Rich Henderson of Amazing.com reviews his personal story of how he got started working with Jason Katzenback and Matt Clark at Amazing.com. He goes on to share how his journey selling on Amazon led him to co-create Amazing Selling Machine, why he is so passionate about speaking at Amazing.com’s SellerCon, and his best advice to people trying to get started selling on Amazon.
WATCH AS RICH GIVES HIS INSIDER AMAZING.COM REVIEW AND TIPS FOR SELLING ON AMAZON!
More about Rich Henderson: Rich is co-creator, chief mentor, and course instructor of Amazing Selling Machine (ASM). He is a course instructor for the Seller Membership on Amazing.com and teaches Amazon sellers live at SellerCon. He runs his own successful Amazon business and is passionate about helping others achieve their goals.
Amazing.com Review: Rich of Amazing Selling Machine Reviews His Story & Gives Amazon Seller Tips – Full Video Transcript
In this unedited video interview, Amazing Selling Machine’s Rich Henderson is interviewed by Amazing.com’s Shannon Gonzenbach.
Shannon: Okay. Hey Everyone, Shannon here with Amazing.com, and I’m lucky enough to have Rich Henderson on, who’s one of the instructors of Amazing Selling Machine. Rich, now that I’ve already said it, but what’s your role with Amazing, and how’d you first get started?
Rich Henderson: Yeah, so like you say, I’m involved especially with Amazing Selling Machine. I’m actually the co-creator of Amazing Selling Machine, and also the chief mentor for Amazing Selling Machine, and for Amazing.com. I also provide training inside the Amazing.com membership. A lot of things, I guess.
Shannon: How long have you been doing this with Amazing.com?
Rich Henderson: Too long. No, I first started, it was before Amazing.com, the Amazing Selling Machine was the first thing we did. That was in 2013. I got involved just before that. I wasn’t involved in the training for the first one in 2013, but because I knew Jason Katzenback, he brought me in on the business, taught me the business so that I could help provide mentorship for the members. Yeah, it’s been five years and a lot of fun.
Shannon: Is that how you got started on Amazon with Jason in that way, or were you selling on Amazon before that?
Rich Henderson: No, basically I was doing other things. I was working with Jason before ASM even existed, and before he got involved in Amazon. When he started getting amazing results with this program after he got together with Matt, we would have a Skype call every week. Every week he would say to me, “Rich, you need to get into this Amazon business.” I kept going, “Nah, I’m okay.” I’m not particularly great with change, so I was like, “No, I’m doing good. I’m fine.” Then just one day on a call, he just went, “Stop, before you go.” He shared his Amazon reports page, which showed how much money he was making. I just went, “Yeah okay, where do I go?” That was it basically, that was how I got started with Amazing.com.
Shannon: What were you doing before that, that made that level of success to tempting? ‘Cause it’s an online business, so there’s a lot of potential and it’s different than a brick and mortar or a 9:00 to 5:00 job.
Rich Henderson: Absolutely. Before that, I guess I was involved in online marketing since about 2006, so about 12 years now, and doing all different kind of things. Just before I got into ASM when I was working with Jason, we were working with basically affiliate marketing and also search engine optimization, SEO. I had a business doing that, I had a business selling other peoples’ products. Which is why when Jason explained what this whole Amazon thing was, it was like a big light bulb, it was like, “Okay, that makes sense.”
Shannon: Now you get to be your own boss.
Rich Henderson: Kind of. Yes, I do. Being your own boss, if you’ve never done it, there’s no way of explaining what it feels like to actually be your own boss because obviously there’s a lot of upsides to it, but also there’s some downsides because ultimately you are 100% responsible for your income and your results. The pros far outweigh the cons for sure.
Shannon: If you had to choose one of those pros that’s your favorite thing about doing this or being your own boss, what would it be?
Rich Henderson: Definitely the freedom to travel. I’ve been a travel bug since I was in my teens. It probably came from traveling a lot as a kid with my parents. That, for me, that’s why I got involved in online marketing in the first place. I just wanted the freedom to be able to travel. Then, ASM came along, or Amazon came along, and it just … because I was traveling, but just not all that much. Then ASM came along, and boom, I had the freedom to travel both in terms of being able to afford to travel, and also being able to work anywhere. It’s literally, you see it a lot online all the time, it’s like, “All you need is a laptop and you can work online, you can work from anywhere.” I’ve done that, and it wasn’t quite that simple because the work I was doing before online involved more time, so it meant that even though you were traveling, you still spent … You’d go to a beautiful place and you’d spend half your day or more than that working and missing out on the actual benefit of being able to go to these amazing places. That is the biggest thing that ASM changed for me.
