How to Setup Mobile Authenticator OTP One Time Password for Amazon

To Setup a One Time Password on Seller Central:

1. Log into Seller Central

2. Click Settings / Login Settings

3. Add mobile authenticator app

4. Scan QR code

5. Enter Code, done!

Login settings link:

Google Authenticator Download Link:

Video Tutorial

  1. Log into Seller Central
  2. Click Settings / Login Settings
How to Setup Mobile Authenticator OTP One Time Password for Amazon 1

3. Click Edit on 2-step verification settings

How to Setup Mobile Authenticator OTP One Time Password for Amazon 2

4. Hit “Add new app”

How to Setup Mobile Authenticator OTP One Time Password for Amazon 3

5. Pass the OTP code

How to Setup Mobile Authenticator OTP One Time Password for Amazon 4

6. Download Google Authenticator App

7. Scan QR code and enter code Google Authenticator Download Link:

How to Setup Mobile Authenticator OTP One Time Password for Amazon 5

How to Get More Amazon Reviews in 2020 – Guest Post from Massview

The post was written by guest writer Drew Estes. Drew is a copywriter and digital marketer at Massview.

If you’ve spent any time learning how to sell on Amazon, you know this much: to earn significant organic sales, you need to show up on the first page of search results. And to show up on the first page of search results, you need to generate sales and get tons of product reviews. 

Without a solid review count, shoppers won’t trust you enough to buy your product. So how do you get those initial reviews?

The video above covers four key ways to increase your Amazon review count:

  • Amazon Early Reviewer Program
  • Amazon Vine
  • Amazon Request-a-Review
  • Amazon Rebates

This is what each strategy entails:

Amazon Early Reviewer Program

If your product has fewer than five reviews, this is a no-brainer. Sign up through the Advertising section of your Seller Central account, enrolling any products with a low review count. Amazon will incentivize customers (with gift cards, for instance) to leave reviews after purchase.

This is an easy way to get those first few reviews, so long as you’re getting full-priced sales. The cost and effort are minimal for a great payoff, so you’ll want to try it for any new product. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long, and you’ll soon need another strategy.

Amazon Vine Reviewers

Amazon Vine is similar to the Early Reviewer program in some respects but can be much more effective. To simplify a bit, it works like this: Amazon has a group of top reviewers called Vine Voices. You give them a free sample of your product, and they write a review. Unlike other methods, this means you don’t even need to make initial sales.

Vine is free for now (aside from the cost of the product you send them), but this is subject to change. So far, the only cost is the product you provide to the Vine Voices. It’s a great program, but there are a couple of catches.

First, Amazon Vine is invite-only. Go to your Amazon Seller Central account and click on Advertising. Unfortunately, if you don’t see Vine, you’re not invited. Some people have been able to call Seller Support and get on the list, but not often. To make sure you’re eligible, you should register your brand on Amazon.

The second catch is that Vine won’t be available once you have 30 reviews or more. This is a much larger maximum than the Early Reviewer program, but it’s still not huge. 

Overall, the Amazon Vine program is a must, if you have access. With some exceptions, it practically guarantees reviews. You’ll likely have Amazon’s best, most-trusted reviewers, leaving feedback for your product.

Amazon Request-a-Review

What’s the simplest way to get a review from a customer? Ask them for one.

You used to be able to just send an email, but Amazon now allows buyers to opt-out of receiving non-essential seller emails. This has led to a big drop in review rates.

However, there’s still hope: you can click the Request Review button inside Amazon Seller Central. For every sale, you simply click the button and let Amazon message the buyer to ask them to review your product. Amazon has optimized this messaging to maximize reviews.

Clicking the button is no big hassle in the beginning, but as your sales grow, thousands of sales mean thousands of clicks. A good problem to have, sure, but tedious nonetheless. Massview users get access to the Monocle Chrome extension, which allows sellers to automate review requests and avoid the hassle. In our tests, the Massview team found we received 3x more organic reviews when using this feature.

When automating your review requests, you can set a delay between product delivery and when the customer receives the request. Be sure to wait an appropriate amount of time after product delivery (Amazon allows a range of 4 to 30 days), so your customers have the chance to use the product a bit before they receive the review request.

Amazon Rebates and Cash Back

What if you’re not getting as many sales as you want? You need sales to get more reviews, and you can’t buy reviews.

This is where rebates come in. You can’t require shoppers to leave reviews, but with third-party seller tools like Snagshout or Masschat, you can offer cashback to increase sales and get a higher review rate in the process – all while staying compliant with Amazon’s Terms of Service.

These review programs earn a solid 20-30 percent review rate and have a minimal cost (the amount of cashback you pay the customer, plus a small fee of about a dollar per deal).

Rebates still count as a full-priced sale, meaning your reviews still get the Verified Review badge. This setup boosts your Amazon Seller Ranking and launches your product toward Page One search results.

The downside of this method is the higher relative cost per sale. You’re sometimes selling products at a loss in order to boost your sales velocity and review count. 

However, when you can maintain the minimum number of sales per day to make Page One, customers will start finding your product on their own, and your organic sales will increase until you no longer need to offer rebates.

To learn the minimum daily sales you need to put your product on page one for your keywords, try out Massview’s Free Plan.

About Massview

Massview offers a full suite of tools for Amazon merchants at every level of experience and budget. These include:

  • Product research, competitor insight, and keyword analysis tools to help you pick winning products and launch them to page one before your competitors know what’s happening.
  • Snagshout, a customer-facing deal platform to put your product in front of an army of early adopters, willing to buy your product and leave reviews
  • Masschat, a Facebook Ads chatbot to target your niche. Along with boosting sales and reviews, use it to build an email list for retargeting and audience expansion.
  • Video tutorials to show you everything you need to know to get the most out of each tool.

Try Massview risk-free today. All paid plans come with a 7-day Free Trial.

How to Generate Positive Reviews on Amazon – Repeat Customer Targeting

How to Target Repeat and Returning Customers

Generating reviews on Amazon has always been tough. With most review generating strategies there is no way to tell if a customer is going to leave a positive or negative review. The solution is to target repeat customers. 

Our strategy is to comb through each of the orders and find the repeat customers who are more likely to leave a positive review and specifically reaching out to them. Amazon has a relatively new feature where you can request a review from customers and they will send out an official email from Amazon asking the customer to leave a review.

You can also set up an Automated Review Request email campaign from a third party service to send these requests out for you. There are several different tools to choose from. We recommend Feedback Whiz as they have the functionality to specifically target repeat customers. You can create an email template that can be sent to all of your loyal customers asking them to leave a review. It is a great set and forget tool that will save you time and a lot of effort.

Depending on your sales volume one methodology might be preferable. When you are just starting off you might not need a third party tool for this strategy. But once sales start to grow, you’re going to have to find a tool to handle customer review requests.


How to Look Up Amazon RMA ID on Seller Central

What to Do When a Customer Return Has No Order ID

When a customer wants to return an item, Amazon will send them a return label. This label, however, does not have any order identification and not all customers provide a packing slip with the information. It then becomes quite difficult to determine which order the item came from for your records. Luckily, there is a way to find this information on Seller Central.

Each return label provided by Amazon has an identification number called an Amazon RMA ID. This is the number that Amazon assigns to the return for their own identification. Using this RMA ID, you can find the original order ID that is linked to it by cross-referencing the RMA ID with the Returns Report. On Seller Central under Reports, you can access the Returns Reports for both FBA and MFN orders. Download the MFN returns report and you will see a column labeled “Amazon RMA ID”. Simply search for the RMA ID from the return and you will be able to find the corresponding order ID in column A.  


Walmart Marketplace Order Fulfillment and Customer Service

Walmart Marketplace Order Fulfillment SOP

This guide will give a brief overview of how to fulfill orders on the Walmart Marketplace using Amazon as the fulfillment channel. (MCF). 

How to Ship and Confirm Orders 

  1. Go to your Orders Tab under ORDER MANAGEMENT. 
  2. Find your New Orders. New Orders Will Fall under Three categories: (New Orders, Orders Due Today, Past Due Orders). 
  3. Once you locate your order, your screen will look something like the image below:
  4. Click the purchase order # hyperlink. 
  5. Under status – change from Acknowledged to Ship. 
  6. If you have a valid tracking number, change your carrier to your carrier which you shipped with, enter the tracking number, and click update. 
  7. If fulfilling a MCF (Multi-Channel Fulfillment) order (Through Amazon), simply enter USPS as the carrier and 12345 as the tracking number. (Note you will be unable to edit this tracking number at a later time). 
  8. Click Update and you are done. 

Customer Service:

Walmart Customer Service is different from Amazon or eBay. There is not a central message area. All communications are done through email. 

  1. Sending Emails: To send an email go to your orders page. Next click on the purchase order number for the order in question. 
  2. Sending Emails Within Walmart: Click Send email to send an email through the walmart platform. 
  3. Sending Emails Outside of Walmart: Click Copy Email Address to copy the customers email so an email can be sent directly to them. 
  4. Customer Service Escalation: For “customer service escalations” simply message the customer through Walmart using the steps above to resolve the issue with the customer. If not resolved within 48 hours Walmart may step in and issue a refund.
  5. Responding to Emails: To respond to a customer message, email them back directly via your email client. 

