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September 29, 2021

EPISODE 34: Setting Up Q4 for Holiday Success

Sell Rank Win Episode 34: Setting Up Your FBA Business For Q4 Success

In This Episode

Jon Elder of Black Label Advisor returns to the podcast! Jon and Tommy chat about how to tackle the latest seller hurdles, the best ways to reduce delays, and how to manage expectations during the next few months. Tune in for tips for Q4 success!

TRANSCRIPT

Tommy Beringer:

What's up you data-hungry Amazon sellers? This is your host, Tommy Beringer of the Sell Rank Win podcast by MerchantWords. And in this podcast, we give you the answers to your most burning questions, actionable insights that you can take away and implement into your business today. Let's go ahead and dive right into today's episode. What do you say? Let's go.

What's going on, everybody? Welcome to the Sell Rank Win podcast. I'm your host, Tommy Beringer. And as always, we have a very special guest on with us today. My next guest went from working in construction to doing $10 million in sales in his own Amazon FBA business. He then sold that Amazon FBA business for seven figures. Now he's helping other Amazon sellers and brands get set up for acquisition. Without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce you to my good friend, Jon Elder from Black Label Advisor. How are you doing today, Jon?

Jon Elder:

Tommy, I am doing great. It's so great to be back for another episode.

Tommy Beringer:

Yes, I'm glad you are back on. If you guys don't know we had Jon on, I think it was episode 21. So you need to check that out. Jon really knows his stuff. And it was so nice of him to come back on. I reached out to him, I said, "Hey, we need to do a Q4 prepping podcast, you're my guy, let's make it happen." And he got back right away. And I say, "Let's do it."

Jon Elder:

Tommy, the answer's always going to be yes.

Tommy Beringer:

That's right, that's right. Thank you. Much appreciated, Jon. Thank you. Appreciate that.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely.

Tommy Beringer:

For those that do not know who you are and that do not know about Black Label Advisor, if you could just briefly tell us a little bit about Black Label Advisor.

Jon Elder:

Black Label Advisor is kind of a boutique consulting firm. What I do is I offer one-on-one hourly consulting sessions, and that's typically with clients, honestly ranging from beginning sellers to $10 million business owners. And those are kind of like higher-level calls, those are regular calls that I offer. And then I also offer audits consulting services for listing optimization and copywriting services.

Pretty much anything related to Amazon outside of PPC. I am a good resource for people and work with all sorts of different people from different backgrounds. It's a pretty cool relationship I have with my clients. A lot of agencies out there are larger and they have all sorts of employees. And so I am my one employee and that's why it's kind of a boutique agency. So it's pretty unique out there.

Tommy Beringer:

Very cool. If you guys need any help there, Jon's your guy, for sure in that space. Now Jon, let's dig into the Q4 prepping, right? We need to as Amazon sellers get ready for Q4 and that's why I have you on here to get this all figured out and set up. After our listeners are done listening to this, they have all their tees cross and their eyes dotted.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely.

Tommy Beringer:

Where do you want to start here? Because I know there's a bit to cover, but I'll let you just go ahead and dive into what you think we should start with first. What do you think?

Jon Elder:

We should actually dive into logistics and inventory planning first.

Tommy Beringer:

Sounds good, let's do it.

Jon Elder:

I'll just paint a picture for everyone. If you can imagine the Port of Long Beach, there are hundreds of ships at sea waiting to be unloaded. Q4 is going to be an absolute cluster bomb this year. And I don't say that lightly. So every single logistics reporter is covering this, business reporters are covering it, sellers are seeing it. The delays in with sea shipping is astounding, okay, it's astounding.

The topic we should cover is how to prep for that. Now we know that looking at last year for example, for Black Friday, Amazon had inventory check-in date by November 6th and they had a check-in date deadline for December 1st for Christmas sales. Everyone listening needs to cushion that with at least two weeks. The updated dates haven't been published by Amazon yet, but going from last year and the years before, that's kind of roughly what we're looking at.

