Advertising MBA: Interview With Andrei Morant

June 7, 2023

Cameron 00:00
In this video, I sat down with merch by Amazon Seller Andrei Morant, who more than tripled his merch by Amazon royalties in just one year with the help of Amazon ads. All right, Andrei, we got Andrei on the channel today. Andrei, thanks so much for coming on. It's great to have you here. Andrei posted in the group a week or so ago about his results in last year 2021 versus 2020 and had some incredible results. So here to pick his brain a little bit and ask some questions about his success last year and advertising goals for this year, and so forth. So, Andrei, thanks so much for being on.

Andrei 00:47
Hey, man, thanks for having me.

Cameron 00:49
Absolutely. I think it'd be helpful, we just kind of jumped right in. And if you could just kind of give everybody an insight on kind of what your Amazon journey looked like, and how you got started, how long you been selling on Amazon, all that good stuff.

Andrei 01:02
Okay. Um, so I guess for me, I really was spending like, way too much time playing video games. And that wasn't making me any money. So, I kind of decided that I would take that time, and figure out a way to make like, some extra money online, like, you know, like a lot of people do, did a lot of searching, you know, YouTube videos and all that stuff. And basically, came to the conclusion that there's not a whole lot unless you want to try to teach other people how to make money online. Because that's pretty much what everybody is selling, you know. So, I just happened upon a POD thing. And I think it was something like Teespring, or something. And this was, like, I think, May 2016, something like that. I had no idea how to do any of this. No Photoshop skills, no Illustrator skills, and nothing like that. Never, never had done it before. And then just started using some rudimentary designer, like online designer thing. Decided I would start putting shirts on Teespring, which, of course, I never got any sales, because you don't really get many, unless you're advertising through Facebook, then I just happened upon, I don't know where it was, I don't know if it was a YouTube video or something that mentioned Merch by Amazon. And I was like, hey, you know, this sounds really cool. And at that point, to get on the program, you had to send in an email. And it could be anywhere from six-to-six months to a year to get sure to get accepted. And back in the day, Chris Green was really like, involved in it. And he had set up this webinar to where if you watch the webinar, and submitted your email, saying that you did watch it, then they would automatically approve you. So, I got approved in like six days, which is ridiculous. And started my actual merch journey on September 1, 2016, at tier 25.

Cameron 03:07
So, a little bit of a head start compared to these days.

Andrei 03:10
Yeah. And actually, I gave myself a hell of a head start because I bought my way to 500. Immediately. I just bought 100 shirts at because they were, I forget what the price was, I forgot what I spent. It was something I don't know, just over 1200 bucks, something like that. Okay, but it was September 1, you know, and you're coming into the fourth quarter. And Merch by Amazon was, you know, basically a brand-new thing had been one year. I think it started in 2015. And, you know, people were telling me, that's the wrong thing to do. And you don't do that. And I was like, no, I'm doing it. So, you know, that fourth quarter I ended up sell, I don't know how many shirts, but I made like $2,000 So, you know, I went ahead and made my money back. And then I was set up for the next year, you know, just to start really focusing on it. So, I had to watch YouTube videos, teach myself how to use Photoshop and do all that stuff. I basically do all my own designs. I enjoy it. So that's very cool. I continue to do it. did really well say you know 2017 was really surprised and you know, really pumped and then I guess more and more competition came on it and then I started like, you know, just kind of pushing it to the backburner and all that. But have always continued to work on it never really left it completely. I forget, like I got teared up to like 1000 I think probably in July of 2017 or something like that, which was really cool. And then pretty steady up to then but my sales every year were 2500 Something like that, you know, not a huge amount and then you know the royalties were going down Every year too, so we're making less and less and less. And it just, you know, begins to be kind of almost not worth it. But like I said, I enjoyed doing it. So, I kept doing it. And I mean, who doesn't like an extra 500 bucks a month or six months anyway, so

Cameron 05:14
Absolutely never hurts.

Andrei 05:16
Yeah. So, again, it's either that playing video games or doing that. And so, you know, I chose that instead. And then I dabbled in some advertising, I think what year was that? 2019?

Cameron 05:32
Like the code in the bottom that you had to like, yeah, register or whatever it was back?

Andrei 05:37
Absolutely. Yeah. And then, so I dabbled in in that didn't know what I was doing. It was just doing auto ads and did it through the fourth quarter. I saw some results on it. But you know, I wasn't entirely sure if the results had anything to do with the ads, or it had to do with just fourth quarter. Because you know, everything is just traffic's crazy. Yeah, way more traffic than and then. So, the following year, I guess. 2020. You know, 2020 was it was kind of a crazy year. Yeah. I don't want to cuss but yeah. So

Cameron 06:14
We kind of thought we'll do it; we'll add some beliefs or something.

Andrei 06:17
But, yeah, I had free time, like everybody else is you weren't doing much, but then didn't really do any advertising kind of backed off of it, because I didn't understand it. And I just like a lot of people, especially new people who get into it, they just think that they're wasting money doing it. And then I saw a post, right, January 2021, from Mark Shaggy. And he was showing his results, just from January. And it was basically his sales were double what he spent on his ads. And there was a lot of people saying, that's crazy. He spent way too much money on ads. And I'm like, wait a minute, you know, if you give me say $5,000? And I give you 10? I mean, would you not do that every day?

Cameron 07:06
You'd find all the money you could like, um, Brian brought that up, because I actually got a lot of flak with that as well, when earlier on in my merch career where I was posting some numbers, and yeah, always got flagged for how much I was spending. And I was like, well, I mean, even if I'm losing money on ads, it's still it's more money. Yeah.

Andrei 07:23
And that's one of the things that I'll always try to tell people on site. It's not what you spend on the ads, or, or it's not the sales that you get from the ads directly. It's, it's, it's the culmination of everything. And it the evidence is, I mean, for me, it's, you know, just right in my face. I mean, it's crazy.

Cameron 07:47
Yeah, it’s really very much an investment. And yeah, I, in my opinion, Amazon advertising is really unique in that fact, versus other ad platforms, where it's very much just the return on ad spend that you get. And that's it where Amazon, that not only do you have that return on ad spend, but you have a return in ranking as well, that increase in ranking, where you get more organic traffic versus something like Facebook, you're not going to get more organic traffic, just because you're spending more on ads. It just doesn't work that way. No, it does. Yeah.

Andrei 08:19
Yeah. So very obvious. I mean, you go to Amazon to buy something, you don't go to Facebook to buy something. And so, if you're going to put ads somewhere, you put them where the people are shopping.

Cameron 08:30
Yeah. 100% like that buyer intent versus Facebook. You're not there whatsoever. That's annoying side of things.

Andrei 08:38
Right. Right. Right. Absolutely.

Cameron 08:40
So, you're in 2020. So how 2020 Go, and then we'll get into 2020.

08:44 2020 was it was down from 2019. And I think it was down for everybody, I think in 2019, and they're like 22,000 in sales. I don't know that the total number of shirts that I sold in 2020. I did 15,340 total sales with 3,531. I average like 430 for sale. Most of my shirts that sell our kind of shirts, and I've had it for quite a while. So, you know, I'm comfortable keeping the price at basically 19.99. Let's see 2021 Now, but I started advertising, I think like right around February 1 Right after because like I said Mark had posted that, that screenshot of his January results, which are crazy January results,

Cameron 09:43
Really, you know, slowest month of the year.

Andrei 09:46
Yeah. And I was like, I got to get on this. So, I opened up the app platform again and started, you know, dabbling in that. And the clunky bulky Amazon ads platform, especially for a beginner, is, there's way too much clicking going on. Because you're moving from page to page to page to page, just to do you know, these simple little tasks that should just be one clicks.

Cameron 10:16
It was not designed for merch, the typical merch seller whatsoever. Yeah, it's like FBA, or something that maybe has, like six products. Right? Exactly. Six products are like, hardly anything for a merch seller. That's like, three minutes of uploading. Yeah, absolutely.

Andrei 10:32
Um, and so I was doing well, and, um, but basically just running auto ads. And I had, I was too scared, really to do any negative keywords or a negative product or anything, because I didn't understand it enough, especially like phrase broad and exact, and all that. Not that I didn't want to start just cutting out, you know, search terms that possibly could get me sales. And I still didn't know the say, like, like, how many clicks on some search term? Should be when should I turn it off for you know, I didn't know I didn't want to mess anything up. So, I just kind of left them going. And some weird and you probably experienced this, but I think it was like May 15. There was some strange like, algorithm change or something to where all of a sudden, nothing was working. And a lot of people were mentioning something like something happened. Like that day, you can see your traffic from your ads, like impressions. Were down, sales were down. And then I got freaked out and did the rookie mistake of just archiving all my campaigns. Yeah, yeah.