For more information on how to place a MCF order through Amazon please visit the link below: 


A Guide to Amazon Product Bundling


Methods for Using Amazon Product Bundling

Amazon Product Bundling is an Interactive and Creative Way to Increase Sales and Conversions on Products.
New Physical Product Bundle Method:(Creating a New ASIN for FBA)
Merchant Fulfilled Bundle Method:
  • Create a New Merchant Fulfilled Bundle Listing (As Instructed Above).
  • The difference here is you would not need to have the physical product in stock. This would essentially be a virtual or shell listing. Instead you can fulfill the merchant order using a Multi-Channel Fulfillment Order (MCF).
  • Each SKU which is included in the bundle could be shipped to the customer directly from Amazon using a MCF order.
  • Once you create the new order Amazon will ship the products directly to the customer, and they will receive their bundle.
  • This method is dependent on having adequate FBA inventory in stock. There is no way to designate or sideline products for any reason, so your bundle inventory count would need to be managed closely.
  • Please see the article below for further information on how to create a MCF order. (Though this article mentions eBay it can also apply to a FBM order, etc.)
  • https://myamazonguy.com/ebay/create-a-fulfillment-order-amazon/
Cross Promotion Method:
  • You can create a cross promotion on Amazon.
  • Buy 1 of Product X and Get Product Y Free/90% Off/10% Off, etc.
  • Buy 2 of Product X and Received 2 of Product Y 10% Off.
  • While this method is not technically a bundle in the sense of a combined product listing, See below for example of how promotion would look. (It appears towards the bottom of the product detail page).
  • We can create a custom image which outlines the product bundle promotion, and creates an interactive way for customers to be aware of the promotion and encourages them to use it. Thus increasing conversions and sales.  (See example of promotion look and type below)

Promotion Example

Virtual Bundling Program Beta Pilot Program (Invite Only)
  • There is rumor of a Virtual Bundling Program in which Amazon would create the product bundles directly with FBA inventory (without having to create a new listing).
  • This program is beta and invite only at this time.
  • You can attempt to ticket Amazon to get the account enrolled, but we have not seen any of our clients become enrolled into this program to date.
  • This will be something to look out for in the coming months.
Below is Some Information on the Program Directly from Amazon:

Getting started with product bundles

Product bundles are ASINs where 2-5 component ASINs are included, and customers can buy them all from the same detail page as a single ASIN, though the fulfillment and delivery remains separate. This allows customers to conveniently shop and discover a greater selection of complimentary products and products with discounts. Bundles can give brands the ability to provide discounts on a set of complimentary products and utilize existing inventory in Amazon’s fulfillment network to create more choices for customers.


Product bundles from sellers are presently available only in the US Amazon store.


ASINs need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for being added to a product bundle:

  • Only ASINs that are Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) are eligible to be included in product bundles
  • Product bundles can only be created with products that belong to brands that sellers own and have registered in the Amazon Brand Registry
  • Product bundles can be created only in the US Amazon store
  • The following products cannot be included in product bundles: gift cards, electronically delivered products such as digital music, video, and books

Number of ASINs

There can be 2-5 unique products (ASINs) in a bundle. However, for every unique ASIN, there can be more than 1 unit in the bundle.

Examples of eligible and ineligible product bundles:

  • Red pen (2) – This cannot be a bundle because there is only 1 ASIN.
  • Red pen (1) + blue pen (1) – This can be a bundle.
  • Red pen (2) + blue pen (5) – This can be a bundle because there are 2 unique ASINs. Note that the total number of units in the bundle is more than 5, which is acceptable.
  • Red pen (1) + blue pen (1) + green pen (1) + black pen (1) + orange pen (1) + purple pen (1) – This cannot be a bundle because there are 6 unique ASINs, which exceeds the max limit of 5.

Creating product bundles

Product bundles can be created from sellercentral.amazon.com/bundles/create or you can navigate by going to Inventory > Manage Inventory > Create A Bundle.

ASIN availability

Any ASIN that is included in a bundle should also be a standalone ASIN and customers should be able buy them independently.


Product bundles can be priced lower than or equal to the sum total of prices of the products in the bundle. One of the value propositions of the program is being able to offer multiple products as a bundle at a discount. The seller is responsible for setting the bundle price and for updating the bundle price if any component pricing changes. If a bundle price becomes higher than the sum of the seller’s component prices, then the bundle will not be purchasable.

Image requirements

We recommend the images be at least 500 x 500 pixels.

Bundle In ASIN title

We recommend adding the word “Bundle” to the title of the bundle ASINs.

Main component in a bundle

A main component can be any ASIN that is a part of the bundle ASIN. However, it is recommended to select the ASIN that is the most integral component part of the bundle as the main component since it will help determine the search and browse categorization of the ASIN. Bundle ASINs will inherit keywords from the existing main component ASINs. For example, a bundle ASIN with a TV and an HDMI cable should have the TV as the main component.

Editing a bundle

The following attributes of a bundle ASIN are editable after the bundle has been saved: title, description, bullet points, price, and images. However, the products that make up the bundle or the SKU cannot be edited once saved.

API/feed integration

Product bundles can be created only in Seller Central. There is no API/feed integration available.

Delivery of bundle ASINs

The products in a bundle may be shipped and delivered separately.


Customers will be able to find bundle ASINs through discover and browse.

Bundle ASINs and Deals

Bundle ASINs will have to meet all regular existing criteria Deals. For more information, refer to Create a Deal.

Reviews and ratings

Bundle ASINs have separate reviews and ratings from those of the component ASINs that make up the bundle.


Since all the products are fulfilled separately, just as if they were purchased separately, there are no changes to fulfillment fees. All standard selling fees will apply.


All reporting is available at the component ASIN(s) level for activity on product bundles.

GUEST POST Feedback Five: How to Build and Protect Your Amazon Seller Reputation

Guest Post by Jeanne Croteau. She is a staff writer at eComEngine. She’s also a psychology professor and freelance writer with a keen interest in exploring the minds of online shoppers (including her own!). She loves hockey, cooking, running, and spending time with her husband and six children.

Ordering from Amazon is so easy that many fail to realize how hard sellers have to work. Building your Amazon seller reputation takes a lot of commitment, financial investment, long hours, and a willingness to take risks. Once you’ve gotten off the ground, though, it’s time to shift gears to continue growing. 

We won’t sugarcoat it — many things can go wrong on Amazon leaving your business vulnerable. You could even get suspended. This is why it’s essential that you protect your brand. Not sure where to begin? We’ve put together this blog post to help you get started.

Feedback vs. Reviews

Outside of the Amazon marketplace, we use words like “review” and “feedback” interchangeably. On Amazon, however, these terms have very different meanings. You receive feedback when customers share their overall buying experience. Reviews, on the other hand, are all about specific products. 

Both of these metrics paint a picture of how well you’re succeeding at providing excellent customer service. People want to shop with confidence, so they will look at these metrics before making a purchase. You know who else is paying attention? Amazon. They are watching to make sure that you’re putting your customers first and addressing issues as they arise. For all of these reasons, feedback and reviews are so important for third-party sellers.

Building Your Amazon Seller Reputation

Joan Jett might not have cared about her bad reputation, but she wasn’t trying to sell on Amazon! As a growing seller, you should make every effort to build trust in your brand. One of the most effective ways to have a good seller reputation is by asking for both reviews and feedback. Unfortunately, knowing how to ask  buyers has been a source of confusion and frustration. 

No matter what, you always want to be sure that your email campaigns are compliant with Amazon TOS. The guidelines can change often and unpredictably, so you definitely need to make sure you’re staying up-to-date. This will go a long way towards protecting your account from suspension.

GUEST POST Feedback Five: How to Build and Protect Your Amazon Seller Reputation 6

Currently, there are several ways that you can safely request feedback and reviews: Buyer-Seller Messaging, the Request a Review button, Early Reviewer Program, and Amazon Vine. Each method comes with its own pros and cons, so you’ll to decide what’s best for your business. Check out this product review strategy guide to learn more about each option.

Protecting Your Seller Reputation

You’ve worked hard to become competitive in the marketplace, so you’ve got to be proactive about protecting your brand. Your customer reviews provide a wealth of information to potential buyers (and Amazon). Monitoring your customer reviews, therefore, is one of the most crucial things you can do.

Keeping an eye on your reviews will provide valuable insight to your performance as a seller. Are you making the most of every opportunity to keep your customers delighted? Are you adhering to the guidelines put in place by Amazon? Most importantly, are you investigating every negative comment you receive?

It’s understandable that you’d want to avoid seeing people say bad things about your business, but a shift in thinking can really help you succeed. What are people saying about your product? Are you surprised by their experiences? Negative reviews might not be easy to read, but they can provide a wealth of information. 