Getting your stuff sent in, really thinking about air shipping your products. I understand a lot of people are like, "I don't want to spend that money this year," but you really have to look at your business holistically. If your top two skews go out of stock December 10th, you are going to lose out on immense opportunity. This is something I've had to do in past years, it's basically, you kind of take a hit and the hit, it looks a little different this year, because a fully loaded sea container right now it's ranging from 15 grand to $30,000.

Historically that was like between three and five grand. You have to really look at it and say, "Crunch the numbers," and maybe take a little bit of a hit, and maybe your margin's going to get compressed a little bit, but you're still making that profit holistically for your business. Because if you miss out on those sales for Christmas time, you're really shooting yourself on the foot.

And so cushioning yourself from a logistics standpoint and this is where your conversation with the freight forwarder needs to happen and say, "Hey, give me realistic dates. Can we ship out, talk with your factory, can we ship this out sooner?" Some people kind of wait on the inventory. Right now, it's a matter of time and today's September 15th, it's really crunch time right now.

And even down to unloading at ports, we're going to be seeing massive of delays. So kind of stretching out a little bit in terms of land mass, go outside of the Port of Long Beach, talk with your freight forwarder and say, "Hey, can I bring it into Canada? Can I bring it into Texas? Can I bring it into the East Coast?" And then use train or rail or sorry, use rail and trucking to get it to the Amazon warehouses. People are going to have to really think outside the box this year. And if people thought last year was bad, what we're going to feel this year is the very worst.

Tommy Beringer:

I mean, even with manufacturing, because I'm experienced this with my own manufacturer right now, I've been using them for five years now. And it is just delays on top of delays with my manufacturing for one of my skews, not all of them, but-

Jon Elder:

Have they mentioned why that's happened?

Tommy Beringer:

I mean, they just said it's regarding the materials. So gathering materials that's always their step one. They mentioned gathering the raw materials and then they go ahead and then create the product, right? That's kind of where that has been, and I guess, that could be a shipping issue within China, who knows?

Jon Elder:

Yeah, that could be-

Tommy Beringer:

You got to count for it all.

Jon Elder:

Oh my gosh, every part of the process there's the potential delay right now, unfortunately. And then you have to think about also the backlog at factories right now. They're not like, "Oh, well, take your order and good to go." No they're backlog because of the material delay, there's a bunch of people in front of you right now. So sellers just need to-

Tommy Beringer:

Have some realistic expectations right now for all that.

Jon Elder:

Yes. And for the sellers listening, the focus has to be it's okay, you really have to think about your top sellers. Do whatever you can to bring those units in to Amazon to sell for Q4, some of your like slow sellers don't worry about those guys. Really just focus on... Honestly, most sellers that I work with, they have a small group of let's just say they're home run products, you really need to focus on those because that in most of your revenue in your business.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely that 80/20 rule.

Jon Elder:

Exactly, exactly.

Tommy Beringer:

And going back to something that you alluded to earlier, Jon, shipping... Some of you brands out there, some of you sellers out there are going to have to ship in by air and it might be a little bit more costly, but maybe just ship in half of what you usually would ship on by sea. So you can at least get that product in for Q4. So that is a good point that you made earlier. Thank you for that.

Jon Elder:

And a lot of people will make the assumption that sea shipping is always going to be the best case for them. And you have to take into accounts the fact that with all the delays you're looking at a two month vessel time, shipping time. So you have to think, air shipping it's between five and seven days. Okay, that's really fast. And then you have to do the math.

And a lot of people don't do the math and their math could be affected, especially if you're selling oversized items. If you're paying 20, 25,000 for a sea container right now, you just got to do the math and see what that is on a per unit basis and see what FedEx Air is on a per unit basis. And also get multiple quotes, a lot of people just assume you get one quote and that's it. You should be getting three quotes and doing sanity checks with either route you take.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely, absolutely. Very important to get that in there, or else you guys are going to be losing out on a lot of your money, and a lot of your sales, and get the high top selling products in there just like Jon was saying. All right, so what's next here. Should we move into cleaning up some listings here? What do you say?

