Get insider advice on how to sell on Amazon from Ben and Charity DeVries, who started selling on Amazon less than two years ago and have already hit $1.9 Million in sales.
Here, they offer their Amazing Selling Machine review and advice on launching one product at a time, using software to manage advertising campaigns, when to launch a second product, how to build a customer email list, researching new products to launch, and the importance of following the Amazing Selling Machine course exactly. So if you’re thinking about getting started selling on Amazon, keep reading!
Included in the Amazing Selling Machine Review:
Amazing Selling Machine Success Story
Amazing Selling Machine Bonus
Advice on Running a Business on Amazon
Making Sacrifices to Grow an Amazon Business Quickly
Choosing a Product to Sell on Amazon
Tips for Getting Customer Email Addresses
Outsourcing to Focus on Driving Revenue
Tracking Amazon Stats with ManageByStats
Adjusting Listing in Amazon Seller Central When Product Runs Out
Finding Out If Your Product Has Existing Patents
Meet This Amazon Seller and ASM Member Who Will be Quitting His Job in Just a Few Short Weeks – Video Transcript
Mike McClary interviews Ben and Charity DeVries, parents and business entrepreneurs who share how they successfully built their Amazon business using training provided by Amazing Selling Machine.
When Ben and Charity began their Amazon business, they heard their mentor say he had just hit his million-dollar mark. At the time, they thought that number was slightly beyond their reach. However, just a little under two years later, the couple has made nearly 2 million dollars using the resources and training they received from the Amazing Selling Machine course.
Ben and Charity started and grew their business through the help of Amazing Selling Machine (ASM). ASM trains sellers on what it takes to make and launch a product on Amazon through an 8-week online web class. Members find everything from mentors and an online community ready to provide support, to a private vault full of resources to assist in developing their business.
Ben and Charity used the 6th version of ASM, but quickly wished they had started sooner with the 5th version. After making a million dollars a year, Ben realized by starting a year later his missed out on a million dollars. He suggests everyone start building their Amazon business as soon as possible.
These are some of the important lessons that Ben and Charity learned along the way:
- Launch one product at a time. They launched two products in the beginning, and found it difficult to split their efforts towards two different niches.
- Use software like PPC Scope to help you with advertising your Amazon business. PPC Scope allows Ben to create a variety of advertising campaigns and manage his bids.
- As soon as you have the money and resources available, along with stability of sales and reviews on your first product, launch your second one–the sooner the better.
While some sellers decide to quit their jobs when their Amazon business takes off, Ben decided to make a sacrifice and keep working his day job. His sacrifice allowed him to work over the past two years and reinvest the money he has made back into his Amazon business, assisting in growing it quickly. Only after making 2 million dollars has Ben decided to send in his resignation letter.
Amazing Selling Machine taught Ben and Charity that finding the right product is all about finding something that has demand, but it not too competitive in the market.
While sometimes it may be tempting to stray away from this advice, finding products that meet these criteria made it hard to fail. Following the training from the Amazing Selling Machine courses sets you up for success, helping you build an email list with over 50,000 customers and create a large social media following.
Two years in, and Ben and Charity have just decided to launch their first competitive product. They attribute this product’s success to the brand assets they have built over time. Taking the time to build their brand has allow them to successfully branch out into more competitive markets.
There are certain things customers will find valuable enough to give their email address in exchange for:
- PDF guides
- Audio and video downloads
- Anything else that your specific customer deems valuable
Running campaigns promoting these offers on Facebook or on your website allows you to collect a large base of customer emails. Or, ask people to register their product purchase on your website for an extended warranty. A large collection of customer emails can assist you in your marketing efforts.
In the beginning stages of an Amazon business, it is important to put time into doing the little things, like customer service and writing emails. Eventually, focus more on the important things that will drive revenue. At that point, outsourcing becomes a valuable tool in creating time to focus on the more important tasks.
One of the reason Ben has been able to remain at his day job so long, while continuing to reinvest in his company, is that he outsources some of the work to teams in the Philippines and Eastern Europe. Ben uses a Google Chrome extension software called “Loom,” which allows him to create a quick video of the things he needs done for the day—from there, the teams complete his tasks. Online resources helped Ben to find people to work for him affordably.
Charity shares that she looks at her Amazon stats daily using a software program called ManageByStats, built by another Amazing Selling Machine member. ManageByStats shares many statistics, including daily keyword ranking and inventory updates, allowing Charity to see when it’s time to reorder products. In addition, she checks her Amazon Seller Central daily to see how sales are performing.
When you run out of products, the Amazon listing shows as “closed” because it’s inactive. It is critical to visit “Manage Inventory” in Amazon Seller Central, and closing the listing manually. This ensures that the metrics freeze and put a pause on sales history, until the product is restocked.
Charity recommends using Google Patents to see if a product you are considering has any patents. For products with patents, either stay away from that product, or hire a patent attorney to do a thorough search. If you suspect that the product is patented, it’s generally best to just go a different route, and not spend time and money on further research.
Amazing.com is hosting SellerCon, an Amazon seller live event, April 6th-8th in Orlando, FL. Charity says Amazing.com live events are a place for sellers to get action plans. She would see people who would listen to a presentation, go up to their hotel room and change their listing based on action plans given, and make 10 more sales over night. Each presentation was accompanied by slides with standard operating procedures for sellers to ensure they complete action plans thoroughly and don’t miss any tips.