Cameron 11:47
So, what have you learned? Yeah, you'll do a one time..

Andrei 11:53
Never do that. Yeah. So, I basically had to start over, and, like, I left it like about a week and I was like, What the hell am I doing, you know, went back and restarted all my campaign. So. So essentially, I don't want to say all this success that I had from advertising was only in six months, but all of the ads that, you know, that ran me through the fourth quarter. Were only, you know, five and a half, six months old.

Cameron 12:22
Wow. Yeah. Well, that goes to show how quickly they can make a huge difference. So, what do you end up doing in 2021 versus 2020 then?

Andrei 12:34
So, in 2021, royalties were 48,444.37.

Cameron 12:41
48,000. Yeah. 2020. You said it was about 5,340? Yeah. So, 300% increase year over year? Yeah, I think well, we'll take those numbers.

Andrei 12:52
Yeah. Well, so my ad spend was 15. But okay, so that left me more than 100 100%. Right. After Yeah, after the ad spent in a costume. Right. Which if you don't take that, you know, you got to be crazy. I mean, it just blew me away. I mean, I was thinking, you know, maybe I'll maybe 30,000 Something like that. But nowhere near 50. I mean, I was really close to 50 with the UK and all that. But sure. I don't really focus on that too much. US market

13:30 Pretty much. Yeah, same here. I mean, it's it blows pretty much every other market away and not saying that people

Andrei 13:37
do really well. And I don't understand how they do it. But I think that's really,

Cameron 13:41
you know, knowing the Yeah, and you know, us being in the United States probably helps us know, the US audience better just, you know, it's all about creating a product that people want. Yeah. That's amazing. So as merch by Amazon, pretty much the only platform that you're selling on Amazon, are you dabbling with any other?

Andrei 13:59
So, have Etsy and my Etsy store? I think in 2019, actually, in 2019, did about 8,500, or something like that. This year? did. I didn't focus on it at all this year. And most of my listings, you know, they kind of come off after a while. Most of your former on Yeah, yeah. And so, most of them came off. And I think for most of the year, I had about 170 on there, and I did about I'd say about 6000 Okay, so in royalties, yeah, that's not bad, but.. It's worth the customer service. side of things that's always turned me off, I guess from Etsy is or is it you know, some of these other platforms as you're much more involved with the customer versus Merch by Amazon? It's as hands off as you can possibly get. Yeah. So, another thing about Etsy and like, people give me hell for this, but I turned my score off of on December 8th. And I do that every year, because all these other people who are like December 9th and 12th, and 15th, and they're all their customers, you know, our email on him and screaming at them and giving them, you know, one-star reviews because their stuff isn't showing up. Sure. And you know, their stores are getting shut down. And I'm like, look, this is just side money for me. And I understand if that's your only gig, but I'm not dealing with that headache. You know,

Cameron 15:27
You don't need another job to..

Andrei 15:28
Yeah, absolutely.

Cameron 15:30
So, after the holidays, especially, right?

Andrei 15:32
Right, right, right. Absolutely. So, you know, and even turning it off on December 8, because I use Printful as my fulfillment. Okay, I had one shirt that they have a print facility in Canada, but they chose to use the one US to send to Canada, and it got ordered on the eighth and made it on the 23rd. Just like, please, please just let that one gets there. That's the last one. But it's not. That's not for me, man. So, I just focus on merch, you know, 99.9% of the time?

Cameron 16:07
Yeah, it's done well for, and I mean, just I think that speaks kind of that growth engine that comes with just Amazon and having those you kind of brought up your best sellers, which Yeah, in 2021. Were your best sellers, some of your older listings as well as that primarily.

Andrei 16:21
Yeah. So, what I did was I went through with productor, and then sorted by review, count, and then used review count to make ads for, you know, everything that had I mean, over one or two? I mean, if it had pretty much, I mean, made an ad for it.

Cameron 16:41
That's a great way to start. That's what I'd recommend to for anyone just getting started with ads, you know, you're not really sure. Hey, what should I even start advertising for? That's perfect. Start with your best reviewed products. Yeah. Because that's like the Holy Grail, in my opinion, is reviews and the number of reviews. And until you reach, you know, a certain threshold, your products just aren't going to rank as well. Customers are not going to convert as well. To have those higher rankings.

Andrei 17:06
Right. All right. All right. So funny enough, so I was watching one of your live streams, and you were talking about like your best seller, which pretty sure I know what it is. Yeah, I'm not saying anything.

Cameron 17:23
If people knew honestly, like, it doesn't really matter, there's 1000s, it doesn't matter.

Andrei 17:28
Right. So, I mean, that's exactly what you were saying. And I'll be the first to admit that, hey, I've done that shirt. And there's a reason my shirt never got traction. And it's because of the number of reviews that you had and the ads that you've been running to it. And the tailor ads and you know, it..

Cameron 17:47
It adds on your product to this.

Andrei 17:49
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And so, I mean, that's the advantage. And it's just a boost that you can't get with just regular SEO. I mean, some people can, I'm not that good at SEO so..

Cameron 18:03
Well, even that your kind of putting it in the hands of Amazon. And at the end of the day, Amazon only cares about what's selling, right. So, if ads are selling, that's going to still boost it. Sure, you're getting in front of customers and with how many products are now merged. I don't even know how many there's got to be 50 plus..

Andrei 18:22
It's insane. I mean, years ago, I was boggled by how many had to be on there. But today, it's I don't know. It's just crazy.

Cameron 18:35
Yeah. And every move they've made that just kind of speaks to kind of the direction. Amazon's going, at least in my opinion, where I mean, they've recently gone through and tiered tons of people up the recent change where how they change how they count, like, what your tier is where it's now on. Yeah, he designs versus total products. I mean, that increase it was by like, 64 times overnight.

Andrei 18:59
I wish they would have let me tear it before they did that.

Cameron 19:02
Same same.

Andrei 19:05
Yeah, because I'm actually like, I think two years ago, I had, like 18,000 live designs or something like that. I was just a design machine just putting things out. Oh, well also, yeah, because every product counted is a design as well. So, I'm on tier 20,000 And I was at something like I forget, I was like 2,000 sales away from being able to tier up and I had my threshold over 80% And then they decided to change the whole thing.

Cameron 19:46
To see, I don't know that like there's been enough time to see kind of what the direction which I've never really shared, how the tier up system works. So, this is all speculation you have your 80% of slots filled and sales like that's been, it seems to seem to have been the case. Historically, but we really don't know what that's going to look like going forward will surely change. So, it'll be interesting to see kind of what...

Andrei 20:07
And also, a thing that doesn't really matter to me anymore. Because I've got, I have 4,100 designs, and you know, I've got 20,000 design slots, and design slots aren't as important to me anymore with the ads, because you're not just firing in the dark now, you can you can make an ad, a design, you know, that is good, and run ads to it and tailor that and get that momentum. I'm not so focused on the number of things that I upload, this year, I've uploaded the least amount that that I ever have, I'd say maybe, maybe three or 400. This year, and a decent amount of them have gotten traction, just through running ads, everything I uploaded this year, I ran an ad to okay, you know,

Cameron 21:11
How are you running ads to that? Were you doing like a single ASIN type campaign or more of a lottery campaign?

Andrei 21:16
Yeah, so I never did a lottery campaign until like, mid-November, which Okay, probably a mistake to wait that long, but I didn't really know anything about it. And I think I saw something in some of the Facebook groups talking about it, and then ran it. One of the hard parts about that is one of my big niches is the beer niche. And so, you can't really run ads to that. So that's true. I have to export all my products, and then go through the Excel sheet and delete each one individually. And of course, you miss them, you know, and so I had something like, I forget 24 I don't want to say strikes, but they just said Hey...

Cameron 22:05
Yeah, like were they ineligible or what? Yeah, I don't know, I guess, in my opinion, and, you know, take this with a grain of salt, of course, because Amazon's such Yes, locks, but right, right. I don't think they're as harsh on what those strikes is like, compared to like, merch by Amazon. Right. Right. And for sure. I don't think they're going to close your count. Like you're giving them money. Yeah, keep giving them money.

Andrei 22:27
Yeah. But you know, it's..

