Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

How to Open AND Manage Multiple Seller Accounts with My Amazon Guy


Steven PopeSteven Pope is the Founder of My Amazon Guy, an 50-person Amazon seller consulting agency based in Atlanta, Georgia. My Amazon Guy uses PPC, SEO, design, and catalog management to growth hack sales on e-commerce and Amazon marketplaces. It specializes in launching new brands and products, building enhanced brand content and design, driving traffic and sales, and much more.

At My Amazon Guy, Steven oversees 153 brands that produce an excess of $100 million in revenue on Amazon. He is an experienced digital marketer, e-commerce manager, YouTuber, and podcast host. Outside of the office, Steven loves exercising his skills as an Eagle Scout, chess aficionado, and esteemed debate champion.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Steven Pope talks about the right and wrong ways to own and operate multiple Amazon seller accounts
  • Steven’s secrets to effectively navigating Amazon’s one-time password (OTP) system
  • The common email-related mistakes that could permanently suspend your Amazon account—and how to avoid them
  • Why would an Amazon seller want to operate more than one account?
  • Steven explains the differences between a company’s display name, legal name, and brand name on Amazon
  • How Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” feature can add immense value to your business
  • The changes to Amazon’s platform that sellers can expect in 2021
  • Steven reveals how Twitch, a livestreaming platform, drives traffic for Amazon sellers

In this episode…

Let’s cut to the chase: you, like many other business owners, want to know if you can create and operate multiple Amazon seller accounts. According to Steven Pope, an esteemed Amazon expert, the short answer is yes—but only if you’re careful!

Creating multiple seller accounts is an effective way to manage and grow your different brands on Amazon, but it can be a tricky business. If done correctly, you can legally grow your revenue, audience, and portfolio on the marketplace. However, if done incorrectly, you may face permanent suspension of your Amazon accounts, a mark on your brand’s credibility, and even a messy lawsuit. So, how do you discern which steps to take? According to Steven, there are a few tried-and-true strategies that will help you achieve accelerated growth as an Amazon seller in no time.

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley sits down with Steven Pope, the Founder of My Amazon Guy, to discuss his best practices for growing your business on Amazon using multiple seller accounts. Listen in as Steven reveals how to navigate Amazon’s one-time password feature, the email mistakes that could destroy your business, and why Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” feature is the secret to success you’ve been looking for. Stay tuned!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:07

Hi, folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.

Joe Valley  0:29

Hey folks, Joe Valley here, one of the hosts of the Quiet Light Podcast. As you know, I’m a partner at Quiet Light Brokerage and a serial entrepreneur I’ve built, bought or sold over six different companies now and I’m also a partner here at Quiet Light. I’ve been self employed if you can imagine. I’m sure you can’t if you’re watching me on YouTube, look at some, since 1997. Back then I ran a radio media buying agency what people do in the digital world now, I also produced and aired two television infomercials for my own products, they didn’t co hosted one of the shows. My wife was the other part. And she did a much better job than male to say right now. She doesn’t listen to this stuff. So I moved my last brand 100% online in 2005. And then I sold it to a company called Quiet Light in 2010. In early 2012, I joined the team and since then I’ve sold about 100 million in total transactions, and of just one of 12 advisors on the team. So today’s episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a small to middle market entrepreneur led m&a firm focused on online businesses only. everyone on the team has built, bought or sold their own online businesses and now act as advisors to other entrepreneurs seeking an eventual exit, no pressure. Today’s guest is Steven Pope, the founder of My Amazon Guy, Steven was a guest last year. And the response was so strong, we just had to have him back. Steven oversees 153 brands producing an excess of 100 million in revenue on an annual basis on Amazon. And he employs 40 Amazon specialists. And today we’re going to talk about if it’s okay to have multiple seller accounts and all the nuances of it. Y’all ask me that question often? And the simple answer is yes. Steven is going to talk about how to do it, how to set it up, right, how to access them, right and all of the nuances within it. So Steven, with that, welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast.

Steven Pope  2:27

Thanks for having me on. Joe, you have had a tremendous impact on my life. And in our business when we came on your podcast last time, just my phone ringing off the hook. So I’m excited to talk to you and your audience again.

Joe Valley  2:38

Well, you’re helping them right. So that’s why we’re having you back and help for

Steven Pope  2:43

the organizer. I want to say it’s like 11, 11 of our large clients came from this last podcast, all 11 are still clients right now.

Joe Valley  2:51

They’re not going away. So that’s fantastic. All right, let’s talk about the simple fact that, you know, I’m getting emails and calls and whatnot on a weekly basis. If I met an event people are talking about you know, can I have multiple seller accounts? And let me just demystify that by FBA roll up, y’all know of them, right. So Thrasio is the best known one. They own multiple seller accounts because they’re buying Amazon brands. And along with that, you know, come multiple seller accounts. Even if you step outside of that there are individuals that I know that own 2345, multiple five seller accounts. You’ve all heard the name Mike Jackness from EcomCrew, he’s a guest on the podcast, we’ve been on his we did a series on sellings Mike’s business Color It, Mike had three additional brands. At first, he had four brands in one seller account, in order to sell it with the best interest of the buyer in mind, Mike moved three of the brands out of that one seller account and opened up three more, and then we sold Color in its own brand. So the simple answer is, yes, you can do it. Now, the logistic is how to do it, right. And that’s what Steven is gonna tell us all about. So give us some knowledge here.

