It’s easy to see that one can only grow so far in their Amazon business when they’re on their own. But making business-related relationships isn’t as easy for some as for others. Contrary to what people think, FBA is not an isolated and purely transactional job, but requires important relationships and interaction with everyone involved.
Today, The Full-Time FBA Show does a deep dive into which Amazon-related relationships you need to focus on and why. From customers to brand managers and store managers, you will realize that fostering these key relationships is good for both your personal and business growth. And remember, Amazon loves third-party sellers who take customer care seriously, so let’s talk about how to prioritize those customer relationships as well.
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Key points from Episode 164:
- How Rebecca and Stephen differ in their business relationship-making abilities.
- Why making relationships is good for both business and personal growth.
- The most important relationship when selling on Amazon.
- Relationships to think of if you are in wholesale sourcing.
- Make sure to connect to other Amazon sellers!
- Why you need to value good store manager relationships.
- The importance of common courtesy.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- MeetUp – Gather together and connect with other online or Amazon sellers in your area in an organized and safe manner
- The Full-Time FBA Facebook group – connect online via a Facebook group with other like-minded Amazon sellers
- FREE WEBINAR: How to Get Q4 Numbers in January
Right-click here and save as to download this episode to your computer.
The Reseller’s Guide to Keepa
Have you heard about Keepa? It’s a tool (with both a free and a paid plan) that can dramatically lower the risk of sourcing inventory items that end up tanking in price. I’m sure you know how it feels to buy an item expecting it to sell for a high price only to see the price tank soon after you send it to Amazon. With using Keepa the right way, you can protect yourself from that happening!
Basically, Keepa tracks the vital data on almost every item on Amazon. It can quickly show me the sales rank history, pricing history, buy box price history, used item history, Amazon in stock history, competitors’ stock levels, and so much more. With Keepa, I can easily look at the data from the past and better know what to expect in the future when it comes to price and sales velocity.
To find out everything there is to know about using Keepa to make smart sourcing decisions, be sure to check out our course, The Reseller’s Guide to Keepa: Using Amazon Sales History to Make Smart Sourcing Decisions.
With this course, you’ll make more confident sourcing decisions, better pricing decisions, and you’ll grow your Amazon business to the next level by selling your inventory faster and at higher prices!
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Episode 164 Transcript:
[0:00:01.8] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Full-Time FBA Show. In each episode, it’s our goal to help you turn part-time hours into a full-time income, selling almost anything on Amazon. Now, your hosts of the show, Stephen and Rebecca Smotherman.
[0:00:21.9] REBECCA: Hello and welcome to another episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. We are on episode 164 today and we are talking about how the right relationships can 10x your Amazon profits with me today to talk about this is my cohost, Stephen Smotherman. I don’t know where we came up with the exact number of 10x, Stephen, can you tell me?
[0:00:43.7] STEPHEN: I had a dart and threw it at the wall and hit the number 10. It could have been 24x if I had aimed a little bit better. It’s an arbitrary number, is that the right word? Arbitrary, where it’s like, it’s a number where I know it’s not really countable. You can’t really measure it very well but it has a big impact. So 10x sounds big so…
[0:01:04.8] REBECCA: Yeah, I agree.
[0:01:05.5] STEPHEN: We’re going to go with 10x, 10xing your Amazon profits, thanks to these relationships.
[0:01:13.4] REBECCA: I’m sure you are aware or have heard somewhere along the line that relationships are key to your success in life and business. This is true in life but if you’re new to the business, you’re finding out probably that relationships really are key to the business as well and for some of us, relationships are easier than for others.
I know that relationships and business come more naturally for Stephen than they do for me. At the same time, I am very well aware and I’m sure you are too, that we all need each other and that we all have ways that we can help one another and provide opportunities for everyone to achieve their goals that they’re working towards in life and business.
And so we’re going to be talking today about some ways that we can work together to make business better for everyone that we are in a relationship with, with our business and we’re going to be discussing some key relationships that could potentially 10x your Amazon business profits and growth.
[0:02:07.0] STEPHEN: Yeah, if they 24x your growth, let us know, we’d like to know about that.
