Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

The Magic of Bundling Products for More Margin

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Kristin Ostrander

Kristin Ostrander is an Amazon FBA business owner, speaker, teacher, author, e-commerce specialist, and entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Mommy Income, a company that helps sellers create and scale profitable Amazon businesses through Kristin’s Wholesale Bundle System and Framework™ strategy. Kristin is also the host of The Amazon Files, a podcast that breaks down the truth about selling on Amazon.

Kristin has more than 17 years of experience in the e-commerce space and has generated over $5 million in sales. Her goal is to teach online sellers the skills they need to take their businesses to the next level and build a life they love.

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

  • [1:59] Kristin Ostrander talks about creating Mommy Income and The Amazon Files podcast
  • [3:50] Some of Kristin’s key principles for building valuable and transferable assets
  • [6:11] Why is bundling so effective, and how do you price bundles as an Amazon seller?
  • [15:34] How Amazon’s “frequently bought together” feature impacts bundling
  • [18:05] Kristin explains why her approach to bundling is about margins — not volume
  • [22:28] Kristin’s best practices for testing your bundles
  • [30:32] How bundling creates long-term value for your Amazon business

In this episode…

Do you want to know how to build more value into your business before selling it? Are you looking for ways to turn a profit, establish loyal customers, and utilize your creativity as a seller — all at the same time?

When shopping on Amazon, many customers prioritize speed and convenience above everything else — even the price of an item. That’s where bundling comes in. Bundling provides the ease and efficiency that consumers are constantly looking for in the buying process. What’s more, bundling helps you build more value and worth into your company before transferring it. So, how can you implement effective bundling in your Amazon business today and reap the benefits of your hard work when selling your brand in the future?

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Mark Daoust sits down with Kristin Ostrander, the Founder of Mommy Income and the host of The Amazon Files podcast, to discuss the ins and outs of product bundling on Amazon. Listen in as Kristin talks about what bundling is, how to price and sell your bundles, and the various ways bundling builds lasting value for your Amazon business. 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.

There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. By providing trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations, your Quiet Light advisor isn’t your every-day broker—they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.

If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.

Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on their website. That’s right—this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!

What are you waiting for? Quiet Light is offering the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to quietlight.com, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.

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.

Mark Daoust  0:29

Alright guys, welcome back to the Quiet Light Podcast. I’m super excited to have Kristin Ostrander on today, from Mommy Income and The Amazon Files podcast. Super excited to have you on today we’re going to be talking about a number of topics which can make an Amazon business more valuable. And specifically, I want to delve into the topic of speaking about bundling, bundling products together, I’ve seen this in the past with some of my clients who have bundled together products, and have had great success with it, I think it’s a super smart way to add new products to the mix without necessarily adding new products. If that makes sense. I’m sure you’ll agree to speak to it really intelligently, much more so than I am. Before we jump in guys, just a quick reminder, this has been brought to you by Quiet Light. If you have an Amazon business, if you have a non Amazon business, an online digital asset, and you want to get a valuation of it, please reach out to us, we’re happy to do this for free. We want to give you some visibility as to what your business might be worth, if you were to consider going to market and selling or maybe you just want to know what it’s worth to sell in two or three years and just want to get that visibility. So if you have any interest in that, reach out to us, we do these valuations for free to give you visibility with that person. Welcome, super happy to have you on here. So we’re gonna be talking a little bit about Amazon, bundling, making businesses more valuable. Let’s start out a little bit with what you like to talk about, obviously, bundling is one of the things but let’s get just kind of an overview on the podcast that you host, and Mommy Income as well and the mission that you have there.

Kristin Ostrander  1:58

Wait. So I started in ecommerce back in 2003. I started as a stay at home mom, I started selling on eBay, I moved to Amazon in 2008. We started with a thrifting books and retail arbitrage and then moved into wholesale private labeling. And then of course, my wholesale bundles, system and framework that I kind of created. After trying all these different business models. I finally landed on bundling so at Mommy Income, that’s where I teach people to start and grow businesses on Amazon. And I really like to focus on teaching people to build sellable assets. So I know there’s a lot of business models out there and a lot of different places, people source products and different things. But I try to teach my students to start building an asset that they can sell eventually, you know, you don’t want to do your business forever, eventually, you want to either pass it down or sell it to someone else. So I love to be able to teach people these concepts to help them build something that’s long term sustainable, that gives them you know, credibility and legitimacy within their online business. So that’s kind of what I do over at Mommy Income. And I mainly do that with videos and podcasting and online courses. So my podcast is The Amazon Files and we talk, we do interviews, I do solo episodes and have special guests on there to talk about different things. And we talk all things Amazon and entrepreneurship.

