Product Picking, Reviews and Amazon UK (Interview with Shimmy Morris)

Our guest on the 26th of August, 2019,  on the sellerboard show was Shimmy Morris. Shimmy and his brother Josh started their Amazon business 4 years ago on amazon.com and expanded to UK a bit later.

In addition to selling, Shimmy is a coach and runs his Youtube channel. We talked about the product picking criteria on Amazon and the launch methods. Also, we discussed reviews and how amazon in UK differs from the amazon.com.

Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ_bZNBobH0&t=81s  

Speaker 1: Hello everybody and welcome to the next episode the sellerboard show, my name is Vladi Gordon and my today’s guest is Shimmy Morris, an Amazon entrepreneur, a coach and a YouTuber. Hi Shimmy!
Speaker 2: Hi how are you.
Speaker 1: Doing great how are you.
Speaker 2: Vey very good.
Speaker 1: So, you’re based in London right?
Speaker 2: Yeah yeah I’m based in London.
Speaker 1: Nice how’s the weather in London.
Speaker 2: Actually today its quite nice, usually it’s raining.
Speaker 2:  All right it is it like hot there, or is it never getting?
Speaker 2: Obviously, it is the summer so it’s just as hot as it could be twenty three twenty four.
Speaker 1: Okay then, so Shimmy,  let’s talk about your Amazon story or maybe we can start by are you introduce yourself to our customers or viewers.
Speaker 1: A couple words what are doing and how did you get there.
Speaker 2: My name is Shimmy and  I am I am I am currently twenty four years old and started Amazon or such on the business or a bit maybe five years ago when I was about nineteen twenty and.
Speaker 2: Am I now have a full and his own business and I wanted with my brother Josh and we also have a coaching business coaching hands on coaching business on the side as well one.
Speaker 1: In the is like your full time I guess it’s it’s a full time job right.
Speaker 2: Yeah yes I have I do like yes my full time job and I do all the things.
Speaker 1: All right.
Speaker 2: I’ll be jobs I’ve totally free we’ll be able to see all my you should channel something about.
Speaker 1: It nice so tell me like how did you.
Speaker 1: Decide to go to Amazon why did you start it.
Speaker 2: Well it should be full of it years ago and we came across of course a program called amazing Senate machine and it’s very very expensive something like five thousand dollars so it would be just another member exactly was full.
Speaker 2: I’m just sort of want to do it but you can afford it time because you know how much money I didn’t have a lot of money so he came to be set up to reduce business together by the close together stretch it and see where it takes us yes Sir I still gonna end soon as bad it features like home to come into the room is light.
Speaker 2: What is required to actually do yeah that’s trying to set a good political speeches training together.
Speaker 2: I’m not still saying. Where we are now.
Speaker 1: In the did you actually start selling on Amazon com or of U. K..
Speaker 2: We started with Amazon dot com because it’s real because told us that we sold our business really took off when we give in to U. K. just
because a profit margins drastically improved at the time of the pound was slightly more than slightly better than it is now and I’ll promote is drastically improve so that we can start with the U. S..
Speaker 1: Okay call and tell me what’s your background like what did you do before this.
Speaker 2: Well before this before I’m done I I was only nineteen when I thought so I was okay cool.
Speaker 1: Okay so that’s like.
Speaker 2: Hello.
Speaker 1: You actually never had a full time job right.
Speaker 2: I’ve never had a job and then I had a T. shirt company.
Speaker 2:  I just want some stuff throughout high school but no I’ve never had a a nine five job my gosh.
Speaker 2: Cool.
Speaker 1: I work like ten fifteen years in different corporations.   In the in in different corporations so well respected that sounds all right so tell me.
Speaker 1: Well how many products are you hello launching on average.
Speaker 1: At the moment.
Speaker 2: We we tend to launch product and get it to ten grand a month.
Speaker 1: And then worked on it for a.