Shannon: I was gonna say, we’re taking advantage of the online right now, but you actually just got back from Costa Rica and all these places.
Rich Henderson: That’s true.
Shannon: How often do you get to take advantage of that, would you say?
Rich Henderson: Well, so interestingly enough, I took a big life change about 18 months ago, and I decided I was gonna put down a little bit of root, should we say, in a city. I actually took my first lease on an apartment in probably 10 years. That was in Austin because I love Austin and obviously all you guys are in Austin, Amazing is in Austin, so it made sense. Before that, I was basically never in one place more than a month. At that time, I had the only permanent base I guess I had was my dad’s house. That’s in England. I would go and visit my dad to two-three weeks, then just take off for a month or even longer. One trip, I was away for three months in southeast Asia, I went to Australia, met up with a bunch of ASM members in Australia, which was awesome. I was always traveling. I guess maybe four months of the year altogether I would have been at my dad’s, but the rest of the time I was traveling.
Then 18 months ago, I did put down roots really just to see what would happen, and I love Austin dearly, but it started wearing on me. Not Austin, but actually having that permanent base because literally I tell people I have got a travel bug, and people go, “Yeah, I like to travel, too,” but there’s a bit of a difference. I can wake up in the morning and go, “I’m going somewhere,” and the next day I’m on a plane because I have that freedom to be able to do that. Then so I gave up the lease, I’m trying to think when it was, it was basically like two months ago. I just went to Costa Rica for five weeks, because I can, I guess. It sounds arrogant, I know, but that is what this business has done for me. I want to go to Costa Rica, I had a friend down there who’s actually one of our ASM mentors, and I just booked a flight, she helped me find an apartment, that was it. I spent five weeks in Costa Rica, which was fabulous.
Shannon: I was gonna say, it’s not arrogant because honestly, that’s what we want to do, right? That’s what all of us say, and it’s actually seeing people live it and do it, and do what they want. For some people, that’s not having roots, and for some people, that’s having roots but flexibility to enjoy what those roots bring, like their family and things. It’s not arrogant, it’s you living your life.
Rich Henderson: Absolutely. It’s different for everyone. If you look at our members, I always use Mike McClary as an example. He got into this, and it was by accident really, but he got into this and he wanted to spend more time with his family. He had a full time corporate job, he was working long hours five days a week. It was a great job and a well paid job, but he was someone else told him where to be and what to do at that time. He wanted freedom to be with his family. We do an interesting experiment with ASM, and it’s about a month in to the course. We ask them, “Why did you buy this?” That may sound like a really strange thing to say to someone who’s just bought a course, but we ask them “Why did you buy it?” To actually really look at why you bought it, not just, “I want to make loads of money.” It was, “What does that mean to you?”
It’s amazing, we have this thread that’s got like 500 posts in it, and yes, some of them are the same, some of them want to travel, some spend more time with their family, some just say, “I am fed up with being told what to do. I want to be my own boss.” There’s so many different reasons, and the key word for me, and I used it when I said why I did it, it’s freedom. For me, it’s the freedom to travel. For Mike, the freedom to spend more time with his kids. For other people, the freedom not to have a boss. The freedom to work when you want to work on your terms. It’s endless. I can’t even think of more off the top of my head, but there’s so many more different things. Most entrepreneurs have it in their head, and they don’t even realize it to start with, and that’s they actually want to help other people, too. We’ve got people who’ve come from third world countries and are living in America or in Europe, and their goal is to make enough money for them to live themselves, but then also to plow money back into where they’re from and help people in poorer places that they came from. It’s astonishing to watch, it really it.
Shannon: Yeah, I will say, that’s one of the coolest things about our members. Even the company itself, I think Matt and Jason really try to do that as well. The members, just seeing that mentality, and it’s not just they want to bring it back to their homes and benefit people around them and things, but it’s also the other entrepreneurs. It’s really cool, most of our mentors have been members and they’re back in there ’cause they’re like, “I want other people to experience the freedom that I get to experience,” and all this stuff. You were talking, and you inadvertently mentioned all these ASM people you’ve been meeting as you’ve traveling and stuff, and it really does, it’s a community, it’s a group of people that have grown together.