[0:02:11.4] REBECCA: 10 is an arbitrary number. We just are trying to convey that you can really see growth in your business. You can increase your profits and honestly, it’s not just about increasing your profits, this is about personal growth as well. Not just your business growth when it comes to like the numbers to the bottom line but also, your personal growth and being able to achieve your goals and to grow as a person, as a human being whom I hope wants to see other succeed along with you.
[0:02:37.8] STEPHEN: Absolutely. So these types of relationships, we’re going to start off with some of the obvious ones. We’re going to kind of get a little bit deeper and kind of grow together with the relationships that we have in our lives and in our Amazon business. The first kind of relationship you want to make sure you get right is a relationship with your customers. You know, providing really great customer service especially as an Amazon seller is really key.
I mean, Amazon loves Amazon sellers who take care of their customers. Amazon is always saying that they are the most customer-centric business and they want us, third-party sellers, to be very customer-centric as well, making sure that we respond to questions as soon as possible.
In fact, our account gets dinged if we take over 24 hours to reply to a customer question or buy our question when it comes through the seller central system and so you want to make sure that you apply very quickly. I have the Amazon seller app on my phone, so I get an immediate notification, a little push notification anytime I get a message from a customer or a potential customer asking me a question.
I try to reply to that as soon as possible. I want, in fact, I can actually look at my metrics and see that my average response time is about an hour and so I try to respond as soon as possible and I always try to go the extra mile. I mean even things that Amazon is not tracking like we sell an item that is fragile and sometimes will break if Amazon does not put enough damage into the box. We try to do our best to keep it safe but sometimes, Amazon ruins that.
We put a little note in each box saying, “Hey, if this item arrives, contact us here and we want to send a replacement item if that happens.” Again, we’re trying to cut down on returns try to give over-the-top customer service, and do our best to serve our customers. So when you take care of your customers, they take care of you, and some of you might come back and become repeat customers.
So take care of your customers and that will be something that can help you in your Amazon business.
[0:04:22.6] REBECCA: The second relationship we want to point out to you because maybe we weren’t aware that you had relationships, that’s the other thing is sometimes, we can think of doing FBA as this isolated job that doesn’t require a lot of interaction and that’s why some people choose this as a business. It’s because it might not require as much interaction as other types of work but you do have many relationships there.
The customer is one of them and another one that you might have is with brands especially if you’ve been in wholesale sourcing any amount of time. You know that you really have to relate to a large number of people if you start adding on many wholesale accounts and those brand relationships are ones that you really need to make sure that you are nurturing and making sure that you’re taking care of them in order to help your business to grow.
So with wholesale sourcing, many sellers think that you can just take as much as you can from a brand, however much you’re able to pay, they should be able to just give you that amount of inventory that there’s not really a relationship there. It’s more of a transactional type of deal and if you have that kind of outlook, chances are you’re not going to be able to land a lot of really profitable wholesale accounts.
You might be able to land some accounts but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be very profitable for you in the long term because they’re going to be low-hanging fruit that just about anybody could go out there and get an account just by entering in some information into a website.
But if you’re looking for great wholesale accounts where you make lots of good profits over the long-term, you’re going to be looking to build really good relationships with brands that will help them with their presence on Amazon, will help to protect their brand, will help them to grow their sales at the rate that they’re wanting to grow it.
This is going to involve, improving Amazon product pages, helping them to increase their sales with improved product feedback. It’s going to help them as much as it helps you. It’s not going to be just about how much can you make by buying items from this wholesale company every month but it’s going to be about how can you serve this brand and grow its presence on Amazon the right way.
So once you understand this, it’s going to be key to helping you land profitable wholesale accounts, when you understand that your relationship with wholesalers is about giving, not just taking.
[0:06:41.1] STEPHEN: Right and if you’re curious, this is kind of a little tease here, curious about more information about landing wholesale accounts, in February of 2023, we are going to be diving into a wholesale and we’re going to have a wholesale workshop for you, fulltimefba.com/wholesaleworkshop if you want to sign up to be notified when it goes live in February of 2023.
