Welcome to the first ever episode of the Amazooka – Amazon on Autopilot podcast. We launched the Triple A podcast (much less of a mouthful 🙂 to share our experiences building and growing successful Amazon businesses to help FBA sellers out there struggling to get started, grow, scale or find great levels of success. Rus and I aren’t experts, just two guys in the FBA arena working hard to make it happen and make it easier for all to profit. That’s what we’re all looking for in the end, that and freedom – hence the Autopilot.
Part of the freedom and scaleable of Amazon comes down to tools, software and processes though. And we wanted an unfair advantage in our Amazon businesses, so we created Amazooka, a software to supercharge Amazon sales and automate your business. This podcast will be the sister to the software, the free guide to get the results and life you want. Check out our free 14 day trial as well if you’re serious about your Amazon adventure…now let’s get on with the show.
Tune in To Find Out
- What is private labeling and what it means for entrepreneurs
- How sellers can build an FBA business on the side
- Why Amazon entrepreneurs can build and grow a business while traveling
- What masterminding is and the value it can have in your business
- Brand names, store brands and knockoffs…what you need to know
- How to make a better private label product
- Why sourcing from China via Alibaba is only the beginning
- What does Fulfilled By Amazon mean
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Rus: Here we go. So Hey I’m Rus
Matt: and I’m Matt.
Rus: We sell stuff on Amazon.
Matt: Hopefully we can help you guys do the same. This is the Amazooka Podcast.
Rus: Amazon on autopilot let’s go.
Matt: There we go we got our Corny Intro out of the way guys. So now let’s get rollin with this.
Rus: Today we’re gonna talk a little bit about what is Amazon FBA and Private Labeling just the very basics.
Matt: and of course why we got into this as well.
Rus: Yep. I mean I started March 2014 I think, while I also had a 9 to 5 day job and the reason I got into it was because it’s the kind of business you can run in your own time on the side, alongside whatever else you’re doing and not let your business control your life. So I started while I was doing a 9 to 5 back in March last year and then by September I was able to quit my job on the money earnings from Amazon and then when I did that I was able to [INAUDIBLE 01:08] more I was making more than 1 month then I went onto higher year, so that was my reasons for going the Amazon FBA wreaths.
Matt: and you are kind of cool with getting Nippons on this too Rus, I remember when I first met these guys. So guys we were at Tiger Kingdom so we’re actually in Chiang Mai, Thailand and there are tigers, we got to lay with them and it was freaking incredible but Rus that was kind of how I got to know you and you were this cool little British guy and you had an awesome British accent which meant we were destined to be friends and you’re telling me about this Amazon FBA stuff and I was super skeptical, I’m not gonna lie. It sounded little too easy and it sounded little bit interesting but that was kind of how we met and I’m glad that we did.
Rus: That was good fun although I’m still not sure if the tigers were more scary or exciting.
Matt: Yes it’s hard to tell. I really hope they won’t drag but that was quite a tick, just have sweat pouring.
Rus: I’m glad I got out there alive. I’m not sure I’m gonna get my head back in the cage.
Matt: Someone got mauled the week after we went to Tiger Kingdom and guys don’t try this at home. We’ll stick with the Amazon but that’s kind of how we got to know each other and I think that it’s kind of cool that somehow we start a business together down the line just like what happened.
Rus: I mean Matt and I started Masterminding and brainstorming around Amazon products. When I was still in [INAUDIBLE 02:42] which is probably around February this year I guess.
Matt: Yeah you were training for Muay Thai I think that’s one of the interesting parts about building your own businesses. You can kind of do it from anywhere and you can kind of side step it. I know you had some health problems and stuff so you had to step away and it’s just cool that it gives you the time.
Rus: That’s the main thing I can focus on whatever I want to do now rather than owning my business so owning my work. I mean some of my friends they do like a 9 to 6 not 9 to 5 anymore so 9 to 6 and part of that involves commuting one and a half hours to get to their job in the first place and then commuting another one and half hours back and that’s like a 12-hour a day.
Matt: To a job that you freaking hate and a boss that’s a dick. Where are you by the way Rus? We haven’t kind of touch base in a while.
Rus: I’m living in the Dynamite Circle entrepreneur house over in Bacelona Spain. I’ve been here for two months and I’m gonna probably be here for another two. It’s absolutely awesome. I’ve got a podcast with Chris he’s running at later on so you guys watch out for that. It’s fantastic basically I’m living in a small kind of like community of 12 other entrepreneurs and every day we kind of like brainstorm, mastermind and try and try each other’s businesses just to the next level and it’s absolutely fantastic.