Rich Henderson: Yeah. It definitely comes from way, way back, Matt and Jason. All the team at Amazing, they have the same mentality. You look at all the mentors, they’re doing it because they love helping other people. That, for me, is probably one of the most shocking things I’ve seen since I started with ASM and Amazing, is in our community, we have people that are competing with each other helping each other. I come from and SEO background and affiliate marketing, and you would never get that in the community. They would be like, “I’m not helping you, you’re competing, you’re gonna cost me money.” It’s insane, it’s like you just watch and sometimes I’ll see a post, someone saying, “I’ve got the exact same product,” and you just start laughing because it’s so counterintuitive that someone would help a competitor. Because they’re part of this Amazing family, ASM family, it just happens. Like I say, I’m blesses. I’m heavily involved in the community obviously as the chief mentor, but I’m blessed to be part of that group because they’re just phenomenal people. Yes, it comes from Matt and Jason and us, but it still shocks me even now, like six years on or whatever it is. Still seeing this happening, it’s unbelievable.
Shannon: Yeah. No, I think the types of entrepreneurs that want to do this business are special, and they’re unique, and you don’t find them everywhere.
Rich Henderson: Yep, it’s a good group.
Shannon: [crosstalk 00:17:52] to have a community of thousands that are all with that same mentality, which is crazy.
Rich Henderson: Absolutely.
Shannon: Yeah, and you really get to feel that at, I think, like SellerCon and the events ’cause then you get to hug them in person and be like, “You gave me that great strategy for the product that you also sell and tried. It’s great to meet you in person.”
Rich Henderson: Yeah. SellerCon is almost like an extension. SellerCon, we get amazing speakers and they teach amazing things, but it’s actually getting to physically meet people that you’ve known for maybe two-three years in the community and actually getting to meet them. Jason always laughs at me because whenever a SellerCon event comes up, I’m like this (rubbing hands together), ’cause I get to meet people. It’s a self centered thing because I love being there and you come off stage or you’re standing around and someone will come up to you. I have this one specific example, I can’t remember her name, which is terrible, but she was a lady in her 70’s and she was like yay high, like really, really small. I felt a tap in the middle of my back when I was talking to someone, and I turned around and obviously I had to look down. She just threw her arms around me and said, “Thank you so much for everything you do. I’m not making a lot of money, but now I get to spend any day I want to with my grandchildren.” I’m getting goosebumps right now.
Shannon: Me too.
Rich Henderson: That’s an amazing thing. Sometimes we focus too much on the enormous results that some people get, and they are insane results, but then there’s always people we never hear about are making five or 10 grand a month, or something like that, but that is enough to change their life completely. It’s enough to fulfill their why. That’s why I love SellerCon. Yeah, I love it because people come up to me and thank me and all that kind of stuff, but it’s just getting all those people that are doing exactly the same thing that none of their friends or family understand because it’s one of the hardest things. If someone comes up to me say, “What do you do?” It’s almost … if you say to them, “I sell products on Amazon,” they’re like, “Huh?” People have no idea. It can be a lonely business, but the fact we’ve got the community and everyone there, and then we have SellerCon and other events, actually getting to meet people, it’s phenomenal. I can’t wait for the next one. It’s a shame I’ve got to wait, I think, six months for the next one. SellerCon’s amazing. Again, it’s part of the whole family mentality that we’ve got with Amazing.com. I tend to get carried away.
Shannon: I get it, yeah. I love the events and I love getting to meet people that have been asking me questions and we’ve been talking. They’re like, “You’re Shannon.” I’m like, “You’re Brendan,” or something. It’s a great moment, so I love that, too. They need to do SellerCons all the time. I’ll let Marisa know. I’m sure she-
Rich Henderson: Four a year at least.
Shannon: Yeah. She’s gonna get right on it. Okay, so talking about trying to define what you do and everything, start with Amazon. Why Amazon and not other platforms like Shopify or Ebay? Why Amazon, and why is that the best platform for you, but also maybe just in general for starting out?
Rich Henderson: The main reason is it’s such a huge company. Amazon, I don’t even know the number, it’s like we need Matt ’cause he’s just always goes like this and pulls statistics out of the air. They’re growing at an exponential rate, and the interesting thing is that normally big companies start to slow down, their growth slows down. Amazon just exponentially going higher and higher and higher. Because of that, we borrow or steal or whatever you want to call it, their reputation. Especially in America, Amazon’s one of the most trusted companies there is. Everyone is happy and feels safe shopping on Amazon. We don’t need, to a certain extent, especially to start with, our own credibility because we put a product on Amazon, even though we’re what’s called a third party seller, we put our product on there, any normal customer buying that product, in their head they’re buying from Amazon. They 100% trust it.
