Is This The End of Retail Arbitrage?

Retail Arbitrage. Is it dying?

If you want to skip this article and just trust me, I’ll cut straight to the point. Retail Arbitrage (RA) is NOT dying – it’s going to be with us forever, or at least as long as we have free markets where products can be privately bought and sold.

If you want to hear my reasoning in the briefest possible terms, read on…

First, for the sake of those new to online business, let’s define Retail Arbitrage.

Retail Arbitrage, or RA is the art & science of finding items locally on retail store shelves that you can flip and sell for a profit online (i.e. Amazon, eBay, Craigslist etc.). In “the biz” we call it “RA.”

While RA is just ONE of numerous ways to source profitable inventory (we teach over 50 strategies in our Amazon course for example), the fact remains that RA remains a very popular starting point for many online sellers.

It’s never been necessarily easy to do RA, but it’s always been simple to grasp the concept – which is perhaps why it’s been popular for a couple of decades. It’s also been a viable sourcing option for that same length of time. Along with many other experts in the online selling industry, I believe that RA will ALWAYS be an opportunity as long as there are relatively free markets in operation. I have no hidden agenda or secret reasons to prop up RA. Like I said, we teach 50 strategies for sourcing profitable inventory and RA is just ONE! If I’m wrong, and RA becomes unviable for my business, I’ll confess I was wrong publicly, and easily walk away from it – but I’m nearly positive that RA is NOT going anywhere but UP. I pay a team to do RA for me. The deals are out there and will continue to be.

I’ll make my case for the long term stability of RA below as briefly as I can. If you grasp the basics of economics and free trade (supply & demand etc.) it will really help this article to soak in. If the basics of economics are foreign concepts to you, it might not make as much sense, but I reserve the right to say “See, I told you so” in ten years either way.

First, a bit of history of the retail arbitrage opportunity:

RA first popped up on eBay as a viable way to earn a nice living nearly a couple of decades ago like I said above. Since that time, on eBay, Amazon and many other online selling platforms we’ve seen hundreds of billions of dollars of product move from retail stores to enterprising entrepreneurs like us and then on to Amazon or eBay and then of course finally to consumers.

An example of RA: Let’s say you are out shopping retail for yourself and you notice a large bin of products marked down 80%. You quickly check eBay and Amazon with one of the available apps – many of which are free, and you discover that many of the items are selling quickly online for much more than the discounted price available to you. Next, you buy the products (after asking for a deal of course), and then you flip them for a nice profit.

Sounds simple right? It really is.

There are those in the industry however who are predicting the end of RA as an opportunity, and I’m here to say publicly I think they are quite wrong on that point. Also consider that many experts who are predicting the death of RA have an easily identified agenda behind their premature announcement of RA’s demise. I on the other hand have no vested interest either way in the fate of RA except for the fact that I love free markets and would enjoy preserving that particular stream of income for myself – but I have many other sourcing and product creation concepts I both teach and utilize in my own business.

From where I sit, the only way RA will ever die is if free markets die while consumers are dragged in kicking and screaming at every step.

The supposed threats against RA are as follows:

  1. Competition: This theory says that so many of us are doing RA that the opportunity will soon die or become unviable. The same argument has been around for about 15 years.
  2. Grumpy Brands: Brands are being protective of their goods & price points and some are now going direct to Amazon – which they HOPE will make it harder for us as RA sellers to find and sell profitable brands online (aka – cut out the middle man)
  3. The “new” vs. “used” goods debate: This is a continuation of “grumpy brands” argument. Brands want to force us as sellers (often in cooperation with Amazon) to call otherwise brand new RA products something less than “brand new” once we pull them off the shelves.

Let’s discuss these three faulty theories one at a time as I offer a simple argument against each:

#1 Competition

Competition is a reality of any biz opportunity. Of all the rationals given for the demise of RA, this one is the strongest from my vantage point, but on a scale of 1-10, the “competition” argument is maybe a 2 in regards to making me nervous. Free markets correct themselves naturally – and RA is the ground floor level of retail correction. As more people become aware, more competition will be in the picture. That’s how business works. It’s not new, but so few people are willing to do the work and put in the time. The truly motivated among us are a rare breed and they will continue to thrive with this model.