Mark Daoust  3:13

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. We’ve been doing this for a while I have as well. 2003, I don’t always get the chance to speak to people have been doing this since 2003, which is awesome. I know the experiences that you’ve gone through because those of us who have been in the game for that long, have had a lot of the same experiences waiting for the Google dance back in those days. And then now today, and I’m watching the rise of Amazon. Pretty, pretty cool. So you teach a lot about signed, building valuable assets. I’d love to know some of the principles that you’re teaching people as you’re trying to help them build something that could be sellable in the future.

Kristin Ostrander  3:49

or Amazon businesses what I’ve heard from a smaller, small business people stay at home, people want to stay at home, I mainly focus a lot on stay at home moms. But I’ve realized that I’m reaching a huge audience besides that, so I’ve broadened my horizons a little bit that way. But I started as a stay at home mom and wanted to do some business from home. So it started as a small side hustle. But as I started to grow, I really realized the potential profit in building a business like this, honestly, I didn’t know I was building a real business or a real asset in the beginning I was doing thrifting and retail arbitrage and things like that that are great and can bring great profits and even into the millions of dollars. But when you go to what what is my exit strategy or what am I going to do when I want to retire or move on to something else, then those are things that you realize things like retail arbitrage or what I call different side hustle type ways of sourcing product is not sustainable, and it’s not reliable as far as sourcing and selling products. So when I realized that eventually I needed an exit strategy for my business and going from growth to you know, sustainability was that I needed more secure supply chains. And so I started looking into wholesale. And that was great. Except for the profit margins weren’t as as healthy as I wanted them to be. And there were tons and tons of competition as I started to grow. And so that’s what I did with with bundling is I thought, What can I do to kind of marry private label, because there’s tons of risk involved in creating some of your own brands, especially if you’re new, and not sure what you’re doing in and wholesale. And so that’s why I came up with like a wholesale bundling is instead of reinventing the entire wheel, I just kind of reinvent half the wheel with pairing products together that naturally go together in without having to create a whole line of products are my own particular brand in when I created these wholesale bundles.

Mark Daoust  5:42

So talk to me a little bit about why bundling works like what why is it that this can create something that maybe wins somebody’s purchasing decision? And I imagine most buyers are not looking specifically for bundles, they’re typically looking for a product that’s in a bundle. So why does it work for to convince people to to buy these instead of the individual product?

Kristin Ostrander  6:11

Well, there’s two reasons for buyers. It works because a customer is an Amazon is no different than every every different type of business model has different customers, Amazon customers enjoy speed and convenience, they really want convenience, they want things dropped at their door, every you know, two days, two days shipping amazon prime. And so they don’t that shows us a little bit of into the customers mentality. They they’re not necessarily our price conscious type people, although we all can be price conscious. But price isn’t really their main point of buying what their main point of buying usually is speed, convenience and variety. And when it comes to speed, convenience and variety, bundles are amazing in to meet the customer’s needs because it saves them time. And as smart Amazon, Amazon customers know when you can save them time, you’re saving them money, and they’re happy to pay a premium for that. So when they can get something that they’re buying anyway, together, then that’s one less click, that’s one less thing they have to add to the cart, let’s one last package is going to arrive at their door. So they gladly recognize it and say they were looking for, you know, my daughter plays Nintendo Switch. And so I was I was looking for a Nintendo Switch bundle to complete her Christmas gift. And I found one that had all sorts of different accessories all in one bundle. Now I could have bought them separately and wanted just a few things and cherry pick. But that takes time. So when I put Nintendo Switch accessories into Amazon, all these different bundles came up. And that was perfect for me as a customer. And so that’s kind of the concept of bundles, the customer immediately recognizes you’re saving them time and not having to shop around and add multiple things to the cart. So it really works for the customer and therefore for the seller.