Cameron 22:29
I wouldn't go crazy. I would do, I would still do like your due diligence, kind of. And I can't say we do have some things on the roadmap to help with that. So, no dates or anything yet. But yeah, that's definitely a focus is, you know, I'm in there everyday too. And I have the same kind of challenges. So, it's something we, you know, pain points, I feel as well that we're right to tackle. So. Just a heads up on that. So can't wait. Yeah. So as far as like, so you kind of mentioned how many products you have? What would you say most of your sales come from just a handful of products? Or is that kind of more evenly distributed across your whole product line?

Andrei 23:07
Well, so in Q4, 60, products made 80% of my sales. And like I said, I've 41 Not products, I have 18,610 product live products, but almost all of them are. Anything that sells really is basically a standard tee the other products don't really sell that much. I have a few hoodies that do pretty well. But pretty much everything's a standard tee and like I said 60 of them made 80% of royalties in Q4, which is I mean, that's good for advertising because it's a little bit easier to intros.

Cameron 23:49
That's another good point. To bring up. I think some people are intimidated as well, well, I have 20,000 products, or whatever that number is like, how could I possibly create an ad for every single one? Like just think of the management of that, right? And don't like that's like, as simple as that is like, don't focus on your top sellers, the 80-20 rule. Right, and you know, start with your best sellers or best reviewed products, your most mature products, it just started going down the list, like as you have the time to do it.

Andrei 24:18
Yeah, absolutely. So, the lottery campaign works really well for that as well. Because you can just throw everything in there. And you just say, hey, look, I got ads for everything now. But then you just focus on your top sellers. And then when you start getting relatively consistent sales from the lottery campaign from something that that you hadn't sold in a year or two, then hey, maybe that's an, you know, a good idea to grab that and start running ads to that specifically.

Cameron 24:48
Have you seen any and maybe I'll just quickly for anybody that's watching this that isn't familiar with a lottery campaign? We I'll link a YouTube video that we did previously on just kind of what a lottery campaign is, but just so you're aware what we're talking about, it's just a single campaign with one ad group, and then you just put every single one of your products, every single one of your ASINs in a single ad group, and you just start with low bids, and you kind of increase those slowly over time. But the idea there is just to kind of get those cheap clicks and impressions across your entire product line. And they they've they work really well, in my experience, and from the experience, I've heard from a lot of other people. Have you had any surprises from lottery campaigns that you just didn't expect? I just sold from, you know, a couple years ago.

Andrei 25:32
Yeah, well, I'm really surprised that anything sells at a five-cent bid. And so, when, when I heard about the lottery campaign, if you were going to do in five cent bids, and I'm just like, ah, whatever, like, guess I mean, I'm not going to spend much so what, you know, what's the risk? And then, you know, consistently, it's just, you know, pumping in things. And it is funny, I don't check my lottery campaign that much, but just looking at like, say daily sales, there's stuff on there, that's like, you know, a surprise. It's, they really forgot it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's great. I love it. I will sort by, you know, sales, let's say, oh, every week or something, and check out something that is selling a lot and move that to the promotions format. And

Cameron 26:30
Okay, like, single ace in cam, yeah, you're more focused on that. Okay. Which is a great way. That's a great point with lottery campaigns as they act, not just to, like get sales really cheaply. Which one that my favorite thing is just going through the ads within a lottery campaign and then seeing like a 0.005% ACOS. Yeah, yeah, that's like free money practice. That's ridiculous. Yeah. But using it as like product harvesting to determine what your what ads to run. So not only like going by your best sellers, but just to be able to pick up say, hey, this is like this could be on to something or this product could have some opportunity here for additional sales. If we pump a little more ad, or little more ads spend into it with high bids and so forth, what you don't want to do necessarily, and you don't want to crank up your bids too much on lottery campaigns. That's that applies to everything.

Andrei 27:26
I've never gone above five cents. And it's just because there's so many ads in there. It just it just scares me a little bit. So

Cameron 27:34
Just one or two cents at a time. That's honestly, yeah, that's the approach I take. I started with, like four or five cents, and just like every five, seven days, and you know, oh, this one's doing pretty well. Let's bump that up, like one or two cents, and we'll play it by ear and so worth experimenting with you might be surprised.

Andrei 27:53
Yeah, so the funny thing is, I never even I've never opened up really that much. I've gone into the ad groups, and I've just sorted. I never even realized that I can just bump up each individual one, the bid. So, you just gave me a great idea. I just like blanket, bid everything at five cents and just left it at that. Is it possible?

Cameron 28:20
Within a lottery campaign the bid does apply to every ad because at the ad group level, so anything within a single ad group with an automatic campaign. Well, I guess manual to like the targeting is done at the ad group level. So, if you have five cent bidding 1,000 ads in it, the All 1,000 of those ads are going to have that five, five cent bids. Okay, that's it. Yes. I thought, well, that's why we pulled those out to kind of put in their own campaigns. So, you can you have that more focused. There are some other reasons too, like your search terms that your search term reports. So, seeing what a customer typed in and clicked on and bought with a lottery campaign or any campaign that has multiple ads in it, you can't tie that search term to what that ad was or what the product was. So, make assumptions. Like, if you're like, really pay attention, hey, that sold and you know, I made one sale that day. Yeah, right. Yeah. Hopefully, like we want to scale this up to you know, we're doing dozens and dozens, of course. So that's it's really hard to make that connection. Where if you have one ad and a campaign, well, every search term from that campaign is obviously going to that specific ad. But cool. So as far as with coming out of Q4 and kind of like obviously Q4 is like a huge deal for I'd say majority of sellers, anybody selling you know, any kind of gift or pretty much everybody? Yeah, what was the biggest challenge you would say you face during Q4 and achieving the success that you did and what would you say your biggest takeaways were to bring into this year before

Andrei 29:51
I really think what scared me was the ad spend, how quickly it ramps up. It's very easy. To shoot yourself in the foot by just like blanket lowering your bids, because you see you spend going up so quickly, I think I lost quite a few sales doing that. And that's a rookie move. And I think most people kind of when they see that happening, they, they kind of have the same reaction, when you're playing with ads so much, I think it kind of messes up the algorithm a little bit. And if I would have left them alone, I think I would probably increase sales at a pretty good amount I'm trying to think of when I started messing with him, it was probably about a week before Black Friday, because I could just see it ramping up and ramping up and ramping up. And I was so worried about how much I was spending, I was still making money, you know, and I don't, I don't think I was doubling what I spent. But say I spent 200 on ads, I was selling like 375 in royalties, something like that. And still, we had this conversation earlier. You know, I should be trading that all day every day. But you still have the like, you look at it at eight o'clock and your ad spend is this much and you're thinking I don't want to go to bed, and then wake up and say I spent $700 or something like that. And then you end up losing money. But..

Cameron 31:26
You got to stay up till 2am Central time as well. Right? Yeah. So, for us, it's 2am. Right, which is when kind of the new day starts over new budgets. But yeah..

Andrei 31:37
Well, I get up at four. So, I don't I don't stay up till two, I used to stay up and check my sales, you know, on my phone all the time. But yeah, man, it's let the ads do what they do. And the algorithm typically will figure it out, as long as you don't, you know, mess with it so much. And I think that was the hardest thing for me to do is just kind of just let it ride. Right after Black Friday, I was just kind of like, look, you know what, I've set them up, I'm just kind of going to leave them alone, and let them do their thing. And it. It was crazy.

Cameron 32:16
It's kind of amazing. If anybody's watching it hasn't really experienced a Q4, especially with products that are ranking a little more mature that have that sales potential. I mean, it's a massive increase. I don't know what you saw as far as a Q4 increase or versus kind of like normal months. But for myself, I would say it was probably around six or seven times what I would spend in a normal month in that 30-day window from Black Friday. Yeah, that you know, week before Christmas,

Andrei 32:45
Right. Yeah, I don't remember my it's been for say that timeframe, I think it was around probably around 4 grand, something like that. But my world days were, I did like 11 and a half for December, which is by far my best month ever. And almost eight in November.

Cameron 33:13
That's a big milestone first 10,000 royalty month. Yeah.

Andrei 33:17
So, I think it was 2020 Q4, 2020, like December 10, or something like that. I had a 97-sale day. And you know how that goes. You see the 96? Yeah, I'm getting 100. And then you don't and it's like, Come on,

Cameron 33:37
You go and buy three or four more shirts. I don't want those 100 shirts.

Andrei 33:43
But um, so you know, and then after that, it just, it never quite got there. And I was like, man, you know, really, I really wanted that 100 day. And so..