More good news for RA sellers: eBay has been in the picture for 20 years now and you’ll still only encounter a handful of people in your community who “get it”. If you ask 1,000 people on the street if they know how to do RA, you’ll get 1,000 confused looks…or 999 1/2 confused looks. This entire trend is STILL in its infancy – as is “online shopping” which still only represents a tiny fraction of total retail activity. In other words, the hottest trends in retail shopping history are still the equivalent of babies in diapers. Those announcing the “death” of any Internet business trend are almost certainly doing so with an agenda that serves their own purposes.

Further evidence in support of RA is this:

RA is an “entry level” activity for many/most serious online sellers. It’s how you get your feet wet. Those who do it well typically move on…leaving plenty of $10 widgets that can be flipped for $50 on Amazon or eBay. Make no mistake – this can easily put $100K per year in the bank for a part time effort, but still, it’s only a starting point. Serious sellers use RA as a launching point, and then often move on to slightly more complex models like wholesale or private label (both of which we discuss in our courses by the way).

#2 Grumpy Brands

A quick note about brand owners.

Mistakes by brand owners and retail channels are opportunity for RA sellers. Brand owners and retail outlets take on a lot of risk when they make and ship a million widgets all over the retail channels. Inevitably, they make, order or ship too many or too few – almost every time. Inevitably they price the products too high or too low. This “over/under” pricing and ordering game creates massive online opportunity for those of us in the RA game. In spite of Amazon’s attempts to stay on top of it all by getting in the buying game themselves, you still have a massive advantage if you are willing to scan a few prices at local retailer and spot the “winners.” This will not be going away…ever.

Many brands are refusing to allow their stuff online though, or they want to work directly with Amazon and somehow cut out the RA sellers.

That may sound like bad news for RA sellers, but from a big picture vantage point I see nothing but opportunity unless the brand goes ONLY with Amazon and refuses to sell through any traditional retail channels. In that rare instance, the RA opportunities for that particular brand are indeed dead. This model represents only a tiny fraction of Amazon brands however.

Next, the law is on our side. Once you buy something you own it and can sell it. If Amazon or eBay won’t let you for some reason, there will always be other options if the deal is good enough. If a brand sells via retail and you get it for a great price, there WILL be a way to sell it for a profit. Ebay has been fighting and winning battles on this front for 20 years, and now Amazon is in the fight too (to defend RA). Sure there are some exceptions, but in general we are winning (aka Free Markets are being protected). The worst case scenario is that you may not be allowed to call it “brand new” (we’ll address that in point 3), but you can still sell it as “like new.” Remember – shoppers aren’t stupid. If Amazon for some reason sides too often with brand owners on this point and allows ONLY retail level pricing on Amazon.com direct from brand owners, how do you think Amazon’s hundreds of millions of buying customers will respond? The answer: They’ll start shopping somewhere else where they can save some cash – which is exactly where the RA sellers will follow. In other words, the pressure to keep the inventory flowing in at the cheapest possible prices is on AMAZON, not on us. Amazon will never care about what price brand owners want to assign to their products. Amazon cares only about getting as many as possible quality product options at the best possible prices in front of their customers.

If Amazon were to suddenly stop offering this discounted merchandise (which WON’T happen), someone else would fill the gap. The free market will continue to win until laws are passed that shuts it all down (and then God help us all because that’s the death of free markets.) We’ve heard a bunch of these other arguments since the early 2000’s with eBay when it was supposedly going to start preventing retail arbitrage in the early 2000’s. Predicting trends is fun, but right now it’s business as usual from my vantage point.

#3 “new” vs. “used”

This is an easy one to refute. While I could write a lengthy chapter on the topic I won’t.

Again, consumers and free markets save the day and WE (as RA sellers) benefit.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s suppose for a moment that Amazon creates a new product category called “like new/purchased retail” and forces us to use it as RA sellers. Why would they do this? They might do it to make their “brand owners” happy, to guarantee perfect retail boxes as much as possible, and by doing so force RA sellers to distinguish truly “brand new” items from items purchased retail and “flipped”. In other words – the same exact products in the same exact boxes, but categorized differently on Amazon.