Matt: So what does it look like? Like that’s one of the reasons like for now I’m in Chiang Mai I’m back in Chiang Mai haven’t been here the entire time. A whole little around the world trip of Asia and now I’m back here because there’s lots of other people that are building FDA business there’s lots of Amazon sellers here and we’re working on Amazooka we’re trying to kind of take it to the next level for Amazon software. So it seems like here is a pretty good place to be somewhere where you can bootstrap. Yeah go into it a little.
Rus: Well we’re down here in Barcelona Wreaths more kind of entrepreneurial spirit over an Amazon faker spirit. There are guys here running 8 commerce websites backed swipe by WordPress in their own warehousing system. So they’ve obviously got a lot of knowledge on selling on e-commerce on general running paper click campaigns, running Facebook campaigns etc. and private labeling but they haven’t had experience with Amazon but they still got a lot to add to my business and there are other guys who are just very experienced in kind of the process of running businesses, talking to potential leads, etc. they’ve had great input on some of the problems I’ve had. Then there’s just people that are really good at kind of graphic design, branding, labeling but again not directly related to Amazon but definitely part of the private labeling problem that you’re gonna have at some point so being able to kind of mastermind with a dozen business owners all running different businesses successfully all online.
Matt: They’re kicking ass.
Rus: Yeah they’re kicking ass. So they’ve got like a hundred years of experience collectively kind of sat on the other room right now. you know and mainly kind of early 30s so yeah it’s phenomenal and everyone wants to help each other which is one of the best part.
Matt: So I realized we started this off absolutely terribly this I supposed to be the Amaazoka podcast it’s Amazon on autopilot we didn’t even really talk about what FBA is what an Amazon business is. So let’s go back to that I think, I think we screwed up a little bit sorry about that guys. So FBA is fulfilled by Amazon and basically what we’re talking about is private labeling your own products with the big brands have done for years. You create something awesome you import it from China, you make it in the US etc. and then you sell the crap out of it on Amazon that’s basically what we’re talking about just kind of getting into a nutshell.
Rus: I remember when I was a kid we were in Sainsbury’s for shopping with my parents and in England we have something called Jaffa Cakes and still not sure if it’s a cake or biscuit.
Matt: What is that? What’s a Jaffa Cake?
Rus: It’s a small chocolate sponge kind of cake with a bit of orange marmalade on the top. So Jaffa Cakes are the main brand but in Sainsbury’s they also bought out the Sainsbury’s brand of Jaffa Cakes and then they also had a third brand the Sainsbury’s basics brand of Jaffa cakes and my mom would always get the basics and I’d like be like a small kid so I’d kinda get the real Jaffa Cakes and a head phrase was they’re all the same they’re just in different boxes and that’s exactly what private labeling is. The Jaffa Cakes in the Jaffa branded box were exactly the same as the Jaffa Cakes in the Sainsbury’s branded box and they are also exactly the same as the Jaffa Cakes in the Sainsbury’s Basics private box but they’re all at different prices. You could tell they were the same because if you look in the ingredient’s list and the nutritional value list everything was identical just three different ways of labeling and exactly the same product.
Matt: Private labeling, but let me say wait a second so not all of them are perfect like that. We love Honey Nut Cheerios in my house and my dad is the worst mixer. So he would take the store brand and he would mix them with honey nuts and you could always tell because the taste was just never there he always thought he fooled us.
Rus: Yeah I’ll agree with you Store Brand cornflakes tastes nothing like Kellog’s never doing that again.
Matt: Yeah, you really kinda get it down and I guess that’s kind of where we come in the FBA sellers we want to make sure you hit that quality you want to be at that Nike and Adidas level cause if you’re putting out on Wal-Mart, K-Mart stuff here.
Rus: Well the thing I love about private label is you can actually go better, you can introduce a similar product that’s actually better than your competitors.
Matt: and that’s how you win.
Matt: Yup, we’ll go into that definitely more on another episode but how do you make something better?
Rus: Well the important thing is use it and find out what’s wrong with it and improve on it. Most suppliers in China will be happy to make tweaks to a certain extent on existing product or just remark it, the product to the demographic that will find your product valuable so of it so you don’t necessarily have to make the product better you could just make your marketing to be more focused so that it’s more suitable for their needs.