Until the end of the Amazing.com is giving away free livestream of SellerCon to any who becomes an Amazing Selling Machine member before the end of the month. Usually $397 to livestream, new Amazing Selling Machine members will have access to live presentation, downloads, and recordings from the event completely free.
Meet This Amazon Seller and ASM Member Who Will be Quitting His Job in Just a Few Short Weeks – Video Transcript:
Mike McClary: Hey everyone! Mike McClary here, and welcome to another Facebook live session, here, in the very last live session of the month, also the last Facebook live session until we actually open up the course. We’re actually gonna close it down at the end of this month, so this is the last Facebook live for the Amazing Selling Machine before we take the course down, and no one can get in until we completely update it, and revise it, which is underway right now. So it’s kind of a really cool time for us, a very exciting time.
Mike McClary: And for this last live session, I have two very special guests on: Ben and Charity, who are just awesome people, awesome sellers. I’m gonna be spending time with them next week, so I wanna talk a little bit about their story and how they got selling, and how well they’ve been doing, and some really exciting news coming up, especially for Ben here in the next several weeks.
Mike McClary: But before we get to them, I wanna remind everyone that we also have other live sessions just like this one, and free training here on the amazing.com Facebook page, so after this session is over, if you wanna check out our previous live sessions, check out our free training, go look at all the videos under there. We have tons of free training on how to get your business up and selling on Amazon, teaching how to find products, how to find suppliers, how to get them shipped in, how to launch them and rank them, how to really get sales coming in, how to optimize your listings. All really cool completely free training here.
Mike McClary: We also have a more in-depth training series on amazingsellingmachine.com as well. If you go there, you’ll see a four part video training series that walks- everything today just talked about, but more in-depth. Each video is about 25, 30 minutes long. Video number one talks all about finding red-hot product opportunities. We actually give you a list of hot product opportunities that we’ve looked at and found that are selling really well on Amazon, and we teach you how to find your own hot-product opportunities as well.
Mike McClary: And then, in video number two, we show you how to find a supplier to make those products for you. Something that is completely- that was completely unknown to me before I started my own business. How in the world do you actually find people to make these products? Well, it’s much easier than you might think, and we walk you through the entire process of doing that.
Mike McClary: And in that second video, we also show you how to get those products shipped in from anywhere in the world, no matter where you live. It doesn’t matter. Using a freight forwarder, you can have these products made at another company and have a freight forwarder reach out to them, and ship them from anywhere to anywhere, kind of demystifying that whole process and making it simple.
Mike McClary: And then, in video number three, if you have products made, and you have them shipped in, and you have them sent to Amazon, and they’re ready for sale, doesn’t really help unless you know how to sell them actually. So in video number three, we walk you through the entire launching and ranking process, that we use in our own businesses for when we launch our products, how to get immediate traffic and immediate sales, and have your product start moving up in the search rankings of Amazon, only within a few days.
Mike McClary: So we walk through all that in the first three videos.
Mike McClary: Then in video number four, we walk you through how to automate this business and to jumpstart the entire process. We introduce you to an entire, additional, very in-depth training series of the Amazing Selling Machine, that really teaches you everything from A-Z on how to build, launch, rank, and scale a business on Amazon.
Mike McClary: So, again, if you haven’t seen those yet, don’t leave yet. I want you first to meet Ben and Charity, and hear their story, but after this, go watch those free training videos, and I think you’ll love the content in them.
Mike McClary: Now, if anyone on here, if you don’t mind liking this video, and sharing it with as many people as possible, we’d really appreciate that. That way, the word gets out to as many people as possible about what the possibilities are for building your own business on Amazon.
Mike McClary: Now, without any further ado, I wanna bring out our two special guests, Ben and Charity DeVries. They are a couple that work together as business partners. They have an amazing family. They have two young kids that I’m gonna get to see next week, as well, so I’m excited about that. We’re actually gonna be spending time at something called “SellerCon”, which will be in Orlando, Florida, right where Disney World is at.
Mike McClary: So, lots of fun things going on.
Mike McClary: For me, personally, ’cause I get to hang out with them and thousands of other people, but for them as well, because they’re gonna be there sharing their story and meeting other people, but to give you a little preview of that, I’m gonna bring them on right now.
Mike McClary: Ben, Charity, welcome to call, and thank you so much for joining us.
Charity DeVries: Yeah, thanks for having us.
Ben DeVries: Yeah, thanks for having us. Appreciate it.
Mike McClary: So, just so everyone knows, you guys sell on Amazon, you guys are doing incredibly well. I did not know exactly how well you were doing until just a few days ago, when I got an updated bit of sales for you. So, you guys kind of split up how you guys wanna talk, but how have your sales been for the past two years selling?
Charity DeVries: Yeah, so our sales for the last two years, I mean, they’ve been great. We actually- it’s been interesting. We just, kind of, this last year, we’re like, “I wonder how much we’ve sold since we started”, because we’ve started a little over two years ago. So, we went back and we looked and we were at like 1.9 million, so just shy of 2 million since we started selling a little under two years ago.