This may sound like bad news, but again, supply and demand wins in the end.

Shoppers will find and buy the better deals even if Amazon tries to hide them. Smart shoppers (there are a lot of them) would quickly realize that there is rarely if ever a difference between the categorization of “new” vs. “like new/purchased retail”. They’ll take the better deal.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a test.

You have a chance to buy a bright clean widget in a perfect box for $50 or get one with a dented corner on the box for $30. With all other things being equal EXCEPT the seemingly irrelevant condition category, which price will you choose? Some consumers will pick the higher price -sure. That’s just goofy human nature, but as smart shoppers learn that the category “like new/purchased retail” is just as good as “new”, they’ll begin to go where the deals are. That means WE WIN in the end as RA sellers.

And for the sake of being thorough, let’s assume that Amazon no longer allows brands to be sold on their site unless they are direct form a manufacturer. How long will it take word to spread that the real “deals” are back on eBay or elsewhere? In other words, the pressure is on AMAZON to keep RA alive – and they will do so even if they don’t like RA sellers for some reason. Their buying customers will DEMAND it.

Bottom line: RA is NOT going anywhere anytime soon. Keep on scanning! The same can be said for OA. The deals will always be there for those willing to do the work.

Getting suspended on Amazon -it’s not the end of the world!

With tens of thousands of Amazon selling professionals in our readership base, we are positioned well to keep tabs on bigger trends effecting sellers. Right now, there seems to be a slightly higher than usual number of suspensions happening. It’s scary to get a notice from Amazon saying that they’ve suspended your selling privileges.

While the odds of a permanent suspension are very slim IF it’s handled correctly, it is still a scary process to go through.

If it happens to you or someone you know, we are here to help as much as possible. Please know that the majority of suspension can be overturned if handled properly.

Here’s what we are doing about the suspension trend in our community:

  • We are partnering up with top experts in the arena of “suspension reversal.” The good news is, the vast majority of suspensions ARE overturned and we have resources on hand ready to assist. Contact us if you are suspended on Amazon, and we’ll refer you to an expert who can advise you. Don’t try to handle it alone. Don’t panic and reply desperately to Amazon (that can make things harder to fix).
  • A special report about preventing suspension and managing suspension is being developed right now by a trusted partner of mine. We’ll add this report to the ProvenAmazonCourse.com course when it’s ready.
  • You can take some simple steps to help prevent suspensions. For example, be prepared to provide legitimate proof of purchase invoices and receipts for all your inventory. Monitor your reports closely for negative trends (bad products that generate consistent complaints, etc.).
  • We continue to teach multiple income stream strategies! For example, there are millions of products, experts, small businesses, charities etc. that aren’t on Amazon yet! Learn how easy it is to get them onto Amazon with their own account, and get paid a “cut” using our brand new course at ProvenProductPartnering.com.

The best selling (and continually updated) book “Silent Sales Machine” has been about online income diversification from day one. Our entire community is built upon the premise that multiple income streams online are better than one because reliance on any single "big boy" website like Amazon is risky. Get the book on Amazon, or at SilentSalesMachine.com

Finally, if you or someone you know is suspended on Amazon please send proof of that suspension to us and we’ll get the suspended seller free access to our latest course from ProvenProductPartnering.com as our way of showing support and helping them be aware of the need for income diversity with Amazon. We’ll also direct them to an expert who can advise them and assist with reinstatement.

Success isn’t about SELLING MORE it’s about BETTER BUYING

Are you new to selling “physical” product on Amazon or eBay?

After having helped thousands of sellers succeed on those two platforms, I have some of the most universally ignored, yet entirely sound advice you’ll ever get about succeeding on those platforms.

Here’s the tip:

You make your money when you buy your inventory – not when you sell it.

If you want to begin successfully selling physical product online, that should be your mantra. That statement doesn’t seem to make sense until you understand that RESEARCH is what makes you a winner in this game. It’s all about being as certain about your results as you possibly can be BEFORE you commit to buying any inventory that you hope to resell.

