In this week’s episode, I share the ways that I can support you and your small business.
I specialise in promoting small businesses on Amazon. I know Amazon is not for everyone. So I wanted to share why I work on this platform, and the advantages I believe it offers small businesses. I am not affiliated in any way with Amazon, these are just my honest, professional opinions.
Listen in to hear me share:
- An introduction to the topic (00:39)
- Why Amazon is a good opportunity for your small business (02:02)
- The advantages of selling on Amazon vs your own website (04:10)
- How using Amazon FBA can save you time and space! (05:24)
- How Amazon can give you an easy global reach (06:15)
- My strategy sessions (08:17)
- Getting in touch with me (09:44)
Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast, practical advice and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products. Here's your host, Vicki Weinberg.Vicki Weinberg:
Hi. So today I wanted to record a quick episode, um, to talk about something that I've been thinking about sharing for a while now. So you might have thought in the past perhaps, um, about working with me, and if you haven't by the way, that's absolutely fine. Um, and as you might know, I can help you with creating your product to sell, in all aspects of that, and also about selling your product on Amazon. Um, however, I do know that lots of people aren't keen on Amazon, particularly for those who support small businesses. And in the past I've had people not want to work with me or decline invitations to come onto this podcast because of the fact that I help people sell on Amazon. First of all, I want to say, this is okay. Genuinely I'm not offended. And I do agree that if something goes against your principles, then you shouldn't do it. I mean, I do exactly the same with other things, so I do completely understand. So if you've been thinking of working with me, you might actually be put off by the fact that I work with Amazon. Well, not with them as such. Um, Amazon is a platform that I'm extremely familiar with and I support people to get started and grow on it, mainly because I have so many years of experience working on Amazon and it is not the easiest of marketplaces. I know it's not. But I also know that for me, something that might take someone else half an hour, I can sometimes do in five minutes. So I do believe that what I offer is a really valuable service. But the thing is I also support small businesses. I also shop for small businesses, and I don't think these two things are necessarily exclusive. I still think that for some products and some businesses, and I say some because I don't think this is the same for everyone. Amazon offers a really good opportunity. Um, for example, loads and loads of people shop there. You possibly shop there yourself. In fact, I'm, I'm thinking lots of us probably do. I certainly do, um, because people trust Amazon. Uh, you know, it's a trusted platform probably, you know, you might have your card details saved on there already, which makes it really, really quick and easy to make a purchase in just a click or a couple of clicks. Very few of us want to put our details into a random website and one that, you know, we don't know. So you might come across a small brand, for example, and think I'd love to buy from them, but is this website secure? Is there a padlock? I haven't heard from them? Will it come? Um, I actually had a really bad experience just before Christmas buying from a website that I'd never heard of. And I have to say it has put me off a little bit. Um, basically what happened in case you're interested is I ordered something and it did turn up okay, which was good. Um, but then it was broken and I contacted them and I didn't get a refund, I didn't get a reply. They told me they were going to send me a re um, a replacement. They haven't. And in the end, luckily I paid via PayPal when I was able to go through PayPal to get a refund. You know, I submitted everything, all the pictures that I'd sent to the, the um, brand, I sent them to the, directly to PayPal. And they said, yes, it doesn't sound right. And they just gave me my money straight back, which was brilliant. But as you can imagine, it's a little bit of stress and um, you just, something you just don't need. Um, and it has put me off shopping with websites that I've never heard of. But for most of us, Amazon feels really secure. Most products will be delivered the next day. If you do have an issue, it's super easy to get a refund or to return the item, you know, so, so for lots of reasons, you know, people shop there. I have to say as well, as an aside, if I did want to shop from a small brand now and I couldn't find them on Amazon, um, I would also look on Etsy. Because Etsy is obviously a great marketplace for, for small brands, so just putting that out there as well. Amazon is certainly not the only place that I would shop with small businesses or that I would suggest that small businesses list their products. And selling on Amazon isn't the same as trying to get people over to your website in a good way, in my opinion. Because if your product is what people are looking for, it can be a lot easier to convert them into buyers than on Google, for example, as they are usually on Amazon to shop in the first place. So yes there is some SEO involved in getting it right. So I've spoken so many times about how if you decide to list your products on Amazon, you really need to do it well. You need to have a great product listing. You need to have fantastic images. And importantly, you need to make sure your listing contains all of the terms that people will be searching for if they're looking for a product like yours on Amazon. And of course, once people are on Amazon, there are tools and strategies you can use to help traffic to your listing, for example, paying for traffic. Um, this isn't what this episode is about, but I will say, um, because I've said this before, I might as well say it again. If you decide to list your products on Amazon, you will need to do something to get people over your listing. It honestly isn't enough just to get your, a great listing put up there. You do have to do more. Um, that's completely off topic. However, I don't, I feel it's worth mentioning because I say it all the time and I feel like it's one of those things I just can't say enough. So also if you decide to sell on Amazon, you can use Amazon fba, so fulfilled by Amazon, which means that you can