PLP 9 – Joe Junfola – The Master Reveals All. 4 Brands and Over $2M in Amazon-Related Revenue in 1 Year

Joe takes us back to a year ago when he launched his first private label product, selling on Amazon. He discusses in depth the strategy he used to circumvent the most costly and time consuming launch step, and instead catapulted his first product from unknown to best seller in less than a month. This feat alone earned him the title within the private label community of “Master Joe”.

Joe’s “launch process” later became one of the most-used and trusted tools in an private label seller’s arsenal, ZonBlast. Joe talks about deciding to turn what was his biggest secret into a publicly available service that has been responsible for launching over 1,000 products. Joe shares the two things that set successful private label sellers apart from those that flounder.

In the past year, Joe has grown his empire to include four brands, and a slew of services for private label entrepreneurs. Joe shares about the difference between picking a product and building a brand. Joe and Kevin discuss building a team, and when and where to look for talent to outsource tasks to. They discuss competition, and what to do when your business faces stiff competition.

Joe and Kevin discuss how they formed ZonSquad with Brian Creager, and go into what ZonSquad is.

The episode ends with Joe giving some advice for private label brand owners: “Be resilient, be adaptable. Write your own destiny. Be aggressive”. Some very powerful words to live by.

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PLP 8 – Private Label for Dummies 2 of 4

Before you get to this step, you should have setup a business entity (Kevin uses an LLC through Northwest Registered Agent) and setup a business bank account.

To setup your Amazon sellers account, go to www.amazon.com/sell

If you are given an option, choose “Sell as a Professional”. This account costs $40 per month, which a few months from now will seem like nothing.

Follow the prompts, using your business information rather than personal information. You will still, however need to use your name. Make sure to use your new Federal Employee ID number as opposed to your social security number. If you need to obtain a Federal Employee ID number, you can do so for free through the IRS here.

If you are asked if you want to sell a product, skip over those sections for now. Remember, all of this can be changed later on.

Beginning the Search for Your First Product:

Follow Kevin’s simple recommendations for finding your first product:

– Pick a category or niche that you enjoy or are passionate about. Remember, you’ll be neck deep in this business for at least the first few years, and it will be a lot more enjoyable if it is something you care about.

– You are searching for a brand, not a product. Don’t search for one product, search for one product that can be a launch pad into other related products, thus creating a brand. I do recommend you launch one product first– don’t try to be a hero and launch multiple things at once. Crawl before you walk, so to speak.

– Amazon tells you what you should sell! Really? Yes, well — kind of. Amazon takes the guesswork out of determining what is selling best. Each item is given a rank, both within a main category (Sports & Outdoors, Beauty, etc.) and a subcategory (Bicycle Helments, Wrinkle Cream, etc.). To get to the main “Amazon store directory” and explore categories, go here.

I tend to look for a product that:

– Is ranked in the top 1,000 in its main category

– Has at least 3 similar products also ranked in the top 1,000 of that category

**These first two tell us that there is enough volume of this product to make it worth our while**

– The competitor products (that I would compete against) have weaknesses that I can capitalize on. Generally, these weaknesses are either a) a low number of reviews…less than 1,000 in general, or b) Their listing is not optimizes. This could mean that they do not include keywords in their title, description, etc. They may not have good images, or not even be utilizing all of the image spaces available on their listing. Amazon usually gives 6-8 image slots. If someone is only using 1 or 2, you can capitalize on their weakness.

That’s it! It really is that simple. Now it’s time to start making a list of your possibilities. Make yourself a spreadsheet. On the left, put the type of product, then in the next column put the top three sellers selling that type of item and the BSR (best seller ranking), then list their price, and finally their number of reviews. Do this for at least 15-20 products.

Pro-Tip: The 999 Trick

If you want to find out how many units a seller is selling of a particular item, add their item to your cart, then edit your cart, attempting to change the quantity to 999. **Important-don’t do this if you have 1-click ordering enabled on Amazon**

If the seller has less than 999 units available, and most do, Amazon will actually tell you how many are available. Write this number down, and then do the same thing the next day at the same time. After a few days, you will get a good general understanding of how many items they are moving per day.

Finding a Supplier:

Once you’ve filled up your spreadsheet, you can pick a few opportunities you want to pursue. Comparing all of the data, where are the greatest opportunities? There should be a few that stick out. Now it’s time to find a supplier. This, too is super simple. You are going to go over to google and type in the type of product you are wanting to have produced, followed by “private label”. Try it both ways, for example: bicycle helmet private label AND private label bicycle helmet. You should get some results with companies that can private label for you.