Cameron 33:51
Yeah, wait till next year, more than likely just the way the season goes. Yeah,

Andrei 33:55
yeah, absolutely. And then so like, I got my 100 days pretty quick this year. In Q4, I think I don't know when it was it was. It was before Black Friday. And I was just like, yes. You know, you're just like, yes. And then like, first week in December, I was having like 200 days, like, wow, relatively frequently, you know, and I was just like, oh, this is great. And, you know, where's my 300? You know, and all that. I didn't get that. Yeah. But still, it's common, you know? Yeah, yeah. And so, my highest month ever was like it was actually December 2018, which was a great year, and I think we royalties were higher at that point. And I had like us that December was like $6,700 for royalties was fantastic. This November, like I said, I think it was like 7,500 and then you know almost 12,000 For this December. Extremely. Yeah, you know, I'm trying to cut down on..

Cameron 35:05
I don't know if you're doing Where are you located at by the way? Houston. Okay. I'm on the other opposite end in Wisconsin. Both good beer, beer areas. Were in Wisconsin, Madison,

Andrei 35:18
Madison, New Year's Eve, a DJ at a New Year's Eve party there in I think it was 2001.

Cameron 35:25
Really? Okay. Where at?

Andrei 35:28
It was at some college Campus.

Cameron 35:31

Andrei 35:33
Man, I don't know. It was how long..

Cameron 35:35
That's the college I got. So, there's a couple of probably was okay. It was really cold. Yeah, we just got out of some cold today it was 40 degrees, and it felt like a heatwave after some like negative 20-degree weather the last few days. You probably don't get much of that down there. But no, not too much. We live for the summers here. But yeah, I'm sure you do have a beer. In the cheese. Yes. Yeah. Cut all the all the stereotypes you've heard are 100% True. So, congratulations on the Q4. It sounds like it was everything you could have possibly wanted with it. Yeah. What kind of impact? Do you think having that success this past Q4 is going to have on your sales this year?

Andrei 36:19
So um, you know, like, like everybody who's running ads, or most people who are running ads. We all turned them off right around the same day. Not turn them off but turn them down. Yes,

Cameron 36:31
I do. Yes. Yeah. Archiving. Yeah, no archiving.

Andrei 36:34
No turning them off. One thing I do want to say, I really wish I had downloaded a bulk Excel file from the Amazon platform before I made all those changes. Because I think that that would really help me get them back to where I want them to be again, because the..

Cameron 37:02
That's interesting. So that just kind of gave me an idea. I wonder if like, we might be able to do something like that, like take snapshots. I don't know. I don't want to like throw out any time like cursing at me.

Andrei 37:12
Like, yeah.

Cameron 37:15
Right, right. One thing you can do with so you kind of bring up a good point, because you can't go back to within the Amazon ad cost. So, you can't go back to last holiday seasons. He was like, well, what was I you know, what were the search terms working? And how much was that you know, or the CPC is on those is probably the metric you'd be looking at? Yeah, absolutely idea. Unless you're downloading those reports and saving them. You know, like, who does that but you're in, you've been with us for quite some time now. Where we do save that data so that all of the data that you have, this year, this holiday season, you'll be able to go come October, probably when you start thinking about your Q4 Holiday ads, you can go back and look at this year, and see hey, what are these CPCs and use that? Right? That does give me some ideas for..

Andrei 38:04
What might actually be a good idea is to maybe answer just for people doing their ads, just on the ad console. Maybe I don't want to download an entire one for like, just before Q4. You know, so before you start ramping up your bids in your ad spend and something like that. I'm just a because I have no idea what I had things that you know, and going back, I think I have like thousand ads, and I started kind of working on them. Really just kind of moving them around portfolios and making a bunch of new promotions and stuff. Just after Christmas, when I was at home, during kind of, you know, Christmas break. And really wish I had that data. You know?

Cameron 38:56
Yeah, so I mean, definitely some things we I think we could implement by next holiday season for sure that that could definitely be helpful. So that gives me some idea. So, this is this is really helpful for our science. And that's what I mean, we I mean, I'm a seller myself, but I mean, I've only come up with so many things. And there's a lot of things I don't think of so having these conversations with people, yeah, software, just, you know, advertisers in general, just having that experience and pain points that we run into.

Andrei 39:24
We have all of us poking around in it, of course, you know, people are going to come up with different ideas and stuff. And yeah, it's great that we can just bring those ideas to you in the Facebook group. And yeah, we can..

Cameron 39:37
We, we try to implement you know, what we can we have a vision, of course of what we want to do. So, we can't like to do everything, or you know, it might kind of interfere with some things. But yeah, we definitely take feedback very seriously. And I'm sure you've seen because you were part of our beta when we initially launched and I'm sure you've seen kind of how much has changed us in that. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah,

Andrei 40:00
so, every new thing, I'm just like, you know, this is fantastic man, you know. And it's funny because every new thing is like, oh, this is exactly what I was just thinking about, like, a few days ago. You know?

Cameron 40:11
That's awesome. Yeah, I love hearing that.

Andrei 40:14
Let's get, I guess back to the original question. Yeah, yeah.

Cameron 40:19
Yeah. So how do you what do you what do you think is going to happen this year, basically, because of your Q4 sales? Or what kind of impact do you think that's going to have?

Andrei 40:25
So, January 2021, my total sales are like 284. Right now, I'm hovering around 175 per seven days. And that's basically with no ads running, you know, that they're running, but they're running with not much spend going on. So, you know, it's..

Cameron 40:47
What do you think you'd attribute that to? It's got to be sales rank, from products that sold during Q4, and you said, you started lottery campaigns really recently? Yeah. So, products that are probably first-time sellers. I would imagine, that never sold before.

Andrei 41:05
No, most of it is. I think just most of my it's most of my best sellers. But there, they're selling more and stuff. So, like, last year, you know, I, I would have 767 sales a day or something like that in January, and I was just like, last January, you know, that's just kind of how it goes. But I think running the ads the whole year, even though I did stop them halfway through the year and restart them. I think the sales rank, and obviously the reviews that I've gained, yeah,

Cameron 41:46
yeah, that's the other thing I was going to mention. Yeah. And it's kind of...

Andrei 41:49
The, you know, the algorithm learns how to sell your stuff. And so, the more you sell it, the better it gets at selling it. And so that's got to be what's happening. And yeah, I mean, I'm super happy with how January's going. And, you know, a lot of people are complaining, which they always do. But if you're not running ads, I bet. Yeah, probably not. And look that and they may be, and they may be losing money. But you have to realize that this is this is where you start. That's where you build it.

Cameron 42:23
It's a learning tax to I mean, everybody's going to lose money. But I think the way to look at it, I think you did very early on as an investment is this, you're investing money, not just to learn you know, how advertising works, but just investing in the products themselves? Because you don't know what's going to work. I don't know what's going to, what structures are going to sell for this product? I've been surprised at times, like this search term, like got a sale for this product. Like what?

Andrei 42:48
Yeah, I have some of those things that I was looking at yesterday, and was like, I have no idea like, how this is even related at all. But still, it moved it from my auto through promotions to testing and performance. And I'm like, why? You know, I don't I don't want it there. But...

Cameron 43:05
If it's selling that's like, at the end of the day, that's yeah, all that matters. It doesn't matter if it's relevant. It's relevant enough, at least customers are in means they're typing that in and, you know, hey, this could work with, you know, maybe a complementary product or whatever it is. So, yeah, very, so I'd imagine like, with the success you're already having year over year, this January, that's just going to kind of continue every month. versus last year.

Andrei 43:31
Yeah. Yeah, it will. And I'm just, yeah, one thing I do want to mention is people, again, with advertising, people aren't treating this like a business. And so, when they're complaining about it, typically, they're not treating it like a business. And they say, well, I'm not going to advertise and it's like, well, what business doesn't advertise? You know,

Cameron 43:53
I love that you said that, because that's, that's I've had those same exact thoughts through because I'm very early on. I mean, I've always treated this as a business. I've outsourced things pretty much everything since the beginning. Because it is a business it's an investment, I've sacrificed profits to grow this business. Yeah, I think that is one of the biggest mistakes people new to this do make Yeah, is not having that investment. They want you know, the car payment money coming in. Or not putting that back into the business.

Andrei 44:25
Well in so the thing is, is that they're, I get it they're looking at it like a car payment, but how come I can't be an everything payment? You know? I mean, if you treat it right,

Cameron 44:38
At your job payment... Absolutely. Yeah. Cool. I love that you brought that up. I 100% agree with that. You've kind of touched on some of the campaign structures, how you structure different campaigns. So, you're doing the lottery campaign. Is there any special anything special you do with ads? Just kind of the standard lottery campaign everything all in one? Yeah. Nice and easy. Yeah.

