Proven Amazon Course

129 OEA Podcast - Has Amazon Become A Monopoly? Live With Joshua And Dean!

Whats up Empire!

Joshua Woodward here your podcast host.

Welcome to the podcast. Most every Monday at 3pm Pacific standard time Dean and I hop on for a live show to talk about the happenings of the Amazon world. This week we are talking the all to present question, Has Amazon Become A Monopoly?

Here are all the links as promised in the show,

Trum Vs. Jeff Bezos
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/05/19/bezos-trump-duke-it-out-over-taxes-free-speech.html

Amazon video direct - https://videodirect.amazon.com/home/landing

Amazon private label food - http://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-expand-private-label-offeringsfrom-food-to-diapers-1463346316

- "According to Market Track, 88% of customers say they buy private label products due to lower prices.
This trend fits perfectly for Amazon, which will be rolling out new offerings, including foods and baby care products."

- "The new brands with names like Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime and Mama Bear will include nuts, spices, tea, coffee, baby food and vitamins, as well as household items such as diapers and laundry detergents,"
How long will it take for Amazon Essentials to become, Amazon only?

Raising FBA fees this Holiday Season - http://www.pymnts.com/amazon-delivery/2016/amazon-fulfillment-fee-hike-merchant-reaction/

- "Come November 1 – and through January 1 , . In fees jump to $2.25 per cubic foot for standard-size products and $1.15 per cubic foot for oversize products, up 212.5 percent and 101.8 percent."
“Amazon has not yet commented on the change.”

UPC Codes and Inauthentic Claims for USED Media at Amazon - http://snip.ly/pvf81#http://onlinesalesstepbystep.com/411-upc-codes/

- Amazon seems to be saying that they suddenly need a very expensive UPC code and that they have to have permission from the manufacturer/rights holder in order to do it.

- What Amazon is doing now is automatically checking Product IDs against the GS1 database. So if you are selling a product where you have added a UPC code that you purchased from eBay or some online dealer, basically, it won’t show up in the GS1 database as belonging to you or any other brand.

- If this product is YOURS – a private label or manufacturer – you’re fine because you can register these with Amazon or even ask for an exception to have a barcode. In fact, they will give you a universal number for your unique products through the brand registry so you can sell them worldwide on Amazon’s platforms under that one number.
http://snip.ly/pvf81#http://onlinesalesstepbystep.com/411-upc-codes/

In conclusion Amazon shifting things is not necessarily a bad thing. It show the massive value that can come from the Drop shipping mode, wholesaling and private labeling.

If you want to know more about these subjects you can go check out,

(just a disclaimer if you choose to purchase anything from the links below the Online Empire Academy does get a small affiliate income. this helps us keep the lights on but if it at all bothers you please message us and we will be happy to send you the unaffiliated links)

Private Label - http://theonlineempireacademy.com/jumpstart
Drop Shipping - www.dreamdropshipping.com
Wholesale - wholesaleintel.com/

Thank you so much for listening and have a fantastic day!

--- Transcripts Below This Point---

Joshua:
Alright what's up Online Empire Academy we are here for our live podcast. I'm really excited there's a lot of crazy stuff happening in the ecom world. I'm here as always with Dean, what's up Dean?

Dean:
What's up?

Joshua:
He's not in his garage today so this is a good start.

Dean:
Yes I've become the master of my office/bedroom. At least for today.

Joshua:
Your kids are out of the garage or out of the office today I see.

Dean:
It's actually just because my daughter who usually sleeps in here during the day is at Mimi's which is grandma.

Joshua:
I thought it was Mimi's Cafe I was like that's delicious too. I will take Mimi's Cafe.

Dean:
Love it.

Joshua:
Let's hop into it if you guys have any questions please let us know, there is a chat room so you guys can come in and chat ask, questions if you guys have any questions especially as we start diving into things that are happening within Amazon. Feel free to ask because I know there's a ton of confusion with what's going on especially for me. I've been super confused, I'm happy to have Dean here because hopefully between the two of us we can answer some of the questions.