Because of that, it’s like you launching your own site with Shopify or something like that, there’s so much hard work in driving traffic and building your reputation. That was one of the things with affiliate marketing, you put the offer out there on your own website, but you’ve got to drive all this traffic. Whereas with Amazon, it’s almost like a captive audience. All these people are literally sitting there and you just lob your product into the middle of them. They all go crazy and buy it. That’s the beauty for me, is that the hardest part about building a business is getting customers, it’s actually getting people to see your offer. Whether it’s a physical product or a digital product, or whatever it is. Actually getting people to see your product is so hard. With Amazon, they’re all just sitting there waiting for it. That for me, is the beauty of it, is the fact that two things.
You get to borrow or steal, however you want to look at it, Amazon’s credibility, but you also have ready made traffic because Amazon will do all that for you. It’s not just that all their customers are sitting there waiting, they also advertise your product for you, they also bring people in for special offers like Prime Day. Prime Day’s insane, it was like two days ago. Even people that don’t normally shop in Amazon, they know what Prime Day, they know they’re gonna get offers and they fly to Amazon. Once they’d done that, they become customers. I actually don’t know anyone, I’m pretty sure I don’t know anyone anyway who has not bought, and even regularly buy on Amazon. That for me, is the key point with why this business works in terms of the platform used.
Shannon: Yeah, I think that’s really key. I was just thinking about my own product that’s on there and how we didn’t do any promotions or anything for Prime Day because we’re low on inventory and we’re like, “Well, we’ll ride it out.” And we still were getting sales just ’cause the mass amount of people and you aren’t even targeting them, you may not even be on page one, you could be on page 15 and there’s still millions of people. Amazon has done that already like [crosstalk 00:24:20].
Rich Henderson: Yeah, that’s the other thing, too, is someone will have an idea of what they want, like going there and the classic example, they want a silicon spatula. The go to Amazon, they search for silicon spatula, they find the product they want. Very, very rarely do they then add to cart and check out. I don’t think I’ve ever bought one product on Amazon, ever. You’re there and it’s like, “What about this?” And you go and have a look. Obviously Amazon, they’re not stupid, they’re putting all these other products around, all over the page for you so that you buy more. That’s the other advantage. Someone might not even be looking for your product or anything related to your product, and end up buying it because they’re on Amazon buying something else.
Shannon: Absolutely. Amazon does some of the hard work for you. Does that mean that you don’t have to have any experience going into it, or do you maybe recommend people have online selling experience, or anything?
Rich Henderson: Yeah, this is one of the things that’s changed quite a lot, I guess, since the first days. If we go back to 2013, I would guess the first time we launched ASM, the makeup was pretty much 60% were actually already online marketers, 40% had no experience of selling online. Now, moving forward five-six years or whatever it is, there’s very few people, it’s almost like we’ve got all the internet marketers. All the existing online marketers are now members who are all doing the Amazon business. Now, it’s insane. You do not need any experience. There’s a classic quote, and I can’t remember what it is, but about entrepreneurs, that you’re born to be an entrepreneur. I do not believe that whatsoever. I think you might have instincts or a certain way of thinking that lends itself to entrepreneurship, but at the end of the day, to me, entrepreneurship is having your own business. You need no experience whatsoever.
One of the best examples I can think of, and then there’s more are probably gonna come to mind, is a lady who was ASM one. She’d never sold anything online, I don’t even think she’d ever bought anything online in terms of buying a physical product. She hadn’t shopped on Amazon at that point. She was a grandma, and she did an insane job. She launched her product, she was doing so well, and we actually had her on one of our first calls. Her nickname is the ASM Grandma. We had her on a call talking, and she had these huge headphones on that probably came from the 60’s or something. It took us like 20 minutes to actually help her get the microphone set up and all that kind of stuff. Then she came on, and she just kept saying over and over again, “Just do it.” Trademark issue with Nike there, but she kept saying, “Just do it, just do it.” She had absolutely zero experience.
Since then, we’ve had people from all walks of life. One of our biggest success stories, John Gill. He’s an ex policeman. I’m not saying policemen are dumb or anything, but it is. He had no experience of doing this. All walks of life, we’ve got single moms on there, we’ve got kid, like young … there was a guy, he was 16 and to sell on Amazon, you actually have to be 18, so he had to partner with his parents. He was 16 and he was doing insane numbers.
Shannon: [crosstalk 00:27:39] mastermind. There’s a mastermind of the teenagers that they create.
Rich Henderson: Yeah, absolutely. That’s the key for me. It’s you’re not born an entrepreneur, you can learn to be an entrepreneur and you can definitely create your own business from scratch. That’s the whole point of it, is that. Is you go in, you learn how to build your own successful business from nothing. That’s it. Absolutely, you need zero experience. If Mike McClary can do it, anyone can do it. Had to get that in, right?