Charity DeVries: So, that was really exciting to see that number. We knew that last year, obviously, when we ended the year last year, that we did 1.2 million in overall sales, and so, it was just kinda fun being like, hitting that next million mark as far as our total overall sales from the time that we started. So, it’s really been super exciting.
Mike McClary: And when you started out- I mean, I know that you guys had to have confidence in this, but did you ever imagine that you’d be talking, within a few years, about millions of dollars in sales.
Charity DeVries: Yeah, no, not at all. In fact, it’s hilarious, one of our mentors, that, when we first started selling, you know, a mentor that kinda helped us get started and everything in this business, I remember being on a webinar that he did for some of the people that basically were selling on Amazon, he kinda helped them out, and he’s like, “Yeah, we just hit our million dollar mark.” And I just remember thinking, “Whoa, wow. That is way out there.” And then, little did I know, just really within a year from that time, that we would be hitting that million dollar mark ourself. And, so, yeah, it’s just as mind-blowing remembering how I felt hearing that from somebody else and then hitting that ourselves, and thinking, “Oh my gosh, this is really cool, and this happened way faster than I thought it was going to.”
Mike McClary: Well, that’s awesome. So, everyone knows that we’re talking about sales, not saying that they’re not making a million dollars in profit yet, but Ben, approximately, what is your profit margin, do you think, on your sales, on average?
Ben DeVries: Yeah, it’s about a 25-29% profit margin.
Mike McClary: That’s an awesome profit margin to have. Now, one of the reasons I brought you guys on, not just because I love you guys and I love talking to you, was because I love your story. We always talk about how this business can be building an asset for later on, or can be building, kind of, a cashflow machine for getting cash out right now, and living your life the way you want to. Or, kind of, a hybrid among the two.
Mike McClary: You guys have made some conscious decisions, the way that you’ve grown this business. So, describe to me, over the past two years, what you guys have done in order to be able to grow this business as quickly as possible.
Charity DeVries: Yeah, so, it required some sacrifice, in the sense of- Ben’s just had a job, I mean, we all have jobs at some point in our lives, right? And, so, Ben has had his regular job that he’s had, and even when we started this business, he decided, and we kind of decided together, that it was wisdom for him to stay in that job, and to not leave that job too soon.
Charity DeVries: Somebody that, kind of, is just a mentor, that we look up to, gave us the analogy of, when you start a business, and you want to, kind of, leave your day job, and, how do you make that decision, is like, when you have a boat that’s out in the lake, and you wanna get the boat closer to the dock, so that you don’t have too far to go to the boat from the dock.
Charity DeVries: So, we’ve always just used that analogy, of like, okay, we’re getting the boat closer to the dock before we just jump off of the dock and into the boat of our own business. And, so, now we’re to the point where that gap between the dock and the boat is slowly closing, and we’re ready to pretty much jump off, and, so, that’s super, super exciting.
Mike McClary: Yeah, so, speaking of jump off then- Ben, do you have a timeframe for when you’ll be jumping off completely into the water?
Ben DeVries: Yeah, we finally set a date. We were gonna say summer earlier, but I was telling Charity, I really need to have a date that we can actually put on this. So, May 1st is actually the day I will be going in and putting in my resignation. I actually have already created it, so, I’ve got it ready to go, and just stuff it in the envelope.
Ben DeVries: Yeah, May 1st.
Mike McClary: That’s so exciting. I remember when that happened to me, as well. So, I can truly empathize and know what you’re feeling right now.
Mike McClary: It’s gonna be a pretty hard month for you, because you’ll still have to work, knowing you have this endpoint, but it’ll be exciting once you actually wake up on May 1st and realize you’re gonna be able to do this full-time.
Mike McClary: Congratulations, that is just amazing.
Mike McClary: We’re already getting some great comments and questions over here. I’m gonna ask one right away, because you guys have such a great, compelling sales story. Your sales are rocking it.
Mike McClary: Someone is asking, “How do you guys choose which products you sell on Amazon?” This is from Edwin. You guys have any advice for him on how you pick the right products?
Charity DeVries: Well, yeah, the Amazing Selling Machine course is really what kind of helped us with that. Going through the different criteria, a lot of that is even covered in the free training, but just talk- going through, okay, this is how we find something that there’s demand for, this is how we find something that’s not too competitive, that there’s room in the market for.
Charity DeVries: So, we really just followed the criteria, followed the training. And, in doing that, just, yeah. If you follow the training- we’ve had so many other people, too, that have taken the training that we know. It’s pretty hard to fail if you follow it to the T.
Ben DeVries: Yeah, and if you follow it to the T, over two years, a lot of things really compound. If you follow the course and do everything they say, they pretty much hold your hand along the way, and it’s really easy to do, but sometimes it’s tempting to try to get a product that’s outside of the criteria. What I would say, is just wait. Follow everything within the training, because they really set you up for success, and over two years, we’ve build over 50,000 email list, and we’ve got a pretty big social media following now.
Ben DeVries: We’ve actually just launched our first competitive product. Very competitive. And it’s actually doing really well, now that we have- we’ve build brand assets over time. Yeah, just having product inserts with your- people registering your product, just collecting emails. Over time, it just builds up, as long as you have those things in place. I think that’s one of the biggest successes, just long-term thinking, long-term approach, as opposed to short-term.
