*PS. Below you will find an auto-generated transcript of this episode.
Arek Dvornechuck: Hey what's up branding experts? Arek here at Ebaqdesign and welcome to On Branding Podcast. And today my guest is Tomer Rabinovich. And Tomer is a successful Amazon seller and he has created multiple private label brands on Amazon. And although Tomer is still an active seller on Amazon, his true passion now is helping others succeed, other business owners succeed on Amazon. So that's why Tomer found the Top Dog, which is his coaching business where he runs his workshops, live events, and community where he shares his valuable insights into selling on Amazon and Tomer recently published his book "Ride the Amazon Wave: The Pro Seller's Guide to Private Label Success."
So Tomer is an expert when it comes to building brands on Amazon, and he would love to share with us some insights today. Thanks for joining us today, Tomer.
Tomer Rabinovich: Hi Arek. Thank you for having me.
Arek Dvornechuck: Thank you. So on this podcast we are gonna talk about the content of your book, right? Things like the mindset of an Amazon seller the product selection, the sourcing, the product launch and marketing, managing reviews, and building a brand and perhaps other things if time allows.
Becoming an Amazon Seller
Arek Dvornechuck: But first I just wanted to ask you to tell your own story, right? Because you went from being a magician, which is truly unique to becoming a top seller on Amazon. So, I thought that, you know you probably learn a lot along the way, so what works and what doesn't. So can you share with us some of how it all happened?
Tomer Rabinovich: Yeah, sure. So I started doing magic when I was 10 years old. I'm from Israel, so I learned everything from Magic Books, video. We lived in like a small town up north in the northern side of Israel. So I've done that until I was 27. So I've done that for a long time. Performed professionally all across Israel.
I lived a bit in the US and did a few shows there as well. And I always know I'm gonna be an entrepreneur. And as an Israeli, I, I went to the military as well. I went to college, did like the. Regular way of doing things. And then I started a day job and very quickly I realized like I need to do something else from, besides working nine to five.
And then I stumbled upon an Amazon course, took that course, launched a few products that did well, that was back in 2015, and the rest is history. I was, the thing I was missing, I think as like a digital entrepreneur was, People and basically talking to other people. And that is what I liked about magic.
So I very quickly started performing on stages all over the world, talking to Amazon sellers. So I've basically spoken at pretty much every major event in the industry and that got me into consulting others as well. And obviously I learned from everyone I consult for. So that. Another drive for myself.
And also I can say that selling physical products is great, but it's not as fulfilling as actually helping other people get financially free or change their lives or stuff like that. I find like a lot, much more rewarding. Over time.
The Mindset of an Amazon Seller
Arek Dvornechuck: Right? Understand. So this is your true passion now, right? To helping others.
But you, you still have a business on Amazon, right? So you're a practitioner and also you coach others. You know how to do this the right way. So in your book, you actually, you know put a lot of emphasis on, on the right mindset, right? So I wanted you to start with that. What kind of mindset because it takes a certain mindset to become really, truly successful on Amazon, right?
So we need to think and behave in a certain way, so to get there faster and perhaps not waste so much time on or making too many mistakes. Right. So can you give us some like general tips on what would be the right mindset?
Tomer Rabinovich: Yeah, sure. So I think most think about Amazon as a side hustle or is something they can do like real estate, you know, or something they can do on the side.
A friend of mine from Israel works for a big height company. He wanted to basically start Amazon. And I said, But you like your job, right? He said, Yeah. So I'm like, So keep your day job and not do Amazon, because if you want to go into Amazon, that should be your end game. And I know a lot of people on your podcast are listening and they have different brands maybe, and they wanna know how to brand them better.
Amazon is a competitive marketplace, so you need to understand that you are not just competing with yourself, and you can choose maybe a very nice brand and colors and logo and all of that, that that's great, but on Amazon, you actually need to look better than everyone else. You need to have a better product than everyone else, and that's how you win.
So the mindset that you need to have coming in is that if you have, if you already have a product, and I assume that's your, your main listeners here already have some sort of product and they want to launch on Amazon, they need to, I would buy everything else that already exists on Amazon and make sure I have a better product then if I don't, I'll improve my product than until I do.
And then make sure my branding images the listing itself on Amazon actually looks and appears to be much better. And it's a whole other business you need to learn. And that's why I wrote the book as well. So the book is basically for anyone who is either already selling on Amazon or doing e-commerce in general, or anyone that already has some physical products and they want to go into Amazon
Product Selection & Sourcing
Arek Dvornechuck: right, now these are great general tips. So just to sum up for our listeners as you mentioned, product research, super important, right? You would buy out all of. You know, competitors, all of their products, and analyze them and, and see what they do right, what they do wrong, you know, maybe go through the reviews, see what people complain about and stuff like that.