Mark Daoust  7:49

Yeah, I know, like an example I saw this was years ago, was somebody was selling telescopes. And he decided to bundle together those telescopes with these were kind of like introductory telescopes, right? They were they’re pretty, pretty good for like parents scan for their kids. And the bundle them with beginners star maps, a guide there. So you can imagine somebody for Christmas apparent buying for the kid for Christmas thinking, Oh, my kid will want a telescope. And then they see this, I think, Oh, this is great. We won’t just be looking at random blackness, which anyone who’s bought a telescope knows that’s what you do initially? Like, where are the stars? I can’t find them. Right. But the star maps are a great bundle there. So I think there’s there’s that. How do you do you have a strategy? When it comes into the pricing of bundles? Do you try to keep things within a certain range of maybe the product? And then I guess sort of the tack on question there would be do you look at when you’re when you’re researching this? How do you find products that might be good bundling? Are you looking for high search visibility, or you’re looking for something else? I mean, what, what is the starting thread that you look at to say, I’m going to find a good bundle to start working on

Kristin Ostrander  9:05

your pricing, I’m going to tackle pricing first because I think that that’s some of the easiest things to go over, as we talked about before the customer is recognizing that you’re saving them time and prevent presenting them with convenience. And so they’re willing to pay a premium for that most people aren’t going to worry about you know, they’re really price conscious, they’re not going to buy a bundle, they’re going to go shop around now. But I think that the rule of thumb for bundling is adding a 10 to 20% premium to what you would buy these items separately. If your margin allows now every product even product bundle has a price threshold. So I like to play around with pricing at first I always start high and see what I can get. See what I can get if sales aren’t as well as I want to. I can lower down a couple of dollars to see where the price threshold is. But I’ve also done the opposite starting a bundle sale yet at 3999 and it’s selling quickly. I add $1 then another dollar and I kind of find where the sweet spot is. To where, you know, we’re still getting steady flow of customers what without, you know, losing all the, you know, profit or pricing people out. So there’s usually a premium of, you know, I would say at least 10% of a markup up to 20% of a markup of what the items would cost individually. So if you’ve got three items in your bundle, both selling individually for 999, you can easily charge $33 $35 for that bundle, and customers are happy to pay that because they know it’s all going to come in one box. And they’re all they’re going to get it at the same time. And they’ve only had to do two things they add to cart and swipe to buy now or whatever they need to do. So it’s really saving them time without you know, shopping those things around. So pricing is really, over my experience with bundling over the past like six years has been that I can helpfully charge 10 to 20%, above what people are paying in order to get that premium for kind of a convenience fee, if you will. So that’s the kind of the pricing strategy. Now the strategy around finding profitable bundles to sell is I have I developed a whole framework. It’s a 12 step framework where you go through to kind of vet an idea that a product of st use, I start with a catalogue of things I have access to. So go to trade shows or if you have you know, some vendors that you’ve already working with, start looking at their stuff and looking at what you know, asking yourself a question, part of the framework is going through with this product and asking the who, what, when, where, why and how of the product? Who’s using it? Where are they going to use it? How are they going to use it? Are they the end user? Are you giving it as a gift? What room is this used? And how is it used together with other products and as you start thinking about that, you can start building things together, like you were talking about the telescope and the star maps, that is a perfect example of what somebody can use. If you’re giving the customer a value add with the product, they’re already using something they don’t that you know, that they need. So I always ask people to start with their knowledge bank, start with something you already know about one of your hobbies, one of your you know careers lines of work, something that you know a lot about and start building products from there. Because you’ve done product research in your life, you just don’t realize that you’ve done it by looking up things that you know, for your own hobbies or for you know, if you’re if people go boating, or fishing, they know, oh, this works. This is a trick, this is a hack. So putting all those things together in a way that you know, the customer would benefit from and showing them the value there. Some people look at frequently bought together on Amazon, if they have like one product that’s selling well. They look at other things that people are buying together. But that’s just one way because sometimes you’ll see cereal frequently bought together with toilet paper. And clearly that’s not a great bundle. So you have to use some common sense there. But also realize like that’s where you can kind of spring the ideas forth and say, hey, I’ve got this best seller in my store already. What can I bundle with this, because bundling also really keeps competition away. If you’re bringing, I like to do a hybrid of I bring wholesale products along with my own private label products and bundle them together. And so now I have a unique product that no one else can even hijack or copy or jump on my bundle because I’ve created myself a unique brand for my item. And I also pair it with other wholesale items to create a brand new, like I do a lot of gift baskets as part of bundling. And so it really kind of created some brands around those things to be able to set it apart from competition. So when somebody’s searching, you know, Mother’s Day gift set, there’s tons in there, but if they’re looking for a Mother’s Day mug, which might happen to include, then the attributes will bring the traffic.