Steven Pope  4:01

So the first thing I would say is that it’s absolutely 100%, kosher and agreeable to Amazon to run multiple accounts. The reason why it’s gotten such a bad rap is because there were bad actors over the years who have opened up multiple accounts to sell the same items across multiple accounts. That is a bad practice. So if you’re doing that this is not the podcast for you. But if you’re looking to have separate business entities, separate tax structure, separate banking, separate credit cards and separate email domains for multiple accounts, maybe you’ve got a scenario where you’re a partial owner and one business with one stake. So let’s say company one is owned by business partner, A and B, you probably have a second company that’s owned by business partner, A and C. And so you need some clean books to make that happen for the very reasons you just talked about. A lot of things that people you know, don’t realize is those like how do I start? How do I how do I go through the motions of making sure that I don’t get caught? suspended banned for having dupe or multiple accounts. Over the last couple of years, we kind of created this process where we would go to Amazon and ask for permission first. And that process is no longer necessary, as long as when you open up the second account, or you take ownership of the second account, that you have unique business infrastructure that we listed previously in place. There is also another potential shortcut. We have direct ties to the sales team at Amazon. And anytime we have a strategic account in mind, we actually will request that they send an account invite to the new business. And so we we do warm introductions to our contacts. And basically outline here is their unique infrastructure, can we get them a seller invite, that is my number one preferred method to open a second account because it bypasses all of the identity and verification steps. Now, mind you, if you don’t have that warm introduction, it’s still very doable. And you just have to go in and open up the seller central account like you would normally by going to Seller Central. And you don’t need to worry about multiple IP addresses. You don’t need a VPN you don’t like Amazon knows you’re running multiple businesses from the same location, and then they’re okay with it. And they’re okay with it. Yeah. But if you use the same credit card on two accounts, boom, you’re gonna get hit, use the same bank, they’re going to connect them and say, multiple accounts. That’s a problem,

Joe Valley  6:35

the same bank or the same bank account bank account. Okay, so you can have multiple bank accounts at Wells Fargo or whoever you bank with? That’s okay.

Steven Pope  6:44

That’s correct. So, so you as long as the routing numbers, you know, like the checking number is different. You’re gonna go,

Joe Valley  6:50

yeah, okay, so you’ve got your direct link to get it done. The preferred what method to skip all the junk. The other is just go and open a new seller account and make sure that you’re not selling the same or similar brand. Because that is going to be a No, no, they they’ll ban you from selling on Amazon shut down your accounts, because you’re taking up more real estate. If you’re selling glass fishing poles, you’ll dominate the market there in real and on Amazon on that. And that’s it. That’s a big No, no, right?

Steven Pope  7:18

No, no.

Joe Valley  7:19

Okay, so don’t do that. That’s just black hat, gray hat, dark grey hat, it

Steven Pope  7:23

doesn’t work. When we came on your podcast last time, I think the theme of that podcast was solve any Amazon problem ever with Steven Pope, or whatever. So since then, we’ve actually built out a team of specialists who deal with problems. So like listing Yanks account suspensions, and whatnot. So if you end up getting suspended due to multiple accounts, that is the hardest suspension to fight. It’s doable, though. And so my advice to you if that’s your situation, admit fault. Tell them everything about yourself. And basically requests for reinstatement. The original account that gets suspended first is the account you need to get on suspended. First best piece of advice I’ll give on that process. Gotcha. Okay.

Joe Valley  8:14

Let’s talk about some of the tools that are necessary to manage multiple accounts and access multiple accounts. Historically, I have been told you have you should have a VPN service and you’re always logging in from different ones and things of that nature of total guy that had like 8x.

Steven Pope  8:30

And I think that’s crazy and preposterous. Like it was smarter than that.

Joe Valley  8:33

I think, I think probably as well at this point, Amazon, they know, right, just accept that they know. So do your business aboveboard is probably the best practice I’ve always said. If they say no, reach out to seller account Seller Central, if they say no call 10 more times paying them 10

Steven Pope  8:50

maybe 20 Ricki wheel gets the oil, eventually you’ll you’ll get a yes.

Joe Valley  8:53

You just got to get to the right person. Once upon a time. You know, I reached out and said, you know, can we sell these? Is these accounts transferable? No, no, no, no. And finally, I got the right person. They said yes, this is exactly how you do it. And that’s where the original 10 steps to sell and Amazon business came from. And that was back in office 15 or something like that. Anyway, let’s let’s talk about how to manage this. What is you gave me an acronym OTP. What is it? What does it do?

Steven Pope  9:23

What one time password is the bane of my existence, or it has been it’s no longer because I solve for it. So if you run multiple accounts, and you’re logging in, here’s what kills me. So here’s a little bit of history. Amazon changed in I don’t know, October ish, September is somewhere in that time period, and it made it so if you ever log out, you have to re clear the OTP they no longer save the OTP on your device, even though there’s a button that says save OTP on this device. It’s it’s a lot. The reason is because there was massive hacking going on and and so I’m a personal believer that there’s a huge hidden technology war going on behind the scenes and you Quite frankly, it’s China. But with that in mind, how you deal with it and manage it. And we like to use a Chrome extension, this is going to be a massive game changer for you. If you haven’t ever used a Chrome extension for OTP, this will blow your mind. But basically, what you do is is you log into Seller Central, you go into the login settings, and then you add a new mobile device. And when you click that, instead of doing your mobile, you’re going to scan the QR code using what looks like kind of a snipping tool inside of the Chrome extension, and it will save the QR code to your Chrome browser. And then anytime you log in, you just click a button and it fills in the OTP. And you’re done. What’s the chrome? What’s

Joe valley  10:44

the name of the Chrome extension?