First thing, the last time that we had talked I had a horrible situation on eBay come up where I sold an iPhone it was my old iPhone I upgraded and I sold my iPhone. It just exploded legitimately probably the worst situation I could ever think of. The guy just threw a fit because he was like hey it's not internationally unlocked and I was like I asked Sprint to unlock it and I called Sprint and there was a fraudulent freeze on it because we saw that somebody else tried to use it and it's going to take 3 to 5 business days to get it unlocked. I was like oh my gosh you've got to be kidding me. This is the worst thing.

Anyway he gets super mad and I'm like hey it's going to be unlocked in 5 to 7 days. He's like I don't want it I'm sending it back. I'm like great there goes $500, this is fantastic. I had to ... by the time I got it back the phone was already unlocked. I post it up on eBay again obviously I'm going to make my money so I post it on eBay it immediately sales and the guys going back and forth with me and he's like okay yeah this this and this and then he's like wait I ended up calling Sprint after that come to find out they didn't end up unlocking it internationally after I asked them. I was furious, I was so mad.

When I listed it again I put it is not internationally unlocked. The guy didn't read again it was not the same guy it was a new guy he was like hey I need a refund I didn't realize it wasn't internationally unlocked. I was like hands up in the air I'm done I'm never ever selling phones on eBay ever again. I re-listed it and I've gotten a few hits on it but I would never recommend ever selling a phone on eBay ever. I would never do it ever again.

Dean:
That's crazy. I would have been done after the first time.

Joshua:
It kind of helped me recognize okay what am I going to spend my time on. So much of what we've been talking about lately is how do we optimize our time to make the most profits whether that's the Online Empire Academy or Amazon and eBay business. Is eBay really a good platform for me to continue pouring money into. My wife and I are really looking at okay is this where we want to spend our time especially coming into the summer. She's worked at a school so there's not subsidize income during the summer. That's really when we kick into high gear with Amazon and eBay and at this point we're like is eBay really going to be worth it. Then there's some other things we'll talk about a little later but there some other things that are coming up with Amazon we've kind of got to just focus. Pretty interesting stuff.

Dean:
That's crazy. It's a good lesson. To me that's the reason why I don't sell on eBay and it's the reason why ... I shouldn't say I don't sell on E-Bay it's the reason why I don't like selling one-off items in general. I would rather just have my replenishable. It's cool that you could potentially have gotten a huge margin off of that item but in the time that you spent and the frustration that you spent you could have even during that time you could have probably called a few vendors, got some wholesale accounts and started selling some wholesale stuff on eBay.

Joshua:
It for sure wasn't worth my time. With everything that's happened I actually lost money at this point. I was talking with Hannah the other day, my mom needs a new phone I might as well just give it to her. She was like don't give away $500. I don't even know if I could get $500 for it anymore. Anyway this is in no way a political stance but Trump and Jeff Bezos the head of Amazon are going at it which I thought was really interesting. Dean have you read anything about that?

Dean:
All I know is Trump was saying that Bezos was almost like a conspiracy thing against him or something like that.

Joshua:
I'll post articles in the description of this but basically Trump is accusing Jeff of running a corrupt business. The Washington Post is run by Amazon and the Washington Post is directly attacking Trump. Trump is kind of back lashing towards that and there is kind of this ... it's interesting because the point that he brought up was Amazon is evading taxes and there is all kinds of different tax loops and stuff like that. I'm looking at this going okay it's kind of funny that it happened but on the other end of it is the biggest questions that is kind of on my mind and what Trump had brought up is does Amazon have too much of the pie.

You are looking at the company who has is one of the largest retailers in the world. You have Merch by Amazon which Amazon at this point is the second largest retailer of clothing in the entire U.S. You're talking about they're coming up against Walmart they're coming up against some of the biggest retailers of clothing in the world. There's projections that Amazon could be number one in the United States within the end of the year, just in clothing. Merch by Amazon is a huge opportunity for that to continue growing. Now we have Amazon Cloud, Amazon Music, Amazon Video, Amazon Self-publishing, Amazon Video Direction, Amazon Private Label of food.

These are all things that Amazon is directly doing. I think there is some value to what Trump is saying in the sense of is there too much of the pie and this is what I wanted to chat with you and the audience is do you think that based on everything that I just said and we will get into some of these topics, there is some cool things happening with Video Direction and with Amazon Private Label food which is actually a really interesting subject. What do you think Dean? Do you think that Amazon is carrying too much of the pie?