For many items, you will be sourcing overseas. For the vast majority of products, this means using a site such as alibaba.com Alibaba has certain assurances in place to protect you — learn about and use them. For some items, you will want to source in the US…those include supplements, any consumable or beauty product, as well as many pet products, especially if the product goes in or on the pet. We’ll cover contacting the suppliers and what questions to ask next week.

Wrap-Up:

Take some action this week! Get in the game. Set up your Amazon seller account, get an EIN number from the IRS, start researching products. There is NO better time to be an entrepreneur and there is no better business model than this one. In episode 3 of Private Label for Dummies, we’ll talk about negotiating with your supplier for your first order, and getting some packaging designed.

I want to hear from you! Contact me on Facebook, or send me an email and let me know where you are in the process!

–Kevin

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PLP 7 – Brian Creager Built a Million Dollar Company While Keeping His Corporate Day Job

Brian discusses deciding to private label his own products after spending decades doing the same thing in his corporate job. Find out what his lightbulb moment was. Brian shares that he first unsuccessfully marketed his goods off Amazon before being turned on to the massive opportunities on the world’s largest e-commerce store. Brian discusses early struggles and the thing he credits most to his success: the people he surrounded himself with. He talks about the importance of tracking metrics in your private label business, specifically:

Sales (actual dollars and units sold) on a monthly basis

and

Sessions & Units sold on a daily basis using a trailing system (looking backwards).

Brian shares the importance of looking bigger than you really are, and utilizing quality packaging to build your brand awareness and customer loyalty.

Brian and Kevin discuss how they formed ZonSquad with Joe Junfola, and go into what ZonSquad is.

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PLP 6 – Private Label for Dummies 1 of 4

Kevin introduces you to the world of private labeling in a concise and easy to understand format. In this first of four episode series geared towards the beginner who is not yet selling their own private label products, Kevin talks about the opportunities available in the private label industry. He says that 70-80% of products available at most big box stores are actually private labeled.

Next, Kevin walks you through setting up a company name, entity (such as an LLC) and a domain name and email address which will allow you to begin contacting potential suppliers for your first product.

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PLP 5 – Shawn Lebaron Sold $1.5 Million on Shopify Last Year, But That Wasn’t Good Enough

Shawn discussed how he started his own business selling physical products with his own Shopify store in 2014 and quickly reached $1.5 million in sales. Next, he and his business partner decided to expand the business into Amazon, and didn’t know what to expect. They were quite surprised when only 6 months later they had built a business poised to do over a million in sales in less than a year on Amazon, too.

Shawn discusses the pros and cons of Shopify and Amazon as sales channels, and has some great advice for planning for the future of your brand.

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PLP 4 – Tina Traver – Realtor & Grandmother Builds 7 Figure Business Selling on Amazon

Tina discusses going from selling homes to selling physical products on Amazon. Tina shares about quality control issues that threatened to sink her new business and how she fought to overcome them.

She goes into detail about providing extraordinary customer service, shares what her business has meant in terms of lifestyle, allowing her to spend more time with her family and doing the things she enjoys, including making jewelry.

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PLP 1 – Kevin Pasco – From Zero to Million Dollar Business on Amazon in Less Than a Year at 22 Years Old

Kevin Pasco is a man after my own heart. Like myself, Kevin started his entrepreneurial journey young, while he was still a teenager. Unlike myself, Kevin managed to build a million dollar business at the age of 22. Kevin and his business partner started selling on Amazon about a year ago, and while their rise has been meteoric, it has not been without its challenges.

Kevin discusses the importance of finding a partner, and how he went about doing so. He talks about working remotely with that partner, and using technology to collaborate.

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PLP 2 – Kellianne Fedio – Attorney & Mom Shares Her Story of Building a Lifestyle Business to Finally Give Her the Freedom She Has Always Wanted

Kellianne discusses leaving her career as an attorney to have more time to focus on her family, and the ups and downs of what came next – network and internet marketing. She shares about her journey into private labeling, and discusses product selection, adding value and the importance of finding a way to add value to someone’s life through the products you sell and the support you provide.

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PLP 3 – Marcia Stellpflug – Mom, Former Finance Exec Goes “All In” on Amazon Private Label Business

Marcia shares with us her journey into Private Labeling. She tackles being a Mom, and discusses the freedoms and pitfalls this type of business provides. One of the things Marcia contributes to her success is partnering with someone with considerable Asia sourcing skills, and she goes into depth about this.

Meet Kevin & About the Show

In Private Label Podcast, Kevin introduces you to the most successful private label entrepreneurs, people who have created million dollar empires selling products for brands they’ve created from nothing.

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