Mike McClary: No, that’s great advice. So, Edwin, feel free, like I said, when this is over, go check out the free training we have on amazingsellingmachine.com. It’ll walk you through how to find hot-product opportunities. And, also, if you guys are ready to take- you, or anyone else, wanna take the step into the full, eight week training course with mentoring, all those kind of bonuses, you’ll get details there as well, but that’ll walk you through how to find products.
Mike McClary: The way that we always try to teach people, is find products of the least competitive, that will still make you a profit for getting started, and then later on, as you build these brand assets, like Ben was just talking- Charity was talking about, then you can really go outside of the general rules that we give you.
Mike McClary: One of the things Ben and I were chatting about just the other day, was, like he’s mentioned, he’s now into competitive products, that we might not tell a new seller to sell into, but because they have taken the time to build their brand. And I’m blown away that they have a 50,000 customer email list.
Mike McClary: Without giving away too many details, I know you mentioned inserts, but are there any other strategies you have developed for really building a customer list like that?
Charity DeVries: Yeah, so one of the strategies that we did was building an opt-in magnet. So, for every niche, for every brand, there’s something that your customer will find value, and enough value for them to give you their email address in exchange for that item.
Charity DeVries: So, whether it’s like a PDF guide, an e-book, maybe an audio download or a video download, whatever that customer deems is valuable enough to give you their email address for. So, we ran a lot of different campaigns, either on Facebook, on our website, so where we basically said, you can get this download for free, if you give us your email, or just basically, we’ll email you this download. So we have their email.
Charity DeVries: So, that was a huge part of how that we built a really good portion of our list, in addition to things like product inserts, having people register their product purchase on our website for the extra warranty on the product, a lot of things like that, it even talks about in the course, but we kind of went even a step beyond with building some of those opt-in types of things, to where we were giving people some thing that they would find valuable and useful, and saying, “Hey, we need your email so we can email this to you.”
Ben DeVries: Yeah, and it might sound really complicated, like how do I create an e-book? But, it’s really not that hard. If you have a blog, maybe with a few articles, that’s the first e-book we created.
Ben DeVries: We were like, “Man, I don’t wanna write all this, this is gonna take me forever.” So, I’m like, why don’t we compile all the information that’s on our blog, and we’ll take what we already have written, and put it into an e-book. We actually did it in pages, or Microsoft Word, and saved it as a PDF and put it up there.
Ben DeVries: And now, we’ll just hire it on Fiverr for five bucks, so you have a nice-looking PDF with images, and it’s designed in illustrator, but for five bucks. That’s really easy to do.
Mike McClary: You know, that’s something else I wanted to ask you guys about too. For one, again, great strategies. Not overly complicated, like Charity and Ben were talking about. You can make this stuff very simple, as long as it adds value, doesn’t have to be over complicated. One of the things I know that they’ve also done, is they’ve been very smart with their time as well.
Mike McClary: So, in addition to working a little longer and continuing to reinvest back in your company, what have you guys done also, in order to help still get things done while you’re working? Have you outsourced? Hired people?
Charity DeVries: Yeah.
Ben DeVries: Yeah, we’re big into outsourcing. We built a pretty good team of outsources from the Philippines, from Eastern Europe, and they’re great to work with. We- that’s one reason I’ve been able to do this while working my day job. What we do is, basically, we’ll just shoot a quick video of what we’re needing to do, using- there’s a free software called, use “Loom”. It’s just a chrome extension that you record your screen and show your outsourcer what to do once, and then you just hand that video over to them, it’s a link, it produces a link in your clipboard that you just paste in an email to them.
Ben DeVries: And then, you basically ask them to do it once, and then also to create an SOP for you. So, if they end up leaving, or get sick, or quit, or you have to fire them, then you have an SOP that you can bring on to your next person that you work with.
Mike McClary: That’s outsourcing in a nutshell, folks. And SOPs, by the way, standard operating procedures, what Ben just described is exactly what you can be doing to make your life easier. And we talk about this later on. This is a real business, it takes work, you have to put the time in, you have to get some training, network, and know that you’re doing.
Mike McClary: But, once you do that, the goal isn’t to give you guys a job for the rest of your lives, the goal is to give you freedom and, what Ben and Charity are doing is, they’re already focusing on that, they are outsourcing to people in the Philippines, Eastern Europe.
Mike McClary: I’m assuming you guys have never been to the Philippines nor Eastern Europe, is that correct?
Charity DeVries: Never. Never.
Mike McClary: So, you don’t have to go to these places, there are online resources for finding resources to do work for you very affordably. And they’re taking advantage of that, and as you can see from their sales, almost 2 million dollars from the past two years, they definitely know what they’re doing.
Ben DeVries: Yeah, and it’s like four dollars an hour to pay someone from the Philippines, and that’s really quite a bit of money for them. Right now, we’re working with this single mom that is supporting her family, and that’s plenty. The amount of work we give her, that’s plenty for her to be able to support her family, which kind of makes us feel good as well.
Mike McClary: Yeah, excellent point. I had this feeling too, earlier on, if I was paying someone five bucks an hour, am I really paying them pennies, and they’re struggling to get by? In other economies, other than the U.S., sometimes, other places, the wages are just different. And, so, you pay what the prevailing wages are, and a lot of times, you are really helping them out. It doesn’t feel like that, but once you get that mindset, it really is beneficial to you, and to them as well.