Speaker 2: While but just not salute which was so we had one for quite a while and then we saw the man we’ve got about four products on Amazon and which speaking as a confidante of money and but there was a time about two years ago we had about eighteen products.
but then we did the eighty twenty rule we found out they were making us money but the amount of time and effort put into them we made a lot more money off you the products will be dropped. A whole bunch of them and just stuck to the one that we did the best and then votes on those I now will probably get a little John next production the next maybe three months ago.
Speaker 1: Okay cool still me like what’s different with respect to picking the product launching now comparing to like three four years ago.
Speaker 2: Three three years ago Stephanie easier there was a lot more to choose from I mean I still think it’s a lot to choose from but there was definitely more to choose from back then not many people new strategies and new tools are restarted so there is a jungle scout or anything like that so usually it’ll do it manually ourselves that was a massive massive difference in in that in that sense and he’s fine now because of all these tools and box.
Speaker 2: In terms of like the prices of of getting product and getting up on his own was definitely easier back then because you can do maths giveaways and only different things which are which tend to be about an hour now I believe if you wanna have a successful business it’s more so about building a brand robin just.
Speaker 2: One time parental shoe production be uploading products you wanna you know no brand.
Speaker 1: So actually I like to think I assume its private label right because if it’s only for.
Speaker 1: Okay so tell me what do you think. You talked about the tools right then the tools can give you a product with a low amount of stars and it could be a starts and so on but like would you recommend to go all in for the brand to go deeper little small number of products or like go through the analytical way more or less right than just pick go by numbers.
Speaker 2: Well I think you should go by numbers and by brand so I definitely think you should substitute one for the other so make sure Paul is going to be good with all the numbers and all of that once once you found a solid products then create a really cool brand around that product and it just makes your business a little sellable and towards the end so if you just okay karana press one all other you try to start a company.
Speaker 2: You know it’s gonna be understand what you’re saying because you just said it will run out of stock right if you look for a good product and build a brand around it and maybe add some other not so simple to products no sales just so you can beef up the brand when it comes to spending it instead of sitting on the business you’re not setting up ground thank you why does anything like that and it just makes a lot more valuable.
Speaker 1: Okay but the tell me one question that getting asked the lawn is is this Amazon.
Speaker 1: I can sustainable opportunity right because.
Speaker 1: The one I mean is when people are making new products in my number system sent them you know maybe adding some more old brand stuff to it or logos and everything.
Speaker 1: Everybody is looking at the same tools right then down everybody’s basically.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Doing similar stuff right so there are more and more people coming in so how are you going to make sure that the initial launch of products and try to start a brand around it that it’s still there or I can three years.
Speaker 2: Well I mean that’s the brilliance of the brand so if you do the brown property you don’t have to worry so much about competition coming in if you don’t do the branding you just do the animals and stuff and that’s where conditions can come in and take very easy and the difference is if you if you stop and three years later all the people come in with that the exact same product you’re gonna have three as well as the reviews three years worth of rank three years worth of sales well so chances are it’s gonna be very hard for them to take you which is why can we do private research we look for those products dot yes they may be setting this recall yet easy to compete with because they don’t have that many reviews the sales well so if we’re having lots of sales we have awesome reviews I’m not so worried about new compass doesn’t make a difference to our lives.
Speaker 1: So like do have maybe some actionable hex or or tips which are. like currents up to date our oldest at twenty nineteen lake is there any hope or on let it know maybe some for an order to look for when picking a product.
Speaker 2: Yes sure and it’s hard to give a niece because this is a constant changing and makes it a very outdated in nine weeks in the intensive just hacks first I would say I will give you criteria we give you criteria as well right and how many reviews you should be aiming for but what that DSL should be what’s best all right you should be on the sales issue getting so I’m for example we we say apart with a hundred to three hundred reviews you can compete with or BSR zero X. to knock out.
Speaker 2: But then the very culture and understand it is those are the rules Bob the Cajun it’s actually good to great roles and.
