll look to Tamara, where can our listeners find you.
Speaker 1: Yes my YouTube channel is in Tamara Tee.
Speaker 1: I have a link in description I almost thought this was my videos or my channels I don’t know what to say or you can join my Facebook group Amazon FBA winners and the winners is my brand I also have coaching programs to get beginners get started if you guys wanna find me I’m very active on Facebook and I responsibly but you guys sent me a message I’ll respond.
Speaker 2: Nice thanks so much Tamara it was nice having here.
Speaker 1: Yes thank you.
Speaker 2: Bye bye.
Speaker 2: Thanks so much for watching guys please don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and press the thumbs up button if you liked this video. I would also like to know what you think so write a comment or if you have a specific guest in mind I should invite or if you’d like to be a guest on our show yourself then feel free to contact us more to come of this year. See you soon and have a great day bye bye.