For example, a sudden change in customer satisfaction could be a sign that something has gone wrong in your supply chain. If that’s the case, those early negative reviews could help you address an issue with quality, packaging or shipments sooner than later. You’ll protect your brand’s reputation by showing that you are proactive and engaged. This Amazon Brand Monitoring Checklist can help you stay organized.

Get Started

If you’re looking to build and protect your Amazon seller reputation, we’re here to help. FeedbackFive gives you the ability to automate requests through Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging or the new Request a Review messaging system.

Requesting reviews manually is time-consuming and tedious. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to keep up as your business grows. Still, this is one part of your strategy that should not be neglected. Your reputation is one of the easiest ways to stand apart from the competition. 

Ready to take your business to the next level? Give FeedbackFive a try today and unleash your full potential!

How to Generate More Amazon Product Reviews with eComEngine’s Colleen Quattlebaum – Feedback Five #26


Product Review Strategies have changed a lot in the past 3 years on Amazon. Today’s guest Colleen Quattlebaum, Marketing Manager with eComEngine, will tell us how to get more product reviews while staying compliant. Feedback Five is their flagship product and you’ve probably heard about them. They also have sourcing tools. Market Scout. Pricing tools. Been around the past 13 years.

Monitor website changes with www.Wachete.com (Tool has alerts)

Amazon making it easier to leave a review. Frustrating for sellers who want to respond to negative reviews.

Stay white hat. Early reviewer program. Amazon Vine is on hold for 2 weeks. Use tools like Feedback Five.

Amazon Approved Product Review Strategies
How are reviews affected in the current environment (COVID-19)? 
Shifting to MFN from FBA. 
What are some effective and compliant ways to get more reviews on Amazon?
Safest way “request a review button” on orders page.
What are the benefits of the new Request a Review button in Seller Central?
Lot of unknown. Take 100 requests to get 10-15 reviews.

Get Amazon Consulting at https://myamazonguy.com/

Article from EcomEngine on Request a Review Button.
Amazon recently added a “Request a Review” button to the Order Details page in Seller Central, raising many questions for sellers. A clarification to the Amazon Communication Guidelines was also posted in November 2019. In this article, we’ll discuss both updates and what they mean for third-party sellers.

How Does Amazon’s Request a Review Button Work?
To send a review request with the Request a Review button, log into your Seller Central account. Go to the Manage Orders page and select the order that you would like to request a review for. Click the order to go to the Order Details page, and you should see the button on the top right side of the page.

When you click the button, Amazon will send a seller feedback and product review request (in the same message) to the buyer for your order. The message will be automatically translated into the buyer’s chosen language. You cannot send a follow up message to the same customer after the initial request has been sent. Requests can only be sent from 4-30 days after the order is delivered. Buyers cannot respond to the message. It’s worth noting that this is a manual process in which the seller is unable to customize the message that is sent to the buyer. Sellers cannot respond to these messages.

Great news: you can now schedule Request a Review automation using FeedbackFive!

Getting started is easy. Just activate the Amazon Feedback and Review Request Template with any campaign in FeedbackFive. FeedbackFive will then tell Amazon which of your orders to send the request for based on your unique campaign settings. You can set it once and forget it, as FeedbackFive will continue to communicate with Amazon via a secure and authorized connection based on the sending rules you select. Learn more about how to automate Request a Review messages.

