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AP 0997: How Do I Sell Original Products on Amazon?

AP 0997: How Do I Sell Original Products on Amazon?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 997 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 997 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. Guys, again, we’re closing in on Episode 1000.

A really important announcement this coming Monday, the 20th of November, 2017 related to AskPat, so make sure you stick around and subscribe for that. Yes, there will be more AskPat episodes. Don’t worry, I’m not closing down the show. I do have a really, really important announcement to make related to the show AskPat. Now, today we have a great question coming in from Chris, who’s actually a student of one of my courses, Smart From Scratch. He’s doing excellent stuff. Actually, I just talked to him today in an office hours session we did together. Anyway, he has another question today that I want to answer for him and for you as well.

But before we get to that, let’s thank today’s sponsor, one of the long-time sponsors here for AskPat and that is FreshBooks. FreshBooks is one of my favorite companies, not only because they help sponsor but because they’re an amazing company. I wouldn’t have them on as a sponsor if they weren’t. They help serve us by keeping track of our business finances, by helping us manage all that stuff, from all the income coming in to the expenses going out, which they can do automatically for us, connecting to our credit cards, etc. More than that, they help us with our invoicing, so if you’re doing any billing of any kind, it makes it really easy to, literally in less than thirty seconds, send a bill out, an invoice to somebody who you might be coaching, or one of your clients, or somebody who will owe you money, and it makes it really easy for you to track and get paid. Go ahead and check them out, FreshBooks.com/askpat, and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section, and then you can go from there.

Thanks so much, and here’s today’s question coming in from Chris.

Chris: Hey Pat, my name’s Chris Gilmore, and I’m part of your Smart From Scratch course. I just listened to the Online Selling Experiment podcast, which was awesome. In that one, they chat about Fulfillment by Amazon sales, and going and buying stuff at, say, Home Depot or Wal-Mart that’s on clearance and selling it. These are obviously items that are already in high demand, and thus there is very little marketing involved. I’ve got some ideas for some original projects, some cool teeshirt designs that are dealing with kind of popular events in the news and stuff, and I would love to find a way to sell those as easily as possible.

I’ve got a couple other physical products as well that we make that I would love to throw up on Amazon. I’m just wondering if you’ve got thoughts on resources or ways to approach that. Could I still use the Fulfillment by Amazon for my teeshirts, if I send them the teeshirts? But then how do I market them? Do I do Facebook ads? Is there a better way to go about this? The other one is some cocktail products that my wife makes that I’d love to be able to sell online. Would love to hear your thoughts and advice on this. Thanks, Pat.

Pat Flynn: Hey Chris. Thank you so much for the question, I appreciate it. First, let’s talk about these teeshirts. I know somebody—when you were talking about the teeshirts and using current events to sell them, I wouldn’t sell them through Amazon FBA, because then there’s like, you have to ship it to them after you get them made, and then they have to ship it out, and there’s a lot of fees involved and all those kinds of things. There’s a lot of things that need to happen related to getting teeshirts made in order to go from idea to a person, and having you get paid for that. There’s a person I know, his name is Benny Hsu. Hsu is his last name. You can find him at GetBusyLivingBlog.com, and somewhere on that site, you can probably find it, I don’t have the link for you off the top of my head, but it’s related to his experiments earning hundreds of thousands of dollars, I believe. At least a hundred thousand, it may even be two hundred thousand dollars, related to selling shirts in a very similar manner. I think he’s even taught this, or talked about it very openly on his podcast and on his blog. He uses a website called TeeSpring, I believe. You can get a design up on there, and they will fulfill those shirts for you. They will even use their own inventory, and then you just share a little bit of that income with TeeSpring. It’s something that I did explore for like two days, then I was like, “I don’t want to get sucked into this, because it’s going to take up a lot of time away from other things, like SPI and other things that I have going on.” If that’s something that you and your wife really want to get into, I would look definitely into Benny Hsu and what he’s been doing at GetBusyLivingBlog.com. Benny Hsu and TeeSpring.com is the place that you can go to to see how you can actually get things made so you can start designing and selling directly off their platform, which is really cool.