Shannon: Every time, yeah. You know, he’s not here, so it’s his own fault.
Rich Henderson: Exactly.
Shannon: ASM teaches you how to do that, but ASM teaches you in a specific way, right? ASM focuses on private label.
Rich Henderson: Yes.
Shannon: There are other business models that you can do to sell on Amazon. Why private label, and what does that mean? If no one knows what that means, how would you describe it?
Rich Henderson: Okay, so private label basically means that you find a product that you want to sell and essentially what you do is you look for other products that are succeeding. Instead of, “I’ve got this awesome idea for having a combined backpack and dog bowl and silicon spatula,” like something you’ve got to invent or create yourself that you have no idea where there’s a market for it, you actually go and look for existing products. That’s the first step. You find an existing product, you then create your own version of it. That is essentially what private labeling is. You’re taking an existing product, you go and find your own manufacturer or supplier, you get them to create your version of that product, and you can make tweaks to it, especially improve it if you want, and then they create that for you. That process itself, that is all private labeling is.
A lot of people get confused with it. There’s other steps further down the road with ASM, but as far as private label itself is, it’s just literally taking a product, branding it and making it your own, then selling it. That’s in a nutshell, what it is. Compared to … you mentioned other things. You can’t do dropshipping, even with Amazon. You can do wholesaling with Amazon. There’s issues with those things. First of all, Amazon don’t like them anymore. Amazon want private label sellers. They’ve seen the difference we make, they’ve seen the profit margins we create, and the customer service we provide because they’re our own products.
The two biggest advantages over private labeling rather than wholesaling and dropshipping is first of all, you’re in complete control because it’s your product. If you’re doing those other two, you’re relying on someone else giving you their product or selling you their product. You could take off with a wholesale product, be doing amazing, and then the wholesaler could go, “Hang on a minute, they’re making so much money with this, why don’t I do that?” Then they cut you off, they stop selling to you, and they sell their own product. Then they piggyback all of the success you’ve had. The same with dropshipping. Whereas with private label, it’s your product 100%. You control how much inventory you have, you control the price, everything. Because of that, well not because of that, but the other thing is it’s scalability.
This is something that distinguishes it from virtually any other business in terms of how fast you can scale because just pulling numbers out of a hat, say you had a product and it was making $10,000 a month in revenue. That’s great, it’s normally 25-30% profit margin. You add another product that’s like similar, not similar, but connected to it. When you think like brand, like Apple will have an iPhone, they’ll have a computer, they’ll have a laptop computer, all the different things they have. It’s like that. If you add another product and you’ve done as good a job with that product, your second product, you’re going to double your revenue and probably more because you’ve already got existing customers. Then you add another one, and so on.
That first product is the hardest thing you’re gonna have to do. Once you’ve done that, the rest is so much easier. You can contact your supplier and go, “Hey, what other products have you got?” Then look at those products and look and see if there’s anything on Amazon doing well that is similar. Just boom, you’ve got an instant product. That is the key difference for me. Not only just with private label, but as compared to any other business. If you build a restaurant, you can’t scale that, you can’t just … your restaurant could be doing great, it’s tough, but it could be doing great, but you can’t just go like a month later, ” We’ve got another restaurant. It’s already selling.” Whereas with private label, you can. You can scale it as much as you want, as fast as you want. That’s the big difference.
Shannon: You touched on it, but is that really start to finish, what’s the high level process? Obviously there’s complicated ins and outs, and key things that you’re gonna learn how to do and stuff in trial and error, but also through something like ASM or whatever. What would be the steps just so people have an idea what it entails?
Rich Henderson: Yeah, I probably made it sound really, really easy, right?
Rich Henderson: Getting your first product up is not easy, it takes work. That’s one thing I’ve always said all along. This is not get rich quick, it’s not push a button. You do have to work, but you get rewarded for that work. That’s the big difference. Essentially what you do is as I described, the process from start to finish is you go and find a product that’s selling well on Amazon. We teach you exactly how to do that. We give you specific criteria on how to find products that are doing well. You find that product, you choose the one you want to go with because it’s insane how many products there are you can choose from. You pick that product, then you contact suppliers.
