PLH 20 | Amazon Seller

As one of our experts at Product Launch Hazzards, Master Amazon seller training expert Brenda Crimi will be dishing great advice every month for aspiring online sellers, as well as curious listeners who want to have an understanding of “all things products, and all things Amazon.” Meet Brenda as she shares her inspiring entrepreneurial journey– from being a consultant, to managing a law firm to selling on Amazon. She found her calling as a successful online entrepreneur launching her own products and managing her own online business on the e-commerce giant’s platform since 2013 and coaching and or managing other aspiring brands and sellers. Brenda shares her no-nonsense expertise and answers your eCommerce selling questions through the Product Launch Hazzards membership office hours and coaching or managing other aspiring brands and sellers.

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Welcome to Product Launch Hazzards, our expert, Brenda Crimi. This is one of my favorite people to chat with about all things product and all things Amazon. We have such a good time together. She’s a fun person. You’re going to enjoy it. What I’m excited about you being a part of our group and one of our experts here is that you’ve been there and done that and that is important to us here. You struggled to find products and launched them on Amazon. You’ve struggled to build a product business and find the right one. You’ve been in the trenches learning all of this and you become a master Amazon seller. There are some people in our group that aspire to be that and there are others who want to have cursory understanding that maybe they don’t want to do that. You’re their go-to person for that and that’s why you’re in this group.

Brenda, you work with your husband like I do, and we’re friends. Steve and you have started AMZ Alliance and that’s what you operate under. You have a couple of brands that you run on Amazon. Is it more than one?

A couple. We have some that we’re not building so we have probably five or six brands, but two of our major brands.

That’s an interesting strategy that some people are doing with multiple brands and then some are focusing on some. These are the kinds of insights that you bring to people and why you’re going to be such a valuable expert for the audience. This isn’t your first business. You also understand what it’s like to build a business and have it wear you down a little bit. Let’s start with that background on how you began and what was that flip that went, “I’m going to sell on Amazon.”

It’s funny because it was more of a transition. It wasn’t a purposeful thing. It was more out of boredom. I’m going to back up a little bit in my history. I’ve been an entrepreneur pretty much most of my life and so I’ve always had my ear out for that next opportunity. I can’t tell you how many MLMs I’ve been in home party thing. That was my dipping the toe into the entrepreneurial world, but dipping it in with the structure behind you. Through that process I grew and developed my own consulting company years ago, where I was consulting with small businesses putting systems into place. Through that process I developed a product for one of my clients to help them with their systems and one person after another was like, “That is so cool. I want one.” That was my first experience, bringing a product to market. I created a prototype and went through a patent process and trademark process. This was all before Amazon, so this was the hard way. I was eaten alive. I’d like to say that I was schooled in the world of bringing products to market.

You come from the world that many of us as experts here and that’s why you’re all a part of this group is that you have that same perspective. It’s like, “That’s how it was. This is how it is, and while it’s still hard, if you use these principles over here, you can make it a lot more successful.”

That’s what’s so exciting for me to belong to this community. I was schooled, and what happens with people who create products, they’re very passionate about that product and they’re very narrow-minded and has tunnel vision. They see that if everybody could find out that this product exists, masses will come in, and great success and riches. Coming from way back then when I created this product, I had no experience bringing a product to market and I didn’t have the resources. I was out there in the trenches trying to find people to help me. If somebody said, “Give me $8,000 and I’ll help launch your product.” I’d be like, “Thank you. You’re doing me a favor.” I had no way of vetting them to see if they would or wouldn’t. I’ve probably spent $20,000 bringing a product to market that I probably never should have.

What’s so exciting is to be able to take all of that expertise that I have. Steve as well has brought a product to market way back before Amazon too. What’s exciting is bringing all of that information together and trying to educate people on the sequencing of bringing a product to market. Not every person that goes out there and says that give him some money and they’ll make you rich is in integrity and has your best interests in mind. One of the things that’s very exciting for Steve and I meeting you and Tom was that we’ve got some players in the industry now that are in integrity and will flat out tell you, “This is a great idea or no, you have to go back to the drawing board,” and it will be real and heartfelt with you about it. I feel like we’re doing the community service by being resources like that. It’s very exciting to be part of this platform, so thank you for having me.