Speaker 2: So for example we say don’t go for product less than fifteen twenty dollars or pounds because your performance will be July however you want to break that rule if you find a great product with a meeting of all the basic magician but prices seven dollars then just fine three of those on which we have them back to back so now you have to be twenty one got a product of the three products.
Speaker 2: So yes it’s the same profit margins just having one product well there’s products happen to be getting many more sales munchies to compete with all these different things so sometimes okay to great rewards she may have used this.
Speaker 2: So much the model is not the most amount but there’s usually no reviews you can probably talk and stock market so webcriteria someone is telling you look at it but so Tenchi maybe break it if you see a reason to.
Speaker 1: Yeah okay so you know you mentioned that you are giving for tourists it to people so you have a you have your course right can you talk to a little bit about your course what looked at because it shows that you have.
Speaker 2: So we were seven under local I. while we said to ourselves we have such a goal we want to make a course and so I think at the time it goes something like four hundred thousand dollars so off we hit that we decided to create cool so we went away for about three weeks away from everything into everything and just focus on building out and was on course let’s see step by step exactly what we did kind, of course, well then scored in university and we’ve got about two hundred and sixty students now which is pretty cool and it’s a course that spans over about six weeks so when you sign up to get the first two weeks straight away and then every week you get the next week or what I’m not go and that way you’re not overwhelmed with information because you don’t need to learn how to get sales if you don’t even know on a product that we found we tested both ways I’m giving witnessed once we found doing it this way it was yielding a lot more success for all students at arms so we changed it so now it’s.
Speaker 2: Every week you get a new model and yes so it’s it’s it’s for beginners but it’s also as you go through the course it helps advance people because we have will be advanced tactics like skating the country’s phone stays for a marketing Google marketing all these kind of things as well is that we also have the basic how to find a product and that kind of stuff but then we have the other courses don’t have which I love is because I’m a photographer I’m able to give a very unique angle on product features and actually explain D. the mentality behind preferences and what works and why it works yeah and we can launch is a copywriter and he’s able to do the same thing with the description the title but it so he’s able to teach you how to emotionally connect with your customers and not just how good copy to get into your machine taxes are fully buying it and this is what they feel they have to buy it if you have a choice anymore and such requirements basically how we were able to teach people how to get all eighty percent conversion rate that we on all front page.
Speaker 1: Percent.
Speaker 2: Yes ridiculous like it’s ridiculous I’m.
Speaker 2: We will sign by those there’s a point where application the witches Hey it’s the center to sign autographs.
Speaker 1: Well.
Speaker 2: Yes radio and see if that’s not so cool season is in university and it’s quite cool course we love it.
Speaker 2: Hello musically Facebook and everything.
Speaker 1: Yes we’ll put the link in the description make sure to check out.
Speaker 1: I have a mention a couple of phone interesting topics and.
Speaker 1: Make making some notes after a couple of questions first of all.
Speaker 1: Would you recommend customizing and changing the product the locks.
Speaker 2: Well it depends if your price if you feel that your product is not perfection but if you’ve got your product is at its highest quality compared to oil prices then there’s no point spending money changing it.
Speaker 2: I understand changing keeping up to date maybe with the slip you can start your products send me updating that every so often but your actual product all product offers we had for about a year we then do is able to afford to make a better more custom product and so we went and we got it made it much better so now I because the thought I operate is one of the highest qualities so it really have a reason to make it even better.
Speaker 2: What might do is answer without product right and yes I will search freebies under these kind of things St still up to date with it but changing the physical product I was selling at the estate with time.
Speaker 1: Okay cool so he you mentioned that when you move to the U. K. or correcting your booster right.
Speaker 1: Profits increased let’s talk about that’s what.
Speaker 1: What’s actually the sales that one can expect in UK comparing as in call.
Speaker 2: Well in the U. K. we found that it was because it’s a much smaller market was a lot easier to get the number one spot and and because well that might be what we wouldn’t want to bet because what they have been the one to three and were able to see maybe fifty or sixty self is impossible to say how much money there he made you take the lead.