Mike McClary: We also use, I don’t know if you guys know about this, we use special needs adults in our area who are looking for extra work, and it’s a social activity. They come in, they all get to work together, they make money, and, like I said, they have fun doing some work. They do repackaging for us, all kinds of stuff.
Mike McClary: And, so, what you guys are doing, is helping out a lot too.
Ben DeVries: Yeah. One thing I always ask myself too, just a quick little nugget, but, always be asking yourself, how much is what I’m doing- how much per hour is what I’m doing right now? I constantly have that going through my mind.
Ben DeVries: If I’m doing a $400 an hour task, I need to be delegating this piece, right? I should be doing 20, 30, 40, 50, $100 an hour tasks with my time.
Mike McClary: Absolutely. And, that’s great. We actually- I think it was Matt Clark that talked about it at a live event we had several years ago. And he talked about $5, $20, $50, $100, $1000 an hour tasks. And, early on, we all gotta put the time in and do the little things, customer service, writing emails, but, little by little, like Ben was talking about, you move up, and should be focusing on the more important things that are gonna drive more revenue and more business for you.
Mike McClary: And they are perfect examples of that.
Mike McClary: We’re getting some other questions in too, so if you guys don’t mind, I’m gonna hit you guys up. You guys have a ton of knowledge.
Ben DeVries: Do it, to it.
Mike McClary: How about this? How important is it for you guys to track your stats daily, and do you have a process for that?
Charity DeVries: Yeah, so, basically, we do track our stats pretty much daily. We use the ManageByStats software. So, we’re looking at that daily. I’m always looking at our sellers central daily. I wanna know what are our BSR numbers. Are sales staying steady? Are they dropping?
Charity DeVries: Also, we track our keyword ranking daily, so we’re looking at ManageByStats for some of those things.
Charity DeVries: Also, inventory management is kind of the piece that is, sort of, my area of responsibility in our business. And, so, that is something that I’m really always looking at daily. I wanna make sure that I’m not at to the point, do I need to reorder? Or, the orders that I have coming in, are they gonna be enough to cover what I need to have covered?
Charity DeVries: So, that’s something that we, personally, look at daily. And then we have- so one of our outsourcers does some of our other, kind of, checklist type stuff daily as well. But, some of those higher level things are things that I wanna know about personally, daily. And, just, really be in-the-know of what’s going on.
Charity DeVries: So, we definitely do have, kind of, daily checklist that we go through. And the, of course, we have an outsourcer that helps us look at some of those other things daily, and then, he just essentially, kind of, sends me an email. Then, I have some spreadsheets that he just, kind of, puts some numbers in, and updates as well, so that I can kind of keep a good idea of what’s going on with my review rate, or whatever, right?
Charity DeVries: So, we do have daily checks.
Mike McClary: Excellent. Great advice. ManageByStats, the software tool, that actually was built by another Amazing Selling Machine member, so if you haven’t heard of it before, or used it, feel free to check it out. I believe they have a free trial.
Mike McClary: And also, for full members of the Amazing Selling Machine, we get six months of it for free, too. So this isn’t- it’s not a real complicated piece of software, but it’s really, really powerful.
Mike McClary: Someone else is asking- okay, we actually have someone who’s selling. Looks like [Deepak 00:21:04] is selling. 30 days, they’ll be out of stock, and they’ll get inventory within two to three days. Can you guys give him some tips on relaunching their product?
Charity DeVries: So, yeah, so one tip that we found is if you run out, and your listing shows closed because it’s inactive, one thing that we found helpful, is if you actually go over to the little edit button within the “manage inventory” and actually close the listing, that will freeze those metrics, so you won’t have so many days going by where your not making sales in your sales history.
Charity DeVries: It kind of is a way you can put pause on your sales history, until that you get restocked. And what we found is, since we learned that little trick, and we started doing that if we have had a situation where we’ve been out for maybe a week or two, those numbers- we bounce back super, super fast versus when we didn’t really know that, and we would just let it sit in the inactive, closed, because it’s inactive, out of inventory, kind of, situation.
Charity DeVries: So, definitely, make sure you close the listing, and then reopen the listing. Hit the relist button as soon as you’re back into inventory.
Mike McClary: That is a pro tip. That’s awesome.
Mike McClary: Another question. Someone’s asking about patent searches.
Mike McClary: Let me see, who was asking about this?
Mike McClary: I can’t find it again, I believe it was- Oh, Shannon, sorry about that. Shannon Miner is asking.
Mike McClary: Can you talk a little about patent searches, and the easiest way to figure out if products you’re looking at have patents?
Charity DeVries: So, I found Google Patents to be a little bit easier and more user-friendly than the USPTO site. But, you could use either one.
Charity DeVries: And then, I mean, basically, what we kind of have done, and advice we’ve given to other sellers, is if you suspect that there’s a patent, you either, one, just stay away from that product, choose something else. There’s so many other products out there that you can go with.
Charity DeVries: Or, two, if you really want to spend the time and the money to hire a patent attorney to do a thorough search, you could do that. But, really, what we’ve found, if you’re suspecting that there’s a patent, or if it looks like that there’s a patent, then just go a different route. There’s so many thousands of products that you can choose from, that you’re not gonna have that issue.