Mark Daoust  13:27

Sure. And that makes sense. Are there are there verticals, niches, types of products that do not lend themselves well to bundling.

Kristin Ostrander  13:36

You know, I there’s categories I stay away from for liability reasons and things like you know, like things that are hard to explain. So normal things that are hard to sell online because they need an explanation, or they have to have some sort of video which Amazon’s doing way better at it allowing people to include video. But if it cannot be easily explained in an 80 character title, then maybe it’s not a good idea to bundle it. So you don’t want to be keyword stuffing. But you want to make sure that people are coming to your listing because they’re searching the key attributes of what you’re selling. So making sure that you can easily and simply I cannot say this enough, simply explain what you’re selling people try to get fancy with things. But if you’re selling a black duffel bag, sell a black duffel bag, you don’t have to try to get fancy about the keywords because that’s really what your customers are looking for. So I would I mean I stay away from liability categories. I feel like a lot of things that are heavily recalled like in the baby category or topicals or anything that’s ingested or digested or on your skin I choose to stay away from just for liability issues. But most of the time, other categories I’ve done really well with home and kitchen categories. They’re so wide and broad and there’s so many different categories, toys, stationery, industrial and scientific, a lot of hobby making type of Do It Yourself craft type kits do really well. So a lot of things and accessories, two major products. Those are things that I feel like are the greatest categories for bundling.

Mark Daoust  15:10

Have you noticed an impact from Amazon’s frequently bought together? I know you already mentioned this a little bit. But this seems to be Amazon saying let’s let’s bundle algo, algorithmically. I can’t say the word right now. And in trying to help people buy more items, does this impact the ability for people to make money from bundles.

Kristin Ostrander  15:32

I’ve been doing this for a long time. And I’ve been doing bundling as long as they’ve been doing frequently bought together. And it hasn’t been hurting my sales, I spread through multiple categories as well. I have multiple, I carry about 200 skews on a regular basis. And they’re all bundles. And so it’s not huge. But it’s also not, you know, so small that you’re only you have five or six brands. So you know, and Amazon actually recently started virtual bundling. But I’ve heard nothing but complaints from customers when it comes to virtual bundling. Because what happens is, is kind of that frequently bought together, they’re presenting to the customer, these three items, but then what happens is Amazon is still shipping these items individually and from different places and from and they arrived separately. And if you’re trying to send a gift to someone across the country, and it comes in three boxes, and it comes from at different times, that’s a bit awkward for a little Johnny’s birthday when he was supposed to get all three of these dinosaurs together. And somehow it comes in different boxes. So that’s why bundling. Really, versus coming in different ways because people use Amazon to ship things to other people as much as they’re buying for themselves. And so considering the customer is of utmost importance in with Amazon’s frequently bought together, that’s certainly great suggestions. But I say sellers take those ideas and make their own bundles with them because they can charge a premium and get all of the sales and all that that profit in their own pocket versus Amazon kind of taking the lion’s share.

Mark Daoust  17:00

Yeah, no. And I think there’s an element of soul there, right? I mean, Amazon is putting in the numbers and spitting out the results, as opposed to thinking maybe creatively about some of these these things, I would imagine there’s there’s some opportunity for for margin with these bundles, right? where maybe selling a widget that you would normally be able to get 20% margin, if you’re bundling it with something else, you might be able to get a little bit higher margin on it because of the bundle and the added value of the compliment. Complimentary aspect of that. Am I thinking about that right? Or does that not work in real life?