Speaker 2: On each on each we know exactly how much that can be made well box yes this is a sequel to made in the US there’s no doubt about that if you are the number one in the U. S. we have another one you gave me following the U. S. getting to the number one U. S. well ten times and one of U. K.
Speaker 1: What’s it like to have an estimation for example I was selling Germany previously into.
Speaker 1: My rule of thumb was like if you see a product in the U. S. I would certainly be a started each then probably you’re gonna get like one-tenth all of the sales in terms of units with the same disarmed Germany.
Speaker 1: Right so let.
Speaker 2: Me be big in the UK as well.
Speaker 2: Yes the German novelist requires actually is bigger than U. K. and.
Speaker 2: Box I’ve never really worked out like that the one tenth or anything like that.
Speaker 2: Yeah it’s very hard to say I mean we were getting more cells and you came to the U. S. although the cause of all right yeah two because we know how to protect them one in the US how to compare with me being in the top five or top six in the U. S. movie gene that we were getting maybe fifty ishe sells day well then you A. being the top three we’re getting also about fifty to seventy thousand date.
Speaker 1: Imagine hearing center.
Speaker 2: Yeah even wanted to go with a hundred fifty cell today.
Speaker 2: Us too people get with the sales and the last comment is down.
Speaker 1: Yep okay so tell me what if somebody wants to start in the U. K. what do they have to do like to lead a company in the U. K. or no VAT and stuff like this you can’t tell me.
Speaker 1: Whole kernel so.
Speaker 2: So when you can you can either you can start as a sole trader if you really want to we don’t really recommend that is recommend selling his business it just makes it easier down the line as well so you need a limited company in the U. K. it is really easy twelve pounds of expensive is not like an LLC in the U. S. A. okay our yeah we have a we have a video course like detailing the steps because it is really easy so you don’t even need an account for you and then you can stop the horror comedy stop what you are limited company today.
Speaker 1: You know Sir do you know if it’s also possible for foreigners to create them limited company in the U. K. so fast or.
Speaker 2: I believe it is I just feel like you need to have a U. K. address or someone will you address that.
Speaker 2: I’m finally cousin or maybe even a PO box somewhere in the U. K. then it becomes a lot easier if you are a foreigner with nothing no connection to the U. K. yes about.
Speaker 2: Yeah once you set up yourself or business online account Radley I’m trying to constantly town look.
Speaker 2: And and you just get going so what what we recommend alternatives companies also set up a business bank account will not also slightly harder for foreigners but it’s still possible and you could you give me your my account where you all be the best thing is to have a U. K. U. K. company.
Speaker 2: Once a link can you stop your mom’s account and you just can’t get any stock offering products and.
Speaker 2: Making money.
Speaker 1: What about the eighty like is there something to worry about.
Speaker 2: Well Beachy you only have to be B. H. register. I think if you’re over eighteen you’re making of eighty five thousand rent and housing health revenue a year I think it’s it’s fine it could be eighty one they may have just changed it and if you’re not making that much revenue yet you don’t need to worry about that okay get yours did you you pay twenty percent VAT on your revenue well and that’s how it works every quarter.
Speaker 1: Okay well that’s some easier than in Germany for short and Germany this element is way smaller it’s like seven seventy.
Speaker 1: You were so much younger. And you need to file the VAT reports every month so there is no option to do it once in three months old but a lot of work actually.
Speaker 1: Yeah that’s why we don’t need to Germany and then because it’s just very stressful.
Speaker 2: Although like I don’t know depending on the brexit situation.
Speaker 2: You may start selling in Germany already if you don’t have stock in Germany because then become a lawyer exactly.
Speaker 2: Okay okay so well it would you recommend for someone who just starts to go to U. K. or or two yes your experience or it’s just starting out I would always recommend getting to that country so if someone’s in the US the U.K. sixty K. cells in Germany six Germany likewise front spend all these other countries.
Speaker 1: Just because it makes a lot easier to sue you you get the roads and how to do it and then move into other markets.
Speaker 2: Somebody from but sales strategies and make something from Argentina.