Unedited Transcript

product review strategies have changed a lot the past three years on Amazon. Today’s guests will tell us how to get more product reviews while staying compliance. My name is Stephen Pope, and I’m the founder of my Amazon guy. This is the My Amazon guy podcasts. So I’m now joined by Colleen Quattlebaum, and she’s the marketing manager with E. Com engine. Did I say that? Right? Perfect. I was so worried about that. All right, well, cool. So I’m excited to have you on so before before we talk about how to generate more product reviews, because I know that’s what my my listeners are gonna care about. Can you just tell us a little about who you are and who you represent?
Sure. So again, my name is Colleen Quattlebaum, a marketing and business development manager. EECOM Engine and E com engine’s been around since 2007. So for those of you in the Amazon and e commerce industry, you’ve probably heard of our flagship tool, which is feedback. Five. So we provide a whole suite of software. Service is to Amazon sellers, but Feedback five is a reputation management tool to help manage feedback and reviews. You have an F B, a management tool for inventory management called Restock Pro, a sourcing tool for Ah Amazon Cellars looking to find products to sell in FDA. And that’s called Market Scout, as well as a new pricing tool called Smart Price. So
lots of tools, lots and lots of trains.
We’ve been around for about 12 or 13 years, and my job is really just to bring as much educational, valuable information to Amazon sellers. So speak with a lot of sellers on a daily basis. Our customers and other sellers as well thought leaders like you so
well, I appreciate that. Yes, So, um, we’re gonna be talking today about product reviews. So big, Big first question, kind of hard to answer concisely so Well, kind of dissect this today, of course, but how do you generate more product reviews on Amazon? I want to get those reviews up, so I get more sales. Of course. What are your thoughts on that?
Yeah, so it’s It’s definitely challenging, S. O. You know, there’s many, many different ways that you can get reviews, and my biggest advice is to do it in a white hat way that follows Amazon Terms of service always follow the rules. There’s a lot of black hat tax tactics out there, but the good guy always wins in the long run. So it’s just not worth risking your business to follow any black half tactics. So there’s several different ways. Ah, that Amazon has actually some approved programs that you can use the early reviewer program if you’re launching a new product. Um, Amazon Vine is also another great program that Amazon has out there. It’s temporarily on hiatus right now, just as of two weeks ago, based on the current state of the pandemic. So once that opens back up, though, that’s another great. You
have any insight on that, By the way, I’m like, I’m not sure why they closed it. I couldn’t figure it out.
So yes, So, um, I mean right around March 17th. That looks like it went, Uh, it’s been closed, I think, mainly just cause they’re focusing on, you know, just everything in the State of Pandemic focusing on really the essential Sure. So if somebody is registering a brand and tryingto, you know, join the fine program right now, that’s just not a priority for them. And
so Amazon Vine came out of, um, the woodwork. I don’t know. A couple months ago, we had almost unlimited access to it for, like, a solid month. And then all of a sudden, just one magic day. This was preceding the cove in 19 stuff. The March announcement. Um, all of our brands who hadn’t had access at that stage couldn’t gain access. So I didn’t know if, like, the vine program was just like, overwhelmed or something. But did you notice anything you know before the Cove in 19?
No, that’s right. Around mid March is when we started to hear that sellers were not able to enroll. Um, I mean, but you’re exactly right. It was only open toe vendors for years. Up until about December 19th 2019 it quietly rolled out to all cellar,
which is what always happens, right? They, like, quietly roll things out. They and never sent announcement. So, like, I I swear I spend at least 15 to 20 minutes a day just clicking on every link within Seller Central, trying to figure out what other you why changes have happened without fail two or three times a week. We find something, right? Like last week there was, too, and going on three advertising changes, right? They rolled out to new display functions. There’s like the really cool one, By the way, I thought was the custom image for brand headlines. Um, I thought, you know, that’s the biggest ad space you could take on Amazon, let alone on the entire web. Ah, and it takes up like half your mobile screen. So, like, we’ve never seen that much real estate get taken. Amazon didn’t even send on e mail out on that for a leg. I don’t even think they have yet. I don’t know if you’ve noticed one or not, but
no, I haven’t seen any communication on that. There is a tool called Wash Eddie or what, Teddy, I don’t know if you’ve heard of that, W c h e t e. And, um, it’s a great tool where you can just basically any website that you want to follow any changes that they have. So, Seller Central is one that if you wanna, you know, sign up for alerts any time to make a change, it will show you kind of the before and after of what they’ve done on that page. So any time that there’s a change will be alerted. So you don’t have to constantly scour that page.
Yeah, that’s that’s That’s an interesting one. How do you spell that one time
W athe h e t e.
We’ll put a link in that and for our description for our listeners. But I I had missed it the first time, so that’s why I had to get it. All right, so I look at that Nice, nice to actually have heard of that thought about the Wayback machine. That kind of throws me back a bit, but I’m sure that tools got some additional, um, right magically
alert. So each day you get alerts on the sites that you’re managing
look at
nice. So speaking of other random changes that have recently happened, I noticed that they got rid of the ability to upload photos on product reviews. Has that come across your radar? It’ll
well, I think Amazon is doing a lot of different things to make it easier for the consumer to leave a review. For instance, they don’t have to actually comment on their review
That’s a new change, too. Yeah,
right. So they could just choose the star rating, so they’re just making it as easy as possible so that, you know, consumers can leave a review with it. Taken minimal time. Um, I think people are more likely to leave a review. If it leaves. It takes minimal time. I know that on the back end for the sellers, that’s frustrating because you can get a review and not know why they love differ why they heated it. Um, so those pros and cons
of Amazon
it was very customer centric customer focused. So, um, you know their obsession is making sure that the consumer is happy. So
So, speaking of negative reviews, should sellers respond to those in your opinion?
Absolutely. I think that it really helps for you to comment publicly in line to those reviews. It helps to show that you care about your brand. You stand behind your products or that you’re willing to make it right. Um, and it’s it’s just helps the trustworthiness and reliability of your brand. Um, you know, acknowledge or take accountability. If something’s not working properly, um, you know, it gives somebody else a potential buyer who’s considering to purchase that product. They see that you’re actively, you know, making sure that that things were right, giving them more confidence to buy that product. If there is a negative review,
one of
those negative reviews that you can’t ask somebody to remove or update their review like you can with feedback. So a feedback. If you respond, you know you need to respond quickly, and if you make it right, then you can satisfy that customer. You can certainly ask them to update or remove that feedback.
So so one thing that rolled out less than two weeks ago, I think, was on the cellar app. You now can actually see customer reviews right there. So for those that are watching on YouTube, I’m putting it on screen. You can see a section for customer reviews. I think that was three years too late. I feel like they hurled that out so long ago, right, But there are tools that do send email alerts, and I know you have one of them, so feel free to plug that here. If somebody wants to get alerted when they get a negative review, what tool do you have that helps with that?
Certainly. Feedback five will send alerts for negative reviews and negative feedback. So and of course, the bonus of getting that alert is that you find out right away so that you can respond right away. So, just like anything, I mean, the sooner that you handle a customer service issue or, you know, product issue, the sooner you can make it right. Satisfy the customer, um, or even pull that product from the shelf. For instance, if you find out that there’s something major you know wrong with it, um, so and maybe even you decide not to ask for reviews on that ace and anymore. If it’s defective while you’re trying to pull it from the shelf, so just, you know, the sooner you can find out about that, the better. But feedback five. You can either sign up for text alerts Mobile um, or email alerts. Um, you can choose the time of day that you receive those alerts. You’re not getting interrupted at 2 a.m. and you can also just choose to have a daily digest like just once a day. Here’s all the negative reviews or feedback you’ve received on everything
and one last question on the negative reviews. So, um, the question of how much value is into trying to engage them, right? So, Lake, what do you think? The percentage of hey, I engaged the consumer to try and get this removed versus what I actually got removed is, does that make sense?
Right? So again, feedback that negative feedback can be removed, but negative reviews? You cannot ask them to remove that. So when you respond in line thio negative review that consumer is not necessarily aware that you even responded to them. That’s more for other potential buyers to see that you acknowledged their comments.
So I’m glad you delineated. They’re my question. The heart of my question was in, you know, engaging the product review for a consumer and then, like reaching out to them directly, um, or or even say, their seller, seller review and reaching out to them directly. What do you think that the customer responses to engaging with the seller to once we’ve made it right for them to go on back in and change it? In your opinion,
um, I don’t know what the percentage is there of, you know,
like for them to update it or change it. I think you know if if you’ve made the customer satisfied, you’ve made it right. You’ve had a really good customer service throughout that process. Then they’re more likely to update it and change it. And the sooner you respond.
So I want to put my finger in the air and say it’s somewhere between 20 and 25%. So so the reason’s
pretty low.
pretty lower than that
could be. It could be so. The reason why the public response is so important because of that is because it’s not necessarily gonna make it so that the customer removes their feedback. It’s Maur so that the customer who hasn’t bought yet that comes across that negative review. Inevitably, they’re gonna be more comfortable to know. Hey, this this cellar backs up their product. Obviously not everybody’s gonna be 100% pleased all the time, but we know that they responded here, so we trust them. So it’s a trust signal, in my opinion. Correct. So So All right. So let’s pivot to Cove in 19. Um, how have you been seeing Corona virus impact reviews in the current environment right now,
Yeah, so obviously, you know, unprecedented times for sure. Um, and impacting all aspects of everybody’s life and especially, you know, Amazon sellers and business owners. And, you know, many air seeing fewer sales, which also means fewer reviews. When you have fewer or orders and fewer sales. That’s fewer opportunities to get reviews. Um, I think that feedback is is more important to focus on in a way right now, because so many, um sellers air shifting from F b A to f B M with the recent announcement of Amazon temporarily disabling the shipment creation for products other than those essential items in high demand product. So those that can’t send items FDA right now are are looking to do merchant fulfilled. And when they do that, they’re the ones shipping, packaging the item and sending it off. So making sure that you’re on time shipping that you’re, um, you know your customer response time, the overall customer experience, including the shipping and packaging, is related to your feedback, not the product review. So if you’re merchant fulfilled now and that’s a new process for you, just really you know, Pay close attention to your feedback because now you could get negative feedback in these times where, you know, maybe things aren’t shipping on time. Maybe, you know, you’re using your packaging now that you’re you’re sending it off yourself instead of f d A. Um so just pay close attention that I get feedback. I would say, um,
second, everything you mentioned clean. And there’s there’s a difficulty in, um, managing customer expectations right now because they don’t necessarily not all of them are paying attention to that ship time frame and even f B A and Merchant fulfilled. Orders are absolutely being impacted. The supply chains kind of in haywire. Right now I do for see this starting to ease. I feel like we you know, I think Friday, in my opinion, was kind of a slight turning point for Amazon. You know, maybe maybe don’t fluctuate. Maybe we’ll get worse and get better and kind of float back and forth. I don’t know, but they did ease some of their inbound shipping constraints, which I thought was a promising sign. And hopefully, when April 5th rolls around, we’ll see everybody get back. Open toe inbound shipments But I agree It’s been a mast massive dash to try and get merchant filled up. And at the same time, they temporarily turned off S F P application. So if you couldn’t couldn’t get prime on your S f p or your merchant fulfilled if you wanted. But even still, that’s not necessarily a program. I recommend a very many sellers. It’s very difficult to manage, um, shipping time and constraints. Getting that, Getting the orders out the door and whatnot. Um Okay, cool. So So what do you think? You know, you mentioned some compliance in white hat tactics. So what do you think? The most effective ways to generate reviews while staying compliant. And is there anything you can do? More than just running the Amazon approved programs, like, uh, early reviewer in vine that you mentioned?
