Mar 21, 2022
On today’s episode, I’m joined by private label expert Ashley Kinkead, the mastermind behind thousands of third-party products sold on Amazon today. Ashley has inspired thousands of people and entrepreneurs around the world with her skills and strategies to thrive online from the ground up. Her primary business is training people like you and me in how to launch and scale winning businesses on Amazon FBA with her new product launch system, the Three By Two Method, which she shares on the episode today. Ashley kicks things off by discussing her e-commerce journey, from building up a $500,000 retail arbitrage business selling used books to becoming a private label seller and what that transition was like. Then she introduces the Three By Two Method, her system for testing and gathering data on what really sells on Amazon and diversifying your risk. She also discusses how much you should expect to invest when starting up as a private seller and emphasizes the importance of product research to find items with daily sales consistency.
Next, I ask Ashley about using multiple brands as a private label seller. She discusses her strategy of using two brands with multiple SKUs and variations underneath each one and how that gives her room to grow and respond to customer feedback. Then we discuss the potential risks you may encounter and mistakes you might make when starting out in private labeling and how to avoid them; plus, Ashley points out how well-prepared wholesale sellers are to make the leap into private-label selling. Ashley also tackles the controversial issue of pay-per-click (PPC), giving her opinion that it’s an essential part of running an Amazon business in 2022 and a hugely useful tool for getting your product seen and making the most of the data Amazon provides you with. And finally, we make the amazing announcement that Ashley will be doing a training session for our hub members and let you guys know where you can join up to be part of that.
You can chat more with the Amazon Files and Mommy Income community by joining our Facebook group with today’s codeword PLM, where you can learn more about bundling, ask questions, and participate in the conversation with other sellers. And if you’re ready to take your business to a whole new level, visit MommyIncome.com/Coach to schedule your one-on-one coaching call today.
This week on the Amazon Files:
“We can all succeed, and we can all make tons of money. But we need to understand and have realistic expectations when we’re walking into it so that we aren’t disappointed or give up too soon when things aren’t working out.”
- Kristin Ostrander
“I was living paycheck to paycheck and really struggling. And so, I started looking up ways to make money online. And I’m so grateful that the very first thing that I did was starting to sell on Amazon. So my first ever business was an Amazon business on Amazon FBA.”
“I started off selling used books. And I went from one book to an entire box of books. Then I realized, wow, I can get boxes and boxes of books. So I went out and just continued sourcing and sourcing as many books as I could find. And I really grew a $500,000 used books business in the next year.”
“It took about three years from the time I first started selling on Amazon to where I jumped in and did a private label.”
“Now that I know what I know now, I would never go back to arbitrage. Although I had so much fun doing that, and it was profitable, but it wasn’t scalable.”
“The thing about arbitrage is that, like you said, and same thing for me, I felt like I was building myself a prison. I’m like, I’m working sixty to eighty hours a week, packing, shipping, prepping over and over. And I’m like, this isn’t what I signed up for.”
“It’s really simple stuff, launching three products at a time, testing them for about thirty days, picking the winners, and then moving forward with two out of the three best products after a thirty-day testing period.”
“So many people I talk to are kind of scared of private label, especially people who do arbitrage or wholesale, like coming to private labels like, ‘Ah, I don’t want to be in one product, it’s really scary to put all my money in one basket.’ If you do the three-by-two method, it allows you to kind of diversify your risk.”
“The biggest thing is just product research, I think, Kristin. People get stuck on, and they can just spend months thinking about what is the perfect product. I think just moving quickly, I’d like to research product for about seven days. You know, before I decide to sell it on Amazon.”
“Wholesale bundles are very similar to private label. You’re literally curating something from the bottom up, you just don’t have to manufacture all the parts and pieces that are in it.”
“That’s what’s so great with private label, you can just add more colors, if you decide you want to launch a different size, you can take your customer feedback into opinion, into insight for your business and be able to make new products out of them.”
“Wholesale sellers are so smart about, like, product ideas and keywords and, like, niches. They’ve got that mindset of a private label seller, they just haven’t stepped into it yet. So I think you can bring your knowledge that you’ve got from wholesale as far as, like, what are good keywords, bundles, that’s an amazing segue to private labeling.”
“You have to understand, as an entrepreneur, not all of your products are going to work out. You know, I have seven really good private label products on Amazon now, but I’ve had hundreds of products over the years that weren’t as good or as great as the ones I have now. So, just being flexible and nimble and adjustable.”
“At some point, we’re going to want to exit, and when we exit, we want to have assets in place. Trademarks are assets.”
“Yes, it costs a little bit of money. And yes, it costs a little bit of time. But guess what, those two things in combination will eventually pay dividends when you do things upfront and right the first time.”
“Pay-per-click is really important. In 2022, about 50% of our sales for private label products are coming from pay-per-click. So it’s really important that you have a pay-per-click campaign.”
“We see PPC as a way to gather data, to get some really interesting keywords that we can then use to go in and optimize our listings. And it allows us to really just find those winning products pretty quickly. So that’s the best way to basically pay for data that we’re getting from Amazon.”
“I always joke with people, you’re not an iPhone, you’re not going to instantly have people pre-ordering, lining up out of your door. You’re going to have to have an amazing listing, great product, and maybe a few dollars or a few hundred dollars in PPC to kind of kickstart your new product.”
“The more we learn, the more we earn. That’s just how it works.”
Grow Your Amazon Business!
Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Amazon Files, the show to help Amazon sellers along their business journey one step at a time with Amazon expert and your host, Kristin Ostrander. If you enjoyed this episode, head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe to the show, and leave us your honest review. Don’t forget to share your favorite episodes with your friends on social media! Use the codeword PLM to join us on Facebook. Each week, Kristin hosts a live discussion on how to grow your Amazon business. Don’t forget to check out our website and subscribe to our mailing list for even more resources.