Andrei 45:00
I spent a while, so I didn't know anything about campaign structure until I watched your campaign structuring video. Using promotions. The first one, okay. And because I told you earlier, I was worried about I don't know what to take, where to put it, you know, how to make ads what why I would do an exact or abroad or anything like that I didn't know any of that stuff. Like I said, I was just running auto ads. But the campaign structure that you explained in the promotions video really made everything clear. And anytime anybody asks a question in the Merch Jar user group, hey, how do I structure my day, I always just post that video. And I'm like, just do this.

Cameron 45:41
There are more updates. One of the lives I did, which the whole life didn't get posted, it was exclusively for the Amazon ads University, right click Group will be links in the description for everybody watching this. But I will pull out the section where I did talk about the updated campaign started was really similar, but kind of added in some new features with merch jar, like the product of the products and stuff. Yeah, so I'll link that video. But I do have a slide, I'll just pull up the kind of. So, this doesn't show like the rules and so forth. But this is kind of what we're talking about. Maybe I'll make this full screen really quick. But we got our lottery campaigns, where you are how I mentioned, it's kind of your product harvesting. And then we're putting them in your automatic campaigns with just that single ASIN. And then we have our testing campaign, and then our performance campaign. So, everything is kind of like a funnel where everything moves from the lottery campaign to automatic testing performance. And you've you have mentioned these, these, each of these different types of campaigns. So, you're using this pretty much this structure.

Andrei 46:50
Yeah. And it's time consuming to do it, obviously, but it's way less time consuming than building all these things. And then going through every day and transferring each key word I use. He said, Yeah, you know, thankfully, I didn't. I think maybe I did it a few times, but a full-time job. Yeah, absolutely. I don't see how you could manage. I don't know, what 20 a day. I mean, it's just it's ridiculous.

Cameron 47:25
Yeah, and it to your point with it, it is time consuming, even within I mean, the Merch Jar software is designed to facilitate this, it automates kind of that whole process of adding keywords from one campaign to another based on their performance. So, the ones that sell and the ones that don't, the ones that don't sell, it gets rid of them too. So, you're not wasting money. So, kind of does all that. And it is a little it is time consuming to setup, it's probably our biggest pain point in feedback that we get. So, we're definitely like aware of it. And it's pain point for me too.

Andrei 47:53
But it would be the pain point, even if you weren't using the software, because typically you should be doing that yourself. So, it's not a pain point within Merch Jar, it's a pain point with just run the entire platform.

Cameron 48:10
I like the optimism. Yeah. So, we do have some plans to kind of like facilitate that and kind of be able to apply these different things to all your different campaigns and one serves, there's definitely some challenges with it. So, it's definitely it's very much on our radar. So yeah, I'd be on the lookout for some ways to make that a little bit easier. But yes, so huge pain point. How much time would you say you spend managing your campaigns? And how often are you jumping into ad console or Merch Jar and kind of optimizing bids? Or what's that kind of cadence look like for you.

Andrei 48:47
Like I said earlier, I'll wake up around four in the morning. And it just seems to be getting earlier and earlier every day. And it's just because I'm so focused on this, I just come downstairs, and I get I get right into it. And I have a day job. So, I work about three hours in the morning and then go to work and I come back, and I don't typically work much after work. Just kind of relax and enjoy the family. But then on the weekends I'll spend you know I wake up at five and then work till

Cameron 49:26
Sleep and a little bit so...

Andrei 49:27
Yeah, it's a tiny bit if the dog lets me and then typically work till about one or two but that's normally a mixture of product research and designing that.

Cameron 49:43
Yeah, this isn't all like I'm just doing all my ads and that's pretty much it

Andrei 49:47
Yep, but like during the week it's mainly ads, but again, so I'm relatively new to it. Like I said, I've only been doing it a year, which sounds like a long time, but we really aren’t, and especially when, like I said, I have close to 1,000 ads. And that's a lot of data that you get constantly. And so, there's so much to look at that you're never finished looking at it.

Cameron 50:12
It's also like the seasonality to you almost need to learn just well, how does the seasonality, you know, affect your advertising? So, your kind of have like, one year under your belt now with ads, right, this next year, you'll be able to compare to the last year is like, okay, is there going to? Is there any, like patterns now? Right? But yeah, there's always more to do. There's, there's never, there's always more to do with advertising. And so, I don't want to, like scare anybody off. And, you know, I was like, well, I don't got time for that, why, you know, I'm not going to run ads, you don't have to put in a ton of time into this, you can, and there are benefits, the more you put into it, the more you're going to get out of it. Just I mean, I, I don't know, like, diminishing returns a little bit, depending on kind of where you're, you're focusing out. But...

Andrei 50:56
There's another thing like, so what we talked about earlier, like 60 of my products made 80% of my royalties. So potentially, I could be wasting time, but I'm down here working anyway. And so, I'm making ads for other things and other things, you know, because I want other things do to gain the sales rank that those 60 products have? Now, you know, I could be fine. If I just said, Alright, look, I'm just going to have my ads for my 60 products that are doing, you know, 80% of the load, and then that would make it a lot easier. And I'd still do pretty well. But I mean, who, who wants to do that, you know?

Cameron 51:37
I kind of I do, I'm kind of like on the lazier side of advertising. I'll be honest. Yeah. Yeah.

Andrei 51:42
I mean, that's I built a million ads, don't you?

Cameron 51:47
Yeah, yeah. Like that. But it's Yeah, within lottery campaigns, I focus on my best-selling products. Yeah. And that's why I would say to anybody that is like, well, I don't want to spend like all this time, you don't have to, the more time you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. And Andre, I'm sure you're going to kind of the fruits of your labor are going to become very apparent over time, just because of all the time we're putting into it. And all you know, all these additional products you're focusing on,

Andrei 52:14
The reason I'm putting so much time into it is because of the results I'm getting. And that's exciting. And then again, that's just like, hey, man, you know, just the more you put into it, the typically the more you get out of it. Now, obviously, potentially there, there could be a point to where I'm just advertising in building promotions for things that aren't selling, which is, obviously that could be a huge waste of time, but I'm not there yet. So, what I've done after Christmas, and in through the New Year has been building the promotion structure from my best sellers through q4. And basically, that's it because like I said, it is time consuming, but not on the Merch Jar side. It's just building each individual ad.

Cameron 52:59
And I think you're taking the right approach. And it's kind of the same way as like to just even design what you start to advertise like with building these promotions and stuff. Same kind of thing. Just start with, start with what selling like whatever time you have, do that like to start at the top and work your way down. Yeah, absolutely. Cool. So, so pretty structure that we've talked about. Again, I'll link that in the description. So, you'll be able to build the exact same structure. And even if you're not using Merce Jar, which you can check it out 30 days, it's free to try for 30 days, no credit card required. So, you can see if it's right for you. But if you're not,

Andrei 53:35
It's amazingly cheap, by the way, too,

Cameron 53:37
should be raised prices, and it's our price. Not anytime soon. So yes, it's the lowest price, I mean, down the road, I'm sure we will, but anybody that gets it now will never raise your price for you. So, you're still on our beta pricing, which was the cheapest will we ever offered. And then we came up with their launch pricing. And I'm sure down the road at some point, we will raise pricing. So, get in now everybody, if you want to get the absolute cheapest pricing, we'll have a little sense of urgency to throw in there. But yeah, even if you're not using the software, though, and you're just getting started and you don't have the budget or that looks like you're only spending $10, $15, $20 a month on ads, that's fine, you can start with that you can set up these promotion structures and the rules in that video, you can still do, you'll have to do it manually. So, it's going to be a little bit more time consuming than just kind of a one-off setup. And then it's automated. After that you'll have to go in and you know, weekly or whatever, move your search term from one ad group to another, but you can do that. And that's how I started that's how a lot of people start until it becomes too much, and you need a software solution. And that's where Merch Jar comes in. Could you share any best practices you have when it comes to SEO for your listings and how those impacts or relates to your advertising?

Andrei 54:55
Unfortunately, I'm very lazy with SEO. I'll Always try to get the most relevant longtail keyword in the title. And then you know, just come up with a saying it's really hard, everything becomes so formulaic with this because you end up kind of creating the same paragraph with just different keywords placed in, you know, different places, most of my listings pretty much have the same structure. Like I said, I've really been doing, like the same brand name pretty much the entire year, which I know a lot of people are like, oh, don't do that. But I was like, well, you know, again, I'm not real worried about copycats, because of the ads. And then if I can get the title and a longtail keyword, or if I can get the wording of the shirt and a longtail keyword in the title, then I'll do that, like I said, pretty much just use one brand name, and then

Cameron 56:04
find that you’re the I would say like auto ads, if it's like a new product, you still find that at Target search terms that don't contain the keywords in your title. I haven't

Andrei 56:15
really run into a whole lot of that. Like I said earlier, I've noticed in the last few days, that there's two particular shirts that have product title, and two bullet points full of keywords and stuff. And like they're just targeting these random things. And I don't know if it's just like a weird glitch in the ad and I need to like just to turn that ad off and do another one. I don't really notice much of that like just like out of left field things. And those things seem to be pretty irrelevant.