This simple tidbit of advice has steered many of our students away from disaster. I can’t stress enough (especially for newbies) the importance of learning to do proper research before buying inventory. We get clients all the time who unfortunately poured piles of cash into 1,000 units of a widget before they met us.   They poor souls were SURE they could move their “great deals” later at a high profit margin.

Most often these gullible newbies were told in a course (not our course!) that the secret to riches was in going “all in” in a single product and then marketing like crazy (aka SEO, feedback tricks, ppc ads etc.). That model DOES work…about 10% of the time. If you are really paying at tenting you’ll note that a 10% success rate is just about enough “success” to keep the “big launch” wheels turning – with course after course promising riches following the same mostly broken model.

If you want something more predictable, steady, proven and reliable however, I suggest you heed my advice.

Success selling physical product is NOT about creatively marketing inventory after you’ve poured your money into buying a pile of it. Instead, success awaits those who cautiously purchase ONLY the items that they KNOW will sell – and sell quickly, profitably and predictably.  Slow and steady incremental growth is the battle plan.  Quick hit, overnight riches based on one large inventory buy is a path to nowhere.

To be clear, if you buy the wrong inventory, you can’t rely on being bailed out by:

  • creative marketing
  • pay per click ads
  • keyword and title shenanigans
  • seo games
  • fake/coerced reviews

…any other “trick” to get you out of the situation.

We tell all newbies to go “a mile wide and an inch deep” when starting out buying inventory – that means don’t buy more than a handful of anything until you are REALLY good at this game. Don’t pour all your cash into a single type of product unless and until you REALLY know what you are doing (that can take years for some people – while others catch on quickly).

To learn how to properly and predictably enter the game in a much lower risk fashion, check out the number one course in the world (yes, I’m biased) on the topic of selling physical products online: ProvenAmazonCourse.com

Learning to sell on Amazon shouldn’t be a huge investment!

Recently there have been a lot of courses launching claiming to teach success selling on Amazon.Some of these courses are getting the mega-launch treatment attracting multiple “big hitter” affiliates seeking the fat 50% commissions and contest winnings on the very high priced courses.  Beware – “endorsements” aren’t always based on integrity.  It’s important you know the qualifications and intentions of the person doing the endorsing!

Part of what makes these big hype launches so disappointing is that many (most?) of these “experts” who are promoting these courses have no qualifications at all to talk about setting up a legitimate business selling physical goods online.  They are just excited to get a big check for helping sell an expensive course.

If you want to spend thousands lining the pockets of experts who are only excited about their fat affiliate commissions,  while learning the same things that we teach around here in superior, proven, time tested courses that cost 1/10th the price tag –  that’s fine, but after you read this blog post at least you’ll know the full story from my perspective.

In this blog post I’ll make a simple case as to why you should consider an alternative to the “big launches” and stick with the long time proven courses with long term established communities and experts instead.  Save your cash for inventory!

Consider the ProvenAmazonCourse.com (the “PAC”) course in this case if you are ready to learn how to sell on Amazon.

Are you eager to jump into Private Labeling?  Check out ProvenPrivateLabel.com (by the way, you get BOTH courses in one place -> ProvenAmazonCourse.com for under $300)

Or, don’t buy ANY course and just get going with one basic idea than anyone can use (one of the multiple strategies we teach inside our PAC course) – here’s an 8 minute video I made that’s getting great feedback so far. It shows you how to get started selling on Amazon at virtually no expense at all:

Make no mistake, there are some great courses, books and sites out there besides the Proven Amazon Course, and I won’t say anything specifically negative about my competition because I welcome all sources of creative content, but here are some factors that I think really set our Amazon training team apart from all other options out there:
  • For over a decade my team and I have been teaching everyone from newbies to our highest end clients how to sell physical products online. The PAC course has generated hundreds of incredible testimonials in the last 5 years, and the BEST students become our expert trainers.
  • We are always improving our courses. For example, we’ve just partnered with a world’s foremost expert on the topic of Private Label rights and he’s creating all original content for our students. He’s easily the most qualified expert in the arena of Private Label that I’ve ever encountered – he’s had huge success for years with it. If you were under the impression that selling private label is some sort of new discovery, it’s not. It’s also not the best place to start out on Amazon for the vast majority of people who are just getting started because it takes a LOT of work before you see results.  We aren’t hyping it the way you’ll see others hyping private label.
  • We don’t insult and hound our students with upsells (be ready for this if you buy most online courses in this niche). I don’t do upsells. We sell the ProvenAmazonCourse.com course ONCE and students get all future updates automatically. No surprises.  Ask anyone who purchased the Proven Amazon Course five years ago how much the course has been updated, improved, expanded etc. They’ve not paid an additional dime since then for the new ideas, updates and content.
  • We teach multiple product sourcing and selling strategies (most competing courses teach only one). We have a wide variety of successful students –  everyone from those who’ve built a virtually hands free operation & never leave home while selling into numerous countries, to those who love shopping retail for a living and finding great deals in their spare time (while making a great profit). Our success stories are quite diverse.
  • We offer hand holding coaching for those who want it. You can work one-on-one with one of our successful students if you want to ramp up quickly. Our coaches are ALL successful students who we pay well to assist newbies.
  • Our community is VERY international. This is a global opportunity. One of our most successful students literally lives on a beach on a tiny island!  Where you live has nothing to do with your odds of success. See our community visually on this map we just launched in mid April 2015.
  • Our support team is the largest, most well trained and most experienced among all other “how to sell on Amazon” courses available. We have nearly 35 people who are in a paid position of support for the PAC as at least part of their responsibility while they build their own successful businesses as well.
  • Our community consists of over 13,000 serious online entrepreneurs many of whom are very successfully working any number of strategies in the Amazon niche (with no sign of saturation whatsoever because hundreds of millions of people are shopping right now on Amazon!)
  • While our courses are worth thousands, we are charging under $300 for BOTH ProvenAmazonCourse.com & ProvenPrivavteLabel.com + a large number of other modules the cover virtually every imaginable way to profit on Amazon selling physical products.
Once you purchase the PAC and join our active community and you’ll be surrounded by those DOING this business who are proud to be a part of our community. Some of our customers have been around for 12 years or longer doing this stuff – these are the people you want to hang out with if you are serious.

Open Letter to YouTube about my suspended account

UPDATE:  I think my community just gave Google a wake up call! THANK YOU! Check out the comments that have been left on this blog post to see what I mean!

About 36 hours after being told by Youtube (owned by Google) that my “SilentJimDotCom” account was shut down with “no possible recourse” as well as the fact that I was “banned for life” from getting a new account, my account was suddenly restored by Youtube.

Youtube seemingly changed its mind shortly after I requested that they visit the blog post as seen below and check out the comments. Nearly all of the people leaving a comment on this blog post came from my active Facebook community and this single post I made on Facebook as soon as I was suspended by Youtube as well as this post left on FB by my loyal and supporting wife Andrea.

Youtube hasn’t told me why they changed their mind yet, but I do know this: The only request I made to youtube (using this suspension appeal form) was to please read the below blog post and comments. Again, THANK YOU to all who shared, commented and supported the restoration effort. I never imaged a simple post on Facebook would generate such a reaction from the community that supports this blog and my work. Thanks also to Youtube for allowing sanity to win in the end.

====Original Blog Post Follows====

Dear Youtube

Yesterday, April 9th 2015 my youtube account (ID: “silentjimdotcom”) was suspended after being labeled somehow as “inappropriate for children” (aka porn?) and also being accused of having “misleading spam content”. I wasn’t given much detail really – just an email letting me know it had all been deleted and I’m not allowed on youtube ever again.

My business will be fine – we had backups, but this is a pretty large inconvenience for my staff and I – and even more disappointing for my large audience who benefitted greatly from that content (see the comments below). We also have links all over the web pointing to our Youtube content – I urge your reconsidertaion.

Here’s where my audience steps in…

Rather than “go it alone” in requesting this suspension be reconsidered, I thought I’d give my audience a chance to speak up. Below you’ll find their unedited comments about this situation. My youtube account is in your and their hands. I’m moving on.