Steven Pope  10:46

So it is called the authenticator. Okay? Simple video will give you a link to that in the description. So you put that in description. And and so I absolutely love this tool. And here’s why it got exasperated why we had to do this, right. So I have 40 employees, we run more than 150 accounts. And so we’re using multiple email addresses we’re logging in constantly. By the way, I’ve never once run into any dupe account issues from having multiple people log into your accounts, that is not something to worry about. So if you’re inviting an agency to your account to manage it, that’s safe, don’t worry about it. We’re, we’re what we’re what they call integrators, and they’re well aware of us. So with that in mind, this, this became a giant problem because the OTP no longer saved on a device. So what would happen is we would log out on one account and login to the next. And basically, it would retrigger, the OTP. Well, you are here’s here’s the cracker, or the kick kicker, it would, it would cap at 40 text messages per email per day. So if we’re switching more than 40 times or logging in 40 times on an email, it would completely kill it. And so I had this really sophistication, set up with Google Voice numbers to send my OTP out to my team. And I’d use the same Google Voice number for all accounts for my OTP situation. And so I had an all automated it was was happy days, and I never had to worry about it, then they kept it at 40. And then they didn’t save the OTP in the device. And so that’s why this exists. So Chrome extension is your number one tool for authentication on OTP,

Joe Valley  12:20

then it’s called the authenticator.

Steven Pope  12:22

That’s great. Yeah. But another another login tip I’m going to give you and this doesn’t require any tech. So there’s what’s called the Merchant Picker inside of Amazon. And this is the ability to switch from one account to another. Whatever you do, this is the takeaway of today’s podcast, like write this in giant red lettering, and whatnot. Never, ever put the same admin email address onto any other Amazon account. I guarantee you if you do that, it’s toast. It’s going to burn it. So what do I mean by that the main super admin that opened the seller central account, do not use this email on any Amazon property of any kind. Don’t even use it for a personal business if you open up. So let’s say you get like a gmail address, and you open up Seller Central under your Gmail and you use to use that as your personal. Well, those two things are linked for life. So when you go to sell that business, have you run into this job? I’m curious if you have, yes, guess what your personal buying history, maybe those things you bought that are private? Well, now they’re public, because you’re selling them.

Joe Valley  13:26

Yeah, the other thing you got to do folks is, is if you ever plan to sell your business, your FBA account, whatever it might be, if you’re using your personal email address, just makes the transfer more complicated. So you should not be using your personal email address as your admin, you should be professional and set up a separate email address specifically for admin. That way it transfers at closing. Because occasionally, look, we know that the seller accounts transfer, otherwise thrass wouldn’t have bought 100 of them already, or however many they bought, they probably bought two more today. They transfer we know that they transfer. But sometimes, and we say sometimes, but we only had it happen once, but we get reports from lots of other people that have bought direct in a panic that call us the bots, the Amazon bots don’t talk to the humans. And so when you transfer and you update, the banking information, ei n number, a credit card and the email address, your account could be suspended. It still operates but you can’t draw any money out of it. And so then you have to submit a ticket, you’re the original owner of the business has to submit a ticket and get it reinstated. It’s the email address that you’re changing that triggers the suspension. So you know having an admin email address with each individual seller account, I think is a critical critical piece of information here.

Steven Pope  14:50

And I have to emphasize the domain thing that you mentioned, right so like, go out and put your email under the domain name because man anytime you get an email address from a gmail How many times like, you know how many times a week or even a day, you’re getting email from some Indian and he wants to pitch you SEO services? And he’s emailing you from a gmail address? Do you even give them any credence? Not right?

Joe Valley  15:12

Not Not really. But you know, we operate everything inside of Gmail, but it’s So two different G G Suite

Steven Pope  15:19

that’s different than what I’m saying, like at the Gmail domain, right. So I hear I’m hitting on that, because I have a lot of people who still do business under their emails, and you know and I’m like, Why? Why Yeah, you can still use G Suite and have your domain name to be professional anyways. So back to the merchant picker. If and here’s, here’s the hack. If you have two accounts, or more, have a unique admin on each account, which we covered. And then if you want something to make it easy on your so you can switch between accounts seamlessly without logging in and logging out, put a third email address that you’ve never used before on any admin account, and invite it to all of them. And then you could log into that address. And you don’t have to switch the settings, you don’t have to switch the the notification settings like this could be an email, you never check. But you just simply use it to log in, then in the top middle, right, you have a merchant picker, you can click on the drop down and then switch between your accounts. That makes it really easy and seamless.

Joe Valley  16:21

You don’t have to and that’s what you do as an agency, I would imagine, right?

Steven Pope  16:24

It’s what we used to do. So for two or three years, we did it this way. And now we actually can, you can actually save so like, let’s say you got 10 accounts, let’s say you’re in really sophisticated, right? So we created a Google Sheet where we list a link to each direct login for every account we operate. So now, and by the way, it’s not like it’s not a hidden link or anything. It’s it’s just simply like the first time you log in, and you land that URL right there can be saved to login. So there’s an agency who’s listening to this right now and their minds, like, oh, like this is gonna be a huge game changer for them. I guarantee you, Joe, you’re gonna get like two or three emails from agencies that are like, well, this is game changing for us. But like, you can you can then save those links. So now let’s say I’m creating a task for somebody in my company I can I can just like put into the Asana task, like okay, login here, they click on the link, and it auto logs into the account. It really, really helps.