People get caught up in their thing and their ‘what’ and I get it. There are all these wonderful stories about people who didn’t give up. I have a flipside of it, so I hear the story about Sara Blakely. I forget the number, it was a ridiculous number, almost reaching like 100 lenders and VCs and investors she saw and they all wouldn’t do it because they had no idea what SPANX was going to become. They didn’t see her vision and that frustrates me. I’d be like, “Forget that. Bring that thing to market.” It would have been faster than going that route. There are some of those things that you see that when you got a product that’s not that difficult to make, you should go and test it, you should just go and do it, because you’re going to get a lot more information faster. Yet they get caught up in the process that seems like the old school way of having gone through it, which is you get an investment or you get someone to buy in or you get someone to license it. You’d be all set, but the world has flipped here. You’ve done this product, you’ve done MLMs, you’ve done this entrepreneurial world and yet you chose to sell on Amazon, which came out of the digital marketing world. I bet you felt like you got thrown into some crazy stuff talking about SEO and talking about keyword searches and it probably felt pretty weird because it’s so different from the product-based world.

It is different. That’s one of the things that brings us full circle to selling on Amazon. After I was doing my consulting business and things, I had a life-changing event and I needed to take a little respite so I started managing a law firm for a couple of years and that beat me up. I was overstepping my bounds a little bit, although it was a great experience. I wasn’t fired. I quit, but I was made to give a year notice before. It took me a year to leave the company, but I was going insane the whole time. Steve and I talked and he’s like, “Why don’t you take a little respite and do what you want to do,” so I did that. That entrepreneurial spirit light always shines. You may be able to dim it, but it never goes out. Through that process I was noticing some another friend that was dabbling in the world of eBay and things like that.

I went down the road of “This is interesting. Let’s dabble with this a little bit.” I started playing around on Amazon. It was a little bit of eBay first doing the drop-shipping methodology. I didn’t resonate with that business model, but through that, I discovered selling on Amazon and that whole process. This was back in 2013, so it was still the Wild, Wild West but it was still wide open. The first year of business we sold about a quarter million dollars worth of product, which was very exciting. When we started ramping up and we hit the 60,000, my husband is like, “Maybe this is a business.” To touch a little bit on your point about our business model we started off with was going wide and a lot of products. We were finding niches that there is still demand in and we fill that demand. We weren’t about building a brand at all on Amazon.

What year did you start then?

We started selling on Amazon in 2013.

It was a little bit different back then. Even over the last five years, they changed their algorithms and things have changed and that’s what you found.

The business model on Amazon way back then, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. You could find customers, people purchasing left and right, it was very easy, but with that opportunity comes competition. The more competition that came in, certainly you’re fighting against competition, but also Amazon is evolving as a platform as well for all the right things. They’re structuring, their tightening up their rules and regulations, and you have to stay on top of that. We can talk about that at some point but there’s such a huge opportunity with brands for Amazon.

Coming from inventing a product and trying to bring a product to market before and realizing the ease of getting into a sales platform like Amazon, what a huge value that would be for brands. In the old way we went to China or wherever we did, we filled our garage full of product and then we went out there and tried to get people to buy it and we didn’t have the data or the information or we didn’t have the money to spend tens of thousands of dollars to marketing groups to give us this information. Come along Amazon, and Amazon provides you that data. It’s such a blessing for people who have products because they can go out and test the market on a small scale without investing in their whole life in something and they have the opportunity to tweak it. There’re so many directions we can go with this talk and information.