Dean:
Well it's a very economic philosophical question, we are a capitalist country and capitalism is based around competition while monopoly is formed. It's very ... to blame a company for essentially becoming very very very big and essentially becoming a huge monopoly in a capitalist society that philosophy just in general. Putting me in a very fun place. It's kind of hard to blame a company for doing that. They are providing valuable goods and services but at the same time they are crushing tons of competition. For them to hold such a huge amount of market share, eventually it becomes to the point where are they going to provide as much value as other companies could or are they going to start ... is it eventually the bottom line in any type of capitalist society the bottom line is what matters in businesses. Cutting costs, cutting quality things like that.

Something like that could happen where Amazon doesn't deliver as much value but at least for now from what I've seen people love Amazon and they go to Amazon because they find tons of value there in whatever it is. I don't know. It definitely is a huge behemoth in my opinion of a monopoly but is it a bad monopoly right now, I don't think so they are delivering a ton of value.

Joshua:
I don't know for me I struggle because I'm totally a fan of build a business and grow your business and become as big as possible but it is interesting when you start talking about monopolies. Does Amazon have a monopoly? They branched out in so many areas but yet we're profiting from them branching out. I don't know how much do I even argue with this, how much do I even touch into this? Because I'm profiting from this.

Dean:
That's true. A good example is with their Merch by Amazon thing that came out. I used to sell on Zazzle all the time, Zazzle.com. It's kind of like cafeé press pretty much the exact same thing as Merch by Amazon. You would do your own images, you would pop them onto Zazzle and people would buy and they would ... you would make some commission off of that. Now that Merch by Amazon has come out and when they actually move into other types of merchandise, I don't see any way for them to compete. It's not necessarily that Zazzle is going to go out of business but who wants to buy ... everyone wants to buy from Amazon because it's easy. The quality is usually better, but who is going to buy from Zazzle now. Am I going to sell on Zazzle when I know the majority of the customers are on Amazon. It's very weird relationship.

Like I said is it a bad thing? At least with Bezos it doesn't seem like it's a tyrannical monopoly, I don't know. Are they avoiding taxes? Every business in this type of society avoids taxes as much as possible. It's just the nature of the way things are unfortunately.

Joshua:
For me I've struggled with that it kind of touches on the American dream grow as big as you can. You can go from zero to a billion, but one of the things that ... I live in very very Northern California and in this area people kind of refer to it as the Pacific Northwest I don't know whether you would or not I don't know. I tend to kind of group with that whole idea. For me I look at what Amazon has done for Seattle and what they're doing for the surrounding areas. I grew up 25 minutes maybe less than that, 15 minutes from one of their facilities and they hired so many people in that community.

For me I'm looking at it going there is a ton of good Amazon has brought jobs a ton of jobs to America. We're getting so deep into this right now but seriously there is some really good stuff that Amazon has done but does it branch into a monopoly I don't know. It's starting to seem ... okay Amazon Video Direct have you heard about this?

Dean:
No.

Joshua:
I'm going to read a little bit because I'm not going to do it justice just trying to explain it. After tasting success with I Cloud computing and electronics through Amazon Fire Kindle and Kindle, Amazon is looking to disrupt the video content space with Amazon Video Direct. This service will compete with the likes of Facebook and Alphabets YouTube. To quickly capitalize on ad supported video space. It's basically for these content creators honestly like our YouTube page could even go up there. It's a way for video creators, content creators to get onto another platform. From my understanding Amazon Video Direct is going to be a space for independent film people to post their films up. It's going to be another place for YouTubers to go and to post their content up there. For bloggers to post their content up there.

It's a little bit crazy when you look into what they're about ready to roll out. I'll post the link on this one I don't have a ton of information there's not a ton of information out there right now, but I know that Amazon Video Direct is going to be a game changer. Honestly I think if they can pay the content creators enough to keep their content solely there I think we are going to have a shift. You are starting to see it, I think one of the things they're going to roll out and kind of the poster child is going to be the new Top Gear series. It was just released with the name of it is and I'm so sorry to say I don't know it yet, I'm totally spacing the name of it.