That sounds weird, saying 2023. I just got used to writing 2022 down but yes, that’s coming up next year. So a third relationship that can really help you grow your Amazon business and increase your profits is your peer relationships. I mean, it can get pretty lonely trying to sell on Amazon when no one else in your world understands what it’s like but I know, like Rebecca said, some people even choose this type of business because you are on your own and not connecting with other people.
But connecting with other Amazon sellers can give you everything from support to solutions, to ideas for growth in profits. There are Amazon seller meetups, you can go to meetup.com and check that out and search for maybe a meetup place for Amazon sellers or online sellers. There are Amazon reseller conferences or even just online via the Facebook group, something we have, our Full-Time FBA Facebook group.
You can find that, fulltimefba.com/Facebook and joining that and being a part of a group of like-minded people with the same goals going through the same issues, people who may have already gone through the problems you have experienced and have solutions. We can grow our Amazon businesses together and support each other and those types of relationships can really help you out and can give you opportunities.
I mean, there is one time that a reseller reached out to us and said, “You know what? There’s an opportunity that I have but the cost to buy that inventory is just too much. You want to go half and half and so we can meet the minimum threshold?” and we’re like, we looked at the opportunity and we’re like, “Yeah, that sounds really good.” So we went in half and half with the inventory and went our separate ways.
But we’re to get some good inventory together working together. So those opportunities are out there and other things too, just to kind of peer relationships where you lift one another up and support each other and find solutions together.
[0:08:37.5] REBECCA: The fourth type of relationship that we wanted to cover today that can really help to increase your profits on Amazon is developing good store manager relationships. This is for those of you who do retail arbitrage and this is especially if you are shopping in the same retail store often.
You want to make sure that you find out who the store manager is or if it’s a really big store, you would look for like the area manager for that part of the store and you want to be able to introduce yourself and try to develop a quality working relationship with them. These managers really want to sell their products.
If they get to know you, they could really help you to find some profitable opportunities and I know this is kind of hard for some sellers to understand because there is this perception that like, “Oh, if I am doing retail arbitrage, I have to be sneaky and I have to be like under the radar when I go into these stores and not let them know what I’m doing” but we have found that that is not necessarily the case in every story, especially even in some larger big chain retail stores.
They don’t care that you’re reselling their items and they are more than willing to work with you to help you to get some profitable opportunities. One example that we had a while back is that there was a store that we went to on a regular basis and we noticed that they had these large storage pods out in the parking lot Stephen had developed a really good relationship with that area manager of that particular part of the store, where we were always buying in the toy department.
So he had, you know, it was just on a friendly, you know, “Hey, how are you doing?” basis with this manager and had asked one time, you know, “Hey, do you have any more clearance items?” and the store manager said, “Yeah. Actually, those storage pods out there in the parking lot are full of old overstocked items that we’ve put on clearance and we just don’t have room for them in here. We need to get rid of them, you can look through those.”
We were like, “Okay” after we picked our jaws up off the floor, we were like, “Sure, we want to go out there and look at it.” So we were able to make multiple trips to this store to go out and look through these multiple storage pods and scan and scan and scan. We would have to go back and look and do the math to find out how much we made in profits from that but it was just because Stephen is a chatty person and likes to be friendly to store managers and had talked with this lady and was willing to, you know, help her out and it did help her out.
It was not a case of her being put out by us asking if she had any overstock items or if could we look at them. It ended up being one time when we were there looking through it, the store manager came and thanked us for going through these items and it really made her look good to the store manager that she had worked out the situation where we were able to take some of these items off of their hands.
We got a great discount on these items, they were able to clear their shelves out, it was a win-win-win.
[0:11:31.1] STEPHEN: It turned into, she got my number and so whenever there are new clearance items going on the shelves, she’ll text and say, “Hey Stephen, there is new clearance stuff going on, on this date. So if you want first dibs, you can come to take a look.” So having a little heads up when those items are going to go on clearance was really good and again, it was just because we’re being friendly and that friendliness was returned to us.