Matt: Well let’s face that knocking off the big boys and doing a better job sounds pretty freaking cool. Imagine if you’re walking on the street of Paris and you’re buying Ray bans they kick the crap out of those typical once. We’ve all seen that, we all know that it happens. It’s really just about getting that information and then making it happen.
Rus: Yeah, my favorite right now like I on taking another part finding out is there any 10 dollars’ worth of material and like these 200 to 300 dollar headphones like most people can afford 10 dollar headphones and if 10 dollar headphones are the same or better as like Beats by trade there’s really room improvement.
Matt: and I did a crowd funding podcast before this, little sad note guys all of the kick start and I know there were definitely crowded projects which were people essentially sourcing things on Alibaba, Aliexpress and then absolutely crushing it. The world’s kind of, it’s pretty freaking big there’s a lot of incredible stuff and if you visit Top tier suppliers they can typically hook you up with some pretty cool stuff to sell.
Rus: Cool so that’s basically what private labeling is where you find an existing product usually on Alibaba although there are lots of other places and then you just start your own branding and label on it and start on private label. So what’s the Amazon FBA parts?
Matt: So FBA where that comes in is if you’ve ever sold anything you know that it’s not very fun to have inventory you have to sell it on your own. So imagine selling like a thousand baseball cards that’s awesome we all collected those as a kid now imagine shipping out thousand individual baseball cards to people all around the country it’s not so quite inciting to a 10-year old and it’s the same concept with FBA basically like what I do now I’m working this out you can send your inventory into Amazon and they will ship it out to customers. It’s a built-in channel where people want to buy stuff it’s better than Google better than anything send it into them they send it to your customers bing bang boom you’ve got a business that’s rolling.
Rus: I mean what are other people don’t appreciate about Amazon is they’re not just a sales company they’ve become a logistics company and they’ve become a technology company and the Amazon warehousing and logistics kind of side of things is absolutely phenomenal. When I’m sending my products into Amazon warehouse they’re often giving me 3 or 4 different locations that I should send the stuff I’m selling in order to optimize the delivery out to all my customers and that’s gonna save me money and time in the long run. Who wants to be you know kind of wrapping up little boxes and placing them. I remember when I was working in Mark and Spencer’s we’ve had to like take this massive sack of [INAUDIBLE 12:22] down to the mail office to get it sent out like if you’re doing 20, 30 or 40 units a day you want to be going down the post every single day with a huge bag in order to get it sent out. Now just letting Amazon do that with their FBA service that’s half of the business right there.
Matt: What do you do before you became an online entrepreneur Rus, we haven’t talked about that as much. What was your job? What did you study? Why was life miserable?
Rus: I was a detainer I guess you know studied computer science went on to the masters but the majority of my time has been spent kind of developing large scale softwares to service platforms with millions of users both on the kind of online E-learning and Telecoms arena. So I’ve kind of basically spent the last 15 years being the biggest nerd in the room which is pretty cool because I’ve got to work with some amazing people and do some amazing things and hopefully I’d be bringing that to the new project.
Matt: Oh you are bringing that to the new project?
Matt: Guys, Rus is a beast when it comes to software and that’s kind of why we teamed up I messaged Rus telling him about this cool new Amazon software I wanted to build we were going to track sponsored ads basically you want to run an advertisement to a starving crowd we want to make sure everyone is seeing it and Rus is like “Yes, so I’m building software already matt” and I was like shoot what if we worked together now we’re kind of working together. This is Amazooka we blast of the business. Ends the podcast.
Rus: Exactly. So yeah big day tonight guys, working with Matt big marketing goal together I think we’ll gonna be okay.
Matt: I think so too, we both have the Amazon businesses going now hopefully we can grow Amazooka to the point where everyone else’s at the Amazon business crushing it.
Matt: and I’m not really sure if we should go anywhere else on this first podcast. Guys we’ve kind of mumbled I don’t know if you liked it, if you didn’t. We should probably wrap up at this point and say leave us a review Amazooka.com/itunes you could subscribe if you want to listen to Amazon seller’s rumble we’ll try to put a little bit more value into this upcoming once but it’s kind of hard at the beginning.
Matt: Oh my God this is been interesting this has been a challenge thanks for sticking with us if you guys did. Leave a comment
Rus: Muchas Gracias.
Matt: I don’t know how to say the entire right now, I’m gonna be honest. Thank you
Rus: That’s all I learned thank you and bye!
Matt: We’ve embarrassed ourselves enough guys next episode we’re going into Amazon hardcore. Let’s cut this call off.
Rus: Adios Amigos!