Jon Elder:

Yeah, it's a kind of a boring subject because honestly, most sellers, I'm guilty of this too is, you optimize your listing, you have everything, everything's great. And then you go a whole year and you're like, you know what? I haven't even looked at this. Now is a good time to just go back to the drawing board, do a self audit of your images, do an audit of your bullet points, make sure everything's format correctly.

This is just kind of a quick tip for the podcast, but add certain keywords, like gifts, Christmas to your bullet points. So your bullet points that gets all sent into the algorithm. Make sure you have some things that are easily tweaked. So instead of saying, "This radio is great for the house," say, "This radio is great for the house, and it's a great Christmas item."

Making those like small little tweaks for sales for Christmas item is huge. And then just do an audit for your keywords, really go back and look at your title and compare your title with your competitors. Use merchant words, for example, and go and look at your backend keywords to make sure that those are optimized, make sure you're targeting the keywords that you want to be targeting, and you're not stuffing it with a bunch of random stuff. Really just do some analysis yourself on your little thing. And go ahead Tommy.

Tommy Beringer:

Yeah, no, what I was going to say is also we have a new product coming out that will... And I would love to have you on as a beta tester that will just, you plug in a couple of keywords and we have a proprietary AI algorithm that spits back a entire Amazon listing within a minute. I don't know if we can have that ready for Q4, but just that kind of made me think of that. I want to get you on the beta tester list for sure. If you're willing.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely. That sounds awesome.

Tommy Beringer:

Awesome. So cool. Okay, clean up your listings guys, don't stay complacent. Make sure you dig into MerchantWords and figure out what are the most current searched keywords, most relevant keywords being searched for your product at the moment and make sure you switch out at least the title, maybe update the title and make sure you guys are in line to get some more eyeballs on your listings, because everything is going to make a difference in your sales, especially coming up to fourth quarter here.

Now, another thing that I wanted to speak to you about Jon, and you wrote an article on this, I think it was a few weeks ago is, how important it is to optimize the pictures. And you were alluding to that a little bit earlier as well. Optimizing the images on your Amazon listing, if we can go into that, because I think that's very important.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely. And optimization comes down to sizing standards, but really the big picture for optimization is looking at conversion rates. And so you have to really ask yourself, especially with PPC, when someone comes and sees clicks on your picture, then they see a zoomed up picture. They have about 60 seconds to look at that picture. But maybe look at a couple pictures, maybe look at bullet points, most people just skip over that stuff, but they're really making a decision very fast based on your pictures.

Really think about the features and if you're going to use lifestyle pictures, make sure you're showcasing the features with lifestyle pictures, a mistake I see all the time is people who are using lifestyle picture, but it's not really showing me anything special about your product. Anybody can post up a picture, basically take a picture from stock photography, edit it, put your product in, and then there's nothing else.

For example, if you're selling something like a kitchen knife, and Tommy, do call outs and do us versus them picture, think about every single thing that your product is better than everyone else. And it comes down to what's the material makeup of the blade of that knife. What's the handle? Is it ergonomic? What type of balance ratio does it have?

You should get into the mechanics in the weeds for that. And a lot of people don't and so that's part of that. And then when you're uploading pictures, make sure you have keywords there that makes sense for that and make sure you're sizing is per the terms of service. And anyone's needing that info, you just go to, I think you could just Google search it, Amazon picture listing standards, and then there's a terms of service page that tells you exactly the pixels, what to do for saving the file on your computer and then uploading it.