Cameron 56:46
And I think that speaks to just the algorithm itself is like it's pretty good. I know, there's I don't know where people that think like, oh, it's an auto ad. So, it's Amazon's not going to like that. How's that work? And so manual is the only way to go. There's kind of like a, I don't know, pride thing, almost like I'm setting up manual ads, and those work best. But in my experience, maybe you can speak to this too, is auto ads work really well. Like the algorithm is pretty smart with Yeah, yeah, they do know their customers and who's going to buy and getting new sales for, you know, a rate that's profitable, or at least break even in a lot of cases?

Andrei 57:27
Yeah. And I think another thing that people forget is that Amazon makes money when they sell something. So, they want to sell it. They're not just taking money from I mean; they're taking money. Right, but they also want to sell the stuff because they make money then too, you know?

Cameron 57:42
Yeah. 100% I'd mentioned that earlier. Amazon only cares about selling stuff. They don't care about anything else, right selling stuff. So, we've kind of talked about Merch Jar, and you've been with us since our beta, kind of how it's kind of helped you and save you time. Do you have a favorite Merch Jar feature? I feel like I know motions. Okay.

Andrei 58:01
Yeah. And I'm really looking forward to using recipes more, I just, so...

Cameron 58:09
We got some work to do on him like just straight up. It's a pretty brand-new feature. But it's got a lot of potential with it. We're really excited about what it's going to bring to the table. Once we get some tweaks. And I'm even waiting myself to really get recipes going. I do a couple but there's some big changes coming up, they're going to make them a lot more flexible to use as well. Yeah, easier to use with our recipe world if you've seen that where yeah, I have download recipes from other users. And I'll mention it here too, we're actually running a competition, if you will, through the end of the year or a year end of the month where anyone that submits a recipe to us, I'll link that to where you can submit them. And we publish it. So, we're going to do like a review. Just make sure it's like a recipe that actually functions and isn't like a duplicate will give you a bonus coins, which is at ad spent it's $500 in ad spend towards your subscription costs. And the person that submits the rest recipes that we like the most kind of, you know, unique and well documented. We're going to give $25,000 in coins or 25,000 and coins, which shows $25,000 in ad spend to use towards your account. So, we'll be doing that after the end of this month. So just want to plug that yeah, a lot a lot on the way.

Andrei 59:30
That's cool. Yeah, it's just it's for me right now. It's hard to use recipes because there's so little traffic that I don't want the recipes start triggering things based on impressions that I'm not getting and start raising bids to things so I'm just I have a few but they're turned off right now. And I think actually both of them I downloaded from recipe world and slightly edited them but I'm waiting till I started getting a little bit more traffic. I still haven't really raised my bids that much after the end of Q4. For but gotcha, slowly ramping that up.

Cameron 1:00:02
Yeah, same boat. And that's why I recommend her, but it's just kind of like and that's just kind of a best practice in general is just making small incremental changes, we're not waiting, you know, a month between optimizations a nominal rate, you know, double my bids or anything. From what I've seen with the Amazon algorithm that responds really well to very small, frequent changes, the more frequent you can do them, it responds very well to that. So, you know, changing at a penny per day versus, you know, 10 cents in a week seems to respond to that a little bit more, it's just kind of those granular changes. So, for those that are just getting started with Amazon ads for the first time, what advice would you give them? Or what would you do different? If you were starting all over again?

Andrei 1:00:49
Build a naming structure for your ads and use tags in your naming structure. And I think you mentioned something about possibly adding that feature to Merch Jar.

Cameron 1:01:01
That's on our roadmap, we'll have a tagging system. Currently, we're internally we're calling it smart tags, we got some kind of automations and stuff with it will automatically tag items like campaigns just based on you know, certain factors, but that is that is in the plan. So, it'll be some cool stuff that will be implemented with that with recipes as well. So, other heads up. For anybody watching this, what's on our on the table?

Andrei 1:01:27
There's lots of things that say like, in the ad console. In targeting, you can't filter through portfolios, which, you know,

Cameron 1:01:42
I started using portfolios, are you using portfolios totally?

Andrei 1:01:45
So, what I did is, I put all of my promotion’s campaigns into a single portfolio. And then I added a tag to the title of every one of those. So, I can on the targets page on ad console, because I like to apply suggested bids, sometimes like bulk, and then say, decrease those in bulk by a percentage. Okay. And so, to do that, I couldn't do it through merch jar yet,

Cameron 1:02:19
not yet. You're right. roadmap, I

Andrei 1:02:22
think that we will. Yeah, it was a huge pain in the butt. Going through, I think it was 415 ads, and oh, wow, adding a tag to every single one of them. And I tried to do it.

Cameron 1:02:40
What do you use as your tag? Is it liking the ASIN? Or?

Andrei 1:02:44
Well, that's so I created a specific tag for any campaign that was in a promotion. Okay, so it was just, it was just for numbers. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So good. Yeah. Yeah, that's not bad.

Cameron 1:03:02
Never hear that. Yeah.

Andrei 1:03:04
And add structure, not add structure, a naming structure is huge. Because when you first start out, I mean, I have no idea. I mean, I would type in like the first, say, four letters of the title, and then just call it that, and then just run it, you know, and then you forget what you're looking for, you know, that sort of stuff, obviously, let like, you know, put the ASIN in that naming structure, a tag also, and obviously, you know, auto or I'm doing everything testing and performance and products now.

Cameron 1:03:41
For naming structure, I'll just add on something while you're looking at the other. My, like two cents on that is just name it in a way where you know exactly what's inside that campaign and inside that ad group, just by looking at it without having to open it up. So, whatever you need to know. So asin, you called out already, I think that's probably the most important so you can just especially when you want to go back and filter it and you want to see every campaign that an ASIN has to it, you're just typing that ASIN in or copy and paste it from your product. And there you go, I'd say that's the most important but otherwise, yeah, like you’re targeting and what the goal is of the campaign there's so many different ways to do it, but that's just like overall best practice. Just know what it is based on what that title is.

Andrei 1:04:27
So, another thing is start slow. And I like he, like you said small changes over time. And really, you need to kind of let the algorithm figure it out the ads like I said, the ad spend starts you know, I think people give up before can actually figure out how to sell your stuff. And I understand it you know because you see, you see look okay on Merch by Amazon, I made $500 this month and my ad spend was 400. And the previous month I made $300. profit. So, like I'm losing money, but it takes, sometimes it takes a little bit of time for it to figure out what sells and what doesn't. And I did a lot of that, turn the ad on, run it for three days, and then turn it off, you know, and just doesn't work. And you see a lot of that in the groups. And it's like, I had this ad running. five clicks on it five clicks, I turned it off. Yeah, yeah.

Cameron 1:05:35
Clicks were probably on five different search terms this like, Right, right, right. So, I would say it's like, that kind of boils down to make sure you're collecting enough data. Yeah, before making a decision, which is something I've harped a ton. And what that is, like, everyone's going to kind of have different thresholds for that. But the more you collect, the more data you have just the better decision you can make on those campaigns.

Andrei 1:05:59
The amount of data that you get is incredible. But the if you can spend the time to go back and just study the data, like, what selling what keywords are selling, you know, that's the stuff that obviously shouldn't be moving through promotions to a manual campaign, but you can find great keywords for SEO, they're great ideas for new T shirt designs.

Cameron 1:06:24
So that's one of that's something I think a lot of people aren't aware of, is all the different search term data you get. I mean, thousands I mean, if you're spending the money on it, that's what you spend the money on. And I've been able to create products. I see a search, I was like, didn't even think about that.

Andrei 1:06:40
Yeah, yeah. So, like, some of my best sellers are like my, my best seller is... You don't have to give it away. No, no, I won't. It's not a huge niche. And it does have copycats and stuff. But then like this another thing I want to talk about, and I wanted to get your what do you call it opinion on this? So, the niche isn't huge. And it's doing really well. But I got some search terms. I was like, Hey, that's a good idea for another one. But then what happens there? Do I delay diluting my, like compete ales, yourself? Yeah.