Top Gear was a British television show, it was a car TV show, all about cars. It basically Amazon was the only network that Top Gear could go to after it got cancelled. Because of how they've positioned it I think they may position it under Amazon Video Direct as an independent film kind of thing, independent series. I don't know that it's going to go under Amazon video we don't know yet at least in my understanding. I think it could be a cool opportunity to showcase what Amazon Video Direct could be. If all goes as I've read, it looks like Amazon Video Direct could be Amazon's version of YouTube. They already have how many millions of people on Amazon you just direct them to this page. I think it's crazy.

Dean:
Especially I don't know over the last few months especially with on sites like Reddit they've had a lot of YouTubers who have had their accounts shut down for wrongful reasons. They've had there's a content ID type thing that looks for copyrighted content on YouTube where people were getting scammed out of thousands of ad dollars. There was just so much up roar on YouTube and none of the content creators had any recourse whatsoever to get their voice heard.

In fact they had this, I forgot what it was called but someone set up this thing where if you sign up for this app and then you basically say okay I'm going to allow this app to use my Twitter account and at a certain point in time it will shoot out thousands of people's ... for example you me and 10,000 other people say at this date this app will shoot out a tweet from me saying this. They sent thousands and thousands in one day tweets to the YouTube CEO about the whole situation. It got really really bad. In fact every time I went to Reddit to see the new videos and things like that we're out, half of them were about how much YouTube sucks.

There's a lot of content creators that they want to find another place to go to be able to give their voice. Really there's no other big player out there than ... there's V-mail but that's more for like independent game making type thing. Then Daily motion which is a French kind of version of YouTube it's big but it's not nearly as big as YouTube.

Joshua:
I think YouTube has kind of had the monopoly. If we're talking about you know monopolies I think YouTube has had that monopoly for a really long time and I think that Amazon they bring ... on their site it says helping content creators and visual storytellers reach millions of Amazon video customers. I'm an Amazon video customer. I haven't been super stoked on the content but I know that they're rolling out some content. I will keep my Amazon subscription purely for the guys in Top Gear coming over to Amazon. That's just me though. There is some huge stuff.

Dean:
This is where, can you imagine being a content creator and being able to be in front of buyers like that all the people who are on Amazon are buyers, they are looking to buy in some fashion or another.

Joshua:
It's genius.

leveragerandom

Dean:
It's better to me than YouTube. It's almost like Google ... when I talk to people about Amazon keyword research using the keyword inspectors or merchants words or whatever verses Google Keyword research. A lot of people will say this keyword is doing really well on Google it's not doing so well on Amazon. You look at it and say well people are buying and they're going to be typing in more buying ... in Google Keyword research you would look for people who are saying like how much does X cost or buy this product or whatever to know that they are really buying, they are in a buying mode.

Whereas in Amazon almost every key word is a buying keyword because you wouldn't be in Amazon unless you wanted to buy. Imagine a content creator when someone is typing in something like how to cook the best barbecue steak or something like that. The content creator thing comes up and it's how to cook best BBQ steak $9.97 or $9.99 or whatever for my full how to instructional video or whatever it is. I don't know if it's just ad space it has ad or whatever. The point is you actually have people who are really willing and wanting to buy something because they're already on Amazon to buy.

Joshua:
It's a genius move on their part frankly I look at what Amazon is doing and you guys are smart you know what you're doing you know why you're doing it. More props to them I think it's going to be awesome I will for sure will be testing it out hopefully you will see a video as soon as I know more about it. I will be posting about that. I want to get our content on there if we're able to get more people exposed to the content that we have we want to help more people so why not use this method.

Amazon Private Label food this caused wakes all over this group this week. Amazon has come out with a few new private label food products. Happy Bellies, Wickedly Prime, Mama Bear and then there was one other but basically it's nuts, spices, teas, coffee, baby food, vitamins and household items such as diapers and laundry detergent. This kind of shook me up a little bit I started reading about this and I was like whoa there's a big play here. Obviously Amazon has been privately labeling you have your amazon basics that's not new that's been going on for a while.

Now they're getting into private label food. This is where I'm coming back to what Trump said, that's interesting because no longer is it a space for sellers it's now Amazon is capitalizing on the information they are collecting. They know what sells best, they know what things people are clicking on. It's all of their information. They know what sells best. If you think that we find little niches and holes and stuff we're not the first ones to find it, let's be real. Amazon knows what's going to be the top sellers and they are going to promote their products more than they are going to promote yours.