Now, Amazon FBA is great for selling other things. If you are able to build a brand and get things up there, you can also get things wholesale and sell them on there too. There’s a lot of ins and outs there. It’s very difficult for me to wrap my head around how one might be able to create all these different kinds of products and put them into one brand, for example. I think the success within Amazon FBA comes from either A, like you just talked about and what was talked about initially in Episode 99 of the SPI podcast: Arbitrage. Going and buying things that are already in demand and selling them and charging a higher price, because people will pay a higher price because they just don’t have access to those things. Because you’re buying them at a clearance price, there is profit to be made.

Actually met somebody the other day, I was at an event and he shook my hand afterwards. He stayed late to tell me that he was able to quit his job as a result of that kind of thing. But he didn’t create his own products, he’s going and finding other products and then reselling it, and he’s done over a million dollars in sales, not in profits, but in sales, selling Amazon stuff, in total over a million dollars and obviously making a lot of money as a result of the profit from that, and being able to quit his job, which was really cool.

When you sell your own products, it becomes a different ball game. I think the success comes when you sell your own products, whether you get them made, like in China, or buy them somewhere else and then put your own label on it, which is legal in some regard. Not just like—you can’t just buy an item, put your label on it, but if you get it manufactured somewhere they are being produced, like Alibaba or such, you’re able to put your name on it, and maybe even tweak it a little bit. There’s a lot of ins and outs related to physical products, and I have been learning this through my own physical product experimentations. But then you can sell them, and the success comes on Amazon through that kind of selling when you niche down, when you focus on a specific area, and not just say, “I have this cool idea,” and sell it out there, but you are actually serving a particular audience. That way, once you serve that audience, you can then serve them with other things that are related to the same type of thing, in all kinds of niches, like the yoga niche. There’s the people who are doing the sort of prepared niche, the sort of prepping niche. All kinds of niches. They’re there. I mean, there’s millions and millions and hundreds of millions of people on Amazon looking to buy things. That’s why I love Amazon, it’s the only search engine that people go to to buy things. There’s a lot of information to be learned from there, but when it comes to physical products, it’s definitely a different ballgame. It is one of those places that you can use to fulfill. Shopify, not for fulfilling, but for selling. Then, in terms of marketing your products, really, Facebook Ads is where I would look to. Again, niching down’s going to help you with that targeting. Once you start to get specific product lines involved, you start to make money, from not just multiple customers, but the same customer with different products. Then things start to take off there. Now, obviously, the Online Selling Experiment people would be great to go to to learn more about how to do this, and there’s many of their resources online too that can help. But I don’t know too much about it, so I’m not going to try and pretend like I know all the answers here, but that’s just what I know based on who I’ve spoken to.

So Chris, you and I will talk more, and please continue to ask me questions in the Facebook group for the student center of Smart From Scratch. For those of you who are interested in Smart From Scratch, you can actually check it out, SmartFromScratch.com if you want to see what Chris is involved with, and what I’m helping him out with, so you can see it there.

Again, Chris, just thank you. I’ll see you soon and thank you so much for this. I’ll send you an AskPat teeshirt for having your question featured here on the show. Like I said earlier, we’re going to announce the winner for the Amazon gift card here at the end of the show, but first we’re going to talk about Joan Baez, and this quote: “The easiest kind of relationship for me is with 10,000 people. The hardest is with one.” You know what, when you’re starting out, you got to focus on those one-to-one relationships, so that’s how you get to the 10,000 people.

All right, we’re about halfway through this giveaway here. $1,000 Amazon gift card to those who answered the question correctly based on all the clues that were given since episode 900, and you entered, you confirmed your email, all that good stuff, and today’s winner is Jenny Ham, I think her last name is. But again, like I said the other days, we will have emailed you already. So, if your name is Jenny, check your email, you should get one from somebody at SmartPassiveIncome.com if you are indeed the winner. There were a few Jennys there, so not to be confused, but Ham may be the last name, because that is actually included in the email address too with a bunch of other random letters and numbers, so thank you Jenny, congratulations, and we have two more chances this week. Thank you so much for participating. Then make sure to subscribe, because we have a big announcement coming in Episode 1000. I can’t believe we are almost there, guys. Thank you so much, and see you tomorrow.

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