Now, if it’s … the easiest way to think of this, if it’s something that goes in or on your body, so I don’t know like face cream or something you eat or anything like that, then we say look in America for suppliers. It’s really easy to find suppliers. Anything else, the odds are that the best deal and the best product you’re gonna get is gonna come from China, so you contact suppliers in China. That’s the second step, contact them. You then analyze the different suppliers you’ve contacted, you pick the best one. Then you go with that supplier. The next step is they manufacture it for you. Then you got to Amazon, you create a listing, which is basically the product page that everyone sees when they go shopping. You’ve got an image on there, it’s typed, you’ve got bullet points, all that kind of thing. Again, we show exactly how to do this, it’s not that hard.
You create the listing. Then when the product’s ready with Amazon, you contact … I don’t want to over complicate this, but you’re gonna contact a freight forwarder. Basically all that is, is someone who’s gonna take your product from China and deliver it to you in America. Or wherever you are. If you’re outside of America, you can have it shipped directly to the freight forwarder’s warehouse. The beauty there is they’ll also check it for you because your first inventory, you want to check it, you want to make sure the product is as its meant to be, that nothing’s happened during the shipment, all that kind of stuff. If you live in the US, you can actually have it shipped to you.
Once you’ve got it in America, the next step is you want to get it from wherever it is in America to Amazon. That again, is super simple. You just literally go into your Amazon dashboard, you create a shipping plan. That gives you the labels, you send the labels to your freight forwarder or if you’ve got it in your own house, you just print them out. You then put the labels on the product and UPS will actually come to your house or to the freight forwarder’s warehouse, pick the product up, and take it to Amazon. The amazing thing is that the rates you pay, because it’s basically they’re called a preferred partner of Amazon’s, so they do an amazing deal on shipping to Amazon. It’s ridiculously cheap, they ship your product to Amazon, Amazon get it, scan it all, put it into inventory. Then you’ve got your product is then live. In other words, someone visits your listing, they can buy your product. That is basically the first steps, the rest is marketing.
You want to launch a product, there’s multiple ways of doing that. We teach you how to do that, but essentially you want to get some initial impetus. You start making sales, and then you want to start running Amazon ads. Again, the background I come from was working solely with Google AdWords, and Facebook to a certain extent back then. Amazon ads are just so simple. It’s literally you can have an Amazon ad up and running in like a minute because they basically do it all for you. You do that, and for those of you that don’t know, basically an Amazon ad is if you go to an Amazon page and you search, you’ll see something that says Sponsored Product. That’s basically an ad. When you first start, you want to go up the rankings. When people search for your product, you want to be near the top. That’s what Amazon ads does. That is pretty much all you need to do. That’s the entire process from step one all the way through to having it.
Now, there’s other things you can do moving forward, like adding another product, hiring a PA. Hiring a VA. Well, a PA too, why not? Having a VA to help you with stuff. That’s the entire process. That’s how you go from step one all the way through to having your own … It’s an insane thing. We get people who are literally laughing and crying at the same time saying, “I have my own product with my own brand on sale on Amazon.” It’s an insane thing. It’s like in the space of a couple months, boom, “I am actually a brand owner selling my own products. Watch out Apple, here I come.”
Shannon: Yeah. With that, you said it’s not get rich quick, but the process is fairly quick compared to other businesses. One question people ask a lot is how long does it realistically take from first choosing your product to producing sales? Not just getting live, but producing some sales and getting that traction and getting going?
Rich Henderson: Yeah, so it will vary depending on the product. I’ll use China as an example because that’s the longer version, ’cause it’s always gonna take you a little bit longer picking a product that comes from China. I would say for the most part, within … so from the minute you start looking for a product, not even having chosen it, from looking to your product to actually making your first sale, can be anything from six weeks to three months, depending on your product. For instance, a silicon spatula, if you were ordering that from China, they’ve got millions of them in stock, so they don’t have to go and produce it. All they might have to do is put your brand name on the silicon spatula. That might take a week, and boom, your inventory’s on the way.
With more complicated things, like I’m trying to think of an example. With say, like people use them all over the place, and you see ads on TV, a tactical flashlight. You’re probably gonna want to make a little bit of a change so you’re different from everyone else. Again, this is really simple, you just talk to a supplier and they will help you do that. That’s probably gonna take maybe three to four weeks to actually manufacture. Then you’ve got to ship it, then you’ve got to sell it. Some people take longer. Some people are super keen, “I want it up now, I want it like boom. It’s got this little issue, I don’t care, put it up. I want to start making sales,” and it’s insane. Other people are very picky and very methodical. They’ll take longer.
I think the easiest way of saying this, there’s nothing to stop you when you start this process from being live and selling within two months. That’s no time at all. It might sound like a long time, but you show many other business in the world where you can go from nothing to making money in two months. Legal business.