Sure, right now. So the safest way to request reviews is using Amazons. Request to review button that they just launched at the end of last year. That’s in Cellar Central on the orders page. It’s a little gray button, and it literally says, request a review. Um, so this is a message that is sent directly from Amazon to your buyers, Um, and so it’s 100% compliant because Amazon is actually the one sending that message, and they’ve optimized the message to hopefully get good results. It does ask for both the product review and feedback in the message. Um, another benefit is that it is automated, automatically translated into the language of choice, eh? So that the buyer and their Amazon account settings has their preferred language set, so it’s automatically translated for them. Um, this is sent when you hit the review button. It can only be sent between four and 30 days after the order has been delivered. Um, and you can customize the message in any way like you came a fire somewhere messaging. But it is the safest way since the message is going directly from Amazon to the buyer. The downside of this is that it’s a very manual process to go in and do it for each order that you want to request a review on. So so Feedback five has actually automated that button. We’ve worked very closely with Amazon. You’re become engine over the last few months to, um to have that process automated. So in feedback, five you can do your typical buyer seller messaging e mails if you prefer to go that way or the new route is using the request to review Button and automating that and choosing the time and with Jason’s that you want to send that for. So that’s a brand new feature and feedback. Five. A lot of sellers, especially if they’ve been restricted from buyer seller messaging. They can use this new request to review feature.
So So I’ve heard a lot of buzz about your roll out on this tool, and a lot of people are talking about it. Um, for those that haven’t engaged your product yet, let’s talk a little bit about the manual part first. So So if I If I’m in my manage orders section on Amazon right now, how do I get to the manual component?
So if you go to the order details page, I believe it’s up in the top left corner. It says, Request a review. Little Grey button.
Do you have to go into the actual order to make it happen?
Yes, you have to go into the actual orders and going to each individual order.
And then you mentioned you have to do it during the between day four and 30.
Correct? After the order has been.
Got it. Got it. All right. So I’m gonna pull one up on screen here. So on screen, I’ve got an order, and this is, um, in the order details. It’s one out two weeks ago and in the top right here. You can see request your reviews If you click that it pulls up. We don’t require you to request reviews because our system already do that at no cost to you. However, if you prefer request to review for the sort of please use this feature instead of using the customer via email or cellar messaging. So it seemed like they’re trying to signal, um users to do that. Um, that’s really interesting.
They are definitely encouraging sellers to use this route. So and we’re still actually evaluating the data to see the figure out the performance of this, um are are Tool has had this for about a month now. Um, so we’re still evaluating the data on you know how well this is working, but we’re seeing pretty good results. Um, but again, it’s fairly new, but since Amazon is pushing sellers to this where we want to make sure that we can support that in an automated way. So to make a raise like a little bit easier
makes percent. So let’s talk about your tool now. So does does the tool have so, like right now with Corona? I’m thinking to myself, Man, some of my customers might leave a more negative review because, ah, the items not shipping in two day prime should I should I be engaging it right now, or is there Is there any filters within your tool toe? Specify ship timeframes anything like that.
So in the tool, you can specify the time that it sent. And as far as the time of day and which hastens. And if you want to exclude re funded orders, there are a few different options. You can customize the message, but you can customize the timing of it and in which a sins you’re asking for reviews on
Um, certainly. Right now there’s just a lot of unknown, um, people, you know are certainly stressed out, but they also probably are very grateful for the fact that they can purchase these items on Amazon and not have to go out to the store. So, um, you know, some people have little more time on their hands. It’s hard to say, Does that is that gonna lead to getting more reviews at this time? If they’re grateful and you know and they understand that they’re small businesses out there that need our help, Um, or, you know, are they stressed and more likely to live? Negative review or feedback? I don’t know. It’s hard to say so, but I think that you know you want to come out of this stronger. So asking for reviews is important. Um, it’s a small percentage of people that do leave feedback and leave reviews. So just always asking is is always what I recommend. Um, because it can take 100 requests to get 10 or 15 reviews, Um, sometimes even less, you know, depending on your product. So if you have a really good product than you know, about 10% of your emails should lead to a product review.
That’s probably a higher percentage than I would’ve guessed. But you’re very close to that data, so I believe you. It sometimes feels like if I didn’t ask. Could be like one out of 100 would leave a review. And when I do ask, it doubles toe like two out of 100. But but But you’re probably right. It’s probably more than that. I just a little skeptical. Yeah,
and a lot of it depends on the product.
Probably does.
And and the message that you know would buy our cellar messaging. You know, if you do a lot of baby testing on your subject lines, um, you know, in the past, that has worked. Well, you know, you’re getting to the point where you can find a good ratio of of, you know, people leaving. We’re review with the request to review button. Of course, you can’t change that message. Um, but Amazon has, you know, taking a look at the message. They’ve optimized it, and they claim that this is the right message to send to customers. Um, so But again, we’re still taking a look at that since it’s fairly new.
So So it is fairly new, but you’ve You’ve made some some assumptions. I’m sure that you think that this is the future of a review generation. Um what what other insights. Do you have?
Yeah, so this. I mean, definitely the future of review generation buyer seller messaging is still okay. That’s still allowed. But there has been in a lot of talk and seller forms and other places that that could be going away. Ah, lot of sellers have been suspended or restricted because of Burbage and buyer seller messaging. Amazon Terms of service can be very confusing. And so you know when when you’re in control of your own message, that can be good. But it also could be that bad because depending on which Amazon rep you speak to her, which Amazon rep reviews your email, they could interpret the way that you wrote a sentence in your email differently than a different rep, and they could choose to suspend you. So, um so it seems that there’s been a lot of, you know, mixed signals as to what you can and can’t say in an email through buyer seller messaging. So you’re just at a little bit more risk if you choose to use buyer seller messaging. Um, so request to review button. It’s certainly the safest way to go.
Makes makes a lot of sense. And and so as we as we kind of looked down the pipeline, what other you know, it’s it’s It’s always difficult to put your finger in the air and say, I think this is gonna happen next on Amazon because, you know, nobody really knows nobody at Amazon, Probably even though, but what? What other things? You. If you had to put your finger in the air and guess and say, I think this might change on Amazon, or what else do you think might be coming down the pipeline?
Well, I mean, the early reviewer and Amazon. Ah, fine programs. Both of those. For instance, you have to be enrolled in brand registry in order to do those programs. So I think any other programs that they roll out, you know, get your items enrolled in brand registry. That seems to be another big thing that you know, any program that they roll out, they want the products enrolled in brand registry. Um,
what do you think that is?
I think because of just all of the, you know, the black hat, bad actors, the, um the you know, products that are fake that are out there Um, and it just leads to, you know, a bad impression of using Amazon. You know, to purchase items if you’re a consumer not knowing if you’re going to get the real Nike shoes or the fake Nike shoes, for instance, um so making sure that they’re registered and it’s truly just the brand owner telling that,
and it’s interesting to note. So I feel like Amazon has kind of been a little bit of a brand killer in the past decade, right? So Jeff Bezos is famous for saying your margins, my opportunity. And so this marketplace has been a race to the bottom of Price Scout, you know, prices going lower and lower, not price Gouging is as about about the fumble into and and so we’ve seen, um, you know, unless you’re a luxury brands. If you quizzed 100 people, what was the name of the brand you bought your item from random widget gadget, If you will. Most nobody could answer that question, but But, um, so I I agree with you, and I think I think having that trademark sets you apart from the black hat stuff, and that trademark allows you to get that brand registry within Amazon so makes a lot of sense.
Also, I think just on the heels of, you know, Covad 19 coming out of this, you know, whether it’s a few months or a year whenever I think that we’re going to see more Amazon sellers out there. You know, there’s a lot of people furloughed losing jobs, for instance, and they’re looking for other ways to start a business. Um, or they’re looking for other ways. If they’re there, brick and mortar retail shop shuts down, maybe they start selling stuff online. So I think that there could be some more more sellers out there. Um, so, you know, there’s just gonna be Oh, I think a lot will change. Um, I also think a lot more people are going to be buying online than ever before because of the current state and then the habits that people get him. People that were not Amazon shoppers before you know, are now shopping online. Um, and then that becomes a new habit for them and instead of, you know, go into the brick and mortar they’re more likely to buy online. So I think that in the end there could be some. Some. I’m positive.
I think there’s tremendous amounts of positives. S o you know, we’ve had I’d say 30% of our accounts that we manage it. My Amazon guy have had had record weeks in sales. Um, beating out Christmas rush, beating out prime day week, All that good stuff. There’s a lot of high demand right now, and and the average account right now is is positive as well. Because of that increase in demand, people aren’t able to go to the retail store. They have to shop online. So, you know, you know, if I look at the economy right now, I’d probably, um, a little bit pessimistic. I’m like, Oh, man, this is gonna hurt for a while. We’re going into a recession, at least, but I think I think Amazon is recession proof. So I think I think if you’re if you’re in Amazon right now, if you’re selling on Amazon, it’s a good place to be. And even if Amazon were to decrease, which we’d not seen by the we’ve seen record sales and big demands. But even if it was to decrease it, probably the first sector to recover when the recovery came. So it’s good to be positioned there, in my opinion as well.
Get insight. I agree.
So So? And I think I think you’re inside as well was pretty spot on. So all right, so any, uh, any last thoughts you want to share with our listeners before we end our podcast today?
Now, I would just say it stay safe and try to stay positive during this trying time. And, ah, you know, if you have a little bit of downtime here and there, things do feel a little slow. Optimized your listings, you know, do those things that you can optimize your processes, you know, so that in the end you can come out stronger.
Well, I appreciate that. And then to any of the listeners who are coming from the feedback five crowd or or for the seller engine crowd, my Amazon guy were an eight person agency based out of Georgia. We’ve got access to more than 100 Amazon account, 65 active clients, and we help sellers with anything they need for everything from advertising management’s to catalog management to a plus content design and more so if you need any help with that? Go over to my Amazon guy dot com. Well, Colleen, thank you so much for joining us again. You guys have a great tool. Ah, great set of tools that help Amazon sellers. And so we really appreciate your time.
Thank you.
All right, guys, that was the My Amazon guy. Podcasts with Stephen Pope on the founder. We hope you enjoyed our podcast today. Please feel free to subscribe. Our podcast is available on Apple on Spotify on I heart radio and many other places. Thanks so much, guys.