Charity DeVries: We actually had an issue last year on a product that we did a patent search for. It did not have a patent. We took that product to market, and lo and behold, there was a patent that was issues, kind of, after the fact, and so, we were essentially closed on that listing from selling that product.
Charity DeVries: And, it wasn’t a huge deal, it wasn’t a high price tag product, so, we just ended up, kind of, donating what he had, ’cause we couldn’t sell it.
Charity DeVries: If you suspect that there might be any of those issues, then just go with a different product, because there’s so many out there to choose from.
Mike McClary: Right. Great, great advice there.
Mike McClary: So, let’s see. Edwin’s asking a little bit. Oh, do you use any software tools or programs to optimize your advertising campaigns?
Charity DeVries: I’ll let Ben address that. He’s mister advertising.
Ben DeVries: Yeah. Yeah, I currently use PPC Scope, it’s a really good software to kind of help manage your bids, and it does a really good job. Brian Johnson is the owner of that. I’ve learned a lot from him and what he’s done, as far as PPC goes, creating different campaigns: exact, broad phrase, match campaigns. And managing it.
Ben DeVries: But, PPC Scope, really, it can kind of get overwhelming with managing ads inside of Seller Central, but PPC Scope kind of puts it all together. Gives you the factual data to know how to adjust your bids.
Mike McClary: Awesome. That is a good tool. I know, Sell It’s out there is another tool, and, little known, maybe people don’t know this yet, ManageByStats is also working on their own PPC management tool as well. So, for those who have that, I think that’s gonna be a free addition to them later on. So, hopefully we will check that out as well.
Mike McClary: Let’s see. [Deepak 00:25:07] is asking, also, when is the right time to launch your second product? This is a great question. I love asking this one.
Mike McClary: So, you guys launched one product to start with, is that correct?
Charity DeVries: Yeah, we did. We launched one product to start with. So, interestingly enough, technically-
Ben DeVries: We made a mistake though, right?
Charity DeVries: Yeah, technically, we sort of launched two, technically. So, we really found two products that we liked in two different niches-
Ben DeVries: Don’t do this!
Charity DeVries: And so, we [crosstalk 00:25:34] in both of them.
Charity DeVries: But, we found out really quickly that it didn’t work to try to really have divided efforts in two different niches, and try to start two separate social media pages, and two separate websites.
Charity DeVries: And, so, we let that one go pretty fast, and just really focused on that one product that was, kind of, I guess our core product. And, so, yeah, I mean, when is the right time, right? I mean, that’s the million dollar question for anything, right? When is the right time to get married? When’s the right time to have kids? It’s never the right time! Okay? Just do it.
Charity DeVries: If you have the resources available, and you have the money, or whatever, to be able to invest in that second product, the sooner you can do it, the better. Because, the sooner you can start getting those reviews in, the sooner you can start getting that sales history, the sooner, the better.
Charity DeVries: So, there’s really no right time.
Mike McClary: Yeah, so and, in the course, we give you some tips and advice, like Charity says, there’s no three and a half weeks after your first product, or four and a half months, whatever. You wanna make sure your first product is probably selling fairly well. You want some stability there.
Mike McClary: But, then really, like Charity said, it’s up to you, as far as your resources, both money and time, when you can put it into there. But, absolutely, the sooner you can do it, the better, because there’s a compounding effect between having one product and two products.
Mike McClary: So, maybe you guys kind of did the right thing by accident by launching two products at the same time.
Ben DeVries: True. It was a blessing in disguise. But the thing is I could tell people, is just focus on the 80/20. The 20% that’s gonna give you 80% of the results. And that’s always on Amazon.
Ben DeVries: We’ve joked around that we’ve always broken our 80/20 rule, right? You start moving over your website, changing little aspects of your website to increase conversions, then you’re like, “Wait a second, why am I doing this?” My website conversions are 4%, Amazon conversions are 39%.
Ben DeVries: So, if I tweaked the listing and make a 2% change on Amazon, I’m making a lot more money than on my website, where I make a couple sales a day.
Mike McClary: Great advice. Absolutely is.
Mike McClary: By the way, Paul Barron says, “I love hearing all the stuff, the way you outsource and free up your time.”
Mike McClary: Nick [Kazegi 00:27:55], I hope I didn’t get it wrong, he just placed his first inventor order, 500-
Ben DeVries: Nice!
Mike McClary: Congratulations, Nick. That is awesome. Liftoff.
Mike McClary: When that’s ready and shipped here, he’ll be ready to start selling. That is just amazing.
Mike McClary: There’s other questions, but we are kind of running into a time constraint here, so I’m gonna have to get on to a couple other things.
Mike McClary: First off, I want to ask you guys, we have a conference coming up, the SellerCon conference next week. I kinda teased it earlier. I’m gonna be seeing both Ben and Charity there next week. If anyone on the call would like to go to it, there’s still some tickets left. I’m not trying to sell it to anyone on this, just letting you know that I’m seeing them there, and I wanna ask for their experience. They’ve been to previous live events, so Ben and/or Charity, what do you guys think about the live events where you get to go there and watch presentations from other top sellers?