A few additional facts for Youtube while you hopefully reconsider this situation:

  • Our videos had an approximate ration of 500:1 positive reactions from viewers (some videos had hundreds of “thumbs up” and zero “thumbs down” votes). How could those possibly be labeled as spam?
  • You won’t find a single “scam” complaint online anywhere about me or my content. With hundreds of thousands of readers and tens of thousands of customers served by my team and I since 2002 that should be considered.
  • Your final decision will be communicated clearly to 250,000 loyal fans and readers. Youtube is getting a “bully” reputation as cases like this are discussed among your users.
  • My team and I are widely considered to be the most ethical, trusted, straight shooting online marketers in the world. Research this fact please. There was exactly ZERO “misleading spam content” on our channel.
  • My best selling books contain the EXACT content that you’ve just “banned” as spam. Those same books are endorsed by some of the most trusted, recognized business experts and thought leaders of our time. (Check Amazon)
  • We’ve helped thousands of people around the world grow real businesses with our freely distributed content on youtube. We don’t train “scammers” – we train proud entrepreneurs and leaders – and they are watching this situation closely (read the comments below).
  • For over 10 years I’ve been pouring my heart out assisting entrepreneurs around the world with my educational videos. It’s been my life’s work for a decade+ and you’ve just deleted much of it.
  • The ONLY way our Youtube account could have been flagged with such nonsensical accusations is if an unscrupulous agenda was behind the effort – and I encourage your reconsideration and investigation into the matter.

Thank you Youtube – I can be reached at JimCockrum(at)gmail.com – I look forward to getting an update from you.

Can Amazon shut down your selling account on a whim?

One of the unfortunate risks associated with depending on any of the “big boy” websites like google, youtube, eBay, paypal, and yes our much beloved Amazon is the fact that they hold all the cards.

Seemingly on a whim they’ve been known to press the delete button and flush away a sellers account in a moment. Usually a severe rule infraction has occurred, but not always. Usually justice is done in the end (accounts restored), but not always. In spite of the seeming injustice of it all, we are forced to conclude that it’s just part of the game right?

Not necessarily.

Sure, playing by the rules doesn’t hurt, but the rules are always shifting about and Amazon (and all the other big boys) are fickle partners at best. It’s a cat and mouse game that many old school eBay sellers from the early 2000’s can easily related to. I know of exactly zero big time eBay sellers from the early 2000’s who slept soundly each night with the secure thought in mind “eBay has my back – it’s all good.”

Our solutions to these issues:

1. The best solution to such risks is to establish multiple streams of income. That’s why our community is built on the “C.E.S.” model (each letter in CES is a different biz model I’ve built, and my team and I teach those models to others.) The three models work great together and compliment each other while operating independent of each other. My $5 “Silent Sales Machine” book has details (sold on Amazon)

2. We have content coming out soon that will show you how to have multiple Amazon selling accounts and ELIMINATE the risk of being “shut down.” I can’t say more about it just yet, but it’s 100% legit. A note about this never before revealed training: No Amazon trickery or policy violations are occurring with this strategy. You’ll have a “why didn’t I think of that” reaction initially, and then the success story of our case study students will blow your mind.

While you may not get the feeling that Amazon, eBay, Google or Youtube have “got your back”, our community, my team, and I sure do. We aren’t a herd to be toyed with – we are tight nit community of creative entrepreneurs who simply roll on when circumstances shift.

Stay tuned for the release of these great training courses and much more  of what we have in store for our ProvenAmazonCourse.com community – we are here for YOU.

Comment on this blog post using the above links, or join the conversation on Facebook

UPDATE ONE DAY LATER: In a crazy twist of irony, the same day I published this article my own youtube account was suspended! Get the detail – click here to see how we are managing the youtube suspension.

Going from one income stream to multiple income streams WITHOUT chaos

For years I’ve bombarded my audience with the virtually self evident rationale supporting the pursuit of “Multiple Income Streams” (MIS).

Stated simply,

Multiple automated income streams = Security
Only one income stream = Risky

If we can all agree on that point, then you’ll likely enjoy the rest of this article.

First I’ll dispel the biggest misconception about building multiple income streams.

FACT: If done correctly, generating multiple income streams online leads to SECURITY & LIBERTY of time & finance – it never feels like CHAOS.