For example, if you're going to sell knives, you're not going to want to have something that says, "This is a book," for example. You want the keywords to make sense. And Amazon's pretty clear on what they expect for that.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely. And going back to the pixels, I always make mine 1500 by 1500, because you want it this size, so it is zoomable. And if it's not over, I think 1000 by 1000, I believe it is. I have to double check on that, but it won't be zoomable so you can't have the buyer come in and see a clear picture of your images. And like Jon was saying, these Amazon buyers are buying with their eyes.

They're coming in, looking at the pictures right away. Think about you guys when you're out there shopping on Amazon, what do you do? Maybe you'll read the title and then you'll go ahead, go right to the pictures. Do you really read the description? Do you really read the bullet points? Those are mainly there for SEO purposes.

Going back to what Jon was saying earlier, make sure that you have the right keywords in there in order to get some eyeballs to your listings and then in turn, make sure you have some good looking lifestyle photos in there. And then also add some copy into those images as well, not the main image, because then you will get your listing taken down, but the other photos there.

Maybe just speaking of value proposition to your product. For example, you say kitchen knives and if kitchen knives is the most relevant keyword to your product, it has the highest amount of surge volume. Make sure you're using that in a sentence inside of those images.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely. And something keep in mind too. And a lot of people make this mistake is don't have a lot of randomness going on in your pictures. A lot of people do that. And really if you go to Anker, A-N-K-E-R, the super seller of chargers for phones, everything they do is consistent. Their color schemes are consistent, their lifestyle images are consistent. Don't have a bunch of random lifestyle images, have a look and feel cohesive.

And honestly, we have so many examples of amazing photography on Amazon. Now there's really no excuse to upload a bunch of random stuff. Keep it really focused and something else people should think about, the pictures are a great place to showcase that you support a charity. So for example I have clients that support local charities. I used to sell a product that that did well for my demographic. And there was a charity in Dallas that 1%, oh, sorry, $1 per unit actually went to that charity.

And that's kind of rich for some people, some people they do 1% and it's about giving back, but at the same time, you should be telling your customers that you're doing that. You shouldn't just have that randomly in a bullet point, you should slam your marketing with that and say, "If you're going to buy it from me, know that I'm supporting this charity." People, the conversion rates are going to go up and people want to be part of something bigger than just going on amazon.com and buying a product.

If there's a founder story, and let's say you love dogs and cats and you want to support a local charity for adoptions, do that, but put that into one of your pictures. And that should be either in one of your six pictures, I'd recommend a video for your seventh slot or put that in your A+ content. But you should have anything that separates you from your competition promote that. That's part of the listing cleanup for Q4 is really think about what is that customer looking for? And so that helps to optimize not only for Q4 but long term for branding purposes.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely, could not agree more, Jon, incorporating some giving back inside of your business model is very important, especially for giving back. And then also it shows that you're doing something right as a brand, as a business. When you do choose a charity, if you are going to incorporate giving back in your business model, I would advise to make sure it makes sense to what your product is, if you can.

If you're selling maybe an educational product, give back to maybe something that supports schools for the youth, the underprivileged youth or something like that. Something that makes sense there. If you sell educational product, you don't want to give back to the birds or something, it wouldn't really make sense, but I mean, of course, if you are going to give back, that's great.

But I just think that incorporating something that makes sense there as well, there are tons and tons of different charities that you can look up online and find out a good one to go ahead and incorporate with your business, and they would love to get some of your charity for sure. Absolutely. Cool.

All right, looking at my list here, let's go, okay. Let's dig into lightning deals. These could be from my experience and I know your experience is a little bit different. I think we spoke about this before, but from my experience, it hasn't really worked for me, but I know for some brands it does and just kind of hitting those lightning deals, if they're available in your account and just kind of super charging that ranking in order to be ready to get set up for Q4. So if you could dig into the lightning deals and how you would utilize that?

Jon Elder:

Lightning deals you're going to have offers come to you from Amazon. I don't think those offers have gone out yet. So probably expect that in October. And so Amazon's going to propose to you the seller what that deal is going to look like. And here's the percentage off that Amazon's wanting. You can either accept or deny that and then you can also go into your under your advertising in deals, you could submit deal requests as well.