What is interesting is that perspective that you’ve got this product mindset which wants you to make the good products succeed. You know how burning desire and passion that is to get that fabulous product and you also have the perspective as a consumer, you get that people want better products, like we’re sick of the junk. We do want better products. To not have access to them, and in the old model of retail, there are big retail buyers, and for you to get an innovative product in there, it takes a long time. It’s hard and takes a lot of money and a lot of sales proven. For an innovative product to breakthrough, it’s hard and this model is you could at least test it. You can at least sense, “Should I do it? Is it working? Is there a market for it?” because if there is, it’s a whole lot easier to prove that to some buyer leader. This is such a great first step that you don’t have to spend a ton of money and get through all of that.

I love that you bring those two perspectives together because that’s what we’re talking about. You and I developed this model together that we call it AB testing, which is a digital marketing term. You test at A and then you test at B and you see which one does better and then dive deeper at A if it was working. We do that same thing with product. You and I started to develop that mindset because what I found is that Amazon sellers want to get selling as fast as possible. Amazon sellers don’t want to get started as fast as possible and vendors want to make sure it’s perfect, so the pace isn’t quite the same. How can we get selling and test to make sure about any key assumptions we have. There are some big assumptions when you bring a product to market and that’s why I love one of the things that you do well, Brenda. Talk a little bit about your process for it. You evaluate whether or not there’s a built-in market. Is it easy to access? It’s a critical part of deciding whether or not you should introduce a product.

We did a talk at the Inventors Association here in Arizona and it was such a heart-warming experience because it was like, “I was in that chair and I wish I had somebody like me speaking to me back then.” At the very least, which is a huge thing, Amazon provides you sales data. By getting and selling your product on Amazon and getting it into the hands of the consumer, you’re getting real data back. Do they like the color? They’re going to tell you. Is the price right? If the price is right enough, they will be buying it. There are all kinds of tools in place with the Amazon marketplace that we have at our disposal that wasn’t available before that we could start measuring the data and say, “Start sewing a dozen of them.” Send them a dozen and see what the consumer is saying, and then start tweaking the product along the way because it’s sure heck a lot easier to bring a product to market that people want than trying to convince people they want this product.

Educating them is expensive and time-consuming.

I had another feather in my cap with my experience on a franchise for about three or four years. This particular concept was new and we spent thousands and thousands of dollars trying to educate people that we were the solution to a problem they did not know they had yet. That was again schooled in the hard knocks of how much easier it is to listen to the consumer and find out what they want. If you’ve got the next best gadget, awesome, but is it serving something that’s in demand? It’s certainly a lot easier to sell something that people want than to try to educate them on something they’re not sure they needed.

There’s a whole lot of invention, innovation, and improvements that are needed for the stuff people want. I interviewed a guy who can wash a car with a cup of water and it’s cool and he worked hard to prove his model. He built a car wash to show people how it could happen and they washed hundred thousand cars. It was amazing. There’s no question about it, but I was like, “When somebody is going to reinvent the washing machine and the dryer and get it to fold laundry because I want that and whoever does that would make a fortune.” I want it in my kids’ drawers. Those are things that we want. Why is no one working on that? It was like, “I could wash a car with a cup of water, but I do that every once a month.”

There are different levels of pain point. There are my pain points and then there are those ones we live with weight loss for years but it’s good enough.

The pile of laundry at the end of the bed that hasn’t folded itself and your daughters walk in the room to pick their socks out in the morning, and we’re like, “We have a problem.” We have a problem to solve, but that’s the thing. It’s a whole lot easier to get people to adopt that, especially women because they’re shopping all over Amazon, and if you can find that, if you can assess that, then you have a better chance for success. Let’s talk a little bit more about that Amazon selling. How has that been for you? You have a son, you have some flex time, and it is intense. It’s not exactly lay back and spend an hour a day. Tell me a little bit how that’s like, because I would like them to be real about what it means.

PLH 20 | Amazon Seller

Amazon Seller: You need to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on because if you don’t, there is somebody behind you ready to take that spot.

It is into build-it-and-they’ll-come business. It may have been in 2013 and before that, but now it is. You need to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on because if you don’t, there is somebody behind you ready to take that spot. Even though Amazon’s opened up a huge opportunity, it’s opened it up for you and a million others like you, so you want to stay on top of that.