When I started hearing about this I thought it was really interesting, again great move if I'm looking at their business and wanting to grow a business, fantastic move. If I'm looking about a competitor they are the worst person in my opinion to have on my listing. The fact that they are coming in on teas, coffees all of this stuff that people are buying everyday, the replenishable items it's a little bit intimidating.

Dean:
Totally it sucks. I remember one Amazon Basics came out a lot of people were making a lot of money off of stuff like that. It went from these are the best things to do, it's low cost you get them for pennies on the dollar, private label wise or wholesale wise. Then Amazon came in and just totally reamed everybody. It's the same thing with the private label food thing it sounds like. It kind of goes along with your subscription thing that Amazon was going to be doing that you mentioned a while ago.

Joshua:
Yeah like automatic subscription or whatever I'm spacing the name of it but it automatically brings food or whatever to your house.

Dean:
Totally. I can tell you right now how tempting it would be because for us we're trying to get more into the organic type stuff and if Amazon had private label organic meat and all of this other stuff where you can just buy like a subscription of it or whatever. I would totally do it. It's hard because even on line I was looking at even I need to get my milk from this site shipped. I need to get my meat from the site shipped, I need to get my eggs from this site shipped or whatever. Having Amazon all on that one that's a monopoly.

Joshua:
It's interesting you're saying that. Hannah and I. my wife and I, have a box delivered to us once a week with organic food. We're on the same boat, we want to start eating healthier we want to start eating better food and locally grown food. We found a little place here in town that delivers. They deliver for $1, so you buy their food and they deliver it to your door for $1.00. I'm like heck yes absolutely hands down I'm in. Then I was talking with a buddy of mine he's like oh no I have everything delivered, he's like I don't ever go shopping. Amazon their food business is my favorite thing ever because I can have wine delivered to my house. I don't know if they do wine but he's like I can have anything I want delivered directly to my house whenever I need it. He's like the one day shipping is my favorite thing ever. If I lived in a big enough area where they had one day shipping or hour shipping. I don't remember what Amazon is testing different things.

Dean:
My Prime I do the 2-day shipping on Prime and sometimes it's come the same day. Amazon Private Label Food especially for those of you who are in the food industry, start researching what Amazon is going to be selling and get as far away from it as you can. I don't know how else to explain that because everybody has heard the horror story of the people who are making a ton of money on private labeling their own headphones. All of a sudden Amazon gets on it and bam you're done. Not to scare anybody but the reality is there is a gap there that we've kind of got to be looking at and kind of got to be paying attention to.

Joshua:
This was one that I came across that not a lot of people are talking about yet. It's going to be something we need to start thinking about. Come November 1st and through January 1st the Amazon fee is looking like it's going to jump up to $2.25 per cubic foot. That's for standard size products and $1.15 per cubic foot for oversized products. That's almost a 212.5 percent increase over what their current charges are. Amazon has not yet confirmed that they're going to change it but there is talk that that's going to happen. They want the best products in for the holiday season and they don't want your crap in there for the holiday season. This is really something we have to start thinking about especially heading into the summertime.

We are already there so we're at summertime, we're coming into buying fall product or getting your fall product prepared. You really need to be on top of it. Make sure that you are selling your stuff out discount it because if this really does happen, $2.25 per cubic foot charge is massive. That's going to take down profits in a huge huge way.

Dean:
I don't care I Drop Ship.

Joshua:
That's what I was going to say it's time to start looking at Drop Shipping. We've been talking about that for a while but I know for me looking at this, looking at Amazon Private Label Food, Amazon is not going to come up next to a Gerber they're not they're just not going to. Gerber will always be a preferred brand because it's a trusted brand. People don't know what's in Amazon Private Label Food they just don't. If we're talking about Gerber and doing that it's better to ... I don't know if you could even get a contract with them, if the possibility is out there to get a contract with Gerber to either Drop Ship with them or even wholesale their food, that's a totally different story then dealing with the FBA, their charges on the per cubic foot.