Cameron 1:07:22
I mean, there is a chance of like cannibalism, I suppose. But I think it's such a small amount that I wouldn't be concerned with it. I think one of the interesting new reports that Amazon has come out with, and they show a part of this in AD console, but it is the impression share report. So, I don't mean download, search for imports, mostly because I'm using Merch Jar. But if I want this data, which isn't available in the API yet, so we're waiting on it. As soon as it's available, we're going to be pulling into Merch Jar because it's really useful. But it tells you for a search term, so let's say it's, I don't know, beer t shirt, how what percentage of impressions your account is capturing. So, if you're only getting 5% of the total impressions on this search term, you know, there's a lot of room to work with, you got to its very eye opening, it's very eye opening. So yeah, this is in your report section. So, when doing this, go into where you download all your search term reports and stuff. And search term impression share, it's pretty new. And it has all the same data as the search term. I don't think there's any data that's missing. But it gives you your impression share, but it also gives you your rank versus every other advertiser. So, you'll be able to see I'm ranked number one. So, for the search terms, I'm getting more impressions than anyone else. I'm getting 50% of the impressions. So even someone that's like number one, you're still not getting every impression that's delivering, right, right, right. Right, right. So that's, that's, I think, a useful way to see like, hey, there's room to grow here, by increasing bids on this search term, like I'm only get 5%. Let's try to capture more of this market share here. And I'm only ranked 20th, or whatever that looks like, right? Or if you're like ranked number one is like, well, I don't really need to increase bids, I've already got it with the other way you can capture market share, is just by creating more products to target that search term, you can get more impressions across your entire product catalog. So as far as like that cannibalism, I think that's a pretty small, like, I wouldn't be too concerned with that. And when it comes to like bids, if you have two different campaigns targeting the same search term, Amazon's not going to let you bid against each other. You're not going to have an $11 bid here and $1.20 bid here, but you know, it's 20 cents, so they're just going to keep you know. Yeah, they won't do that. And that's pretty easily attached if you want to test it out for anybody but yeah, you don't have to worry about that. So that kind of reminds me to like just this whole impression share for anyone that isn't advertising and or is pretty new to it, and it's kind of just getting started and impression as the first thing you get, that's kind of like the highest level of data type of funnel. And that's an impression is anybody that sees your ad, like they type it in, like your ad appeared. That's an impression. And I think what's really eye opening and it was for me, is just how many impressions it takes just to get one click on your product. And it's an average click through rate. So, which how many clicks it takes for its clicks divided by impressions as your click through rate? It's around like 0.3%. So that means for every 1,000 people that see your product, right, only what 30 people are clicking on it. Yeah. Is that right? Like? Is that okay? I'm going to pull up my calculator. I'm always like, bad at this stuff. 1000 x 0.003. Right, that's 0.3%. Three, that's only three clicks. So, I was off by an order of magnitude. out of 1,000 people that see your, your product, your ad, and this goes for organic too, you can relate this to organic too, because it's going to be the same, probably less, because if especially if you're like down further on the page, you're not getting as many clicks, only three people clicked on it. Yeah, out of out of three people clicking on your ad, like how many people are actually going to buy out of that or not those three people, when you look at like conversion rates, which that's another eye-opening thing, someone that's not running ads, you don't have this data available to you, you don't have at least for merchant KDP I think Seller Central have some ways to calculate that. But a good conversion rate probably I would say 10% is a good conversion rate. And you can be profitable lower than that, of course. So that means it takes 10 clicks to get one order on average. So, 1,000 people, you need far more people seeing your ads. So that was eye opening for me and my kind of your Facebook groups here I see is like, well, I can't find my product, or you know my product show him but I'm not getting sales. It's like, you need a boatload of people to see this to see it and click on it. Yeah, and click on it. Like there's a lot of hoops to go through just to get that one sale. And the other eye-opening side of that is just how much freaking traffic there is on Amazon. Yeah, how many shoppers? There are. It's mind boggling. And that's why search term to your like really? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And then all those different search terms that your products targeting like that you're indexing for. So, like what your products appearing for all adds up.

Andrei 1:12:33
It's just said, like, you have the search term showing up a funny fishing shirt. Right. And so, you got, I don't know, 3,000 impressions that day. And you got a minuscule amount of the traffic. Searching that term that day. But you still got 3,000 Your ads shown that 3,000 people I mean...

Cameron 1:12:59
I still get a sale. Impressions. But yeah, it's pretty. It's pretty broad. But that's yeah, how much traffic and because in your also like because you an impression like there's other people getting impressions, too, you're showing on a page of how many are on a page like 20, 38, 48. And you got your four ads at the top that are probably getting half of the clicks. Yeah, because more people click on the top and it just goes down. It's exponential. Just how many more clicks that has to but yeah, just some really eye-opening things when you start paying for this data, because it is pay to play like Amazon's not just handing this out for free. But they give you a ton of it when you're paying for it.

Andrei 1:13:40
Well, it's I mean, gives you a roadmap. That's true. Because it's just like, hey, this is this is working. This isn't working. It gives you two different roadmaps it gives you or for me a design roadmap, because I'm just like, hey, these, this type of design is getting this number of impressions, but this many clicks and sales, as opposed to this other type of design. Yeah. And then it also gives you like the keyword search term SEO roadmap as well. It's, it's crazy.

Cameron 1:14:17
Or you might see that it's appearing for search terms, like man, I don't have any of these keywords in my listing, right. Let's get some of those in there and maybe kind of do that. Do you? I do I have Yeah, I do. Usually towards my best-selling product. I'm not going through every single, you know, hundreds of 1000s of products to do that. But I have updated some of my best sellers to put in keywords to rank for specific search terms where if I'm trying to rank for, you know, something that I'm and I use tools like Helium 10 does kind of see where I'm ranking at. So, there I will do that as I if I want to. There's a specific search terms like hey, I'm trying to bump that rank. I'm going to put it at the first half of my title which your title has the most SEO juice sends the strongest signal and Amazon to rank this product? But so that title is even more.

Andrei 1:15:09
Just say you have one of your best sellers that's been selling well for, you know, two years. And would you guys have I have changed the title? I have. Yep.

Cameron 1:15:20
So, and Amazon, and now there is risk with this. Yeah, be very careful specifically with Amazon just the way you know, it takes down. So, I am I don't do it a ton, I will say. So, it, you'll have to weigh the risks. And you want to be very careful that you're not triggering any of the rejections. So yeah, depending on the time of year what's happening with the rejection? Or is going on. So, but yeah, it can that is a strategy I didn't. I mean, I love free merch to have a little bit more transparency with sort that sort of thing where you know, before you're submitting, because I don't think Amazon wants to take down a product that's making them hundreds of thousands of dollars, either it doesn't make any sense. No, no. So yeah, it's kind of a, you know, weigh your risk. But if you're selling on other platforms, maybe it's not as risky, with Seller Central or whatever, to get a product listed again, and not lose all your reviews and so forth. But...

Andrei 1:16:14
I've been very wary of touching anything and your five best sellers.

Cameron 1:16:20
No, I will say I was outside. Yes, not. I'm not worried about losing rank on stuff I'm already selling for Amazon's going to Do rank your product. Cuz now that keyword is not in your title. Because same things as there, you're sending the other signals, they only care about the sales. If you're getting sales, you're getting conversions on the search term, just because it's not in the title, it's not going to just like, well, we're going to take this down, because the same way that you get sales on search terms with keywords in it that don't appear in your listing whatsoever, because he figured that out through that algorithm or whatever.

Andrei 1:16:51
Well, I think it comes from before me running ads, you really kind of feel powerless to put your shirt in front of people. And so like, if I had a shirt that was getting in front of people, I was pretty much like, I don't know why, you know, it's getting in front of people, because it's the same kind of keyword structure that I use pretty much for everything. But you know, some of them, some of them just work. And then...

Cameron 1:17:20
The black box, yes, on black box, for sure. And no one knows. And it's same thing and like we're talking about, like how many impressions and clicks it takes to get like sales. Amazon's not showing the same product list to every single person that shows up. So, like when someone typed, I typed in my title, and it doesn't appear, it's like, okay, you're one data point out of thousands. They're going to base it on the device, you're on time of day, all this data they have about their customers and their users. And there, you know, there's probably some kind of product rotation and that's highly speculated that they do. You know, especially when a product is new, they have like a honeymoon period, no one really knows what merch and so all this is speculation. So, I mean, that that doesn't you won't get your product in front of people run out to it. You're going to you will for sure. Get it in front of people.