Amazon obviously has the control and power to accept those, deny those, or make tweaks to those. Really the benefit here is to have a massive boost to your BSR. So never look at lightning deals from a profit standpoint. A lot of people are like, what did he just say that? Lightning deals are amazing for massively improving your BSR rank, and then that kind of drip feeds and spills over into 2022.

And also it's really helpful for getting rid of some inventory quickly, if you need to. A lot of people are overstocked, you're going to see a lot of sellers in Q4 that order way too much. And so a lot of people are paranoid, and that's also why we have a lot of congestion right now at the ports. And they're just going to have to think about getting rid of that, because come January, now you're sitting on it and now you're going to have all these excess storage fees.

Focus on that and then really think about which of your products you want to see that massive boost your BSR. And a deal's 300 bucks for a lightning deal, so that's a question to you as a business owner, is this worth it to me? For example, I always did a lightning deal every two to three months for my top sellers. I wanted to protect my territory. I recommend all sellers listening right now to do that. That's year-round, you could just call it once a quarter or once every two months, that's something that's really effective for maintaining your BSR.

Tommy Beringer:

Kind of just maintenance, right? Just hitting that lightning deal, maybe once a quarter maintaining that ranking, right?

Jon Elder:

Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, you can go outside of Amazon and you could do things like slickdeals.com. That's another avenue for people. So what you do there, and I did this as well. This is free and this is outside the lightning deals, but you go to slick deals, you propose a deal through their site and you offer a discount code. So those customers are very, very engaged and it's kind of like a cult following. So they're very dedicated to each other, like providing real honest feedback.

If your product sucks, they will rip you in one. So just keep that in mind. You can offload hundreds, possibly thousands of units very fast within a week. So that's something to think about as well. And then in terms kind of going outside of the lightning deals also think about your pricing. A lot of people are like, "Oh, maintain my price for my products, but then I'm going to increase all my bids for PPC."

It's kind of the correct answer is the opposite of that. Think about actually maybe raising your price a little bit and not changing your bids for PPC. And then what you can do is increase your budgets for all your PPC. A lot of people will go in and they tweak all their bids and you really don't need to do that. So you have to think about perspective. You have four weeks of just, it's a mad house.

There's going to be plenty of traffic, you don't need to adjust your bids, but you should 3X and 4X, that's kind of decision you're going to have to make, but think about tripling or doubling your PPC budgets. And that goes for both the custom campaigns and auto. That's something to keep in mind and then also adding a coupon deal.

There are set of large segment of people out there who, they might click your PPC, they'll go to your product. And I was actually on a call this morning about this. And I said, "Look, you don't have a coupon set up." And they're like, "Oh yeah, you're right, maybe I should add one." Coupons you're capturing a segment of the population that was hesitant to purchase your product based on the price. But if there's a coupon, they will purchase just from you.

You're not gaining this huge increase of sales, you're just increasing a small percentage of your customer base that way. Coupons it could be a dollar, or it could be $5 or $10. It kind of depends on your price, $100 product versus a $20 product. But definitely add that coupon for Q4. And if it makes sense, you can definitely do it now. And then also adjusting your price to always end with a 99.

Instead of pricing at $25 00, definitely always add it to .00, or sorry, .99. That causes urgency, and I see that with sellers all the time and especially during consulting calls, and I always ask them why did you do that? And they never have a good answer. And if you look at all the marketing materials out there, 99 cents is going to cause urgency. And then the moment you go to 00, that makes it look more expensive. And so your conversions will go up.

Tommy Beringer:

Even .972. I play around with 97 and 99.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely.

Tommy Beringer:

All the time.

Jon Elder:

All the time. And that's why doing some split testing with Pickfu, things like that, that'll be helpful.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely.