I know for me in looking at what Hannah and I are going to do this coming season there is no doubt in my mind or primarily what we are going to be focusing on is drop Shipping. It doesn't make sense right now for us to get into anything else unless it's less it's small bag items stuff that is a cubic foot it's going to take 3 cubic feet not 50 or 60 cubic feet. I can't even imagine doing that. It would not make sense for my business.

Dean:
No it's crazy. This is where I don't know for me this is where it's FBA was great when it came out just from the seller's standpoint still all of that stuff is going to be great for the consumer I would imagine. From the seller's standpoint FBA was great when it came out but more more Amazon is going to do two things, it's going to weed out people who send ion just a bunch of crap items and take up their space and really just not provide value. It's going to weed out the people who aren't really that great at business and this is what I was telling people for a long time is that Amazon FBA, especially with retail arbitrage type folks don't get me wrong, it allowed for people who were not good at business or who had no business being in business allowed them to actually have a business.

It sounds so rude for me to say that and I'm not trying to be rude. It was actually a great thing that that happened but eventually you have to a good entrepreneur is going to see the writing on the wall and you have to see that you either have to get into wholesale or Drop Ship and then find a way to have your own way outside of Amazon to grow your business or whatever. I don't know when I hear stuff like that it's kind of like I know even back in the day we were talking about this years ago that this is eventually what's going to happen, it's not a surprise to a lot of people.

Joshua:
It makes sense like again we're talking about a company that has monopolies, they've got control over certain areas and for them if I'm looking at who is my best producing customer or my best producing salesman. In a normal company they're going to reward those people and then the ones who aren't helping or who aren't doing a good job they're going to cut them out. It totally makes sense but it does start jeopardizing ... I have a garage full of shipments that I've delayed at this point because the UPC code and we talked a little bit about this and I know you did a live show on this earlier this last week. The UPC code and inauthentic claims for used media at Amazon.

I have probably 20 board games that I was about to send in and it stopped me cold in my tracks because I was like I don't want my account being shut down especially with what I have coming in this next year and what we want to do this next year. I can't afford for this to be shut down. It shut me down cold because I was like retail arbitrage in my opinion is not going to be a viable option anymore. Again, Amazon can go get contracts with Hasbro, they have no problem with that. Why do they need you going and potentially screwing up the opportunity with them? We saw it with Amazon or with Star Wars this past year. They got exclusive rights with Disney. That's a big deal.

For them to be able to say you can not sell Star Wars unless you go through our process. Even then they found as many people as they wanted the ones who had good enough sells record and said I'm sorry you cannot sell the rest of it. Why would we not do things like Drop Shipping, wholesaling, have our own warehouses. Dean you put it perfectly you have to start thinking like a business which is really uncomfortable for 98% of the people that I've talked to. It's a hobby.

Dean:
It's treasure hunting and things like that. I know I sound mean when I say it but it's actually out of caring and love and this is what ... because we have been so immune and it's almost like the food we eat. Think of the food we eat we don't even know where it comes from, we don't know how it's made, how long it takes and what the cost of goods is and what the operational costs is and everything like that. The same thing with Amazon FBA. We see the people getting ... and in fact I just had a friend who is a long time he's an academy member longtime Amazon Seller got his account and his entire family's other accounts shut down by Amazon for an inauthentic claim on one of his retail arbitrage products. His entire family's well-being.

The idea that Amazon is this huge bad corporation for doing that you have to see it from their point of view too and whether they're bad or not I don't know. From their point of view they're getting calls and calls and calls and they could potentially get lawsuits and lawsuits and lawsuits for inauthentic items and things like that. These are things that we don't see on a normal basis. Now that I'm doing Drop Shipping I see the customer a lot more than I have ever seen the customer when I was doing FBA. When you're doing FBA you're just seeing the returns, you see the returns that come in you see refunds and things like that.

You don't see what the customer actually felt like with these things, you don't see that the customer is pissed off that the game that you sent them, the Spanish version of Monopoly was the 1983 version and not the 1984 version or that it was a counterfeit version or something like that. Amazon sees this and tracks this and goes it's not worth the risk. We're going to shut this guy down because he's making $300,000 a year or $500,000 a year, we will keep going with these guys who are actual authorized re-sellers who are making a couple million a year in sells for us.