Do you know the latest estimate as to how many third-party sellers are on Amazon?

No, I don’t.

It’s hard because there’re probably so many that are active or something. The term that I heard was something like 100,000 active, but there might be 300,000 on the platform. That might be around the numbers, but I don’t have any hard data either. It’s a secret.

Several different business models work on Amazon. For one, we want to sell crap and make money. There’re lots and lots of third-party sellers out there that are doing that with the me-too products. There’s nothing wrong with that. We have several brands that are similar to that that we innovated and made our own and branded our own and so forth, but there are a lot of people that like different quality.

I have gotten schooled from the Department of Labor about the hot goods problem about Amazon, so stolen products, counterfeit products, the whole issue, so I’m going to do an upcoming episode on it because it is scary and a lot of those sellers are falling victim and not even knowing it and that’s the scary part. They’re getting taken by the criminals in this process and so we’ll talk about that. That model has a lot of pressure points on you. It’s like, “Can you make enough money? Can you get it out fast enough? How much competition do you have?” You have the problem of, “Our product is stolen, and I don’t even know it.”

I’ve heard some horror stories. I could share some, but then there’s the model of people who have innovated their own products or their individual brands that they want to launch on Amazon. Those are the people Amazon love. That’s what Amazon is moving towards. Even though you might talk to different people and they have different perspectives of why they should or shouldn’t sell on Amazon, and that’s going to be one of my office hours coming up, “Is your product right for Amazon?” I’ll address a lot of these issues a lot deeper, but at that time, things like registered brands, their trademark, and there’s all kinds of different things that Amazon has tools they’re putting into place to protect these brand owners and wanting to build a business, it’s still very gray. There’re a lot of details in that. We’ll go over more in the Office Hours, but it’s the perfect place for brands to launch.

It’s a perfect place to catch. This is the thing that people don’t understand and you do. Retail is an unassisted sale and it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re online or in store. People think, “There’s videos and there’s texts and there’s all this,” but people don’t read and don’t do that stuff. They scroll fast like, “Let me check that out.” That’s exactly how it works when you walk in a store. You’re walking down an aisle and you’re like, “That catches my eye. Let me see that.” There’s still noise in both places and there’s no way to say, “You want this, let me guide you through that. Let me tell you all about my thing.” No, they have to choose to do that. If your product sings in that environment and there’s this hyper, because in a digital worlds there’s hyper noise, and so you come with the purpose of shopping in Target or something like that, but you will walk around and check it out, but in Amazon, there’re lots of people who go right into what they want and right out because you can.

To that point, anybody can create an Amazon listing and they can open a seller account, pay their monthly dues, and fill in the blanks for the listing. I like to drive home the point that it’s real similar to building a website. Lots of people can go to Wix.com or all these other brilliant plug-in platforms where they can create their own website. If shoppers aren’t going to find you and if they’re not converted to sells, what’s the point? That’s another message that needs to be clear that there’s a right way to do your product on Amazon so that you can leverage these people that are coming in and out very quickly. You want to get in front of them, you want them to know that you’re an option too, and that’s where the sweet spots is in Amazon. People want to go to Amazon because here’s a platform of sellers or shoppers ready to buy a product. I don’t have to spend millions of dollars to drive them to my website first to buy that one or two gadget. I can get in front of them and say, “Here’s my option too. Do you want me?” It has changed bringing a product to market. It’s a very exciting time.

You bring up a good point that there are shoppers and they’re searching for things, but they may not be searching for everything that you have or all the great features that you have, so you still have to brand build on the side and that is something that the digital marketing tools have taught you about driving traffic in and Amazon is rewarding that. Those are important things and those still exist. This is what most people don’t understand, those still exist in the retail world. Sometimes you pay contribution to the retailer to make that happen for them to feature you and what used to be the Sunday flyer, the coupons and stuff, but you need to put in money into that to make that happen, so it was always there. Sometimes you participated with the retailer, but if you were a valuable brand, like Nike, like any of those top level brands, you would be driving traffic to their store to pick that up and to buy that there. They rely on that and they value that and that’s a lot of how they choose people. Amazon does the same thing. They give you more value if you drive more traffic to them as well.