Kristin Ostrander  17:35

That’s exactly why I moved to bundling because honestly, I didn’t as a small, you know, we were home base for a really long time. Now we have, we use a prep center facility. So we’re not facilitating all the incoming and outgoing inventory. And they handle all that and they do all of our bundling for us. But I was in house for a long time using my garage and my spare room and things like that for you know, product bundling and resending and receiving for quite a long time, and we obviously outgrew that but the the greatest thing about the bundling is the in the reason I moved into it was because when I first started selling wholesale, I realized that if I don’t get into the volume game, I’m not going to make any money, I’m going to make pennies on the dollar by selling wholesale items that I’m gonna have to sell 5000 units a month of each thing just to kind of, you know, make a living rather than, you know, make a decent living. And so that didn’t appeal to me, I wanted to work a little bit smarter, and it’s it’s definitely front loaded work. I mean, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna sugarcoat that at all, you’re doing all the work upfront. But then once you create a bundle, and you put it out there and it starts selling, then all you have to do after that is just reorder the same bundle. And if you have your own warehouse great, or if you’re doing it yourself, great, but we do it to the prep center. And so it really makes us completely remote and mobile, which is the lifestyle that I wanted with a business I could build. And so what happened was, without being, excuse me, without being a volume seller, I wanted to be more of a margin seller. And so I looked at how I could increase my bottom line increase my margins per unit I was selling. And so what what wholesale bundles does is really create that value for your customer, because you could be putting a product in your bundle that cost you $1. But the customer sees that as a $10 value. So they’re willing to pay even $5 more for that bundle because they think they’re getting this $10 thing belong with the bundle. And you know, it’s kind of a margin game. So our margins are very healthy. For that reason, we want to be a margin margin selling company not not based on volume because simply it’s just less work to work with margins instead of volume.

Mark Daoust  19:43

the logistics of this, I would imagine, have a little bit of an additional complexity because you actually have to put the product together like you said, you order a set of dinosaurs for for your kid or you know for a gift that you don’t want them to come at three different times because one of the suppliers is delayed three weeks right as It’s annoying. I know, I had that recently, with a gift I got from my, from my wife, right? It was a bunch of different products. And I think this like a year ago, we’re still waiting on one, it was just a failed, failed present. So the logistics of this, are you bringing in all this inventory and then assembling the bundles together? And then shipping it off to Amazon, do you? Do you recommend using maybe a three PL or an Amazon prep center to be able to do this? What’s the best way to attack the actual bundling of these things together?

Kristin Ostrander  20:30

I would, as I started in home, when we started bundling and trying out the bundle concept ourselves. So we had a my mom and I are business partners. And we brought in a couple employees. And we were doing it here for many years. But we grew very tired of that. Because yes, that’s how it works. We use multiple suppliers, some bundles are from the same supplier, but we use multiple suppliers for multiple bundles, we receive the inventory, and then we are packing and shipping those items. So we use a third party, Amazon prep facility to be so they receive and do all that. So we have you know, there’s some logistics involved. And yesterday back orders involved there sometimes where bundles get held up because someone’s late and you know, things like that. But that’s just part of doing business, even especially now post COVID, post major, you know, COVID issues, supply chains are really backed up right now. So we’re just you just kind of have to expect to some, you know, slow suppliers or back orders or things like that. And over time people learn how to do proper inventory management, learn how which suppliers are on time and which aren’t. And that helps balance the bundle a little bit. So be prepared to have that sort of thing happen. But in as you’re waiting for maybe one supplier to come in your house, your multiple bundles are still going out with other things. So logistics are definitely something to handle. It’s a little bit more complicated than straight wholesale, but the margins really make it worth it.

Mark Daoust  21:55

Sure. How do you test a bundle? I mean, the scary thing is, right, like purchasing a product is one thing, it’s one product, you’re putting it out there testing a bundle, you’re you’re putting multiple things together and hoping that the combination a works and B that there’s the desire for this, see that people say well, you know, I wanted this, I didn’t want that. So no, I don’t, I don’t want that. So is there an efficient way to test before going through the work of ordering multiple sets of products to be able to put together and packages and then doing the work of assembling and putting that out the what a wholesale