Joe Valley  17:16

Wow, auto logs, and then that’s kind of good. Yeah. Oh, let’s touch on, you know, what is kind of, I think there’s an obvious answer, but let’s just touch on it anyway. And that is why or why would somebody want to have 10 accounts or two accounts or five?

Steven Pope  17:32

Well, I think the most important thing is, is the business ownership stakes are going to be different, you’re gonna have different partners, right? The second thing is, is what if you wanted to have a unique display name showing up on Amazon, right, so I own a brand called Monster, I have the number one funny wineglass on Amazon. In fact, if you go into, and you just simply type in wine glass, I’m in the top two or three organic hits. So in any case, I sell under a brand called Monster. Well, let’s say I’m going to come out with a lighting brand. Well, I’m going to have a completely different brand name for said lighting brand. Well, I wouldn’t want my display name to be Monster on the lighting brand, because then the men probably wouldn’t buy for me because it’s targeted towards females, because 70% of my business on the wineglass business is female. So with that in mind, having unique display name, which you can change in about five seconds, super easy, I’ll send you guys a link on how to change your display name. Because anytime I log in, I see somebody’s got like, I don’t know, random company name, LLC as their display name. That’s not that’s not customer friendly guys cut the LLC off your title, your legal name has nothing to do with your display name. And your legal name and your display name have nothing to do with your brand name. They’re all mutually exclusive

Joe Valley  18:44

So the display name is not going to be your brand name.

Steven Pope  18:48

It could be and so in this case, I’m suggesting if you so so if you have an account with 10 brands, then you have to have the same display name across all 10 brands. Do you separate the display name right? So

Joe Valley  19:02

with one account

Steven Pope  19:03

right one account right one account whatever it is, and there’s probably a few people that are listening in that don’t know the difference between display name legal name and brand attribute so I want to briefly paint that if I can, okay, so so your legal name is the behind the scenes never customer facing legal entity. So company name, LLC. Simple. The display name is the seller central name that that shows the ships and sold by Monster name. You can have that to be whatever you want. It is five seconds to change the display name and you can change it repeatedly with no complications or problems. Brand attribute though, is immensely difficult to change. And if you’re switching the brand attribute maybe you filed your trademark as a creative Mark instead of a word mark. Number one problem I see attorneys love filing trademarks but they don’t understand how Amazon works. I have personally filed more than 200 trademarks. And by the way, you can now file a trade And get your Brand Registry in under seven days without the IP accelerator. This is breaking news like that, instead of spending 1500 bucks to file a trademark, we’re able to now file a pending mark for 775. And go in and get Brand Registry in under seven days. So if you’re interested in learning more about that hit me up. But But any case, so back to the word in the creative mark, right, so like, the creative mark is interpreted by Amazon, right. And so when somebody files a creative mark, all of the words, and the lettering is interpreted by some guy at Amazon. And so if you do a creative mark, instead of a word mark, they might interpret it differently than you anticipated. Let’s say you have your brand name, and then you have a tag or like a saying underneath it, it’s also a three or four words saying, okay, and you find that as a creative mark, well, Amazon when a Sherpa, that is that four or five word name, and that’s your brand attribute. That means you have to list all of your brand names with the five word tagline. And if you don’t, you don’t get access to a plus content, you don’t get your brand, store nothing. So file a word mark, best advice I’d give on trademarks.

Joe Valley  21:12

I’m going to assume that this is overwhelming and confusing for a lot of the audience because it’s such deep, detailed information. I don’t have a seller account, actually I do for the book that’s coming out. But I don’t do anything with it at the moment. So folks, if it’s overwhelming, hit rewind, back it up. 30 seconds, listen to Steven, say it again. And then reach out to him because this stuff. If you get it wrong, it’s hard to fix, right?

Steven Pope  21:40

I mean, you do a lot of fixing of accounts when people have troubles, or service. And most, most agencies hate this stuff. Like they don’t want to touch it because it’s messy. It’s super dirty work. But but we are we focus on this, this is this is core for us. And so switching brand names is a mess, but you totally have to do it if you need it to match your trademark. But if your trademark name is too long, or it’s messy, or it’s a creative mark, start from scratch file a new trademark, you can get your new Brand Registry in under seven days, which you couldn’t do before. Yes, you still have to wait six months for the principle registry. Gotcha. So so I know I’m jumping around a lot. And it’s just kind of my the ADHD in my mind. So apologies for that for those that can’t follow. But we do have specific guides on any one of these specific questions we’ve brought up and I’m going to send Joe a pile of links, and I’ll let him decide which ones to put in. Like I even have like a 20 video series on Brand Registry like every problem you could ever face. On the Brand Registry, brand name changes brand note ID issues, your Brand Registry doesn’t show up on your account, which by the way, this is exasperated with the multiple accounts, which is why it’s topical to today’s podcasts. As you scale you need to be very methodical on how you file your Brand Registry. And my advice is file the Brand Registry under the admin email of the account on Seller Central. If you fail to do this, you may not be able to connect the right Brand Registry to the right Seller Central account to build a plus content and your brand store