There are numerous examples of success with this concept within our growing online community of online biz builders. Many of these success stories can be found in my $5 “Silent Sales Machine” book.

One important discipline that all “multiple income stream” biz builders have in common is that they control their schedules and commitments. They aren’t controlled by their schedule and they don’t operate in panic mode.

A true “Multiple Income Stream” entrepreneur approaches life with a harmonious blend of flexibility, discipline and creativity.

How do you get there form here if you are currently a one income newbie?

  • Start with a simple system that requires a part-time flexible effort. This is why we like to start our students out by teaching them to sell on Amazon or eBay.
  • As you start to succeed, hire help to do the stuff you shouldn’t be doing (i.e. putting tape on shipping boxes).
  • Create systems that others can take over. Only do what ONLY you can do.
  • Work ON your business not IN your business.
  • Stop being a control freak (aka being the only decision maker in your business).
  • A SMALL success in online business inevitably leads to numerous other opportunities. If your eyes are open (instead of looking down at a tape gun while you ship boxes yourself), you’ll see these opportunities everywhere!

The opportunity that lies ahead if you dare go down this path:

  • True schedule flexibility and financial security free from a “one stream” existence and the stress is causes.
  • Freedom to launch new income streams while keeping an eye on the other streams.
  • Partnership and growth opportunities like you’ve never imagined.
  • You’ll OWN your businesses. They won’t own you.
  • Imagine having a TEAM serving and delighting your customers instead of being a one man show!

What do you do all day once you have multiple streams?

  • Focus on the big three: Creativity, Leadership and Relationships – everything else can be done by others.
  • Looks for RIGHT ideas – not just “good” ideas, but RIGHT ideas.
  • Fill in where needed – tape boxes if the box taper is sick!
  • Find the weaknesses in your system and fix them.
  • Make mistakes and grow.

Let’s chat about it!

Here’s a Facebook discussion on this topic:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/mysilentteam/permalink/742614069188039/

Or post a comment right here on my blog.

Stop the flood of ideas in order to build profitable systems online

Good ideas are the enemy of the RIGHT ideas.  I’m a big fan of focusing only on RIGHT ideas while aggressively protecting myself from the constant flood of bad, average, and yes, even the “good” ideas that bombard us all.

Have you noticed how few products we promote to my audience?  I’ve actively removed myself from so many “guru” mailing lists because it seems like they have one big $4,000 launch after another with the latest “must have” product/course/concept etc. Listening to all of that “noise” is a recipe for disaster.

Around here, my team and I have committed to doing things differently. We’ve been teaching the same three biz models for years and we keep on learning, growing and improving those three and those three only.

On top of that, we ONLY share the stuff that my team and I are actively USING and SUCCEEDING with. We don’t toss out ideas just to see what will stick -we share what we KNOW works because we are using itThere’s a science behind the system we’ve built and over 50 people are involved in filtering out all the “junk ideas”, “hyped up courses” and even all the “good ideas” that just don’t meet our standards. We do this to better serve you, and to ensure our top notch reputation stays right where it is.

If you are interested in the details of the system we use I’ll spell it out here.No one else in the industry takes the concept of “filtering” ideas as seriously as we do (just ask anyone who has tried to get our attention with a new idea!) and some will find this process interesting.Before I reveal the process we use, please know that the one reason we do this is simple – I’m looking out for YOUR best interest as a serious online business builder. I’m protecting the trust you’ve put in me.  In every possible way my team and I protect your time and attention, while strengthening our reputation in an otherwise unstable industry.

You could probably guess that, because of our large and loyal audience (that’s you), my team and I are literally bombarded with offers, tools, courses, books and ideas from great people with great intentions in most cases, but you’ll never see or hear about even 5% of what comes our way from these “attention seekers”.  The number of “big launches” and “shiny objects” in this industry can make you dizzy just to consider – so we have a strategy to EARN and KEEP your trust.  I suggest you apply our “filtering” process to your own life to help weed out some of the noise.

Before an idea gets to my desk it must pass an initial “sniff” test.