These are things that people should be amazed about all the different things that they could ask you because the perspective of being able to understand that from a product person, from making sure that your stuff is getting out there and it’s in the right place and it’s circulating and it’s proving that you have a product that people want to buy and making sure that you do that and position that, there’s a whole lot of questions along the way about how you do that. There are so many options and lots of choices and you tried a lot of them. To be able to try them and not spend millions of dollars to try them and fail is huge.

I come from the perspective where if you have a bigger vision and your time is spent in the bigger vision, outsourcing to some company like ours to manage that for you become your product partner. I use that term on purpose because when we help our clients, we become their product partner because we have all of those perspectives. My skill level isn’t just communicating to you about Amazon. I’m not narrow-minded on that because so many different factors play in and I can go, “It’s my perspective that maybe your images on your website. I might be able to offer some opinion.” I won’t say that I’m an expert in those things, but we do have resources that we keep the experts there, but we can certainly help define the lane a little bit more.

What worked, what didn’t work, and let’s go for the 80% of what worked.

All questions to ask, “What did you experience when you did this or that? Let’s see what if we try this.”

Understanding that data that you talked about is so critically important because up until 2010 or 2011 when they started testing out the Amazon seller platform and then rolling it out 2012 and 2013 that no one had ever had that data, but the buyers. Even us brands that were selling into mass market retail, we had the information on our products but we didn’t have the information on our competitor’s products unless you were playing in a commodity market and it was published in the commodity listings. You didn’t have any information. There hasn’t been any, so it’s incredible. What I find that is shocking to me is that our big brands, a lot of them don’t even mind that data. They don’t value it. It’s such an indicator and a bellwether of what will happen at retail that they’re missing out. Unless they have a large e-Commerce store themselves, like Target does, they have no idea. They have no idea how it’s doing. Understanding what to do with that is also part of today being a product seller and a merchant. You’re a merchant and that’s what a merchant was good at, understanding what would sell and why people bought it and what belonged in their store. You are a mini-merchant on Amazon. Understanding those numbers are critical.

What’s even more exciting is we can extract the data and find out an estimated monthly sales volume of the top competitors. If we pulled the top competitive products similar to the product that you want to bring to market and we say “They are on top pages. They are only selling 300 units a month. Does that work into your plan?” It also then says, “Was there opportunity? Is their product not meeting all the needs that the consumer wants? Are they not marketing?” That isn’t necessarily the cap, but it’s an estimation of where you’d be starting and then what’s going to take to build past that if that’s your bigger vision. You may decide, “I want to invest the time and money to make that bigger vision” or “Maybe that’s not going to be enough for me and that’s not the plan I had. Let’s move to something else.”

Something that I appreciate about you and Steve is that you will also tell someone, “This isn’t a good idea to be launching on Amazon because of the numbers. It’s not jiving with the idea. This is going to be a hard thing,” and so you don’t just take clients. You’re very careful about who you take and that you can make them successful and you can help them achieve the goals that they’re trying to achieve. Sometimes those goals are simply market proof and visibility and there are reasons to do it even though it’s only selling 300 units, but because it needs to be selling and it’s a little less effort if you hired somebody to let you sell it there while you were working on the rest of your business.

We work with clients in all kinds of different ways. It isn’t like, “We only have one package and you have to go all in.” We meet clients wherever they’re at, so they may be in the infancy of creating this brand, and what I always advise clients is, “Be on Amazon anyway. You may not have expectations of sales, it will educate you as to what realistic expectations there are,” but people are shopping on Amazon and if they see you out in an event promoting your product, they’re going to go home and they’re going to look on Amazon and you better be there. You don’t want to miss those sales. If somebody is looking specifically for your product, you want at least to have that presence. To me it’s almost like brand credibility. If somebody went and didn’t find a website on your product, they’d be like, “This is questionable.” Consumers are almost doing that on Amazon too.