Jon Elder:

It's weird, some products do well with 97 and then others do well with 99, but nothing does well with 00, just don't do it.

Tommy Beringer:

I never put my products at 00, always 97, 99, definitely like you said, they create that urgency, and makes it look like it's on sale.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely, absolutely.

Tommy Beringer:

And then another thing that I've been doing, and I wanted to pick your brain on this a bit, Jon is, I'll have my price, I'll have it high, not too much higher than the space in the market that I'm in, but then the sales will go down a bit, but I'm getting more of a margin. But then once I go ahead and go back to my normal price to my, "Sell price," Amazon now shows this red badge on your listing, I forgot exactly what it says.

But it's like it says lowest price offered since a certain amount of time, because Amazon will track what your price is. And then if you offer it a dollar or two lower, Amazon will give you this badge and then that makes you stick out as well. That's also a strategy is right now, maybe keep your price a little bit high. You know what I mean?

A little bit of a disclaimer, it will affect your ranking possibly depending on the space that you're in. Of course, there's a lot of variables, but it's good to test out. So maybe keep it at, maybe, I'm not saying to increase your price dramatically and out price the entire space you're in, say there's an average price of maybe I don't know, $20 in your space, maybe have yours offered for $21 or $22 and then drop it back down to your price that you usually offer it at. And you'll get that badge, which will make you stick out and it will increase your sales.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely, absolutely. It's something to think about, but most I would say people are blind to that. As long as it's not like some like crazy number, $50 higher. And a lot of sellers, I mean, you're going to in trouble for that anyways on Amazon, there's a threshold. You can only really increase your price increasingly by a small percentage. And so honestly, you should be doing this year round is incrementally increasing your price possibly every month, every couple weeks, really check in the market to make sure you're not leaving any money on the table.

And here's a reality check. Inflation is here, everyone price is ever growing up. And so as long as you justify the higher price with premium materials, incredible bundling, awesome product, that should be fine. It's not going to work for selling random trinkets and stuff that's just complete garbage, but if you're selling something, especially something that's unique, whether that's a design, where you have a design patent, and no one else is allowed to sell that, you should be increasing your price, because people are going to see that as, "Oh, wow, that's really exclusive. There's no other seller that has that specific design I'm going to purchase from you for a higher price."

That's something to keep in mind. But yeah, raising your price a little bit during Q4 makes a lot of sense, because people are blindly shop. And so people are not going around comparing prices. They're just like, "Oh, looks cool. Buy it, buy it, buy it for my kids."

Tommy Beringer:

And I'm looking at my listing now and I do have it in front of me. So basically it's a red badge that says save, and then however much the percentage is, in my case it says 17%. So it shows what it was, and then what you are now offering it at now. And then next to that, save 17%, it says lowest price in 30 days. It's just kind of cool to have that, because that will make people... It's worked for me in my space, like I said, there's always lots of different variables and from each different market, but like we're saying, just test it out if you like.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely, absolutely. And in terms of pricing, it's just a mad house for Christmas sales. And there's a tool out there called camel.com and that's a great free tool for sellers to go back in time and look at the pricing history of their competitors. And you'll be able to see everything. You'll see when they raise their price, how long did they keep the higher price?

It'll tell you if the higher price was not successful in their space. You can learn from other sellers what they did and not have to test anything. So be like, you know what? I've seen three sellers, they tested the $5 higher price, and that did not work. So it's a great tool.

Tommy Beringer:

I know we spoke a bit about some ad strategies. Besides increasing bids, increasing budgets, do you recommend maybe incorporating some different ad types? I know video is working a lot for my side of things and it looks like some other people as well. Maybe I would say to try to reach out to someone on Fivver and maybe try to get a product video done so you can try to produce some video ads, I don't know, I wanted to see what else you thought on that end?

Jon Elder:

Yeah, video ads are really, really successful. It's just that it's a visual element, it helps me understand quickly versus just clicking on a picture ad. It's very effective. It just keep this in mind, everyone listening. You're going into Q4. So if you have time to test that, you may not have enough time to truly know if that's successful.

