We often talk about success in business, but what about failure and mistakes? If you are new to Amazon selling as a career path, it can be difficult to avoid the mistakes that newcomers almost always make. The best way to gain insight into the industry would be to hear from people that have learned the hard way to help you avoid the same mistakes.
Well, you’re in luck! In today’s episode, we talk to three Amazon sellers to hear the mistakes they made early on and find out how to avoid them. Make sure to tune in to get the insider scoop on how you can avoid some common mistakes as an Amazon seller.
Listen on the podcast player below.
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Key points from Episode 129:
- First, we hear from Jo Ann Zimmerman and the mistake she made in sourcing strategy.
- What wholesale seller Dan Meadors regards as his biggest mistake.
- How learning is not really failing.
- Expert Kim Coghlan explains how she was able to avoid some common mistakes.
- Stephen outlines some resources for beginners to avoid mistakes.
- And more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- Jo Ann Zimmerman
- Episode 39 : Amazon to Amazon Flips – Online Arbitrage Strategies with Jo Ann Zimmerman
- Episode 64 : Successful Goal Setting for Amazon FBA Sellers with Jo Ann Zimmerman
- Episode 119 : Reseller Advertising Strategies for Increased Profits with Jo Ann Zimmerman
- Keepa – Amazon Sales Rank and Price History Tracker
- Dan Meadors of The Wholesale Formula
- Episode 12 : Start Selling Wholesale on Amazon with Dan Meadors of The Wholesale Formula
- Episode 45 : From Retail Arbitrage to Wholesale – An Amazon Success Story With Dan Meadors
- Episode 71 : The Biggest Wholesale Sourcing Myths – Interview with Dan Meadors
- Kim Coghlan
- Episode 24 : Inauthentic Claims and How to Respond, with Kim Coghlan
- JumpStart Amazon Course
- Join the Full-Time FBA newsletter
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Episode 129 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.
[0:00:21.2] STEPHEN: Welcome to episode number 129 of the Full-Time FBA Show. Today, I have interviewed three different Amazon sellers who are going to share their biggest mistakes, their biggest failures, so that we can learn from them and to talk about this with me is my wife, Rebecca. How are you doing Rebecca?
[0:00:37.7] REBECCA: I’m doing great, glad to be here today and looking forward to hearing what these different Amazon sellers have to say.
[0:00:43.3] STEPHEN: Absolutely, so we can learn from their mistakes and not make the same mistakes they did.
[0:00:52.2] REBECCA: We do have a unique opportunity today to listen to some really great Amazon sellers, people that we have talked to in the past and who you’ve probably heard on this podcast and in other places, talking about their successes at Amazon, selling and today, our unique opportunity is to talk with them about their mistakes and the failures that they’ve made in the past.
This isn’t something that we always like to focus on when we are trying to achieve success but one thing that we can do is look at other people’s mistakes, learn from it, learn from what they have learned, listen to their warnings, not to repeat those mistakes and then see where we go from there. So that’s the opportunity that we have today and we’re looking forward to jumping right in, talking with these sellers and hearing what they have to say.
[0:01:35.1] STEPHEN: Yeah, the first one I asked is Jo Ann Zimmerman. She’s been on the show three times now and we asked her what her biggest mistake was and she kind of talked about how one of her biggest mistakes had to do with a sourcing strategy. Let’s listen to what Jo Ann has to say.
[0:01:50.8] JO ANN ZIMMERMAN: My biggest failure was my venture into private label. I think I mentioned this to you in our last conversation but I had it in my head from a couple of places that this was the way to really kill it as an Amazon seller, that arbitrage was a good way to learn the system, learn how Amazon works and get your feet wet and so on but the real money was in private label.
What I learned is that the real money is not in private label for me. I am not good at selling, which is what you need to be good at to succeed at private label. You need to be able to market your product, you need to be a PPC wizard, do great write-ups with keywords and all of this stuff and that’s just not me.
What I’m good at is buying. Just ask my husband. I’m not so good at selling, so that’s what I learned. Private label is not for me.
[0:02:47.1] STEPHEN: Yeah, I know a lot of people ask me, “Are you going to do private label next?” and I’m like, “No, it does not appeal to me at all, I like to sell items that already have a proven track record of sales on Amazon, which is why I love Keepa, we’ve talked about Keepa a lot. Yeah, I don’t want to try to bring the traffic to Amazon, I want to go find the items that already have the customers banging on the door, wanting to buy already.
[0:03:10.4] JO ANN ZIMMERMAN: So, you didn’t have to learn it the way I did, you knew.
[0:03:14.8] REBECCA: There you have it, what we can take away from what Jo Ann has to say. Not every sourcing strategy is for every seller and for her, private label was a mistake that she did not care to make and that we can learn from that just because it works for somebody else, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.
Private label is a whole different thing than selling arbitrage or wholesale selling. If you want to hear more from Jo Ann, we have three great episodes with her, she has an episode about buying via online arbitrage to resell on Amazon that’s episode number 39 of the Full-Time FBA Show, episode 64, she talks about her goal setting and then episode number 119, she covers Amazon ads. All of those are really great, you’ll get a lot of good information from her if you haven’t listened to those already.