Kristin Ostrander  22:29

bundle framework that I teach is really the the test of your bundle, before you put it out there, obviously, there’s some risk, you’re going to have to, you know, put a product out there, nothing’s going to be tried and true. I mean, if we all have ever dumped on a trend and had, you know, half of a garage full of product that didn’t sell, you know, tight timing, the market, so to speak, is that sort of thing. But my framework really helps people to nail down the data and the research before they spend $1 on inventory. So by the time you’re bringing your bundle to the market, you should have a strong sense of confidence that this bundle is going to sell. Now, the greatest thing about wholesale bundles is that unlike a private label or white label product, you don’t have to buy 10,000 bundles to sell we have many, many suppliers that you can buy two or three cases of something which could be less than a few $100. And so, you know, that’s that’s not a huge risk. And so that’s what’s great about wholesale bundling is that number one, you know, if you’re if you’re using proper researching, using, you know, my favorite tool to use is merchant words, I also use helium 10 for research, but but mostly with merchant words, because you’re looking at supply and demand, you’re looking at all of the research data points before you make a decision. So obviously, you’re not going to put your cereal and your toilet paper together and hope it sells because clearly you’ve done some research and realize people don’t buy these together. And there’s beyond Amazon data, which I know a lot of people are widget and data sellers, they only look at numbers and they say if these numbers don’t make sense, I’m out of here. But the reality is you have to think like a customer, you have to go to places like Pinterest and Etsy and eBay and do some market research. Because really, you’re sort you’re doing a percentage of what you would do for a real product launch. Except for you’re using things that are already existing that customers are already searching for. And you’re realizing that with frequently bought together plus looking at other marketplaces to see what is selling with other items, that you’re bringing a product to the market that customers really want to buy. And so your risk is a lot lower than say a private label product that you probably have to order 10,000 units of to get started. I’ve started with as little as 12 bundles to get started and just say let’s see if this works. And unfortunately, when I start so small is when I when I have regret because it’s like wow, this sold so fast. And now I have to you know, I’m out of stock for a couple of weeks while I still restock. So it depends on your risk level when it comes to first testing. But the good news about wholesale bundling is it really doesn’t take a ton of upfront investment in order to test to see if a product is going to sell the way that you’d like it to.

Mark Daoust  24:59

Alright, so I’m put you on the spot. And if you can’t answer I will understand, right? Because maybe maybe you can’t give away some of the secret sauce here. I’d love to know, a couple of bundles that you saw over your many years of doing this where you’re like, that was awesome. That was brilliant. And maybe, you know, gifts seem so natural, right? You’re buying a Mother’s Day gift, bundle those stuff together. Maybe something that doesn’t like go right down the heart of the plate there have gifts where you thought those those are super creative idea. I just think examples help prime the pump sometimes people thinking,

Kristin Ostrander  25:30

sure, what am I when we used to do a lot of grocery bundles, we decided to move away from that for various reasons, mostly tax liability, liability insurance those years. But that was just our personal risk we didn’t want to take but one of our favorite and best selling bundles for probably two years were in the grocery department. And they were flavored coffee creamers, like international delight, individual coffee creamers, they made like Almond Joy flavored and peanut butter chocolate flavor, and like there was four different varieties. And we could not sell these fast enough. And we actually discontinued them when Amazon changed their policy about expiration dates, and we set their expiration dates used to be six months, and then they moved it to three months. And then that was just too close for comfort, there are things to consider being by Amazon, you have to pull it off the shelf and 50 days before or something like that they have some crazy rules. But things like that to where we created this variety pack variety packs of food products do extremely well. So Taco Bell, makes like five different hot sauces, for example, you can buy at the grocery store, those types of bundles, where people put all five together just do really well. And that’s different than a multipack, where you’re selling like three of the same hot sauce or something like that, which is technically not a bundle, but it’s still within the bundle concept. It’s just listed differently because it’s not a bundle. So that’s just like kind of logistics or, you know, semantics, I guess, but really, you know, variety packs of different items. So another great category was in children’s clothing, selling the same t shirt or variety pack of T shirts, say it was four T for a little boy that’s got four different designs on it. I mean, it’s really basic, when you have children that are growing fast to just add really basic things like that to the car, here’s five shirts, this is a new wardrobe for my kid just right now. So really anything like so we’ve sold, things like that our grocery bundles did really well at all the malls, the variety packs, we never really did multipacks. So you know, things that are regional for you. So if you’re, you know, you’re You said you’re in Minnesota area, if there’s certain things in your area that are really manufactured there, and kind of a regional thing, those things actually do really well on Amazon, we have some local manufacturers here that they only make a certain amount of candy or sauces and things and people move out of state. And then they’re like, ah, we want the Sanders hot. But like that was something that was a really big seller for us for a while. And we put it in the dark chocolate and milk chocolate variety. And it’s sold like crazy. So those are kind of natural and easy ones to kind of break ground with. But some of our current bestsellers are in the home decor space, we sell two packs of decorative rugs, like the smaller, you know, throw rug or whatever. And those do really well as well just have the same exact rug. So that’s technically a multipack I guess. But you know, those types of things people are changed their decor regularly and for the seasons. And seasonal bundles are more work because sometimes they come and go more quickly than other things. But they can be a goldmine if you do it correctly. So Christmas and Halloween are our favorite holidays to hit for bundling when it comes to things like just decorations. And when I say decorations, I don’t mean like disposable like party decorations, although those are great options as well. But we mean more like tablecloths and, you know, signs and people hanging on the wall or front door decorations. People are always changing those things. You always want to look at things that probably have a short shelf life for your customer so that they’re always coming back for more ideas, because that keeps you in business.