For example, if you have strong anchors on your PPC campaigns and you have some banner, maybe you have some banner ads, things like that. You may want to stick with those and spend all your money just by doubling and tripling those PPC budgets. That's something more I would kind of tend to say, you might want to experiment with that in 2022 and test that and get ready for Q4 of next year for that. Because we're getting really close to game time.

Tommy Beringer:

Maybe just dig into what's working now and wait for the experimentation next year, right? Is what you're saying?

Jon Elder:

Yeah, exactly, I mean, if your anchors is strong and you have everything dialed in, whether you're using an agency or doing a DIY, if you have strong sales and you're happy, Christmas sales is really honestly about just increasing your budgets and you don't need to be tweaking your bids. And so Amazon, obviously, Amazon wants you to increase your bids, but you really don't have to, so onward we go.

Tommy Beringer:

Onward and upward that's right. All right, guys. I'm just going to kind of just give a quick bullet pointed list. You guys definitely could listen to this back some great value bombs in here. Make sure your inventory is good, you're talking to your manufacturers and to your shipping agents to make sure that you're going to get your product into Amazon before the fourth quarter here, so you can make sure you don't lose out any sales.

Clean up those listings, dig into MerchantWords, type in your main keywords to figure out what are the most relevant, current relevant keywords. Maybe you need to update some of your titles, some of your bullet points, some of your backend, and then also going into optimizing your images. So you want to make sure you have those good lifestyle shots, add some main keywords with a good value proposition inside of your images, because the buyers are buying with their eyes, meaning they're looking at the pictures, they're not always reading the entire listing.

I really want to take a survey on how many people have read an entire listing on Amazon. I'm pretty sure there's people out there who do that, but I'm pretty sure it is a very low percentage. Then going into looking at my list here, lightning deals, so lightning deals to kind of boost that ranking, add a lightning deal now if it's offered to you to in increase that organic ranking up to that fourth quarter, so you're there at the top of the page.

And then also slick deals as mentioned, that's a good idea as well and make sure your pricing is right and that's everything I have on here. I'm sure I missed something. Oh yeah, video, if you have video and the anchors is working there, double down on it, like Jon was saying, but if you haven't tested it, don't test it yet, maybe next year. But then any of your ads that are working just double those budgets, you'll live into Amazon selling success into the fourth corner. Anything I missed there, Jon on the-

Jon Elder:

No, no, no, that's good. It's good. I'll give a little just a last little tidbit. This is something that is really easy to do. If your product makes sense from a gifting standpoint or a stocking stuffer standpoint, it's actually really easy to do so you can add some Christmas styling images into your existing images. So whether that's putting a little stocking on the corner of your image or putting a little bow, don't do this on your first image.

If you do see competitors do it on their first image, go ahead and report them because that's totally not allowed. But on pictures two through seven think about adding some styling there that makes sense basically uploading those images for those five weeks. And then going back to your normal images after that.

Tommy Beringer:

And you can get these images on Canva, which I use, I think it's like seven or 10 bucks a month, very good investment for your business. Just throw your images in there, put a little stocking or some missile toe or something up in the corner. Just so they have that Christmas vibe around your product. Very good point, Jon, thank you for mentioning that.

All right. Cool. Well, I just want to say thank you again for hopping on, love the baby in the background. It's fantastic. My kids too, they're at school right now, or else you would hear them as well. I'm sure they're peppered throughout all of my episodes.

Jon Elder:

That's the problem with a really nice mic.

Tommy Beringer:

I know, it picks up everything right.

Jon Elder:

I know, I know.

Tommy Beringer:

Love it, love it. So cool, thank you again, Jon, for coming on. And as you know, at the end of every one of our podcasts, we like to have our guests give our listeners one takeaway that they can implement into their business or into their lives. So what do you got for them?