Charity DeVries: Yeah, so the live events are a huge, huge, I guess I would almost say, game-changer. When we were at the live event in Vegas in July, one of the things I really liked was that each of the speakers were really good about giving some sort of an action plan. And then, even when we would come back, whoever was kind of unseen, or whatever, would kind of ask for like, “Okay, who was able to go back to their room and take action on this right now? What were you able to change? What were you able to do right now to help take your business to the next level?”
Charity DeVries: And, so, that was really fun and it was really fun to see all of the people that were like, “Hey I was able to go back to my room and I changed this on my listing and I got 10 more sales over night, or just different things like that, where there were so many really good, just, strategies, or, hey, if you just tweak this a little over here, you can really start to get better results. And it was all things that people could do right then, right there, to help their business grow.
Ben DeVries: Yeah, and the biggest thing is the networking piece of it all and the relationships that you form afterwards, and masterminds you can do with people and just help each other. Iron sharpens iron.
Ben DeVries: The nice thing, is having the SOPs afterwards to actually look back on, ’cause there’s so much information, it’s overwhelming. But, every time I go to one of these events, I learn one thing that pays for the event.
Mike McClary: That’s absolutely true. We started giving away SOPs for the live events last year, so even if you can’t take notes while watching the live event, you’ll get those from each speaker. They’ll give you the slides, they’ll give you their standard operating procedures of how to execute the things they do, so that’s awesome.
Mike McClary: Glad you’re reminding me of that, I’d almost forgotten that we hand those out at the live events.
Mike McClary: And the reason I wanted to ask Ben and Charity about this, was we have a very special offer going on right now. This is not like a big sales push, I just wanna make sure everyone knows about this, if you’re not an Amazing Selling Machine member yet, until the end of the month, tomorrow, anyone who joins up, we’re going to be giving away the livestream to next week’s event for free.
Mike McClary: So, normally, this sells for $397, so if you join Amazing Selling Machine between now and the end of tomorrow, midnight pacific time, in addition to joining the course, you’ll also get live streaming, which means that, starting a week from today, when SellerCon kicks off, you can login and watch all the speakers, all the presentations, get all the downloads, completely for free, where you normally would have to pay for that.
Mike McClary: So, we’re gonna be there live, but being livestream is just like being there live, and even if you can’t watch it, let’s say that you’re busy Friday, Saturday, and Sunday next week, you’ll get the recordings. So, what happens is, we’re videoing everything. We have a professional video crew there, lights, sounds, everything.
Mike McClary: After the event is over, they go back, edit everything, and they put it up, and then you could always go back at any point in time and watch the livestream again.
Mike McClary: I know I always do that. I wanna go back and watch other presenters that I either didn’t get a chance to watch the entire presentation or I just wanna review something. So, we’re giving all that away for free for anyone that joins up.
Mike McClary: If you wanna learn about this bonus, go to ASM2018.com that’s ASM 2018 dot com. We’ll talk about that special bonus that is only available until the end of day, tomorrow. So, midnight, pacific time, tomorrow night.
Mike McClary: If you’re not an Amazing Selling Machine member, I’d love to see you there. If you can’t afford to get into the Amazing Selling Machine, we get that. Go watch the free training. Go watch the other live sessions here on the Facebook page. Go to AmazingSellingMachine.com and watch the free video training. We give away so much on the free training, that we have had people go out there and start finding their own products, and start selling, all on the free training. Once they have their business up and running, then they’ve come back and joined the full course, to really take their business to the next level, and to get selling even faster.
Mike McClary: So, we try to make it as open and available to everyone as possible.
Mike McClary: I’d love to see you in the course. We get eight weeks of the web classes. You get the online community that I’m in, that Ben and Charity, and then their friends, Paul and Nate, they’re in all the time. Rich Henderson, Matt Clark, Jason Katzenback, all of us are in the community, interacting, answering questions as well.
Mike McClary: Plus, you get the mentor program. We have mentors that, on average, have sold a million dollars or more. And they’re in the community answering questions all the time. That’s a part of the course. So, the training, the community, the mentoring.
Mike McClary: And then we also have the private resource vault. Ben was talking about their outsourcing folks that they use. We have outsources that you can go and get access to immediately in our private resource vault. We have a list of our freight forwarders, we have photographers, videographers, we have people that have written up documents, like they were talking about earlier, like creating either SOPs, or creating downloadable files that you can give away for free.
Mike McClary: We put all that into our private resource vault, so that everything that we’ve used to grow our business, you guys get access to as well.
Mike McClary: So, we really try to give the entire course, everything you need from A to Z to get your business up and selling on Amazon profitably.
Mike McClary: For those of you who are already members, I see several people as well, that I can’t wait, and Todd’s on here- Todd, by the way, says he doesn’t check his stats daily, or weekly, like you do. He actually checks it every minute to see how many sales he has.
Mike McClary: We know that, that’s the refresh syndrome Todd, welcome on.
Mike McClary: Nick’s a member also. So many other people I see on here are members. I can’t wait to see all you guys. Whoever is going to SellerCon, I’m gonna be there. Charity and Ben are gonna be there. Come up and say hi.
Mike McClary: And, then, whoever is watching this right now and is not a member of Amazing Selling Machine, definitely check out the free training, check out the live streaming bonus that we have, available til tomorrow night, because at midnight, pacific time tomorrow, we take all that down. No one, after tomorrow night, can get into the Amazing Selling Machine, until the new release is up and available.