Joe Valley  23:05

all the things that can go wrong just when you least expect them to. Yeah, I even called Steven a week ago just to ask about promo codes because I know somebody that including myself when I used to have a seller account that did a discount and I screwed it up and I sold you know 900 units in an hour $1 each. It cost me $15 each, I sold 900 at $1 didn’t really work out that way I have somebody that almost lost their business and their home because they did the same thing on Super Bowl Sunday of 2020. And you know somebody came in and there are bots that pick this stuff up and just take all the products so you got to do it slow do it right. And do all of these things with the future in mind because you are putting your life savings on the line you’re putting time and effort into building a business that someday could become your most valuable asset when you exit and you got to get these details right. Speaking of jumping around Steven I’m going to jump to something that I know is new and improved on Amazon for a long time they had subscribed and save but there were no good reporting associated with it. I’ve got a listing this launching next week finally I’m able to get good reports on Subscribe and Save Can you touch on that a little bit? I know we didn’t prep for this but

Steven Pope  24:26

No that’s okay anytime you want to ask me any Amazon question on the fly it’s kosher. So Subscribe and Save used to be manual and you could like enable and disable it then they automated it then they added the feature where you could add a percentage off and then they came out recently with the new dashboard and reporting system so you could see like the impact of Subscribe and Save. And by the way, if you ever go out of stock for a set time period with FBA, your your Subscribe and Save could be terminated. You want to double check that it gets re enabled. We had one account that sold some IBS supplements. When we got back in stock and got it reenabled, they had a single day order for like 500 units at a Subscribe and Save. So super unusual. I didn’t expect that to happen, but they can be backlogs. So there are some bugs on that too. Yeah, but but long story short is you can now run reporting to see what your Subscribe and Save looks like and how a little bit more intel on him.

Joe Valley  25:20

Yeah. And the value that that creates is pretty substantial. As we’re talking here, I’m going to start clicking some links here and pull up reports. But the details are pretty beneficial for you to understand in terms of lifetime value of a customer. How much Predictable Revenue you’ve got coming up in the next 30 60, 90 days. And what it does for those businesses that have some recurring revenue, you just mentioned an IBS supplement, perfect example. You know,

Steven Pope  25:51

what it does for the IBS ain’t going anywhere. It’s

Joe Valley  25:56

it gives you an indication of, you know, how many new subscribers you’ve got, what your subscriber, you know, average order value or lifetime value of a subscriber is versus a non subscriber,

Steven Pope  26:09

I popped up a screen here I’m looking at it. The lifetime subscriber is $158.22 versus $70.43. How important do you think that’s going to be to a purchaser of your business? Huge, huge because like in e commerce, your job is to do four things. And I’m stealing this from Harry Joyner. Okay, sell more products to more people more often for more money. And the one that everybody always forgets, is more money. So raising your prices is usually the first lever to pull but that average order value is often highly forgot, right? So like your, your ability to take the data that you just presented there to articulate that instead of running, I don’t know, a 35% a cost on your advertising, it’s acceptable to do 45% because your lifetime value is triple what you thought it was, especially if they hit Subscribe and Save. That allows you to go out and be more aggressive with your marketing dollars, which means you grow your business faster. And that means your EBITDA is going to go up because you grew it faster. Yeah.

Joe Valley  27:07

I think these new Subscribe and Save reports will do a number of things for you internally with planning emotionally, cashflow, and inventory. So as I look at this one here, it literally says planned revenue 30 days out $101,047.22 60 days out to 26 oh 56 what it’s doing there is taken into account the new Subscribe and Save revenue and adding to it 90 days out $342,000. So for a buyer for you, you can go Okay, where’s my money coming from? What’s my margin on Subscribe and Save, how’s my cash flow? Looking and you can you know, pay yourself add new products, knowing that you’re going to have some, you know, predictable recurring revenue coming in. And then it talks about plan do units, in this case, 30 days, 2700 units 68 66,063 90 days 9189. Now you can do some more inventory planning that’s a little bit more specific on top of all the other tools that you use, because you don’t want to run out of inventory for multiple reasons on that Steven just talked about the other because it’s lost revenue. Running out of inventory is the worst possible thing to do. Especially if you’re trying to sell your business and 12 months prior you ran out of inventory for three weeks, you’re going to be challenged to get your I think rankings back up to exactly where they were. But you’re also losing that, that profit as well. But it’s hard. I think anyone I’ve ever spoken to that runs an FBA business or has a e commerce business that’s growing like crazy, has run out of inventory at one time or another kind of impossible to avoid. Unless you’re really, really good at projections,

Steven Pope  28:50

the concept of just in time supply chain management is dead. I did a post mortem on it. Quite frankly, if you want my advice, I think you need to have your own warehouse in 2021. And you need to have a year supply of your own products. Now mind you, I’m saying this knowing that there’s going to be some angry comments where they’re going to say I’m crazy. And that then you’re going to be overstocked and all those problems. Well, Black Swan events are just starting. If you think COVID is the end of Black Swan events, and what do I mean by Black Swan, highly improbable, unpredictable events of great importance are coming I guarantee we we are just beginning to see these kinds of challenges. So the more control that you have, the better off you’re gonna be a quick comment on the dashboard and wrap that dashboard comment up but the Amazons made a lot of challenging changes that have frustrated us as Amazon sellers straight skew limitations ipi the list is long, like like if we made a Facebook post, I’m sure we get like 100 different things that would come out. They have done one thing that I really think they should deserve credit for and so when we looked at the Thanksgiving of the year, if you will, for things that Amazon has done right and They’ve given us more Intel and analytics. Way better UI changes like just even last week, you can now drag and drop photos, instead of having to re upload them. Small changes like that are mountainous changes that may make me feel good inside. I do believe that Amazon does care about us as Amazon sellers. But I do as well, just for the record. But I do know that Jeff Bezos is also on record saying he wants to get off the rock. And I literally mean, take a spaceship and leave. So So if you think that you can complain to Jeff Bezos about the current challenges and frustrations, I’m probably not going to get heard too much. But I do think we’re at a breaking point that enough sellers are fed up. So take like the SFP change, for example, where you have to start sending out SFP shipments on Saturdays, which goes into the SFP stand for seller fulfilled prime, okay, and and so the Jewish community is in giant up in arms, right, because that’s their Sabbath. And now now Amazon is dictating how they deal with their own businesses and how to run it. So there are massive problems that are occurring and big talking points to have. But I got to give it to Amazon on this one. Great dashboard improvement, the Brand Registry analytics dashboard. If you haven’t taken a moment to go look at that. It’s incredible, incredible amount of data demographics, you can see gender, you can see age groups, go check it out. It’s not going to give you that like the target demographic conversation. And I love to use this metaphor. So like if you were selling Russian mail order brides today, your target demographic would be three time divorce truck drivers. Right? Like, that’s how you that’s a target. If you’re selling a I don’t know, a toothbrush, and you tell me your target demographics, anybody with teeth? I would, I would say you’re wrong. You’re crazy. It’s it you have to tailor in way deeper than age and gender and all that good stuff to get your target demographic but at least you have a starting point now with Amazon where they give you those analytics.

