The Downside Of Being An Amazon Seller


  • The downside of being an Amazon seller with Paul Harvey.
  • Danny is a big fan of shooting videos and passing repetitive tasks to the VA.
  • Danny hates ‘sourcing’ and so has built tools to speed it up in-house – down to 8 minutes to validate the product fast.
  • Going onto Alibaba and hitting up 30 factories is not Danny’s favourite thing
  • Paul was spending upto 60% on admin tasks when he started out.
  • If you contact 20 suppliers you have to keep track of where you are with each of the m in the process
  • When it comes to contacting all the factories it does tune people off quite a lot

Shipping Logistics as a Downside of being an Amazon Seller

  • Another area Danny hates is shipping logistics
  • It’s such an old school industry
  • Danny doesn’t go anywhere else as it’s so much hard work – likes to keep it simple and has a good relationship with his shipper
  • Paul is not big on penny pinching with Freight Forwarders – his knows the processes and they just get it done, no hassle or paperwork hassle
  • Happy to pay extra for peace of mind and avoid this downside of being an Amazon Seller
  • Cheaper option usually means a poor service
  • Shipping to UK with VAT and customs is a whole mine field
  • Danny had a UK shipping agent to speak to a Japanese shipper to avoid ‘tourist pricing’
  • Optimise with port nearest to your prep centre
  • Who is handling which relationships

 Other Admin pains

  • This admin stuff winds Danny up and can be a major downside of being an Amazon Seller
  • Reconciliation, UK VAT, Euro VAT, etc
  • Danny titles it – PAYING AWAY THE PAIN
  • Take monthly revenue on Amazon / 40hr work week
  • Figure out 160 hours / month
  • Divide your Amazon revenue by / 160 hours / month
  • That’s your hourly rate – spend 4 hrs in admin on this and it’s costing you
  • Spend time on the business not in the business

Finding People to do the tasks

  • Danny uses Hubstaff for finding people and VAs
  • It works really well and is multinational
  • Getting him paid was a nightmare as he’s in Pakistan
  • Couldn’t use paypal, banks, etc
  • Got him setup on a different service PPH and got it covered
  • Danny sends voice messages and gets his VA to do it
  • He tries to outsource as much as he can whenever possible

Communications / Screen recordings

  • Paul uses LOOM as a screen recording software that’s free, similar to Jing and has a chrome extension
  • Paul is doing screen recordings and just hits record and send once he’s done
  • Danny loves audio recording too
  • Danny uses ‘screencastify’ for his recordings
  • Emails are just working on ‘process’
  • Our jobs as entrepreneurs are to put the deals in place and make it happen
  • ‘Manager’ and then there are people who have the vision – if you’re managing your business it can’t grow

Lazy Support

  • Paul gets people who ask him for support
  • He send them to an existing video on-line but they are too lazy to watch the video and still send an email with loads of words in it…..which Paul then won’t respond back to
  • Watching hundreds of webinars over the  years makes you wary of watching ‘another’ video unless it’s going to provide value
  • Is there a service where people will watch a video / webinar for you and just give you a one-pager of the highlights?

Losing Momentum

  • Outsourcing as much as possible and quickly as possible will help you grow your business
  • If you have to sit-down and do accounts for 3 days and it’s a hassle then you lose momentum
  • You lose your creative energy and you’ve not got as much passion for pushing on with that launch, or raising that cashflow
  • It’s a real damage to your business
  • People say ‘I did so much today’ but how much of that was ‘grunt-work’ (stuff a 12yr old could do) and not growing the business

SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)

  • When Danny has a new VA come on-board he shoots a video (3 min long) of him completing the tasks and send this to his VA
  • THis is in effect Danny walking through the ‘standard operating procedure’ for his VA
  • He then asks the VA to watch the video and write up the ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ with screen grabs for their task themselves
  • This lets him assess if they’ve understood the task from the video and embed it into their long-term memory
  • And if the VA doesn’t work out or moves on then he has a set of instructions available
  • The VA should be ready to replace themselves with someone else with their documents and processes

In Closing

  • The owner of the business should be heavily involved in the marketing – you can’t just use a VA, you need to own it and be at the forefront of it.

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