Stuck in India During COVID-19 with Sean Halls # 24


Photography is an art that is hard to get right. On today’s podcast we talk to the experts on how to get the best photos in front of your consumers on Amazon to increase sales. Jeff Delacruz – President of POW Photography or Products on White Photography. I’ve personally used their service and recommend them to my clients as the go to place to get professional photography. 

  • Just to qualify you guys to my audience, I’m sure it’s impossible to count how many photos your studio have taken, but can you share your background and why are you guys the experts in this?
  • Pictures on White Photography name came about because of the importance on white.
  • How did POW start? 2010 in midst the last meltdown. 
  • What makes a good photo?
    • What is pleasing
    • What encourages someone to click my listing photo
  • Tent light kit vs Studio approach
    • Product on white background is bare minimum. 
    • How do I win that click and make my photo standout?
    • How do I light it?
  • Common photo mistakes
    • Can look at a product before even putting it on set.
    • Color number for a wine glass – 250.
    • Light density. Black cards on the side. Reflection of the black card.
  • Basic starting point
    • Light sweep
    • Trying to do it as an amateur as a professional is not possible.
    • How to balance lights.
  •  What types of photos should be on an Amazon listing?
    • One thing I like about your website is it has tutorials on how to order the right photos. 
    • Survey the Amazon competition and shoot lookalikes.
  • Progression Amazon sellers go through
    • Get to market as fast as possible
    • Once up start optimizing
  • Hardest product to shoot and why?
    • Liquor decanter + glasses
  • Easiest product to shoot and why?
    • Bottles
  • 200,000 photos in past 10 years.
  • Beauty products. 
  • What should clients ask more from you or photos they should obtain than are not as common but should be?
    • Biggest question we get – do you shoot lifestyle images?
      • We do, but it’s challenging. 
      • Started service 6 months ago “Amazon Lifestyle Composite Photos” Or “Stock Composites” We retouch it so the item matches the scene. $150 per photo.
  • Funnest product to shoot?
    • Hard light shot for beauty products. Created a whole new lighting style for us. Background called “hard light”
  • Types of photo styles.
  • Perfect listing:
    • Main image photography is most important. Stand out from competitors. 
    • Pitfall: Front, back and side. Nobody cares about that.
    • Better: Features, what makes it sell. Is it tough, really big? Show call outs. Really sell me why.
  • Obviously sellers should pay for high grade professional shots, but are there any hacks or shortcuts they can take?

