Private label selling seems to be expanding faster than the popularity of fidget spinners. So I wasn't surprised to hear from James Thomson, Co-Founder of PROSPER Show and the former head of Amazonservices.com, that this year the conference sold out of tickets. With 1400 attendees and 90% year over-year-growth, I had to dig into the nitty-gritty details of the show so I could share all of them with you.
Get Rich Quick
When I work with clients on product design, I make it a point early on to let each client know that going the route of private label selling on Amazon is not a 3-month plan with a billion dollar buyout exit. It's okay to dream about that six-figure income but you're going to have to put in a LOT of work before that ever even becomes an option. It was so nice, in speaking with James, to hear this real (and very true) advice echoed. I wouldn't be doing you any favors if I wasn't honest about the required blood, sweat, and tears... well maybe not blood but you get the point.
Let's Talk Sales Routes
When the buzz first began around private label selling on Amazon, people were approaching the topic by choosing one of the two options below:
B2B: Wholesale sales directly to Amazon (Vendor Central)
B2C: Direct to consumer by way of retail (Seller Central)
But the conversation is different now and the change represents an evolution and maturity in the sellers themselves, who are participating in the eCommerce market. The new approach is one that finds each seller asking. "What's the most strategic way to create a balance between the two platforms of 1st and 3rd party sales and making both models work?" This is great because the realization that it doesn't have to be one or the other is huge, but also opens the door to new vulnerabilities and more questions about how to do things right.
Selling Isn't Always Sexy
The Prosper Show was aimed at targeting these details, which aren't always fun, but are always necessary. As James put it, there are the sexy and then the not so sexy details of what it takes to be successful in private label sales. Here's a quick breakdown of the topics you should be discussing (or going to the show to discuss directly with the experts!)
The Sexy: BEGINNING:
- The products themselves
- Daily sales
- Growing lists
- Hacking Amazon
- The thrill of beating out competitors and becoming a top seller
The Not-So Sexy: NECESSITY:
- Sales Tax
- Clickfunnel testing
- Customs Duty
While some are sexy and some aren't, all are important to building a big profitable brand and covering all of your bases. The show is not for people looking to put a sticker on a few items and list them. As you can see from the lists above, this is for people who want to get serious about their sales.
Bonus Tip on Marketing From A True Expert
Also at the show was Rick Cesari of Cesari IGNITE and his take on direct response marketing was spot on. He pointed out that in order to get your direct response marketing message right, you need to make it your job to get insider information and learn to model the success and failures of big brands.
No More This Or That
Private Label has lost some of its lustre for some because it has gotten crowded and competitive, with big national brands finally, marginally, pushing back. But with the right mix of original product, direct response marketing skills and some pointed education for advanced sellers from the Prosper Show, there is still plenty of business and profit to be had.
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