Joe Valley  31:54

That’s fascinating. What’s coming up in 2021. right we’re we’re recording in January this is going to air in last week of February. So what can we expect for the last 10 months of the year with Amazon changes coming up in the future?

Steven Pope  32:07

It wouldn’t surprise me if this prediction comes true by the time this airs. I think we’re gonna see Amazon Video Ads which are super hot. You got to be doing those. I think we’re gonna start to see them display on Twitch. I think we’re gonna see Amazon products displayed video ads on Twitch that’s my prediction.

Joe Valley  32:24

And why just Twitch? Why not all the you know, social media outlets and then you look Twitch to me sounds like something that my kids do they play video game under estimating Twitch power right now. I think I am. What the hell is Twitch? What does it do? The audience all that tell us that?

Steven Pope  32:43

Yeah, I couldn’t some of the audience is getting dated here. But But Twitch is owned by Amazon. Amazon owns like half the economy. People don’t realize like how powerful behemoth they are. Which is why I’m surprised they haven’t been broken up as a monopoly. Long story short, Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post and is lobbying the government to prevent that. With that said, I bite the hand that feeds me all the time. Can you tell?

Joe valley  33:04

Yeah, we all do a hate relationship with them all the

Steven Pope  33:08

time. I think Twitch so like right now most Amazon ads are like you buy ads within Seller Central. And I personally don’t like DSP. Some people do. And that’s where you run ads off of Amazon using a different platform. I think it’s too expensive and it doesn’t work as well. But there’s some beta rollouts within advertising on Amazon where you can now do retargeting. You can do remarketing, and you can hit you know, past viewers past purchasers. And look alikes. And so what what we know is that Amazon is hungry for customer acquisition, right? So a year ago, it was one out of two households were a Prime member. Well, just in the last year, that’s probably gone up to about three out of four, maybe even a little bit higher, based on data estimates I’ve seen, and so Amazon’s

Joe Valley  33:54

bad at math. That’s a 50% to 75%. So big increase in my math skills here.

Steven Pope  34:02

Yeah. And by the way, I think there’s certain demographics who will never embrace Amazon. And that’s why you got to have your own website to embrace certain demographics, and they don’t trust Amazon, quite frankly, I don’t trust Amazon. But I do buy everything on there for what it’s worth as to why I’m lazy that I’m a lazy shopper.

Joe Valley  34:18

You know what I did the other day though, I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted.

Steven Pope  34:21

Were you shopping for like unicorn meat? I was. You can buy unicorn meat on Amazon

Joe Valley  34:27

that you get. I wish I was shopping for something from my desk, and I couldn’t quite describe it. And I did all sorts of searches on Amazon. I couldn’t find it. So I went to Target. And then I ended up getting on Lowe’s and Home Depot, which is really where I should have been looking in the first place. But I still couldn’t find it. So I really think of is not on Amazon, you’re probably not going to find it. And it is just so dang simple. I could literally, you know, log on and buy something as we’re talking and it’s just that one click bio

Steven Pope  34:56

easy, amazing. Amazon, solve for friction. they solve for anxiety. You know, if you go to a website right now, can I find the buy button? Do I know what next step to go? That’s friction. Anxiety is like do I trust this website with my credit card. So Amazon is solve for that. They also solve for logistics where you got two days shipping, one day shipping prime now anybody, man, I’m an impatient person, I can’t wait even a couple hours, I’m going to get that delivered to my front door, right? Get my little light while I’m at it. So, so we’ve seen Amazon do that speed increasing. Nobody can compete with what they have built from an FBA logistics standpoint, here’s where you can beat Amazon. Here’s my personal aspiration. If you’re listening to this, and you know how to open a manufacturing plant, I would love to hear from you. Because I think that if you could make consumer goods from raw resource, vertical control all the way to consumer good, that is literally like take the sand, make a wineglass and put the saying on it and ship it out to the consumer. I think that vertical control is the future. And that’s how you’re going to dominate two to five years from now. So sometimes when I look at Amazon, it’s not just where the puck is today. It’s where the puck is going to be the score and hockey game.