This photo guide has all the specs and recommendations for images on Amazon.


  1. Photos should be 2000×2000
  2. Jpeg
  3. 7 photos per item
  4. Main photo on white cropped so item is 85% of image (Prevent white space at top and bottom of product, so that item looks bigger in search results)


7 Photo Shots you can take:

  1. Main image – on white.
  2. Back image – labels etc.
  3. Close up shot to show a feature
  4. Infographics -Photos with text and key features
  5. Lifestyle- Makes you feel you’re using the product, or how and where you would use the product
  6. Aspirational -Humanizing the product in use to show social gain (photos of humans)
  7. Video (Requires EBC / Brand Registry)

Unedited Transcript

All right. So I’ve got a treat today. I’ve got my old high school buddy Sean holes joining me. We’re going to talk about Cove in 19 in India. He’s stuck in India right now, running a team of developers, and we’re gonna have fun talking about e commerce in the future as it relates to the Amazon, India E commerce and general. All right, so now joined by Sean Hall. Shawn, it’s good to talk with you. Um, over the years, we’ve kind of kept in touch here, and our journeys have taken us to other sides of the world. So right now, as I understand it, you’re in India. And what was it? Just a couple days ago, India announced it’s completely shut down. So I’m sure our listeners would love to hear and understand what is going on over there.
Hey, Steve, Thanks for having me Great to, uh, catch up again. What is going on out here is it’s a good question. Some of us want to know that, too. There’s there’s, ah, been a lot of sudden movements. There was one day that things were open and that was, I think, the 15th of March or maybe just before that. And then everybody who had businesses got together and said, Wait, what’s actually happening? Including, you know, some of the politicians. And then it wasn’t almost overnight. Um, shut everything down and it was shut down to the degree my, my, my mom and my sister were planning on making a trip out here to visit me, and and a day or two before their flight came, all international visas got canceled. So and then they also said, Hey, you can’t leave either. Um, so you got
your family not get to you, but you can’t get to your family.
Oh, yeah. And they can’t even ship because my mom being my mom, you know, she was, like, coming. I’m gonna send you supplies. I mean, to send you supplies and so hee
underwear over there. Sean, they don’t have your son because it’s true. So it’s difficult, I’m sure. Sure,
it’s been Ah, a little chaotic. And and it’s been disheartening. You know, I’m, uh, Christian oriented guy, and it’s been really disheartening actually to see on the street, because when you have, um, as there’s over a 1,000,000,000 people in this country, right and a lot of vulnerable people. But many, many, many deep hole only a day’s wage and they can pay for their food and maybe get some lodging. Or or they live in slums, right? But these people assumes that lock down happened. They’re out there starving in the streets and and that’s been hard for me to sit, sit up here and feel good on instagram and doing the whole quarantine at home thing. Because, um, I’m seeing people just outside my window, you know, on the streets, suffering and dying because they can’t they can’t make any money. And then beyond that, it’s difficult because when they can’t make money, what’s happened is they’re trying to migrate back to their villages so they can eat least eat. But you’re getting massive congregations, and I mean, while we’re social distancing over here, people privilege, I should say these migrant workers air huddled in bus stations and there’s hundreds of thousands of them and they’re going to actually be infecting each other. Think about this and then taking it back to rural India, where there isn’t medical access, so it’s a huge problem, and it’s as a humanitarian that’s been kind of what I’ve been trying to over the last few days say, Hey, it’s nice being in the ivory tower, But how can I, um how can I help these folks out there? That’s that’s been one of the things that’s been eating at me.
That is rather difficult. I mean, I’m in the Georgia area and it’s, you know, testing is not even really a thing right now in the States. There’s, ah, you know, a lack of testing. But most of the government shut down. Most businesses have shut down except essentials, but the culture is totally different over here. Where is what you kind of talked about with the migrants? Um, culture in India? There’s literally hundreds of thousands of people that air stranded right now. Is that Is that true?
Yeah, it’s true because the government realized that they were going to go back to rural communities, and they said it became a social media disaster because everybody was looking at these bus stations saying, Wait a second, we’re about to send these back to rule India, so it actually got worse, and that once the people got to the bus stations, they didn’t let the buses leave. So really, you just have these well, which makes sense. You don’t want them crossing borders into places that are there gonna take this virus, especially after what they’ve been through with the crowding like you don’t want them to go. But at the same time, you now essentially have, and I don’t want to like, really over use this word. But it’s It’s like a concentration camp of migrant workers, and they’re just stranded and they’re in a situation that’s highly ineffective for quarantine or controlling this virus. So I think India is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s I was looking the numbers and 20 days ago, I think March 10th the U. S. Had 1000 known cases, which is where India’s at now, and that has now gone up to 160,000 in the U. S. So 20 days from now, what I’m interested in is to see if India has surpassed us numbers and I’m I’m pretty sure that they will.
I think it’s a question of testing, you know, in the US, the numbers have got to be five x up to 10 x, what they truly have been reported because you mean you get to be in, like in I C. U unit right now to get a test in the States and most most part, so who knows what India’s health care infrastructure can do? But, you know, it’s interesting that they announced that 21 day shut down instead of 14 which is what kind of the U. S and money other countries lead with. And then we all know that 14 days gonna turn into 30 and more, but they’re
talking about they’re talking about extend this 21 day after three months. Um,
that’s that’s gotta be a totally new world you’re living in right out.
It’s interesting for sure. I wasn’t planning on going back, so I I was I came out here, Steve, to work on having a Devil team. There’s a lot of people who want to have offshore development, but they don’t want to interface with a team that doesn’t have a native English speaker and like a professional English speaker, a translator for less. And I’ve been writing code now since I was, you know, well, professionally for about 14 years and before that as a hobby for six years. Um, so people love interfacing with me because, Yes, I I have this team, but they have some guy that they trust on the other end. And I can manage and code myself. So they’re not saying, Hey, we’re just in the hands of this group that has no face. Um, so I wasn’t planning on leaving, but one stuff that started happening I did make a call to the
Took a look at it. Yeah,
I I called the embassy. I I made a call to the embassy
on the first day. I called an embassy before,
actually, Yeah. And it’s funny because we’re what? When I arrived, many, many people were like, You got to call the embassy, just get in touch. It’s like, uh, I think I’m okay. I got it. You know, I’ve traveled a lot, so I’m good. But this time I did call the embassy and they’re saying they were like, Hey, we’re trying to get some flights for repatriation that I wasn’t anxious to go. I was serious. Flights out that they’re arranging. First off their strange You can’t just charge it to a card. You have to sign a promissory note to the government, which I didn’t realize. You can’t you have to. It’s just like a note. And, um, the flights were $6000 for a seat in Coach. Wow. And to put that in perspective, I got out here for the first time I came out here. I think my one way was 375 bucks. And then when I flew back in December for Christmas, I got upgraded to business class pass, and that was like 800 bucks to basically be first class the whole way. And now you know, just to get back home if I wanted to come back to the U. S would be a solid six grand. So I think I’m hunkering down here for a minute until that goes down,
that that’s quite the choice. I mean, man, there’s that’s a tough spot to be in. So So what? Things shut down right now. Are you still developing our other workers Still working in some areas?
Tech hasn’t. So I guess I just step back and say my specialty and tech is has been med tech and medicine and specifically skilled nursing facilities, and they need us more than ever. So So I haven’t I’ve seen people’s pump the brakes with, you know, new projects, anything like that. But what we’re maintaining and what we’ve been doing has been pretty consistent. And people are still needing that. Um, especially right now, you know, because I think of 11 application we did that reaches out to, uh to seniors who have recently exited a skilled nursing facility. And that’s more important now than ever because these people are vulnerable. They’re scared, right? And so it’s It’s nice to say OK, the software that we’ve been doing is having a great impact on the people who need it most right now. And so young people are still developing in our field. I haven’t seen a ton of shift, but obviously, if we’re talking about just the sheer volume of people who are going to be affected by this, there’s no doubt that we’re gonna experience economic slowdown. And it’s only a matter of time. It might need me now, but if the if the economy starts to collapse or anything like that, it’s only a matter of time for everybody is affected.
Yeah, no
matter what vertical urine
I feel like this is a once in a 100 year event. There’s no doubt about that. Um, you know, I think Amazon specifically is probably recession proof e commerce in general. Probably, You know, least a little bit recession proof. And even if it’s not, I think e commerce is gonna be the first sector that recovers. Um, you know, the question is, you know, and you’re in your particular vertical in development work. Some of those things have kind of like a run rate or or a business development cycle. I would I would imagine so the projects that you’re going to start in three months or six months from now, that’s probably when you’ll see the hit. Yeah. Yeah, you think
about I think the hit has already in a sense, happened it then they hit so much, it’s been increased scrutiny on what we’ve been doing.
Oh, yes. Cost control and yeah,
yeah, I’ve seen a lot of that and there might be a hit on future work. You’re absolutely right. I’m prospecting now, you know, for future work and trying to do that. Luckily, I’m at a place where I’ve gone through and done enough goodwill with people for the last 10 years and help people out that I don’t feel scared. Um, but, you know, you’re absolutely right in saying that we’re going to the 3 to 6 months where things could drastically change the shape or other things. Just a drastic change in shape and form. I have one friend who was about to kick off a project with me, and he just said, Hey, wait a second that he has, like, 50 brick and mortar locations across the USA. And he said, Wait a second. Nobody can come to my store. We got we got a halt development for at least a few months until marketing dollars are gonna allow for this to make sense.
Yeah, there. There are people ordering online today that have never ordered online before because they literally can’t goto a retail store at the moment. And that’s why we’re seeing a lot of high exceptional announced that demand specific to Amazon. Um, so yeah, there’s there’s a huge amount of effect. I think I think this year is one for the books. No doubt, Um, all right, so let’s let’s take a step back. So So Sean and I, um, went to high school together in Utah, and we’ve known each other for, you know, a long, long time. And so I wantto I want to bring us back just a little bit too. Kind of kind of where our career past, Wentz and then Wolf. Well, then answer. Ask the big question. Why India? Why why’d you end up in India? So So let’s go back a little bit. So, um, what got you first interested in development work when it became kind of a hobby.
All right, Steve, you’ll appreciate this. Good. You mentioned high school. Um, I love Steve because I think a cz cool as we’ve become and whatever we’ve done our life, I think it’s safe to say, in retrospect that we weren’t the coolest guys in high school.
Okay, So easily I e I I’ll put my my one thing out there most. The very same thing I did in school. I ran for student body officer every year of my entire junior high and high school, and never once was elected that Sahwas.
You sound like actually actually the case with almost everybody who runs for office. Um I mean, How many times did Ah, geez. Kayne ran. It seemed like 800 times he ran as many years as he was alive,
which is 800 times.
But, um, now, Steven, I knew each other. Like we were big time chess players. We got in the chest together to show you the level of cool. We were at
love. Dirtiness. Yeah. Uh huh.
And so I would say, actually, what happened was I was always a geek with computers when I was a kid, like, five or six years old, My parents out of Windows 3.1 a machine, and they didn’t know how to use it. But I I learned all the typing keystrokes on that. And really, when I got in the coating, it was because I was un cool in high school and I had a lot of spare time on my summers. Um, I think that’s even before we met Steve. I think we met one of the summer. I walked outside and we happened to be a 20. It’s
playing basketball. Basketball? Yeah. Yeah, it was one of our neighbors houses.
Good tailor. Lincoln is nice, kid. I still talk to Lincoln occasionally.
he’s Allstate agent Now. I think that our brother went broke.
Good, good time to be in that market. Maybe. Well, I mean, in the five years living up, the Utah market has blown out. Um, so that’s that’s kind of what led to be taking on. And it’s funny that and I’ll just little upside Is that code? Back then, I used to sit and try and work out the code and try and make it work like the examples. And I just remember crying and saying, This is so hard. I can’t make it work like it This seems like it should be easy. I’m looking at the example. Mine doesn’t work that way. It took me, like, 10 years for the state of the industry to advance to a point to realize that what I was working with back then were the nascent phases of this coding languages, and it sucked. That’s what was happening is like now the code back then was brutally bad, and the reason it wasn’t working is because these languages, like nobody marking what they were doing.
Yeah, I took a job in high school. I didn’t know what I was doing either. Yeah,
the guy who wrote PHP, the guy who made it, He did it because he hacked it together. It’s like, Well, this works for May. And he never meant for it to become a program language. And now there’s 24% of the Web or maybe 40%. It was something crazy like that is running on WordPress, which is based off BHP. So you looking for today? We’re
so much, I think. Shopify. Anybody listening to this if you’re not on Shopify and you’re on wordpress I’m so sorry for you guys. That’s rough. Really.