So, but then also from visual perspective, the branding, the images, packaging, right. And and also other things that we are gonna talk about. So we need to like kind of focus on, trying to be, become better in all of these aspects, right? In order to be truly successful. So you mentioned that some of our listeners probably they do have some product idea, but I actually wanted to talk about to you about, because you know, some of our listeners may have some product, maybe they have their own product or they have an idea.
But maybe some of them they don't. So there's a certain process that you advise, when it comes to product selection and product sourcing, right? So you've dealt with a lot of business owners, so maybe you can just talk to us about. How we should approach that? How do we know what's gonna sell, if it's gonna sell or not?
Tomer Rabinovich: Yeah, so the way to know, first of all, Amazon is a search engine. So people now in the US are looking into Amazon before they look in Google for products. So when they won the search for something, if they wanna search for Bluetooth headphones, they're gonna go to Amazon first before they go to Google. So, With that in mind, if you have a product idea, there are different tools out there in, in Amazon.
I don't really wanna mention any names, but there are different tools that can basically show you stats in terms of monthly sales revenue, stuff like that, that you actually know how much you're doing. So what you want to do is want to, in Amazon, basically wanna sell products that are already have search volume.
You wanna sell products like Bluetooth headphones, and if you would sell a product that no one is searching, That doesn't, Amazon is probably not the best platform for that. You have platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and those platforms are great for like a new, innovative product that you wanna launch.
Amazon is more of let's sell commodities, let's say let's just improve existing products and then bring a better version of that to the marketplace. And Amazon customers are so smart these days in how they shop. They recognize very quickly if it's a new innovation or a new product. And Amazon also gives you a certain period of time, like the first 30 days, 40 days of the product launch are critical to its success.
And when you launch that product, you really to push hard on the gas to basically generate rank for your keywords, get reviews as fast as possible and that really propels your product forward as soon as you launch it.
So other thing about like product research that I recommend, like all the, there are a lot of courses on Amazon. If you Google YouTube, how to sell on Amazon Private Label, you will see a lot of videos. Most, for the most part, most of them recommend the same type of product. So most of them will say light product, relatively cheap, like $15 to $60. Has a certain number of reviews and so on, like a very stiff criteria.
What I say is if you do that, if you follow that criteria and you find that perfect product and you launch it on Amazon, it's gonna be saturated before it lands in Amazon. So what you want to do is you want to look for products that no one else is looking for. No one else is willing to launch. So maybe it's an expensive product or heavy or very cheap, right, or very small or something that doesn't seem like it can make a profit, but it actually can.
So basically, I find, fight my way with the sourcing and power develop. And not while I'm selling it on Amazon, if that makes sense.
Arek Dvornechuck: No, it definitely makes sense. So that's a good point and that's a good distinction. So we are looking on one hand we are looking for something unique where there is an opportunity, but on the other hand, you know, it also, as you mentioned, you know, Amazon is a search engine, so.
There are certain things people search for, and we need to take that into consideration and look from that perspective, right? So if you have like a super unique product, maybe you should go the, as you mentioned, the Indiegogo way. And do some crowd funding campaign.
Tomer Rabinovich: My favorite way of selecting products these days is basically taking, if you think about any, any industry, doesn't matter what it. Once it's saturated, there are always sub-niches popping up. So that's why I believe Amazon will probably never get saturated. So if you look at Bluetooth headphones as the same example, now you have Bluetooth headphones for the gym, you have Bluetooth headphones for the plane, right?
You have Bluetooth headphones to sleep with, right? It is like a mask and headphones built into it. So you have like all of this in sub-niches popping up. Which makes sense because the demand is so high for different types of keywords that people develop products specifically for that use. The other thing you can do is you can also develop products for a specific audience.
So you can do Bluetooth headphones for young girls, right? You can do Bluetooth headphones for seniors, which might be like a different product. So you can basically target the specific use or a specific audience. With your different products, and that will always happen when a niche becomes saturated. If I see a trend kind of coming up, then I will basically look, what are these sub niches that are popping up?
What are these sub keywords people are typing in? Mm-hmm. . And then I would probably launch products towards that instead of launching like the main product that everyone is going after and trying to sell to everyone, which never works,
Product Launch & Marketing
Arek Dvornechuck: Probably. Right. No, that's a good point. It's in general a good tip when it comes to branding in general to niche down, right?
And, and try to go after, at least at the beginning. So you have, you know, better chances at, you know, being successful. And then you can go like, broader and, and, but so you recommend Niching down. Or going for a specific audience when it comes to product selection, right? So let's now talk about you know, once we have the idea for the product or we have our own product and we think about how we can, should we others, a specific audience or specific use.