Mike McClary: And, just so you know, if you do join, and say, “Hey, why would I join today, or tomorrow, when I know you guys are working on a new and improved version?” You’ll get the new and improved version for free. We do that every time, anytime we give updates, they’re updates that you guys will get, so don’t worry about that as well. When it’s out, and released, and all ready to go for all existing members, you’ll get access to it as well.
Mike McClary: Ben and Charity, do you guys remember which version of ASM you guys came in on?
Charity DeVries: Yeah, so we were ASM 6, and ASM 6 was an October release, so, I mean, it was great, but what I really am excited about with this particular release of ASM is so many people, if they get it now, they’re gonna really have an opportunity to be in by fourth quarter, which, our sales, I mean, literally, our sales nearly blow up during the fourth quarter period.
Charity DeVries: So, if people can jump in now, they would really, really be equipped to be able to be in by that. And we didn’t have that opportunity, because it was an October release, so, obviously, being in October, there’s no way you’re gonna get that order in and get your stuff into Amazon by the first part of November to be ready for those Christmas sales, but now, that’s a huge, huge opportunity where people can kind of have that leg up to get started now, to be able to really be up and selling by the time that it’s just sales frenzy.
Ben DeVries: And quite frankly, I’m kinda kicking myself that I didn’t sign up for ASM 5, because, the way I look at it, we’ve been doing about a million a year, I lost out on a million dollars by not joining ASM 5.
Mike McClary: I hear that. And I laugh about it, but it’s true. The sooner you get in, the sooner you’re selling, and if you miss a holiday cycle, you’re right, that’s just an enormous amount of revenue and cash. And this whole business, it just rolls and increases on and on and on. The more you grow, the bigger you grow, the faster you grow, it’s all cyclical, it adds on each other.
Mike McClary: Yeah, the sooner you get in, the better. We’d love to see everyone there. Again, go to ASM2018.com, check it out, and if you can’t get in, again, and I mean this sincerely, watch the free training. I keep stressing that over and over again because I want as many people, who even don’t join the full course, get on the free training. Learn wat this business is like. Learn what you really are capable of, ’cause you- until you try it, you have no idea what you’re capable of.
Mike McClary: We know what you’re capable of. I never thought I was at first. I don’t know what Ben and Charity thought, but the idea of selling millions of dollars seemed like a fantasy for me, but now it’s a reality. Ben and Charity are doing it. They’ve done almost two million in the past two years. There’s no other kind of business out there in the world like it at all.
Mike McClary: So, any advice that either one of you guys have for anyone who’s considering jumping in to selling on Amazon?
Charity DeVries: Yeah, jump in. Do it.
Ben DeVries: Do it!
Charity DeVries: Just do it. I remember even just when you’re a little kid, or even, when Ben and I first started dating, he took me to this place where it was a cliff jumping spot, where you can jump off this cliff into this lake, and I remember standing there being like, “Oh my gosh, did I really jump off this cliff?” And then, it was funny, ’cause even when I did, I thought I was gonna hit the water a lot sooner, and there was this hang time, and I’m like, “Where’s the water? Where’s the water? Oh, there’s the water.”
Charity DeVries: So, I mean, just jump off, you will hit the water, even if you’re like, “I haven’t hit yet, okay now there it is.”
Ben DeVries: You may belly flop. She ended up wanting to do it again and again and again after she jumped.
Charity DeVries: Yeah, it got a little addicting.
Mike McClary: That is awesome. And one of the things I wanna express here before we close out here is, this video is for people who are already selling and people who aren’t selling as well. We’re not just here trying to sell you a course, I wanted to share the story with Ben and Charity because they are just an amazing success story. No matter what business you’re in, what they do and what they have done should inspire you to do better, to strive for more in your life.
Mike McClary: They’re great examples of being great parents, great people, great sellers, great business entrepreneurs. Hopefully, their story will inspire you to do something similar in your life. We hope it’s joining us. We hope it’s creating your own brand of products and selling on Amazon.
Mike McClary: If it’s not, try something else, but definitely, this is the fastest way to get there, if you want to.
Mike McClary: But, the last thing I’m gonna say here, you’ll notice lots of people on this call are asking questions, giving advice, and sharing their own experience selling. That’s what I love about this community that we’ve all become a part of. Everyone’s always helping.
Mike McClary: Ben and Charity shared some awesome tips on here, and that’s the way all of our members are. They’re always trying to share, and give advice to people, so that everyone can really grow their business, and have more freedom to do the things they want to do in life. They are indicative of the members you’ll meet when you join the Amazing Selling Machine. And, see us at live events, such as SellerCon.
Mike McClary: So, I wanna just close this video out. I wanna thank everyone. For those who celebrate it, have a great Easter weekend. For everyone else, have an awesome weekend. For anyone who’s gonna be at SellerCon, I’ll see you there in a week. I’ll see Ben, Charity, and their two kids. I can’t wait to see the looks on their kids faces when they realize they’re going to Disney World next week, as well.
Mike McClary: But thanks to everyone. Hope to see as many people as soon as possible. And have a fantastic weekend, and I’ll see you all soon.
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.