Jon Elder:

Gosh, I forget what I said on the last episode, but I would say just really focused on saying yes to your customer all the way up to even if you are really suspicious of someone scamming you on Amazon, go ahead and just make their day, whether that's a refund or replacement product. It's really the number of people that are trying to scam sellers is very, very low.

If you have a suspicion about it, just go ahead and make their day. And you should never be debating with your customers. If someone comes in and says, "This product broke," Don't go asking for pictures and say like, "Send me a video proving that." Just send them a replacement product, because maybe they are scammers or maybe they're someone who's like lying about something. But what they're going to take away from that is, "Oh my gosh, this person is a really strong business owner."

So really just put your customers first, all the way down to those people that you have suspicions for, and just think about how you would want to be treated by a seller, whether that's a DTC site or a seller on Amazon. You want your day to be made, life is so busy that you don't want to have to deal with weird conversations with sellers. The answer should be, yes, I want to make your day and do refund or product replacements.

Tommy Beringer:

Always totally agree. Thank you for saying this Jon, always go above and beyond for your customers. When I get that message on my phone, that alert from someone sending me a message like, "Oh, I'm missing a part." You know what I mean? Kind of disgruntled a bit, treat them with the utmost respect. It will come back to you tenfold, I promise, I promise, I promise. Like for one of my products there was a part missing, and that was my fault because that round I did not get an inspection.

That goes to back to make sure you get inspections. I use TOPWIN Inspection and that's like 100 bucks, 150 bucks. I use TOPWIN, T-O-P-W-I-N. They're fantastic. Lynn, she's great over there. Anyways, I'll respond to them right away. And then I will, for the one that was missing apart, I just sent her a whole entire new product and she was just over the moon. And then they're going to be your cheerleader customers, to go ahead and talk about you to other people, which is going to make your brand better, which is going to make your business better. And they're going to give you some good reviews.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely.

Tommy Beringer:

That way as well.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely. I'll just end on this quick little story. I sold a really successful grouping of products. There is an the outdoor kids toy category. And if you ever have someone that and approaches you and says, "Hey, Mr. Business owner, I run this business or this charity or this daycare. I'm interested in getting a free product from you. And we're kind of a bootstrap thing. We rely on charity money."

Really think about making their day. And so those people, so just think outside the box here, they have social media, so they also have a friend network. And so if you do that and say, even if it's a... This is $100 product, so this is not a cheap product I sold. And so sending to them resulted in amazing fanfare.

It's amazing what happens when you view it through the lens of the return on investment, what $50 product or $100 product, the long term return on investment and the impact on social media. Don't just look at it from a numbers perspective, look at it from a long term return on investment perspective.

Tommy Beringer:

Absolutely, absolutely. That's fantastic. So Jon, where can people find you if they would like to reach out to you?

Jon Elder:

Yeah, I'm active on Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter, the handle is Black Label ADVSR. Just updated that actually, so it's easier to find me. And then if you go to my site, blacklabeladvisor.com, I'm on there, I have a contact form. I'm active everywhere. Never think I'm never going to respond out back to you. Feel free to contact me on there.

Tommy Beringer:

Awesome. Well, again, Jon, thank you so much for coming on the show, taking time out of your very busy day. And please guys reach out to Jon, he really knows his stuff. That's why I invited him on for this podcast and hopefully some future podcasts here. So thank you again, Jon, much appreciate it.

Jon Elder:

Absolutely, Tommy, it's great to be on again.

Tommy Beringer:

All right. Talk to you soon.

Jon Elder:

Bye-bye.

Tommy Beringer:

Bye. All right. Thank you guys so much for listening, and if you got any value out of this podcast at all, please let us know at the place that you listened to it at, whether it be iTunes, Stitcher, whatever it is, give us some love. Give us an awesome review and let us know maybe some things you want us to talk about on the next podcast. Till next time guys stay awesome and be awesome.

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