The “sniff” test includes questions like this:
  • Is this one of the typical scams we’ve seen a thousand times?
  • Is the author/creator an established expert with a traceable credible reputation?
  • Is this a distraction or a true long term opportunity for my audience and for my business?
  • Does the business/tool/concept fit our CES model?
If it passes the “sniff” test, then the challenge goes to another level.
I request full access for my team and I (over 50 people are on this team) and several of us do a full review of the product/course/tool.
  • Does it perform as promised?
  • Are there any red flags?
  • Any legal, ethical, practical reasons not to proceed?
  • Are there fans/testimonials and proof that this idea works?
  • Can the strategy or tool be used by many and maintain its effectiveness?
  • NOTE: At this stage everyone on my team has a veto flag if they want to throw it
Next, the idea hits my desk for serious consideration.
  • I personally try it, use it, test it and talk to the person behind the tool/idea/course.
  • Is this something I know can grow my business? If so, I use it! If it doesn’t work incredibly well for me or one of my closest partners, you’ll never hear about it.
I know for a fact that there are many experts and “gurus” in this business that have a far simpler system they use for determining what they will promote. A simple system might look something like this:
  • Does the course/tool/product have a high affiliate payout?
  • Will my audience “buy” it? (aka is the marketing “slick”)
  • If the answer is “yes” to either of those two questions, they jump in every time.
I refuse to treat my audience like fools. I want an audience of leaders and business builders…and that’s exactly what we have!I’d love your feedback here or on Facebook using this link

Giving away free product in exchange for reviews on Amazon

Here’s a creative idea for launching a new or little known product on Amazon. Simply give your product away, or discount it, and then request reviews from those who benefited from your temporary promotion! Sounds simple right?

Not so fast.

Before I give you my words of caution, first I have some very good news. Clearly, according to Amazon’s own rules you ARE allowed to give away free or reduced price products and then request an amazon review in return. When done correctly, this is a brilliant strategy that can turn a relatively unknown product on Amazon.com into one that has the appearance of being “popular”.  That can be good for future sales, and this strategy is being used successfully by many Amazon sellers right now, but…

…most Amazon selling experts would urge caution (including me) when using this strategy. For those considering attempting this strategy, I’ve compiled the good, the bad and some resources for you to hep make a good decision and navigate the process without getting burned.

SOME REASONS IT’S A GOOD IDEA:

  • A bunch of reviews gets your product a lot of attention and better ranking
  • It also helps the product have more credibility
  • future shoppers are far more likely to purchase a highly reviewed product at full price

SOME REASONS IT MIGHT BE A BAD IDEA:

  • If you tell your “freebie seeking” promotion participants that they can only give you a “good review”, or if you refund them after their discounted purchase, or if you manipulate the system in any way that Amazon doesn’t like, you could put your account at risk.
  • If you use a third party service to help you do the promotion it could mean that a lot of other sellers will see what you are selling – and could potentially copy your efforts if they so choose (this is always a risk selling ANYTHING online though)
  • Other sellers have their doubts about using services like this, and we’ve got a great discussion going on this topic on Facebook (link below)

SOME CHALLENGES YOU’LL ENCOUNTER:

  • Where will your freebie seekers come from? Do you have a list? If not, we’ve partnered with a reputable service that can help. GreatDealsForHonestReviews.com is our domain name that redirects to the service we currently endorse. If that endorsement ever changes, we’ll point our domain name somewhere else.
  • How can you limit “freebie seekers” from wiping out your inventory?
  • You’ll want to limit the number of “freebies” your customers can get. Use a “promotion code” to control this. Log in to Seller Central and use this link to get all the details on promotions: Amazon Seller Central. Visit “Great Deals For Honest Reviews” to get details on our partner service that can help you navigate these details.
  • HERE ARE OTHER RESOURCES TO USE BEFORE MAKING THE LEAP:

    A good open discussion on this topic is happening in our Facebook group. Come see what other sellers and experts are saying. Facebook discussion

    Amazon’s guidelines in their own words (read all of this before attempting to pursue reviews for free or discounted product): Amazon Guidelines

    When you are ready to do a promotion, our currently endorsed provider of such services for sellers is here: GreatDealsForHonestReviews.com

    Did I leave anything out? Have questions? Feel free to leave a comment, or join the Facebook discussion using the link above.

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