But when it's time to launch, what's next? Like there are certain things that need to be done. You know certain consideration when it comes to product launch, right? We need to have the inventory in place, like all those things in place, and then we need to know how to market on top of that, right? So your dimension that, you know, keyword research is super important, but then you need to write a description of the product, right?
Take photos of the product, and then run some pay per click campaigns, right? And pay attention to your KPIs and things like that. So can you talk to us about some of those things?
Tomer Rabinovich: Yeah. The first thing I will say, I guess a lot of people don't under don't know, like they buy on Amazon a lot, but they don't really realize that most of the products they're buying are from third party sellers, such as myself.
They're buying with Prime, right? They are prime customers and they get a product within two days from me, for example. And the way that happens is, Amazon, unlike eBay, the difference between Amazon and eBay. eBay is just a marketplace. You cannot, They don't have warehouse facilities or anything like that.
Amazon has warehouses across the US and all the, all over the world. Now you can sell Amazon Canada and Amazon uk. And Amazon Japan. And Amazon India, right? So, If I wanna sell in Amazon US and I want to sell with Prime, I can basically create a shipment within Amazon, send them the inventory and they distribute it across their own warehouses.
And then when you will buy the product, they will ship it to you within two days. And that's the genius aspect of Amazon and what it allows to people like me to basically run like a very small operation, but a huge business at the same time. Yeah, so once you have that stock in Amazon, once you have your listing ready, once you also plan out your launch that's when you can basically open your listing and you want to know, like you wanna keep your listing closed basically, until you do that.
Because there is something called the honeymoon period that's like a term that basically Amazon sales came up with that basically says that in that grace period of like 30, 40 days of the launch, Amazon basically awards you in higher ranking to the, on different keywords just to kind of see what will happen if they do that.
So that's why when I hit hard on the gas and you want. Incrementally possible. So you don't wanna start with like, let's say a hundred sales a day and then diminishing like sales. You want to start, let's say 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, then six, then 12, whatever. Like you want to do it incrementally over that 30, 40 day period.
And you can do that in different ways. If you have an audience already, great. You have an email list, great. Your product can be viral, it can go on TikTok or Instagram, Facebook, All those platform are great. Amazon loves outside traffic that you send to it, so Amazon is really doing everything they can and what Amazon really wants, right?
When it comes to launching your products, Amazon wants traffic. If you only use the Amazon traffic and you only use cpc, you need to have a very, very good product or a. A clear messaging on why it's better than everything else that exists on Amazon, and that can work like just by running ppc. But it's better if you can bring some outside traffic to it, either from your own audience or customer list or from, again, other social media resources and channels, if that makes sense to your product or Google Ads or whatever. whatever other place you can bring traffic from.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right, Right. So yeah, so just to and by the way, I have some takeaways from your book. So, you know, like three tips you mentioned is to stay on the budget, rank for the keywords, and get reviews. Those are the three things that you should focus on. That is extremely important.
Right? And then also as you mentioned, you know, there is this period 30 to 45 days during which Amazon kind of like tests you out, pushes you kind of, and to see if it's a good product or not. And so you need to grow fast, but you also need to like, grow incrementally, right? So And then you can bring your traffic from your email list from other social media that that's a good thing to do as well.
And of course, in your book, you can find a lot more like you dive into actual details, right? Like how to do this step by step. But just for the purpose of this podcast, I want to give our listeners an overview. So what are the other things that you wanted? Maybe there are some things that you. Are really important to talk about. I know you mentioned in the book, for example Yeah, go ahead.
Tomer Rabinovich: Yeah, so just to kinda explain bit better, like the launch method or how Amazon works, Amazon is trying to create a snowball effect. So if you can create that snowball effect, that's what Amazon really wants. And when you bring in stock to Amazon, you cannot bring in like 50 units of a new product and expect it to kinda.
Test it out. It doesn't really work that way. You need to bring in at least a few hundred units usually to test out a product, and that can cost a few thousand dollars, but you need to give yourself a chance to succeed. If the production time in China, let's say, is 30 days, shipping is another 40, 45 days.
That's like 75 days of stock. So if I order 500 units, I need to sell, I need to start selling it. And if I see the products doing well and get good reviews, I need to order more and it's gonna take me like 70, 80 days to get it to Amazon, right? So that's why you need like enough stock to justify what I think is more relevant to people listening.
On the topic of branding is a chapter called Six Star Experience. Six Star Experience is basically my philosophy on basically Aiming for a six star experience to land at five star reviews because in Amazon, because it's such a competitive marketplace and because of the review system, if I get anything other than five stars, it hurts me because as a lot of, like a lot, a lot of your buying on Amazon or buying on any platform, if a product is four stars and everything else is four and a half, you're gonna buy the four and a half star products.