Mark Daoust  29:14

Boy, just hearing you talk I’m thinking about Pinterest would be great market research for this. Just take a look at the stuff in the mix of products that are and then putting it together into a whole set. I want to bring this full circle because we’re almost out of time here. Because you teach a lot of your clients about building value into their businesses for hopefully a future exit. So let’s we focus on baleen, which is great. That’s what I wanted to focus on today. I think it’s a great concept. I often talk about how in the Amazon ecosystem we go from arbitrage which she you know about, there’s not a lot of value in a business like that there’s wholesale which has problems and private label and proprietary brands and bundling kind of it fits in that mix there as being that you’re creating something really, really Unique there. I love it. I think it’s a very creative way to create value and distinction that is survivable. Right. And this is always what we’re looking at with Amazon businesses from value. I want to know a little bit, you know, your thoughts on bundling and how it creates value in the long term for potential buyers, who are looking at this looking at a business for sale. And just some of the, you know, some of the things that you find to be really important when it comes to building value into an Amazon business.

Kristin Ostrander  30:31

I think some of the things specifically with Amazon is getting some sort of trademark brand. And so when I say that I don’t necessarily mean a brand you’re going to bring to a brick and mortar retail store like Target or Best Buy, you know, something like that. I’m talking about building a bundle brand and then trademarking said bundle, Brian. So I often joke that Kristin’s favorite things is my bundle brand. And that’s, you know, that’s obviously not my brand. But the idea there is like I’m building Kristin’s favorite things, gift sets, and I still have a trademark and a brand. And I have custom packaging. And I do all of these things, fairly inexpensively. But what it does is you’re building a brand without building a brand that needs all of the outlying things that a retail brand would mean. And once you have the protections of Brand Registry on Amazon, where you don’t have other people, you know, competing against you, I have zero direct competitors on any of my listings, I own the buy box 100% of the time for all of my listings, because they’re all under my bundle brand. And so no one can jump on and tank, my price. And then I have all these price wars and things like that. And I often bring something unique and add value to the table. And I’ve actually had my business evaluated before by someone. And that’s something they told me that made it extremely valuable was the business model of the wholesale bundling, because I have the strong reliability and sustainability of strong wholesale suppliers that have been in business a long time. So I don’t carry the liability of Oh, well, these are all my products. And if I screw up then the whole ship sinks. So if one supplier discontinued something, I can always go to another supplier find it. So I have a really healthy, reliable, sustainable suppliers. And because I’m building bundles with those items, that makes it more valuable, but also the creativity that’s involved the couple of trademarks that I own, and the legitimacy of being you know, an S corp and having the different things set up properly. It makes it really a valuable asset. Especially since it’s a margin game, there’s a lot less I want to say less moving parts well there’s some less moving parts but it’s not as much as like we don’t have 1000 skews we don’t have like you know we’re diversified but in a small way that makes it easy to manage. We have my mom, myself one admin and our prep facility so we don’t have a huge team we don’t have huge overhead of a warehouse and all that thing. So I’m using a prep facility and just a couple of small team members This is a very manageable high profitable business as it’s set up without as many moving parts as a huge company.

Mark Daoust  33:08

That’s awesome. Where can people find more I’m sure people are interested in this framework that you have to be able to evaluate this will be good information or good places for them find more information about what you teach here.

Kristin Ostrander  33:19

No everything’s on mommyincome.com, so you can go to mommyincome.com, and it’s Mommy Income on all the social channels. And then the the podcast is called The Amazon Files. So all of those things will lead you right to where you want to go. The the system is called the wholesale bundle system. And that comes with the exclusive framework of how to do the research and really execute your bundles. Well.

Mark Daoust  33:40

This is awesome. Thank you so much for coming on. Really appreciate it.

Kristin Ostrander  33:43

Thank you so much for having me.

Outro  33:46

Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast subject your guests 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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