Shannon: I agree. I would say a huge part of that though, is finding the right supplier manufacturer. If you had to give just one or two tips on how … are there ways to differentiate just instinctively right now from a good supplier versus a bad supplier?
Rich Henderson: Yeah. I’ll go through the obvious ones, and then I’ll tell you what I always look for. The first thing is you get samples from these suppliers. They’ll send you samples. Look at the quality of the sample, make sure it’s exactly what you asked for. If you asked for a silicon spatula, and they send you a silicon spoon, then that’s not such a good supplier. They’re not actually listening to you. On top of that, you want to look at speed to market. How quickly can they get this done for you. Another this is MOQ, which is minimum order quantity. When you start, you negotiate with these suppliers, so you want to get a lower order. You’re gonna want about 500 units, so a lot of them will start off, “Oh now, you need to order 1,000 units from us. Blah, blah, blah.” You can negotiate that, bring it down to 500 because 500’s probably the ideal number of a normal, regular priced product to get it running and now to run out of inventory too quick ’cause that will happen.
For me, a lot of the time, is if I find suppliers are pretty much equal on all those things, I look at their response times and I look at how they speak to me because you’ll find people are basically … a lot of times it’s just by email or on Skype text, you’re not actually speaking to them. You don’t have to speak to them. You get a feel for it, you get a feel. Honestly, sometimes even it’s, “I like this person. I can work with this person,” because that’s what you’ve got to look at. You’re not just ordering one product from this person. Yes, you’re gonna order the first one, but the odds are you’re gonna be getting a second product, third, fourth, who knows how many products from them. Response time is key for me. I expect to get a response within 24 hours, I don’t care how busy they are. If they are good at their job, and they want me as a customer, they will respond in 24 hours. Again, it’s how they respond.
If they try and help you. For instance, I might ask … I’m trying to think. A silicon spatula, “Can I have a wood handle?” If I say that to them, and their response is, “Yes,” rather than them, “Yes, you can. It’s gonna be a little bit more expensive. What I might suggest is using a …” I don’t know, I don’t even know what other kind of handle you could have, but a different kind of handle, that might be a better option, and it’s better because of this. It’s like they’re taking an interest in what you want. That is a large part of it. When I do this, it’s like 50% is the facts, so in other words, the price, the MOQ, the delivery time, all that kind of thing. Honestly, the other 50% is how you think you’re gonna be able to work with this person and how they respond to you because it’s a huge part of it. If you end up working with someone who’s always gonna go, “Yes, no,” and that’s it, you’re gonna have a hard time. People who take the extra time to actually explain things and actually offer you advice, that will always sway me away from other suppliers that come.
Shannon: Well, and that brings up a point, too. A lot of people are almost their own worst enemies when it comes to getting their products going and everything within that two months or that timeframe, and they themselves will extend it. It can be a bad supplier or something. What would you say would be the number one thing you’ve seen that people really just hung up on and struggle to get past in that first product stage?
Rich Henderson: I can’t think of one thing. One thing really, it’s really, really simple. It’s actually pulling the trigger and doing it. It’s a hard thing to do, but that applies to two things. That’s product selection, so actually picking a product you want to go with. The way we teach you, you’re gonna end up with a list of products, but you’re gonna have the best three. We get people that the best three, and they literally just sit there for days on end going, “I think I want that one.” Then it’s, “but this one’s got that, and this one.” I get it, I really do, it’s perfectly understandable, but at the end of the day, the way we teach you, it doesn’t really matter. Whichever one of those three products you choose is going to work.
That’s the hardest thing to get through to people. It’s the only time I get frustrated with members, the only time because they show you their three products and you’re like, “Oh my God, they’re all amazing.” Then, “Yeah, I know, but then I can’t pick one.” It’s like it doesn’t matter, just pick one. You do get frustrated, but you completely understand it. Then the same thing with suppliers. They might get to a point, because there’s so many out there and you start narrowing it down, narrowing it down. You get down to two, the way I look at it is, if you’ve narrowed it down to two, again, it doesn’t really matter. You’ve put them through the ringer, they’re both equally good, just pick one.
It is hard, it’s procrastination. It’s the entrepreneur’s biggest enemy, and their biggest weakness is procrastination. It’s so understandable, but at the same time, it’s like get over it, just do it. If you ask any of these big guys like on Shark Tank or any of these really hugely successful entrepreneurs, they will always tell you that one of the biggest aspects of being an entrepreneur, one of the biggest qualities you need is being able to take a risk. The crazy thing is, following the system is not that big a risk. Just do it. As ASM Grandma said, just do it. When you’ve done all that work, you’ve done an insane amount of work to get to that point. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of work, but it’s not that hard. Just pick one. That is, for us, it’s the one thing we see all the time, and it’s with both of those things, it’s actually pulling the trigger on their final choice for a product or their final choice of supplier. After that, there’s minor bumps in the road, but at the end of the day, show me a business that doesn’t have bumps in the road.