Joe Valley  36:08

Okay, Wayne, Wayne Gretzky reference right there, folks. Keep in mind that we you have to know your own level of incompetence, and doing you know, going from A to Z, owning the manufacturing from you know, grind, finding the sand and grinding it up, making a glass, eating it, shipping it to the customer doing all the advertising, it’s not for everybody, you got to stay within your skill set, you’ve got to know who you are and what you’re capable of, and what drives you and makes you happy. Some people can take a business to a million in revenue. And after that, it gets overwhelming others to 20 million, but they know they can’t take it to 100. So they’ve got to understand through experience, right? You want to have some life experience here. And we we know our own level of competencies. I know mine is not to have in 40 employees like you do, right? That’s

Steven Pope  36:55

not a different game, and I don’t run an agency, I run an HR company, you run

Joe Valley  36:59

an HR company, that’s not my skill set. My my approach to that is just to do the right thing, please. Okay, I don’t want to have to manage you. Yeah, I was wrong, you know. So we have a certain structure with entrepreneurs for that very, very reason. Mark set it up Originally, it works brilliantly. But you’ve got to know your own level of incompetence, and competency. And apparently mine is saying that word right now. I think it’s a brilliant idea. It is the I, I have a close friend, he was a client. And he’s a close friend that I’ve talked about often, that he’s doing that he owns a pet supply brand, or pet brands, if you will, he’s rolling them all up in his shooting for a billion dollar exit. And this is a guy that was invited not to graduate from high school because he got kicked out of so many of them. And immigrant to the US single father, true hustler. Seven years ago, he had a sale that was, you know, maybe $20,000 on an exit, and then 200,000, then 400,000, and then a lot bigger. And the next one is going to be a billion dollars because he is hustling. And he’s reverse engineering his path to that. He is that guy that can take this and turn it into a wineglass and market it properly, and reach those customers get influencers and sell directly to the customer. That’s what he’s doing with the pet brand. I couldn’t do it. It’s not my forte, not my skill set.

Steven Pope  38:25

I just I just want to not have to depend upon the broken supply chains, right. Like, when when, when the I don’t know, when the trade deal breaks with China, and all of a sudden, we’re gonna have to rebuild America’s manufacturing, I want to have mine built already. I hear you personal aspiration, I may fail, but I grow the agency. And that’s kind of where I’m focused. And I’m a marketer, but I still want vertical control. I just really wish I could get it.

Joe Valley  38:53

Alright, anybody in the audience that is an expert in that space, call Steven, he’ll have you on the podcast, you’ve worked together to build a brand from scratch to you know, A to Z, all that. Alright, so we think Twitch is a future of being able to display ads on Twitch, who is the Twitch audience, by the way, who’s using Twitch?

Steven Pope  39:13

probably half the economy. So

Joe Valley  39:15

all you had, what did they do? Look up Twitch, apparently.

Steven Pope  39:19

So I mean, it’s, you know, it is exactly what you’ve described it to be in some sense, where you got kids playing various video games and people watching and interacting, right. It’s like having a live webinar, except it’s a video game where people are interacting. So there’s ads that are played on on on the platform. So even if I’m wrong about Twitch, I believe we’re going to see more external traffic going to Amazon and that was probably the bigger messaging. I dropped the ball on saying that more external traffic go or external traffic going to Amazon, and some people are like, why would I send my traffic to Amazon I want to send to my website, right? I want to control that. Well, it’s simply like your conversion rates are three times better on it. That’s just bottom line, right? Like, that’s why people are gonna send it to Amazon and Amazon’s gonna reward you? Well, the challenge has been, you can’t have a pixel tracking that Facebook ad going into Amazon successfully, it’s completely broken, right? like Amazon will tell you, they have these beta tools in place to track your Facebook sales, they don’t work. They simply don’t work. Google Ads getting a little better. It’s kind of working. Now. UTM codes are working and whatnot. But it’s hard to justify spending external traffic. So what I think Amazon is going to do is that they’re going to build their own Google Facebook network, Twitch will be the starting point. And then you will be able to build external traffic out of Amazon ads right directly in Seller Central, and pay them ad money to do that. Now, there’s a few reasons why I think this is going to happen. Number one, Amazon likes external traffic. Number two, they want to grow Amazon and acquire more customers, right? But but number three, we’re out of real estate. We’re out of real estate on Amazon, like there is no place to put more ads and click through rates are down 11% on sponsored products year over year, they’re down 27% on sponsored brand headline ads. And if you land on Amazon right now and type in anything, your entire above the fold is an ad, you have to scroll down to see the organic right now we’re out of space, we’ll probably see video ads take a space on detail pages. That’s probably another prediction I’ll give you because they’re out of space, they got to put somewhere

Joe Valley  41:22

in the quality of these video ads. Can people shoot them with their iPhone? If they’re decent, with her with their Android Android device? We

Steven Pope  41:30

do have to hire an agency. today. I think you can get away with that. But But what I I’m actually trying to hire an animator right now, not a videographer. Because the best ads that I’ve seen on Amazon were like a dog tail wagging and smacking pets chews on the floor. And it was a huge attention getting device, like catchy things like that. It’s almost like display gifts, if you will, that are just animated. I think that’s the future of video ads. Now, there are certain products and even Oh, Billy Mays in your intro on us. Right, like, and I can see the Billy Mays in you. Yeah. And in any case, you can demo a product Billy Mays style? Heck, yeah, do that, you know, pull out your cell phone and talk about your product and tell me why this is the I don’t know, this is the best bottle opener in the world, right? Show me. But for many products, just getting the click is the critical component, not the ad. And so I think animation is the future of video ads on Amazon,