Joshua:
I thought it was interesting because my immediate thought as soon as this happened is I have to jump into wholesaling I've got to jump into private labeling. Private labeling was probably the most dominate and on my mind. I think that there is a yes and a no to that. The thing with the UPC codes is if you're getting a private label you've got to now go through a process to get the GS1.

Dean:
We don't know if that's true or not, from what I understand some sellers central folks say that you have to get the GS1 barcodes which are a couple of hundred dollars a year to a couple thousand dollars a year. Some say that you don't and it's all just a big mess. It's a very good indicator that Amazon is much more scrutinizing against people who just do retail arbitrage type stuff.

Joshua:
Totally. I don't feel comfortable doing retail arbitrage anymore. I don't. Which is crazy because I've always loved it. I love the treasure hunt. The reality is for me, it is a treasure hunt and it was a hobby for so long but this is my life. I firmly believe and why I get up every morning and do this podcast is because I want a way for the single mother who has two jobs for her to actually make enough money to stay home and be with her kids. That's my heart. When I think about the Online Empire Academy and I think of what we were and I want to help you guys grow in that's how I look at going oh my gosh that's what I want. I want that woman I want that single dad, I want that family, I want these people to actually have something sustainable.

That's why we talk about this stuff. That's why I want to bring this up because the reality is there's things happening that we don't understand. Who knows we may all need GS1s eventually. I want to make sure that we're prepared to say hey Amazon may not be the best avenue for XYZ person here's another way to do it. Or hey if you guys do have enough money to go do this, go do this rather than this. That's why we want to do the live show too is to be able to talk about this stuff and engage with you guys and ask questions with you.

In my notes I have just take a deep breath. For those of you who are freaking about the UPC codes take a deep breath. If the product is yours a private label or manufacturer, if it's yours as in if you're a private labeler or you're working directly with the manufacturer whether that's Drop Shipping or wholesaling. You're fine because you can register these items with Amazon. Or even ask for an exception to have a barcode. In fact they will give you universal numbers for your unique products through the brand registry so you can sell them worldwide on Amazon's platforms under that one number.

I will post where this was posted, it was a document all talking about what's going on with the UPC codes. You can guys can read that for yourselves but that's what we know at this point. You're going to be okay make sure you're in communication make sure these items ... make sure when you're talking to a private label or a company that is willing to private label for you, make sure that you're not infringing on certain patents and things like that. That really can be a problem and end up biting you in the butt later on.

I mean both of these the Amazon food ... well even raising the fee potentially raising the fee in the holiday season, Amazon food or private label food and then the UPC codes all points back to the idea that Drop Shipping, wholesaling and even doing private label obviously again make sure you doing it right, those are all viable options. These are all things that you should probably start moving your business to and like Dean said, move your business to an actual business. Start thinking like a businessman/woman and develop what you need to develop like a business rather than a hobby. Because we're seeing time after time after time again, people's accounts being shut down that are treating this like a hobby.

That's what I fear for the community most is guys I love what I do I love you guys, I'm building my business as a business not just a hobby. For the last three years I've had a hobby. My hobby has been Amazon and eBay. I'm taking it serious and really looking at what it could do for my life, my wife, my family I don't want to get stuck in that situation.

Dean:
I love it man.

Joshua:
That kind of wiped out my mental capacity.

Dean:
Totally. I actually was just on the phone with someone today that it honestly is a mindset shift. I was looking at I always look at kind of what's going on in the Academy e-mails and I had someone who is a long time Academy member who opted out from our e-mails who I know didn't want to Drop Ship and I'm like man they've been here with us for years and then they just opted out of one of my little survey e-mails that I put out to see how things were going. It sucks because I know that the majority of their stuff is retail, I hope nothing happens. I can't see myself ... I don't care even if we have 10 people on the Online Empire Academy obviously we have thousands. If we had only 10 people on the Online Empire Academy and the reason they were there was because they wanted to learn how to Drop Ship or wholesale or do something replenishable in some fashion or another.

There's other replenishable ways an Amazon it's not just those things. Then I would still do it because that's for me it's building an actual scalable, sustainable business that's what's most important. Don't get me wrong it's great that you're able to make some extra money but to be able to make money while you are ... the other day I was with my family and got an order for one of my little sporting equipment things that was for a few hundred bucks. What did I have to do nothing, I already have software that orders it for me. I'm almost sad.

