Video 02 - The Samples have Arrived! Now What?
In this lesson, Mike prepares your mind for the arrival of your products.
So what should you expect of your sample products? Mike answers this question by saying that they could take up to 10 days to arrive, that they might have a competitor's logo or business information on them and they might have instructions written in a different region's language.
Mike provides some comforting words, saying not to worry about that, and just to confirm with the supplier that the incorrect details on the samples are not part of your final product.
I think that Mike really supplies (pun intended) some helpful guidance in this lesson with what to focus on and what to disregard with regard to your sample products. It is important to be observant and notice the details without getting hung up on them and, as they say, get caught up in the weeds.
Video 03 - Choosing the Best Supplier and getting the Highest Profit Margin
In this lesson, Mike discusses the process of deciding which (if any) of the suppliers you have ordered samples from to entrust with your first inventory order.
There's no rule that says you have to go with any of them, but it's also important to not spend all your time in deliberation.
Mike also gives a lot of tips on how to interact with suppliers, from being honest and politely straight-forward with them, thus not wasting their (or your) time.
The biggest tip that Mike emphasizes is the stressing of your future potential as a client. Sure your first order will be small, but what is your future value to the supplier as an ongoing client?
Overall, Mike really delivers a lot of quality in this lesson.
Video 04 - Getting Ready for Your First Inventory Order
How do you prepare for your first inventory order?
In this lesson, Mike shares with you exactly what information you need to give to your supplier (from product options to packaging design layouts) and stresses the need to communicate in specific detail with your chosen manufacturer.
Video 05 - The ASM Brand Name Creation Process
In this lesson, Rich discusses the secrets to creating an awesome brand name.
Rich lists five characteristics of a great brand moniker, ultimately declaring that it is vital to be related to your niche as well as make your customer feel well taken care of.
I would urge you not to overthink this one, and spend maybe an hour and then pick something, because a person can easily get caught up in all the "what if?'s" about their brand name and lose their focus on action (executing the process), which is really the true determining factor of whether or not your business is profitable or not.
Video 06 - Creating Your Powerful Brand Logo
In this lesson, Rich goes through the process of making a logo, from talking about where the logo will be placed to how to have one designed for you without paying a fortune.
I'd offer the same advice as in the previous lesson: don't get caught up in the details here, pick something and move on, devoting the majority of your attention to getting your product to market.
Video 07 - Purchasing Your UPC
In this lesson, Rich talks about what a UPC is and how you can get one (as well as how the UPC field has changed over the past several years due to GS1 developments).
Rich urges you to stay away from cheap UPC sources such as ebay, because you get what you pay for.
Rather than buying cheap, Rich suggests a few trusted sellers of UPC's that himself and ASM course members have had very little trouble with.
I won't lie to you, getting a UPC is a bit of a dance. I'd stick to the training and use one of the sources that Rich advocates.
Video 08 - Creating Your Quick Product Listing
In this lesson, Rich demonstrates the creation of a quick product listing. This kind of listint is different from a "tuned" product listing that has been carefully crafted using the keyword tools mentioned previously.
The purpose of a quick listing according to Rich is to get your listing approved by Amazon as quickly as possible.
Therefore, Rich shows you the minimum amount of information you need to provide to get your listing approved in the shortest time possible.
To be straight up, I didn't take this route to get my listings approved, but I did have to go through a bit of back and forth with Amazon to get my listings past Amazon's approval team, so I can see how this method can expedite the process.
Video 09 - Designing Your Product Packaging
In this lesson Rich walks through what you need to consider when designing your product's protection, its packaging.
Ultimately, Rich advises to take the safest path, which is to do something similar, but not identical to your competition.
I would encourage you not to over think this section and just walk the safe route, getting it done similarly to the way the competing products have been protected.
While protecting your product with good packing material is important, it is not something that needs to look perfect, so just do as Larry the Cable Guy would say, "Get er done!
Video 10 - Automatic (Email) List Building: The Power of Package Inserts
In this lesson, Rich talks about the process of list building and the structures in you need to put into place to make it happen pretty much passively.
Since Amazon does not share customer information with their sellers, it is important that you gather it yourself.
The good news is that it is not difficult to collect customer's contact information. Rich demonstrates how to get this info using inserts that are placed on top of your products but just inside the packaging so they are the first thing seen by your customer when they open the box.
Rich goes on to list the ways that you can persuade your buyer to give you their email usually by offering a discount on a future purchase if they sign up to your email list.
Really, you can obtain these inserts and have them made in a lot of different places, just by googling "converting packing inserts."
Video 11 - How much Inventory should You Order?
Rich's overview of lesson 11:
Summary: Your first inventory order will basically be as much as you can afford.
Rich is mainly speaking speaking to those with very limited budgets (5k and under), helping them get started.
Rich also offers a few tips on how using a freight forwarder can really help you (and he lists a number of ways it helps you both simplify and automate your shipping process).
Overall, I'm in agreement with Rich that we sellers should see our inventory purchases as investments, not merely as expenses. You are ultimately investing in products that when sold, will give you a greater and greater profit margin as time goes on and you refine your product acquirement process, reducing supplier expenses and shipping costs and such like.
Video 12 - Shipping by Air or by Sea
Rich walks thru the pros and cons of shipping your products by the two most popular means.
He compares the two using three variables:
- Costs: Shipping by sea is much cheaper. Air typically costs 3 to 5 times as much
- Time: Shipping by sea takes 25 to 35 days. Air typically takes 4 to 7 days
- Complexity: Air is usually simpler since it bypasses the seaports. Sea shipping has lots of steps and regulations (but we let our freight forwarder handle that)
He also gives a visual of the process:
Rich also lists the benefits that using a freight forwarder provides.
I have found that using a forwarding service that also inspects my shipments to really have helped manage the amount of inventory I have in Amazon's warehouses as well as helped smooth out the whole importation process. I agree with Rich that they are very helpful.
I found this lesson to be informative and helpful in improving the process I have set up for moving my products from their manufacturer to the Amazon warehouse.
Video 13 - Placing Your First Inventory Order
This lesson by Rich provides an overview of the information you need to provide to your supplier to place your first order of inventory.
Rich lists the details you will need to send as well as suggests how to communicate with both your supplier and your freight forwarder and how to put them in touch with each other.
The ASM course provides contact templates that I believe would have helped me speed up my communication between my supplier and my freight forwarder. I would urge you to use them to make the most of your time.
Video 14 - What Happens After Your Order Inventory
In this lesson, Rich provies timelines from when you first order your shipment to when it arrives at Amazon, giving two timelines: by air and by sea.
He also provides follow up processes of when you should be checking in with your supplier, your freight forwarder and with Amazon, to confirm that each step of the process has been accomplished.
One consideration that Rich brought to the table that I wish I'd of thought of earlier was shipping part of my inventory by air (to get it to Amazon earlier) and part of it by sea (to save expenses). I think that I could have scaled faster had I known about that from the get-go.
Video 15 - Mod 3 Wrap Up and Action Items Recap
This is a short recap of the the third module as well as a list of the actions that you need to take now that you have completed this module.