Joe Valley  42:23

it makes sense. We had a guest from on the podcasts that for those that are going to go ahead and shoot their own. He talks about the proper lighting and all that he’s a film producer out in LA that’s turned to ecommerce and helping people with their video production. But he he gets very specific on how to do it on your own if you want to with proper lighting, and all that if you’re going to do it with your iPhone or Android device, just like Steven is giving you all sorts of tips on how to improve your Amazon business with multiple seller accounts and all of these different things. So people that that help. First and foremost, I think you’re doing the right thing. The thing is, though, like, you know, I’ve said a few times on the podcast, I saw an event where somebody got up on stage and gave it all away. And then I had a beer with him afterwards. And I said, You’re giving it all away. He said exactly. The reality is that it’s really complex and complicated. And the more information I share, the more I help people, the more they’re going to understand and realize that they screw it up on their own if they you know, think they need help. If they think they have the whole I’ve got this mentality, which is a entrepreneurial affliction. We all think we’ve got this because we are visionaries, we’ve started our own companies, we’re building them and we think we can do anything or everything. And I think the reality is we can’t you shouldn’t know your level of competency. hire somebody like Steven, hire somebody like butter LA, just do what you got to do running your own business and managing it for an eventual exit someday.

Steven Pope  44:00

Speaking of competency, I, when I first started selling wine glasses on Amazon, I tried to take my own photography, right, so I’m holding up a wine glass. And guess what light refraction with clear glass is impossible. Like unless you are knowing what you’re doing. So I ended up partnering I like products on my photography, use them out of Chicago and I send them all my all my client referrals to the name of the company products on white photography, products on white canvas. And so you gotta you gotta you gotta find people like that. To help with your incompetency. I was on a sales call today with a client potential client. They actually signed two minutes before I got on this podcast with you. And the reason they did is because I got on that call with them. And I started looking at their products. And I was like, Hey, did you know you have a hidden suppression? And she’s like, what’s the hidden suppression on my asen on Amazon. And I said that that’s when Amazon makes it so you’re Ace and can’t be found your product your SKU cannot be found in the search results. And that sounds very bad. It’s very bad, right? And so that means you’re indexing for zero keywords. It’s not a listing yank. And let me tell you a hidden suppression. Amazon doesn’t tell you. There’s no red flag on the backend of Seller Central, right. And so if you think you can navigate all these Amazon problems by yourself, you cannot you there are not there is no tool on the market right now that can detect a hidden suppression. Now to find it. And so when you start and this is how you know, so like, if you want to know if you have a hidden suppression right now, and anybody who’s had a bad sales day or sales week of late, go and do this right now immediately, type your acent into search, if your product does not show up when you search the asen. That’s how you know, that’s a hidden suppression. How do you fix it? You fix it by guessing which problem Amazon doesn’t like about your listing, it’s almost always the title. Sometimes it’s the main image. And sometimes it’s a bold point, but 80% of the time, it’s the title. If you have the word gift in your title, you have a hidden suppression, almost guaranteed. cannot use that word.

Joe Valley  45:54

Update your title. See if it comes back. How long does it take for it to come back? And this is 15 minutes.

Steven Pope  45:58

So here’s here’s what I would do. I would nuke your title down to bare bones, three or four words, Max, then slowly and if that fixes it, then I’m right. It was your title. If that does, if that fixes it, then slowly add in two or three words at a time until it really suppresses.

Joe Valley  46:16

What’s your definition of slowly?

Steven Pope  46:18

Well, every 10 or 15 minutes. Oh, okay. Yeah, it’s pretty quick. Yeah. So. And then once it re suppresses, you know which word caused the trigger, you pull that out and rebuild your title. Whenever you have a listing yank or listing issue, you should, you should run that same playbook, regardless of suppression, listing, yank or catalog problem, whatever it might be. nuke the product down to bare bones and ask for reinstatement then slowly rebuild it once you understand which problem caused it.

Joe Valley  46:47

I don’t know how the audience feels right now, Steve, but I certainly think I never want to run my own Amazon account. I’m just gonna have to do it. This is all scary stuff.

Steven Pope  46:56

You definitely need help. Otherwise, you got to listen to like 1000 podcasts, which by the way, I think you know, Joe, you and Quiet Light have the best entrepreneur podcasts out literally like the best.

Joe Valley  47:09

I appreciate that. We’re just a bunch of guys trying to do things right. I appreciate it. bunch of people, man does the smartest among us. All right, listen, let’s let’s do the obvious. How do people find you? What’s the URL? How do they reach out.

Steven Pope  47:24

So If you contact us, I read every single contact form, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel where we’ve got over 500 videos at And my email address. You want to reach out to me [email protected] And I read all of those as well. So we we know that not everybody listening to us is going to hire us. Even if you just have a problem. You need to point in the right direction. I can ship you an email with a video that will probably give you a point in the right direction. We are happy to add back against the community. If you’re an agency listening to me, same thing goes for you, I will help you as well. And the reason I do that is because it’s not me against you. It’s us against Amazon.

Joe Valley  48:08

Yeah, listen, the landing page says Do you want to grow your Amazon business or solve a problem? There’s two options when you get there. He’ll help you solve problems as well as grow sales. So Steven, thank you as always, you are a fountain of wisdom. I appreciate you sharing everything. We have to cut it off because I fear that we could talk for two or three more hours. And I’d get more and more confused and that’s just tough on my day so

Steven Pope  48:30

appreciate Thank you. Thank you for having me on. It’s an honor.

Joe Valley  48:34

It’s It’s It’s an honor here. Thank you for sharing.

Outro  48:38

Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast subject or guest, email us at [email protected] Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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