Speaker 2: So they don’t really care.
Speaker 1: This motion yeah okay that makes sense awesome Argentina I would usually recommend America or the UK America if if you’re writing about the actual market and we really try to find a good product for the U. K. looking for something slightly quicker and I reckon America starts out time for America’s maybe four to five months to get a summary I mean we’re in the U. K. I reckon it’s about two to three months.
Speaker 1: Anyone that money in that time either.
Speaker 2: Okay got it all right let’s talk about the launch you mentioned go launching products in.
Speaker 2: We noticed giveaways and not really working anymore and there are some restrictions on a promotion so on the mount of promotion you can give so.
Speaker 2: How how do people once these days.
Speaker 1: That’s a tough question did an issues problem which I think is advertising and creating pre dollars so getting people ready fuel for you to launch a product so that you can get immediate use of sales I still think you should get friends to buy the products to try to get some reviews that way like full price sales global sales get some reviews I’m box I think the main factor would be Amazon adds.
Speaker 1: Huge inbox but I do want to make money on it. Rounds plus a very very low starting price.
Speaker 2: Will get you a large amount of sales volume which will in time get your rank so we we say that the first order that you make isn’t going to make any money so if you order five hundred units a hundred units in China the exact name you can not expect by your rank with the with the amount of stock you threaten ties in gold break even pricing strategies yes like that.
Speaker 2: It makes sense.
Speaker 2: Yes totally but like tell me for example from launching new each and somebody has seventy reviews there is it is it even a good niche to launching my competitor asked seven two reviews for example seventy degrees is nothing.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: We’ll also look at the star rating seventy reviews also seventy two you can also because it cannot be returned to the cover crop research is we have the products that have bad ratings can we I mean that with five stars and meet the unique.
Speaker 2: Okay but you know home basically you need to earn seventy reviews some whole.
Speaker 2: You can maybe find one or two or maybe five or ask some friends and family but but in the end you’re you’re gonna need to make a similar malls right maybe he.
Speaker 1: I mentioned.
Speaker 1: Right is that putting on the stand is as soon as you hit ten reviews does my content used or hundred reviews it’s just getting interesting double digits so we looked at their conversion rates with zero to ten reviews.
Speaker 1: On Worcester ten views it when your doing it should be fine the worry about so it’s just getting to the national ten reviews.
Speaker 2: We’ll have.
Speaker 1: If you should really worry about after that it just get natural used through getting sales.
Speaker 2: Okay that’s interesting I think that’s a valuable piece of statistics ten reviews of sort of a magical tipping point right where okay.
Speaker 2: Okay interesting then my next question about the reviews because I was going to ask them to hold on to make seventy reviews one hundred Jerusalem housing reviews or whatever but actually that’s the point you don’t even need that right but yeah my next question is I guess if you compare you came to the U. S. what’s your impression on the review great I mean review how many customers review a product or how many buyers.
Speaker 1: In the US it’s pretty slow I I think it’s a hundred to one hundred cells one review.
Speaker 2: Well.
Speaker 1: It’s Chris Andres he ever in US I reckon it’s you get relaxed in a hundred however in the US but I’ve noticed is people are not more blocks.
Speaker 2: So you get a lot more negative reviews the U. S. when you do in the U. K..
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: Yeah people leave negative reviews about everything like if they get a product and it is not the most hi Frank thing crossed it by god for them then the leaders found a new kind of thing and so we got we we we we we found that caught up with quite a few with all of our students a lot of our products and we found that the US state gave a lot harsher reviews you capable of it was that they don’t that they can give you about email you first let’s try not looking at any rate you.
Speaker 2: Well that’s interesting actually selling similar conversation with somebody compared U. S. to Germany and basically what you’re saying what you’re just saying about U. S. they were saying about Germany comparing to U. S. so I guess.
Speaker 1: You really bad.
Speaker 2: German is really bad at and and by the way this ratio is something rather one two thousand and Germany so what does she get one review so it’s really really tough for the journalists still. Don’t use and if they do isn’t just bad reviews. And so you’re saying like indicates an average similar to the U. S..