Shannon: All that’s easy to say since you’ve been doing this for years now. Is that the piece of advice you would have liked to have known when you were just starting out? Or is there one thing that if you could go back to the very first time you launched a product on Amazon, what would be something that you wish Jason had told you, or someone else had told you?
Rich Henderson: Yeah, I was just thinking that. You just made this really hard ’cause I can’t say anything like, “Jason told me everything I needed to know, it was [crosstalk 00:46:52].” Going from other members’ experience, I guess, it’s almost going back to that exact thing. It’s if someone would have told me like, “Close your eyes and stick a pin in one of them. Just do it, just move forward as quickly as you can.” Because it is, and I’m just trying to think of other … ’cause basically what we’re talking about is what’s the advice I would want because in terms of it being an issue. You don’t need advice if it’s not an issue, right? I guess, those are the biggest issues I’ve seen in the last five years.
The advice I would give someone just starting this business is go through the process, and then don’t wait. When you’ve got your three choices, don’t over complicate it, just pick one. The same with suppliers. Yeah, do your … I can never say this … due diligence. Do that with your suppliers so you narrow it down. More often than not, with suppliers, one will stand out. If you get to a point where there’s two of them, again, just take action. There’s the perfect thing, take action. If someone like Jason would have told me, like, “Don’t back off, keep taking action, keep moving forward,” then that’s the key piece of advice because this does work and it’s easy for me to say that because obviously I’ve been doing it for five years, but it does work. You just have to look at all the success stories we’ve had. It does work if you take action.
We had this asked a different way. I was asked this question, I’m trying to think, it was maybe … I can’t remember if it was an event or whatever, but it was not what advice would you give to members, it was more like what do you want your members to do? What is the one thing you want? In other words, me as the creator, instructor, mentor, whatever it is, what do you want for my members? One thing, just one thing. I should get a t-shirt printed, just one thing. On the back, take action. There’s so many people, and I’m not talking about ASM members, but all the way through my online career, if it’s a career, the people who just learn and never implement. It’s so frustrating from our point of view that we see people learn, and then just not take action. That’s what I want people to do. Me as the instructor, all I want is because I am 100% convinced, I know that if they take action, they will succeed.
That’s the one thing with me, it’s procrastination again. It’s like that’s all I want, I want members and people I teach, and you know what? If you don’t come through us, if you’re running this business, if you’re getting involved in Amazon, just take action and keep moving forward. Don’t overthink things, don’t stop, just keep moving forward. I know that doesn’t really answer your question, but that’s the way I look at it. That’s the advice I would give. If my brother suddenly turned around and said, “I’m sick if being a veterinary surgeon, I want to Amazon, what do I need to do?” It’s follow the course and take action. Then I would disown him, because otherwise he’d be asking me questions every day. Yeah, it’s like follow the system, take action, and you will succeed.
Shannon: It’s like the motto you write on your bathroom mirror that you just see every day. I like it.
Rich Henderson: Absolutely.
Shannon: Well, thank you Rich, I don’t know if there’s anything else you want to add about private labeling or anything?
Rich Henderson: Not really. If you’re reading this or watching this, then this thing works. People have said to me, “This works because you say it does, because you do it, and because the company makes money from people taking this course,” and all these kind of things. At the end of the day, the one thing I know that if you do any research yourself, if you’re thinking about doing this, is that we’ve been around for six years now and every single year, members are succeeding. They’re going through our course and they’re succeeding. If you can find … there is not another online marketing or online entrepreneurship course out there that has lasted six years. Not even anything like it. A course will last … maybe not just thinking about it as a course, but as a business model. They come and go. It’s like someone will post in a community somewhere, “Look at this loophole. This is really awesome, we can do this.” Then they do it, and then six months later, boom, it’s gone.
The only things that’s gonna happen with Amazon moving forward is it’s gonna go boom, boom, boom, boom. It’s gonna get bigger and bigger and bigger. Because Amazon is getting bigger and bigger and bigger, our opportunity of any private labelers, private label seller’s opportunity is getting bigger. It’s not going anywhere. Do it, seriously. ASM Grandma, just do it.
Shannon: Thank you Rich.
Rich Henderson: You’re welcome. Bye bye.
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.