Retail buyers do. This is the key that most people don’t hear. If I’m a retail buyer and I’m buying kitchen gadgets or whatever that might be, and I see something in a trade publication and I go, “That’s pretty cool.” The first thing I’m going to do is Google them and then I’m going to check them on Amazon. You’re going to do these things. Do they have a website? Does it look okay? Are they selling on Amazon? What are the ratings and rankings? I can look that up too, and some will look on there and “They look like they can deliver. It looks like they’ve been selling decent volume. They’re in the right place because I found them in a trade publication.” You look at those things and you go “I’ll take a meeting with them.” That’s the way you get in there and that establishes a minimum level of credibility as you put that, and credibility is important.

Savvy shoppers care, too. That’s something I do. Whenever I see something on TV, the first thing I do is Amazon it and if it’s not available on Amazon, I will not buy it. There’s a reason for that and that is because either their business model hasn’t gotten themselves to the stage at which they can do that. Their plan isn’t that, which makes me always wonder, “Is that a viable product? Is that a viable business? Are they going to be around to service it or return it or whatever that is?” I won’t buy, but I will wish list it and sometimes they will eventually show up on Amazon and it’ll pop it up to you and you’re like, “Now I will buy this.”

Nothing breaks my heart more than when we’re walking around a trade show and we talk to brand owners and it’s like, “Are you on Amazon?” “No, we’re not going to sell on Amazon.” I’m like, “Can I get a minute of your time so I can explain to you why this is important.” Because there’s many people that are fearful of the platform and rightfully so. It’s like a wild, wild west out there, and unless how to play it, it may not be a good experience for you.

You have to realize that some of that old school thought process comes into play and it’s not a thought. It is like this is one tool in my overall retail plan for a bigger brand or for building a bigger brand. It’s like, “If I’m there, that’s the end.” That’s not the way it is for most brands. It is the way for those that play in that digital marketing field, that’s all they want to do because it’s faster, it’s easier, and then they’ll move on to the next product is what they usually do.

I’m assuming everybody knows Shark Tank, but if you watch Shark Tank, what is the most asked question? What are your sales? Get in there and start seeing what the consumer wants and get those sales.

There’s a reason why every product that is shown and makes it to the Shark Tank show is on Amazon when the show airs. Every time the episode re-airs, they didn’t do that the first season and they lost a lot of capture of audience, so people would just say like, “I’d buy that. I’d send that as a gift to somebody,” and they lost a lot of residual business. They learned very quickly that that was an important component for them. If they cannot sell it on Amazon, you likely won’t make it to the show. With very rare cases like you’re doing something industrial or something, but for the most part, if you can’t be on Amazon, you won’t make it to the show. I learned that it’s still the case that it’s very critically important. It’s part of the screening criteria. I learned that from a couple of guys who were on the show recently. That says something right there. If a show that’s all about inventors and innovation and new products puts you on Amazon as a critical part of their moneymaking prospects, then you need to as well.

For $40 a month, you can have an Amazon seller account and you fill in the blanks and create your listing. To do it good so that you capture organic traffic and convert the people that come to your listing, that’s a whole different story but the barrier to entry is $40, so just do it.

PLH 20 | Amazon Seller

Amazon Seller: We support people who want to do it themselves and educate themselves. You will spend that time learning and not doing.

Tell me a little bit about how much time and money and energy you spent on educating yourself and keeping up on the changes and everything. This is my point, too, why we hire experts. We hire experts because the education of that will consume us instead of the business that we want to run. If your business is in this and you’re educating yourself, that’s great, but if not, then maybe that’s time for an expert.

Way back in 2013, the initial investment was $1,500 for my original schooling, but since then, school’s never out for me. I’m constantly taking the next class. I’m involved in different platforms and forums, keeping on top, because I don’t have all the answers. I may not come across an experience and somebody else had it, so I can learn from their experience and I will service my clients even better. We have our own product lines that we manage. We’re in the trenches doing the work and we have the right metrics as sellers, but also we service our clients. We have a huge array of industries that we’ve been experienced in too.