Andrei 1:18:07
Yeah, exactly. So, I mean, that's kind of like what I was saying before is, I don't really care about a tear up now because I have 12,000 slots that I can fill and run ads to 12,000 new right things and it's it, it's, it's just a boost. It's invaluable. Really. And before you just kind of I mean, I really felt like yeah, I'm just throwing stuff at the wall, see what stock and sometimes you get lucky. And most time you don't. But yeah, lose,

Cameron 1:18:35
you know, or you do get lucky and hey, this is doing well then all of a sudden doesn't anymore. You can't you don't have a way to protect, right or ranking Yeah, at all. If it goes through a slump. Okay, Amazon is going to replace it with something else, even though Amazon only cares what you've done for them lately. They don't care about a month ago. And there's probably some like waiting and stuff like that, again, Amazon black box with the algorithm, but they care about what you sold in the last day, couple hours, not last week, last month last year, right? If you start losing rank, there's a snowball effect. And sales velocity is what a lot of people call it, it works both ways. So that's kind of where like, the more sales you get, where Amazon rewards you with a higher rank, which gives you more traffic, which gives more sales and more traffic. That's that snowball effect. Yep. And it has it works the exact same way in the other direction to where if you start losing rank, it can just fall off a cliff very quickly. So that's where another area that ads can really help protect your listing against your competitors, especially as more people more and more people run advertising to, I mean, as much as I mean, people hate to hear it. We're in the world of pay to play with Amazon just straight up and it's not going back, and this isn't new, like every other platform Seller Central. All these other products sellers. It's been played a pay to play for years. And merch is now in there. Same bow, and there's no sense of pride of like, well, I don't run ads, like I got this without ads like this is a business like there's no pride, right? Not making money.

Andrei 1:20:07
Yeah, again, but so they've given you the opportunity to put your product in front of people. And you...

Cameron 1:20:16
It's the easiest way to do it, like you use. You said it earlier, every single business has to advertise and market their products. There's very few that can get away with not doing that. And if they aren't, honestly, you're just leaving money on the table. I mean, if you're selling a good product, why wouldn't you invest in that to get in front of people? Well, I will say, I guess that ties in to is like, advertising doesn't make up for a bad product, too. If you have a bad product, it's not going to, you know, perform miracles.

Andrei 1:20:45
Right. All right, absolutely. Another thing is you can get your new design up, and you can get it getting sales within you know, a few days sometimes, you know, which typically, you know, it's what, like three months or something.

Cameron 1:21:02
Suddenly on average. Yeah, the average like time the first sale kind of thing is what that looks like these days. Yes. It's probably getting longer and longer than yeah,

Andrei 1:21:09
I'm sure, I guess. Yeah, yeah. But it's just so you can confidently research something designed something, put it up value, wait the few hours and then run, start running ads to it and then validate it, like you said, almost...

Cameron 1:21:26
Right away. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, one last question. You had a lot of success last year, and you've grown considerably? How has your success on Amazon changed your life or just your plans for your future?

Andrei 1:21:41
Um, you know, realistically, it showed me that I don't really have to rely on like, a day job completely. I do. But I don't have to. And before this, it was, you know, well, obviously, I'm going to work till I'm 65 and then retire and do that. Well, that's not really the American dream anymore. You know, you know, I'd like to, like a lot of people been saying this year, semi retire in the next few years from my day job and just do this full time. And like I said, I love it, it's a blast for me to do it. I enjoy the designing. I enjoy, I even enjoy, like going through the ad data and stuff, just, you know, just reading all that stuff.

Cameron 1:22:36
I'm a data nerd, too. I love it. So, all the graphs and charts and excel sheets, I love it. I think that's amazing. Like that's, that is like very much a goal for a lot of people and like be able to see that light at the end of the tunnel, almost like, hey, this is possible, like putting in the work to keep growing this business until you can get to that point. And just the growth you've had in over year over year has been incredible. Do you do you think that's still possible for anyone getting into, I guess, merch by Amazon just on the whole? Amazon itself? Is that still possible to make that happen?

Andrei 1:23:14
They, the worst part is they don't give you ads at the beginning. So, it's I don't think I could do it. I mean, starting out. What are they give you 10 designs? Yeah. And then what are your 100?

Cameron 1:23:31
Yeah, not bad idea. That's pretty good advice, I'd say. Or hustling to sell them somehow not relying?

Andrei 1:23:38
Well, I looked at it like this. So, I can spend 1,200 or say, what is it now 1,307?

Cameron 1:23:49
I have a price one at bat for time.

Andrei 1:23:52
So, I can spend 1,300 bucks, right and sell 100? And then you're like tier 500? Right? And people always say, oh, they don't tier you up right away? Well, for the most part they do. And then you're at tier 100 as well, like nowadays tier one hundreds really low. If they gave you ads at 100 That would really help.

Cameron 1:24:14
Yeah, true. People at tier 100 getting access to ads. So, it's I mean, my prediction. So, this is a Cameron Scot prediction. They're going to roll out ads, I think to everybody at some point. Yeah. KDP and Seller Central, you get access to ads right away. Right. So, I don't see why they want to do that. They're leaving money on the table. And I think everyone knows Amazon doesn't leave money on the table. Not for very long anyways.

Andrei 1:24:39
Sure. But so, the like, like I was saying, in my experience, I started September 1st, and I wanted to have as many designs as possible up for Q4. Because I didn't want to wait a whole another year. And then what where was I going to be in that whole other year whereas it was going to be at tier 25. You know, When I came around, and so I was like, look, Austin, it was cheaper than it was like, because the I think they were cheap. Yeah, they were cheaper because we made more money, per se, um, back then. We made like, $7.07 Yeah, it was before I

Cameron 1:25:14
jumped on it was. I mean, they were like 550, or whatever it was, I've only done one price decrease. I was I started in 2000, early 2018. So, it was just one price decrease that I ended up going through. So, they've maintained it at least for Yeah, no, it has been.

Andrei 1:25:30
Yeah, I would hope that they would keep it like this. But um, so you can sit at tier 10 for a year, that how much money are you losing at that point?

Cameron 1:25:40
Yeah. You know, the cost? Yeah.

Andrei 1:25:42
I mean, it's ridiculous. I mean, it's like you put up your 10 designs, and then what you just wait for a year to get to

  1. And it just made no sense to me. And it's like all spin the $1,200. And then, thankfully, I made more than that at Q4. And then I was in a prime slot early in merch, when they were just, you know, kind of starting up to be able to, you know, grow my account relatively quickly, for me, relatively slow compared to a lot of other people, but, but my total sales now are like 27,400, total sales and unit sales. Total Units. Yeah. And over $132,000 in royalties, which, you know, 50 of that was last year.

Cameron 1:26:35
Right? Like, that's, like, incredible. Yeah, so like, people are talking about wanting to have a car payment or whatever. It's like, why don't you just buy a car, like that right kind of money you could have and much more. I mean, the potential is enormous. And not just with merch, but just the potential of selling on Amazon in general. It's not like just merch, like we do merch. But all this stuff we're talking about applies to every single product on Amazon, all these strategies, advertising, but I think you hit on a really good point, just by buying the mouse's a lot of different ways. You could hustle and sell T shirts locally to you know, sports teams, or, you know, local clubs, or that's actually how I got out of it was to t shirt to school with a bunch of teachers but bought it and got teared up to 500. So same result, but at the end of the day, is we didn't rely on that organic traffic. Yeah, to get those sales, because we just talked about how many eyeballs you need on a product to get one click to get one sale. I mean, you're talking about hundreds of 1000s. And, and when you only have 10 products and products, you don't even know if they're probably good products at that point. Because you just don't have you don't know it. Maybe you do. Like if you're a designer with my firsthand, and we're not. Even if you're a designer or whatever, I'm going to make amazing artwork. You guys still don't know what sells on Amazon. Because when you don't have the data, you just don't until you're getting the advertisements. The only way to get that data.

Andrei 1:27:53
Yeah. One of the things that you touched on there, you know, we're all worried about losing our accounts, right? Or Merch by Amazon accounts and learning advertising gives you hope for if, unfortunately, that day does come, you can take everything that you learn to sell something else.

Cameron 1:28:11
Yeah. 100% That's a really good point. I'll sleep at night finally.

Andrei 1:28:16
Yeah, I'm good about that. Right.

Cameron 1:28:18
But yeah, I mean, I'd say the other point too, with it is like, like treating it as an investment. And not just like hoping and praying that you get the sales but treat this as an investment. We've kind of talked about that throughout this interview as well. Andrei, thanks so much for coming on. This has been absolutely amazing. I think a lot of insightful topics. We have come up here so thank you so much for being on This was absolute pleasure.

Andrei 1:28:46
Hey, man, thanks a lot. I enjoy it.

Need more help?