Speaker 1: I would say it’s about a hundred to one yeah. What you build your branding so if you build your branding building email lists and you have a good slip you can use to get us a fifty to one.
Speaker 2: Forty.
Speaker 1: One that’s how you deal with the customs officers all the time even at all cost all three have a sequence.
Speaker 1: To make sure the happiness that doing well and will soon get reused basically.
Speaker 2: So basically when you’re saying slip and you mean a credit or a business card or something or car.
Speaker 1: I piece of paper that you step inside.
Speaker 1: We got supplies to sit inside the packaging I am thank you and give them some feedback give them some information maybe even a discount I don’t suggest you do the review yes mistrusting.
Speaker 2: Okay so oh one more question what like what how exactly do you point them to the to the product on the slip.
Speaker 2: Thank you have a short URL or something like this or just trying to you know log into your Amazon account click on your order or how do you.
Speaker 1: How do we get into the review he said.
Speaker 2: Yeah I mean like on the slip up basically you should say something like please review our product right.
Speaker 1: Yes you have a stat you have three step system one login to Amazon gives you order page thanks to the water and quickly part of you three you can review and make sure you don’t sell a review because southern here’s.
Speaker 2: Useless yes yep yeah I guess for a lot of phone customers it’s not obvious in the hall together you and David.
Speaker 1: Yeah rather like a Lincoln but there is the link on the slip right.
Your link you could you talk a bit eating if you really want to that’s a good idea because that way you can you can relate wet lease and straight to the product page review page.
Speaker 1: But then you’ll leave yourself open to having a link on you’ll slip which might walk off a couple of months and you have to be organised it costs money.
Speaker 2: Okay so guys slips and a follow up sequence.
Speaker 1: Yes.
Speaker 2: What you need to get reviews and I guess if it’s like one two hundredth indicate them is probably realistic to launch a just buy ads right in the collector’s ten reviews.
Speaker 1: Yeah exactly you can just you called me that’s.
Speaker 2: Who because like in Germany that’s totally unrealistic so you would need to make ten thousand sales to get basically ten reviews right in if you go just by my S. in it’s very very hard to get dental and sales just be.
Speaker 2: Yes I mean it’s still good a good strategy to turn on or to run PPC ads when you’re launching just can’t I guess he it’s hard to rely on them all only on them for collecting initial reviews yes.
Speaker 1: Without the stress well and light with the pre bus is going to block that kind of stuff we have a lot more ideas of course and laying out a whole thing because a lot of people don’t want to hear I have to stop us so does it look a lot more other than all the strategies.
Speaker 1: That you can do oversee in Williams a technician so we don’t suggest people giving away like a hundred today well we definitely we definitely suggest like using influence marketing costs about all these other
Speaker 1: So there is there are other things to jobs.
Speaker 2: Tell me I guess the last question would be able with the brand’s look you mention influence marketing that so that’s a good start what do you do outside of Amazon typically.
Speaker 2: What your brand.
Speaker 1: A lot of his social media marketing Facebook you choose Instagram.
Speaker 1: This is talking to blokes maybe even over to shops depending on your product talking to influences creating posts trying to guess.
Speaker 2: Posts.
Speaker 1: Maybe even going as far as I’m taking out ads in local papers and stuff like that really getting old guerrilla-style boxing.
Speaker 2: I mean.
Speaker 1: The the the the blue probably the best one is Instagram critical influences on it’s very very easy to get seen on Instagram.
Speaker 2: Okay very cool Shimmy, thanks so much for this will put a link to your of course into the description and I will also put a link to your YouTube account is there anything else or any other places people can find you.
Speaker 1: Each account thank that’s pretty much it for the moment finding me I mean I can give you all of my social media links but not necessary.
Speaker 2: Okay all right.
Speaker 1: Yeah thank you.
Speaker 2: Thanks so much guys and see you guys next week! Bye