Joshua:
The reality is we want to talk about it because this is whats happening in the ecom world this is why we're doing this. We're being diligent and watching the trends in our business and we want to help you guys do the same. I'm really excited, here's what I'm excited about. I'm excited about the season were coming into. I personally start pining for the Christmas season now. It's just the way my brain works I try to work in three month increments. For me I'm looking at okay if I want to start going towards you know I want to prepare my fall season what am I going to be posting for fall. Then heading into winter what am I going to be grabbing for winter.

What are some of the toys that manufacturers are tracking on right now for the Christmas season. What are things that I've seen on Alibaba, Ali Express start popping up what are things that are becoming popular. I'm following the trends on Amazon. These are things that I'm doing to actively look because I'm excited because there is a lot happening. I just did a podcast about Bonanza. This is a site that helps you I mean it posts it gives you your own storefront it's kind of like eBay kind of helps with your storefront but simultaneously it will help you post on Amazon and eBay. We're talking about another platform that can help you sell on both Amazon and eBay and when was sells on one place it takes it off of Bonanza and eBay.

For those of you who are doing Drop Shipping for those of you that are doing wholesaling this is a great option and Ill post a link to that as well. I don't remember how many I have to listen to this again it's a lot of links that I have to post it here. There are so many opportunities to grow your business and actually develop a structure around it that can be outside of Amazon as well. That's what I'm excited about I'm excited that there are options that are listed on Amazon and on another site and can take it down when one sells on the other. There are so many helpful things that come along with that. I'm excited. I'm excited for the things that are happening in the ecom world. I have more hope for making money than I did six months ago. That's a really cool idea.

Dean:
It's great because honestly even with the Drop Shipping thing a part of the automation, a part of the reason it works is because the automation exists. It didn't exist when I started with Amazon FBA. There is always opportunity, always opportunity and that's one thing that our goal is to help people see those opportunities and not just kind of stay in that status quo of I'm going to do this forever. Blockbuster Video was going to do what they were doing forever and where did they go.

Joshua:
Also every now and and again at a garage sale I will find a blockbuster DVD.

Dean:
I was actually driving by and they still haven't put any new store in there at Blockbuster video that had been closed for years and you can still see the sign. I remember when they own stadiums and things like that and now they're gone, completely gone.

Joshua:
Amazon is obviously doing what they're doing to grow their business and make sure that the sellers that are doing well are sustained. I think that there's a better opportunity then ever to actually grow your business and be noticed by a player like this. Instead of doing $300,000 a year which for some people look at and go that's astronomical. Then if you recognize the opportunity at hand and how many millions of people who are exposed to your product on Amazon, $300,000 is realistic and you can do more than that.

We talk to people every day and that's my goal I'm walking this out with you guys. I've worked with massive accounts and I know the tools that it takes to get there. For me I'm building my business with you guys and that's what I'm most excited about is to look at this and go is it realistic to hit $300,000 in a year, is it realistic to hit in 2 years, 3 years can I get a million dollars in a year. I don't know that's what I'm excited to walk through with this I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and that's the challenging part. I'm more excited than ever because I know the opportunities are coming.

Dean:
I love it it's so cool.

Joshua:
Very good.

Dean:
Let's do this.

Joshua:
If you guys have any more questions we are here I will be posting this up after we're done so if you guys have questions please let us know. This is what we love to do we love to talk about this stuff, we are passion about what's going on in the ecom world and it's our life. We've dedicated our lives to this and are excited about what's going on and if you guys have questions let us know. Go join the Facebook group. I will be posting for those of you who are interested in Drop Shipping or wholesaling or even private labeling I will post links about products we trust and people we believe in.

I believe in Dean and he created the Drop Shipping course. I love that one. The Slomins are another great one they are kind of the forerunners right now for private labeling. Any way you guys can go check those out I will post the links as well as the links I found all of this information. I will be sharing that with you guys. Thank you so much for turning in. Dean it's always fun talking with you.

Dean:
Love it man, love it.

Joshua:
All right until next time Empire have a fantastic day.

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