Our next seller that we talked to was Dan Meadors. He talks about his biggest failure being that he didn’t start any sooner, and that really is it a failure if you learn from it?
[0:04:10.3] DAN MEADORS: I actually like this question because it’s one of those truly introspective questions, right? I know a lot of people say this kind of thing but it’s really true with us. It is, I don’t typically consider very many things a failure. I consider a lot of things a learning experience. I don’t get beaten down by failure and it’s usually very hard for me to remember specific times when I consider that I lost or a big failure.
Failure is always rooted in non-action for me. You know, my biggest failure was not getting started faster and it was because I believed a lot of the mess around how big you had to be and how much money you had to have to be able to do wholesale effectively, you know? If I had done more, if I had taken more action, I would have seen results faster and I would have gotten started faster.
[0:04:54.2] STEPHEN: Definitely some things to think about from Dan. Dan who focuses 100 percent on sourcing and selling wholesale items on Amazon, just wish that he had started sooner and I love the perspective though, of not seeing things as a failure is if it’s going to be a learning experience.
I mean, the only time that you’re a failure is just when you quit. I mean, if you get knocked down, continue to get back up and keep going and in fact, if you’re considering starting on Amazon some time soon, get with it. You don’t want to be the person who wishes they would have started sooner, get with it now.
Dan has some good episodes, in our Full-Time FBA Show library. You can listen to him on episode’s number 12, 45 and 71. He’s been on the show talking about wholesale sourcing strategies and some great interviews for you to check out.
Our last expert that shared their mistake is Kim Coghlan. Kim and her husband Perry work together doing arbitrage and she shares her biggest mistakes and how she was actually able to avoid some mistakes as well so let’s listen to her.
[0:05:58.2] KIM COUGHLAN: We get asked this regularly and I always have a really hard time. I always feel like I have to ask Perry. Because we make so many decisions together, I think we tend to walk each other away from a lot of the big mistakes because I look at things from completely different perspectives. So just from my perspective, what mistakes have I made on my own before he talked me back from them.
Right at the top of the list, I would put being too slow to outsource because it costs money a lot of times or because you have to give up control. I really want to hold on too long to money and control and so that’s been something I think that is threatened to drag our business down but he is always pushing forward on it so he doesn’t let my mistakes stick there. I wish we had gotten in sooner.
We heard about FBA years before we actually jumped on board and we walked away from it. We laughed at it because the fees were so high and it took us years to realize that, “Hey, this is an awesome business model that solves all of the problems in the other businesses that we’ve been trying.” The fees were even though they’re high, even though they’re painful, the fees are totally worthwhile.
I wish I had known that sooner, I wish we had jumped in sooner and it is easy to kick ourselves if we think about it because of the opportunities that we missed by waiting but also I am really thankful that we got in when we did because it is always changing and so there’s advantages. If people are thinking about it, just do it. Get in, jump in, learn the platform and go at it with everything you’ve got because hesitating costs money. It is always changing and you want to get as far ahead of the curve as you can.
[0:07:31.3] REBECCA: Great information there from Kim, we really appreciate that advice and I agree, the outsourcing and putting that off longer than we should have is one of the mistakes that I would say that we have made over the years. If you want to hear more from Kim, she has a really great episode on The Full-Time FBA Show, episode number 24 where she talks us through a lot of the details about dealing with inauthentic claims and it is an excellent interview.
[0:07:55.6] STEPHEN: Yeah and you can see kind of a trend too. I mean, both Dan and Kim both shared that they wish they would have started sooner and so if you are on the fence of starting, we highly encourage you. We’ve got some resources to help you. We’ve got our Full-Time FBA jumpstart Amazon course that can help get you started off on the right track that can be some helpful thing for you but just remember, we’re all going to make mistakes.
Beginners, intermediate, experts, we all make mistakes, what’s important is that we learn from them and move forward so that we don’t make those mistakes and that we learn from the mistakes of others so that we can avoid those mistakes as well.
[0:08:27.3] REBECCA: If you are just getting started or you’ve been selling on Amazon for a while now, be sure you’re subscribed to The Full-Time FBA newsletter. We send out a newsletter once a week with links to videos, podcast episodes, blog posts and articles where we share with you information about how to improve your Amazon business, get stared in Amazon and take your business to the next level depending on where you are in that whole process, so be sure and join that newsletter at fulltimefba.com.
[0:08:57.3] REBECCA: Just as a reminder, we have the show notes of this episode available for you at fulltimefba.com/129. This is episode number 129, we’ll have links to all of the podcast episodes that were mentioned for this interviews that we’ve done in the past. There were quite a few episode numbers that we threw out there so be sure and check out the show notes if you want links directly to each of those episodes as well as the transcript for this episode.
[0:09:22.6] STEPHEN: Next week on the show, Rebecca and I will be discussing our Top Eight Non-Amazon Books that will improve your Amazon business. So Rebecca is going to share four of her favorites, I am going to share four of my favorites and if you listen to the episode, you just might have a chance to win one of those books, so stay tuned next week because we’re talking about the top Amazon non – stay tuned next week for the top non-Amazon Books that have helped our Amazon business.
[0:09:50.9] 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 show notes 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’ve learned today so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.