It doesn't matter how many views the four Stars products have. It just, the conversion rate really tanks once it gets to four stars. If the entire niche is four stars, fine, or if the entire niche is three and a half stars and yours is four, then that's okay. But relatively speaking, like usually most products are five or 4.5, if you drop to four it's almost game over to the product.
So that's why obviously high quality products like it needs to do what it's supposed to do. Right. That's like the first star of the six star experience, But the sixth star, and that's what I wanna talk about, is. What we try to do is we try to always over deliver and surprise with our products. So that means that when you get your product, you're either gonna get something you didn't expect when you got it.
So it might be like a small gift inside. It might be like a, a nice letter inside. It might be like a playful, humorous insert inside. So if you want to share some examples of what we do, So one, one thing that we do in, in a baby brand that we have is when you get the product, we have a nice insert.
It basically starts with, and it start treating like a kid spot and it starts with dear mom and dad, like, Thank you for buying the spot for me. And you could buy anything you want for yourself, stuff like that. So it's very playful, very cute. And when you think about stuff like that, and we had another we have another beauty brand where we add like small gifts inside it, like a small black box with a red ribbon around it.
And then we have like small notes next to. And that what that does is, let's say I sell a makeup set, right, and it comes with 10 brushes, and two brushes are missing. When you got, when you got the product, if you're an Amazon customer, you're probably gonna place a refund and you're gonna leave a one star review because something was mis, something was missing inside, which is justified.
That's fine. But if you got a small box inside that you didn't expect in a small note, and it's playful and it's nice, and it's cute. , you're probably gonna reach out to customer support before leaving a negative review for that product. Because psychologically speaking, you feel like you got more than you paid for.
You got something you didn't know you were getting. So even if something is missing, you're gonna feel almost obligated to reach out to the company because you got more value, right? If you look at Warby Parker Glasses, when you open them up, it says nice to see you right on the inside. So already it puts a smile on your face.
Right. So that's what we are trying to do. So we are using every element of the experience and we try to do that both in the consulting service and in the physical product service. We're trying to give you a good experience throughout the process. So that will mean like in, if you provide a service, you wanna do like very clear email follow up or be playful with them or like just show some character.
Right. Mm-hmm. Throughout. So I think like especially starting out with any service or any, any business, you're trying to come off as professional as possible. You're trying to just do the right thing and say the right things to kind of get business. But the truth is that professional is just another word for boring, I think.
So what we are trying to do is we are trying to add humor and a bit of a twist to everything that we do, and basically speak to our target audience. As much as we can to like the customer avatar, stuff like that. So again, if you try to solve to everyone, you will almost never succeed. So that's why you want to like branding.
If you ask me, like, if you talk about what, what is a brand? A brand is basically a niche. That's what it is. If you are selling to everyone, then you don't have a brand. So a brand is basically like nicheing down. Yeah,
Arek Dvornechuck: that's true. That, that's totally true. So yeah, so that's a lot. You know, there is, there is much more in your book of course.
And but main takeaway from this part is, you know, to build that six star experience, right? In order to get those five star reviews. You know, if reviews are extremely important, I read reviews myself and I've noticed some of those things that you mentioned. Like, for example, I just ordered a new mattress from Amazon.
And and there was a note as well, right? There were some extra things. They gave me some extra pillows and stuff like that. So yeah. So you know. Taking care of that experience building. That's what it is. That's brand building. Right. So so as we are approaching the end of our interview, I just want to ask you what's the best way to connect with you?
So, of course I'm gonna link to your book on Amazon and again, the title of the book is, "Ride the Amazon Wave". And then you have a personal website, right, which is your name tomerrabinovich.com and a business website, your coaching business, which is jointopdog.com .
Tomer Rabinovich: Yeah. Yeah, that's correct. So to tomerrabinovich.com, jointopdog.com is the best place to reach me. This is the book right here for those who are watching. So the book took me like the entire covid to write. It took me over two years to complete. It's 300 pages long. It's not like a PDF I put together in like two days or something.
It was a big project and there is also a lot of content in the back end. They know you, you signed up for the content as well. There is a lot of content on the back end of the book. That just gives you like all of the updated information because the book was written in a way. And Amazon constantly change, obviously.
So the book was written in a way, it's almost timeless with things that are always going to be true. Product selection six star experience is always gonna be true, but then on the back end I will update that information all the time.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. But anyways it is a brand new book and I have a Kindle version.
You've covered a lot of things. You know there is like 13 chapters, I believe, right. So, 14 15 actually. So you go really into details, on all of those steps. And this was just an overview. So, and again, thanks for coming on the show, Tomer. I really appreciate that.
Tomer Rabinovich: Thank you so much, Arek.
Arek Dvornechuck is a strategist and designer who helps brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch
Best Deals for Creatives
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.