Broad categories. Each category has its own difference that you learn.

There are barriers. Amazon likes certain things to be done a certain way for different category types. There’re all kinds of different issues with that. We service people and we do it all completely for you and become your brand partner or product partner too. We support people who want to do it themselves and educate themselves. It’s like eating an elephant one bite at a time. You don’t go in and think you’re going to be the expert in three months because you won’t be. You will spend that time learning and not doing.

That’s what I liked about the way you told me you had learned and the way you recommend it to people. It is because know going in there and spending $10,000 course isn’t necessarily a better thing. Because I’m sure the course is great, but you’re not capable of taking advantage of all of those things at once. You got to baby step yourself. It’s not something you can jump off the deep end into the deep end and be able to start swimming perfectly. It’s not going to happen.

I have now become involved with the group that I was a participant person way back, it’s Jim Cockrum’s group. I highly recommend it. That group is in integrity. It’s a platform full of Amazon sellers at all kinds of different stages of their business. It’s a Facebook group that you become a member on. You go to My Silent Team, search the Facebook group. I’m going to give a little back story because the name is awkward. Jim started years ago, like fifteen years or more in eCommerce. His platform was about building income stream behind the scenes, sales huddles and things like that. Then he stumbles on Amazon and has become all that and eCommerce and more, just a plethora of information and content.

He has hundreds of classes, but that’s what I like about it. The price is not expensive.

Yes, but the content is so deep and there’re so many people. I’m now an official coach with the group, so I’m there on the platforms moderating and giving questions and answers and things, too, all kinds of exciting things. There is no reason for somebody to spend thousands of dollars to get educated on Amazon. I highly recommend it.

Let’s say I’m an inventor and I invented this great product. I am going to hire somebody to sell it on Amazon for me. I’m not going to do that because I have lots of other plans with what I’m going to do with my business, but do you recommend them taking some class to understand it? Is there some orientation class? Do you recommend that that’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of what’s going on on Amazon?

I would come from two different perspectives on that. It depends on the individual because the courses are all automated. You have to spend some time getting in there and digging through the information, so somebody could either get the education through consulting with the consultants and asking the questions. You could get the same education and information by going with the consultant and you’ll get there faster. If you’re into it and you have the time to do it yourself and you want to dig deep into it, then you can spend the time. The perfect analogy is like building a website. You can train yourself to build a website, you could, and you would take that time and it would be a little bit slower process for you to get to the end result or you can hire somebody to do it for you and educate you on what it is you specifically need.

This is my husband’s rule of hiring. It is that if you’re not going to build websites every day and day in and day out and it’s not going to matter for you. If you’re not going to sell on Amazon day in and day out and someone else is going to manage that for you, and it’s not an expert core part of your business. It’s not the only thing you’re doing, then why should you be doing that? You need to be thinking about building a bigger brand. You might have a consultant and a team or you might have a person that’s doing that within your company and brand, so it’s never going to be you, the CEO or the Founder.

It could be. If you’re the business model, you might be an inventor, you love inventing and creating products and this whole sales process is exciting for you to have your hands in it, then absolutely. For $400 get educated or less. You could go on YouTube and watch some YouTube videos very easily to see.

Be very careful with that because I want to highlight that if the videos are older, like 2013 or any of those years, as long as they’re top level, there are probably okay, like conceptual. Don’t follow the details in any of those older ones. Some of the people are still selling the same old model and it frustrates me. That model doesn’t work and you pay all that money to eventually take their course and it still doesn’t work and they haven’t updated and stayed with it to what happens in 2018. Brenda, you are a fund of knowledge. Your next one is the most important and that is, “Is it right for Amazon?” That’s a fundamental core, the, “Should you do it? Should you make it? Should you sell it? Should you be on Amazon?” These are fundamentals, so I’m so glad that that’s going to be your first big Office Hour with us.

Tune in to Brenda’s next Office Hours. Connect with and find out more about Brenda in our Experts Directory.

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