offer prime delivery to customers, which means that Amazon can store your product and ship it out for you, and they can most likely pack and dispatch orders faster than you can if you even want to. All be it at a bit of a cost. It means that delivery and even returns are pretty easy and quick for the customer. There's no arguing if they want to send something back. Um, you might remember on a podcast episode last year, um, Cara spoke about making the buying experience as easy as possible for the customer. And I'll be honest, I couldn't really agree more. Yet it'll cost you as a seller a little bit more to you to be fullfield by Amazon, but it might be worth it if it helps customers buy from you and of course if you've got the margin to do so. Because I fully appreciate that um, not everyone will. And finally you can sell globally. So there are Amazon marketplaces all over the world. I think I counted 18 at the last count, but I actually think it might be 19 now. Um, it grows really fast. So there were plenty of opportunities for expansion. I always suggest starting off selling in your own country, or at least only in one marketplace, which ever one you choose as that makes the logistics a bit simpler. And then once things are up and running, you can look at expanding. Now when Amazon, um, just as an aside, it's much easier to sell in Europe, for example, without paying all the duties because there are sort of things you can do within Amazon to keep all your stock in the UK and, and fulfill European orders using that. And, um, it gets around lots of the paperwork and the fees that are, that are needed, if you were going to send your product in bulk to Europe, for example. Um, again, that's an aside. If you want to talk to me about that in more detail, you can just get in touch. Um, but yeah, that's just a little bit about why I think for some companies and some products, Amazon is a great opportunity. As I said before, I don't think it's right for everyone, and I would never, ever try and talk you into it. In fact, if I'm honest, I'm more likely to try and talk you out of it because I'm nice and I'm polite. Ultimately, I want you to succeed, and if I don't think Amazon is the right place for you or your product, I will politely tell you that, and I will tell you the reasons why, because as I've said before, It's not an easy marketplace to get started on. A lot of work goes into it. You're going to have to spend some time or some money, or possibly both to do it really well. And I wouldn't want to suggest that you do that unless I thought there was a, you know, you had a really good chance of succeeding and, and of your product selling. Um, I should say again, that doesn't, you know, that does take time and money. And you're not going to do amazingly well overnight. Some people do, but fewer and fewer. Um, I have lots of episodes on selling on Amazon, and you can listen to all my reasons for this over there, so I won't sort of say everything again here. What I will say is I do offer a strategy session where I can research whether there's a market for a product like yours on Amazon, and I will share that with you. And I would also. If I feel like there is potential for your product on Amazon, exactly what's involved in setting up launching your product on Amazon and how to do it really well. Of course that means that you could spend a few hundred pounds with me to find out that actually I say I don't recommend you doing it, but I still think that's much better than spending a lot more money plus a lot of time finding this out after you've done all the hard work getting set up. So what I mean here is I don't want you, you know, spend all that time and effort getting set up on Amazon and then just finding, actually I'm not making any sales and it's because this marketplace is completely saturated, or because there's another seller who's been on there for 10 years and you know, they're just getting 99% of the sales for that particular niche or wherever it is. So ultimately, I guess I see my goal as helping you to understand whether Amazon might work for you. Making it clear what's involved, simplifying it as much as possible because it isn't simple, and then helping you either to get started selling on Amazon or to optimize what you have on Amazon already to sell even more. So, in other words, I'm not here to tell anyone including you that you should be selling on Amazon. But if you want to sell, if you want to sell on Amazon or you want to even think about, okay, could this be an opportunity for me, you know where to come for help. Um, you can go to my website, which is vicki weinberg.com. You can send me an email, which is vicki @vicki weinberg.com. That's Vicki with an I. You can find me Instagram. Um, you can find me everywhere. And the links to contact me as always will be in the show notes for this episode. So I appreciate this is a very short episode. They can't all be long, can they? Um, and it's only so long I'm sure you want to hear my voice for, but I did think this was a useful one to record because I, I do know, I am aware that sometimes people go, oh, well I'd quite like to work with her, but then again, she does work with Amazon. Um, just to reiterate, I'm not affiliated with them in any way. The way I see it is if this is something that you are interested in, um, I have a lot of experience and I can often do things quicker and simpler than it would be for you to figure it yourself, um, it's the way I see it. I'm just offering a service, and if you're interested, then that's brilliant. And if you decide, you know what, Amazon isn't for me for whatever reason, that's great too, because as I say, it definitely isn't going to be the right place for everyone. So thank you so much. Um, this is my first solo episode of 2023, but obviously I have a lot more to come. If there is anything in particular you'd like me to cover, any questions you have for me, um, as always, you can just send them over and, um, yeah, that would be great. I always love to know what you would like to hear me talking about. So I'm going to close out this very short episode now and, um, I will speak to you again in a few weeks. Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode. Do remember that you can get the full back catalogues and lots of free resources on my website, vicki weinberg.com. Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it, and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful. Thank you again and see you next week.