Sometimes area managers or store managers even help us save money on the items that we buy. One time we talked to a store manager after looking at some clearance-priced Legos that we wanted to buy and the Legos really, selling really, really fast but the price just wasn’t low enough. The prices were too high, so we asked if there was any way we can get a better deal on these Legos if we bought them all.
I mean, there were a lot of Legos. We wanted to like clear the shelf and the manager knew that you know, she had some market down money. If you don’t know what market down money is different stores will be given a certain amount of money from corporate, “Hey, this is, you could use it however you want in your section but it’s you can lower the prices of certain items if you are sure that you can get them to move or get them to sell.”
So she made us a deal, she was able to lower the price where it became profitable for us and we basically cleared the shelves of all of these Legos and we are able to leave that store with about four to five grocery carts full of Legos. Again, just being friendly, working together, and finding a win-win for everybody.
[0:12:48.9] REBECCA: Again, we just want to point out, this is just you know, common courtesy comes into play here a lot of the time. Stephen is just a really nice open friendly person and so he’s going to talk to the people that he sees in the store. He’s going to talk to the employees and the managers that he runs into and it is not because he is trying to manipulate them for profits, he is just being friendly.
As a result of that, we’re able to get to know them a little bit better and we’re able to find out ways that we can serve them. We got to know this toy section area manager despite being nice and we also, when we’re in these stores especially like in the toy section where things can get kind of picked over and disorganized, you know we do our best to try to help organize things to not, you know, like going above like going crazy with organizing stuff.
But just making sure that we’re not coming in and trashing a clearance section by pulling everything out, not keeping it in order that they have it in. We want to make sure that things look as good as better when we leave there and not like pull a bunch of stuff off of the shelves and leave it in disarray because that is what gives resellers a bad name. This is just common courtesy, this is just a normal level of friendliness.
So we never go somewhere pretending to be friendly just to make more profits but it just ends up that way sometimes and not every time. I’m not saying that every place that we go and say hi to the manager, they are like, you know, “Here is a discount.”
[0:14:14.4] STEPHEN: Right.
[0:14:15.0] REBECCA: But it does help. It does help lead to a discount and that discount will then lead to increase profits for you. So just know that being nice can go a long way.
[0:14:26.8] STEPHEN: Yeah, being with any kind of relationship, it is easy to know when people are trying to use you or they’re just being friendly for their own selfish reasons. I mean, successful relationships are 50/50 give and take and they take time to cultivate trust and so you know, just being a good person and putting that out there, sometimes it will come back and reward you with profits, and other times, it will just reward you with a smile and both of those are worth it.
So with all the right relationships that we have outlined today, if taken seriously with the respect all people deserve, it can really help you both in your personal life and in your business life when you are connecting with others, so it can help you meet your goals while you’re helping them meet their goals as well and your Amazon business and disbursements will thank you for it. So that is the relationships that can help you, I want to help you out some more.
Coming out very soon, we got a free webinar coming up, How to get Q4 numbers in January. You can sign up for the webinar at fulltimefba.com/q1webinar and that will help you take the awesomeness that Q4 is and to kind of leverage your experience in Q4 and I will walk you through how to experience that in Q1 but especially January and we’ll do that in this upcoming webinar. So be sure to sign up, fulltimefba.com/q1webinar.
[0:15:41.4] REBECCA: Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. As a reminder, we’ve got the transcript for this episode and the shownotes with any links we’ve mentioned at fulltimefba.com/164. This is episode number 164.
While you’re there, be sure and subscribe to The Full-Time FBA newsletter. You can find that button there on the website at fulltimefba.com, where you can sign up to receive an email from us once or twice a week, where you can get great information, blog articles, videos, links to other podcast, anything that you can imagine to help you turn part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.
[0:16:20.2] STEPHEN: Next week on The Full-Time FBA Show, we’re going to be talking about December reseller strategies for Amazon sellers. December is coming soon, we want to help you get ready for the opportunities that are coming your way. Have a great day and that’s all on this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:16:37.6] ANNOUNCER: That is all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. So head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you will find the shownotes and links from this episode. While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll get several free downloads of our popular and helpful Amazon FBA resources. Now, take action on what you have learned today, so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.
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