If you ask top Amazon sellers on success strategies, you’re likely to get different answers, but I guarantee you that each would agree that relationships are key.
Sure, you can do well by simply making purchasing decisions based on your 100+ Chrome extensions and by being relatively unknown to your supplier by placing orders online – but ask yourself – is that giving you an edge? At the end of the day, business is personal and relationships matter.
A few weeks ago, a supplier flew me out to their showroom. I sat in a conference room with their Director of Sales, and for any item I asked for, he gave me pricing that zero of my competitors could get. This was only possible because I fostered my relationship with my sales representative.
Below are two ways you can start adding value to your supplier. Before you start doing these things, I suggest you pick up the phone and talk to your sales rep. Tell him or her that you plan on adding value to help their brands on Amazon. I wouldn’t necessary ask for a better discount upfront because of what you intend to do, but put in some work first and show them that you care about the brand.
These are two simple and easy things that most sellers aren’t even doing. You might say that volume and money is king to your suppliers, but that doesn’t mean that adding value in other ways would not put you in a better position down the line.
Collect 1-3 Star Reviews
How: Get your supplier’s catalog in an excel format and scan it with PriceChecker, Tactical Arbitrage, or ScanPower (or any of the others). Now you have all the product ASINs. You can have a VA copy/paste all 1-3 star reviews in an excel sheet. If the catalog is very large, I suggest doing this for only part of the catalog (500 products or so).
Why: With your collection of bad reviews, you can have your VA mark all that have grounds for removal (i.e., if a product was delivered crushed, which is not the fault of the product). Also, your sales rep may find this information valuable. He or she could pass it along to their product team so they can make improvements to products. You may think that your rep will not care about any of this, but the point is you are showing him or her that you care about the brand and are trying to help it succeed.
Optimize Listings of Slow Selling Items
How: I could write a [short] book on how how to optimize listings, and I am sure there are countless articles out there on how to do this, but it doesn’t take too long to polish up a bad product listing. This is a task that is outsource-able to as well. I suggest purchasing an AmazonBasics Portable Photo Studio for taking new pictures. It is a great investment. Pictures are really where it’s at, and if you aren’t capable of taking better pictures, ask your supplier if they can. You’d be surprised how often they will. Then you can simply optimize the title, bullets, and description.
Why: How many of your competitors (and sellers in general) only sell the better selling products? I’d bet that it is just about all of them. The classic 80/20 rule applies to almost all catalogs I come across. There are some products that sell great, but a whole bunch that do not sell much or at all — and it is NOT usually because they are bad products. It is because the listing simply sucks: bad picture(s) that aren’t high-res, one or two bullet points with misspellings, etc.
I used to be surprised when I went to trade shows, saw a high-quality product I loved, and saw that it sold poorly on Amazon. So many times, my rep tells me that this product is selling like hotcakes in brick and mortar stores, and I see it isn’t selling at all on Amazon. People want these products, but they can’t find them.
There is so much potential in every catalog — you just need to put in the work. Optimize the listing and throw some sponsored ads at it and see what happens, but the key is to show your supplier that you care about their brand and are doing things that no one else is doing.
Have a question? Ask Mitch or share some of the other ways you can add value to your suppliers below.
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