I’ll give a contrary an opinion on that. I think it really depends on what you’re what you’re doing with your business. Because, um, the difference between a Shopify citing a WordPress site is the difference. And ownership. If I have a wordpress infrastructure and that text ac, I own it. And no matter what Shopify does with their business, I’m in. You walk away and say, Okay, I’m not I’m not subject to their plans. S o. If you need to have more control of your business than I would say, stay away from shop fight if you want to if you’re running a store and you’re running a business in this working great and you want it to be kind of all the text taken care of for you give a shop of 500%. But if you need that control and you want to say Okay, I’m gonna walk away and I’m gonna have, um, this hook into this day, the source of this data source. The other thing is a lot of the plug ins on shop fire, monthly subscriptions.
So I heard everything you just mentioned. It’s just a question of how much control do you want to pay for, Right? Right. And and then also WordPress is constantly breaking on my sights. That’s why I threw that. It’s just constantly breaking. So
that’s because us developers need to ensure our future job security,
I guess I guess something like that. All right, So you did stuff through high school, took on some special projects, was there, was there? Ah, turning point or some sort of golden moment in your life were like, Yeah, I’m gonna do this rest of my life.
Um, yes, there’s been a few. There was one when I kind of mentioned how in 10 years everything drastically shifted. When I was 18 I meet my buddy a website, and at a certain point that’s changed. And I’m talking about where it became the response of Web on and all of a sudden, everything sponsored and you just had to remake websites differently. And so people had made some sites for when I was a little younger. Um, they came and they said, Hey, our sights no longer really working this responsive web can you helps out. So I had to sort of re learn what I’d learned. And there was this point where I think I was 20 or 21 where I said, Okay, I’ve gotten really good at building HTML static websites. I got some database stuff figured out. I know PHP. What am I missing? And that’s when the beauty of Java script and writing really interactive pages came to me. And I think once I started getting into Java script, that helped a lot because all of a sudden I was able to create an experience for a user rather than just showing them something. Um, and that was cool. There was also a night there’s a few poignant moments. It’s to get There was a night where I was on. If you guys remember stumble upon, it was a little widget that you throw in Firefox. They would just take you to a random page that some somebody had curated and thought was neat.
Quite quite the throwback. Yeah,
yeah, a lot of stuff. Well, I love Stumble, but I spent this one night just board and stumbling, and I realized 95% of the Web looked like total crap and offended
and fastest us
is dead. It still does, but it’s gotten so much better, but it kind of offended me, is just like a visual person. I was like, This is not good and I wanted to do better. Um, so that was one thing that drove me to do a lot of stuff. I wasn’t good enough to do much outside of helping like nonprofits and that kind of thing for a while. And I did a lot of low hanging fruit, but good, good work for good people sort of thing to get my chops up. And then I had this bump in a coffee shop that changed my life. forever. It was with my buddy James Johnson, who’s just He’s a brilliant machine learning program or whatever you wanna call him. He works mostly in, like this really high, like Haskell. Interesting languages, does machine learning that kind of thing. And you just a coffee shop And he sat down and looked at my work and he blew my mind, introduced me to angular. He’s like, If I were you, I would just start learning this today and go do that. I ran with that. In the last eight years, I’ve been working with angular, angular one to all the way up through. Now they’re nine as the time of this podcast and the best decision ever in terms of career because it was interesting. There’s basically angular and reactor where everything’s getting made in these days, and I moved to Los Angeles. Not this is last year I moved to Los Angeles to go work on my career and develop out there. It was super interesting. I had just happened. Everybody and everybody in L. A was doing react, and I happened to be the guy that did angular. It was just a weird market thing, so that worked out phenomenally for me because reactors in Vogue but angular still has this really, really huge place. Um, you know, that’s kind of what happened in terms of the career path, in terms. In terms of the formative moments,
you’ve had a few formidable moments that have happened. And then one day you end up in India. Why India? What brought you there?
Oh, good question. It’s not just one day. I’ve been here three times. This is my third trip. It’s my first time living in here. Um, when I was 25 This is this is kind of a deeper thing, but maybe 26. 25 26. I was, um my best buddy from University of Utah is an Indian national citizen. He’s He’s a genius. He owns a company called Lattice Innovations in Delhi. And I came out to visit him just to go be a tourist. India. Back when I was 25 he was throwing um back. Then they threw hackathons with Massachusetts General Health Lattice through hackathons Massachusetts General Health. And so my first landing point India was at a HACKATHON. We were working on the problem of diabetes, which is a huge killer in India, so he was kinda everywhere. But in India, it’s like one out of every five people is gonna develop diabetes due to the diet. Jesus. Yeah, which I think is it’s substantially more really, maybe three times more than the US numbers. But it is not
on par with that.
You will be You will be. If you’re not, it’s it’s just a nup upward trend. So I did a lot of work there, met great people in the context of working on innovations. Um, met a lot of great people from Massachusetts General Health. But I still talk to, and they became very important for what happened next. Three days into the hackathon. I got a cold and it was a minor head cold. And then But I had to get on a flight. I was going somewhere else, and I had to get on a flight, and it was like an old dinky Indiana Jones propeller jet kind of plays. It was so old. I was going thio these islands just tow travel. That and during descent. I’m not sure if the plane wasn’t pressurized properly or what, but I had this horrible pressure in my school, and it first it just felt like it was like Okay, maybe, like I just got a pop, my ears, But it didn’t go away. And as we went further and further in closer towards the Earth, the pressure just became profound. And I was I was basically immobilized in pain. It was, and it felt like every every filling in my mouth wanted to pop out like the pressure in my school app. Well, what happens is your you stash your station tube, if that’s what regulates your pressure in your body and around atmosphere pressure any time. But if you can’t regulate that, it stays in your skull. So what happened was all my Sinuses imploded, and I was alone during this moment, and it also happened that might my ear drums went and I could just hear ocean sounds. I couldn’t hear what anybody was saying. Not sure it would have mattered because they were speaking in different languages. But I couldn’t get help, and I was just almost
feels like a near death experience. G’s
It was, It was, and I was crying in this airport because I was on a layover and I’m crying this airport. There’s people, guards with machine guns thinking this kid’s messed up or something. He’s just crying on the floor here, my phone, the adaptors not plugging in so I can’t get in touch with my friends. It’s just a weird outlet, and I’m like, This is this is heavy and as I’m looking around Steve, and this was the thing that changed my life. I’m in the worst pain in my life and I look around and I’m not the only person collapsed on the floor and I’m seeing people. And I’m not just one person, two people. I’m seeing many people in this scene who are in worse pain than me, and that was a significant eye opener. I didn’t really go to India looking for enlightenment, but that was an enlightening moment where I said, Whoa, the worst pain in my life isn’t the worst pain in this room. And at that point in time, I decided if I ever recovered, I wanted to make my next steps in my career to be about helping people and to be in the medical industry. So so that was a huge thing that happened in India because of that has always been my heart because there is so much suffering here. So part of why I came back this time was because I just knew a s if you build my business and help out in the U. S. But I also felt my value would be very helpful here because I have a lot to offer people here a swell.
So So that is a pretty terrifying series of events that led you to choose to stay in India, so to speak and make it a permanent fixture in your life. I mean, that’s that’s crazy. So So what was the recovery like on that?
It’s never been a full recovery. In fact, I still get flare ups. And if I’m ever on a flight or if I ever have a cold, even remotely near flight, um, I canceled the flight typically nowadays because I still get pressure almost every time I fly. There’s a surgery for it, but I haven’t exactly wanted Thio.
I’ve done no surgery twice. It is awful.
Yeah, I’ve done it once and I’m not rushing to that because it’s something I can basically manage nowadays. But I’ll tell you. The recovery of that was actually very brutal. Um, and kind of illustrates both the good and bad of India, which was, uh, typically speaking. The Indian health care is much more available. Um, I shouldn’t say available. It’s much more affordable than the United States health care. And it’s high quality because there’s so many patients. So you go to a search on the guys down a 1,000,000,000 of these surgeries, right? Yeah, very, very highly skilled. The ability to get into those appointments is what’s difficult because there’s so many people. Um So when I landed, I was going to these islands and I finally did get my phone to work. And hey, I just I called up my doctor friend who is Thank goodness I have him, um, on it, Bob, if you’re listening. Thank you. He basically had me hand the phone over to the guy at the pharmacy at the airport, and he told him to get me basically narcotics, which were available because he was a doctor and I was in the situation. I waas and I took those and all of a sudden I had some relief, but I was still like it was just managing it. And I had to jump on another flight because it’s like, uh
and I thought that was painted up on another flight. Jesus,
I did because I was like, Why had I can’t stay at this other place? I have no, like my hotels at the next place. I’m already in this, like, horrible pain. I might as well just take this flight. Um, And what happens, though, when you The pain never got worse that day. But what happened was the Sinuses have imploded, so there’s blood inside your canals, and that’s kind of like a good gross thing. But then that congeals. And so the pressure never left. How? Um and so I managed for a few days. Okay, I’m going next to Calcutta, which is a really trippy city. It’s It was It’s like still Britain in 1950. They love British. The British had such influence there. I’m sure they drink not one. Do they drink tea? They have remade a replica of the Big Ben. They have, like a giant big been themselves. They love it, and it’s all 19 fifties ambassador cabs. It’s super interesting, but I got there and there was a religious ceremony going on called Durga Puja, which was a lot of fun. But the whole town, including doctors, was closed for like, two weeks. I couldn’t see a doctor, Um, and this was one of those things. It’s like This is a really great time. I’ve had a great time, but I’m in horrible pain every day and I cannot get to a doctor because they’re all on vacation, which is I don’t think that would ever happen in the United States, where an entire country or entire region shut down for two weeks so that we could go celebrate, like maybe Christmas. But you could surprise, still get some, like, two minutes. So in two days,
yeah, but not like a full, weaker, long
two weeks. This is two weeks, and we’re trying every day. It’s
like a very Asian thing. Even China shuts down for like a month. It’s crazy.
I’m so I actually had to take another flight to Delhi, Um, before I got to see any anti and when I saw an anti he goes, I’ve been I’ve been doing this all my life. He was, like, 70. I’ve never seen a case of aero sinusitis. That’s what I had. Or Barrow trauma. I’ve never seen a case this bad. There’s no way you should have flown more than once. When is your next flight? And I was like, I’m going back to America. And three days and he goes, Oh, no, you need to be, like on steam. And, um, all these blood thinners you need to be on this for a least two months before you fly again was like, Well, I got split two days, and he’s just size and guest. Well, good
luck. Hey. Hey. He knew at that point there was nothing he could say to change what you were going to dio. And that’s I’m sure a lot of doctors feel that way all the time. Ah, sometimes is the agency owner. I’m like, Hey, Mr Client. Mrs. Client, we got it. We need to make these changes in, and they’re like, Well, x y z reason we can’t do a b c. And I’m like, Okay, good luck. Yeah, that happens to you to second relate
s. So that’s the story of what brought me out to India. And then this last time there I’m not gonna say that Hollywood was shallow. I spent some time in Hollywood. I made a lot of great friends. I just realized that Hollywood had its base is more less covered in a lot of ways. Whereas India there was a lot of growth and development that could contribute Thio. So that’s sort of the story about India.
So So let’s let’s talk about one last thing and then we’ll wrap up here. So where do you think the future is? Is going with e commerce development? Just any future outlook. You think, you know, Let’s think post Corona virus impact. Where do you think the future the world’s going?
Oh, man, What a great question, I think touching back on what you mentioned earlier. E commerce is not only recession proof. I think this has shown us that without e commerce, we all be screwed. Um, we would be like, I’m seriously living right now on food delivery because I guess I had assumed during this locked down I wasn’t gonna be a four order because the grocery store was gonna stay open, that sort of thing on, that’s what was publicized that you wouldn’t have to panic. You know, like, please don’t panic. The grocery stores will stay open
when they tell you to stop hoarding. That’s when you know you need to be hoarding. Ah, that’s a prepper mentality.
In ah, retrospect, I might have done that, but, you know, and everything was going as planned for the 1st 5 days of state home or whatever. And then there was reports just yesterday or two days ago that the colony over had an outbreak at a mosque, Um, where they were, like, 1400 people. So now I think they’re coming door to door and testing. And I noticed when I went out to get, um, some essentials actually did need a fire starter for my stove, so I can cook. I ended up with matches, but, um, they the grocery stores suddenly closed. I’m like, Oh, no, because now they’re worried it’s a colony over, so they’re not showing up for work. Um, which makes a lot of sense. Obviously don’t want these people to get sick, but, you know, it’s, um uh, without Amazon. I’m not sure what I’d be doing and not so much Amazon, but without the food delivery and without e commerce. I think we just be the honesty. The situation’s made me think about what I’d do if I was forced back into hunter gatherer society and if I’d even make it
roots. Yeah, I know I wouldn’t. I got a problem with a woodpecker damaging my chimney right now, and I’m like, Could I even hit that if I needed to? Yeah. Yeah,
right now, I don’t know what I would do. And it’s been really humbling to think about how many people in humanity lived without it. I mean, we are so privileged to sense that I’m not sure I would know where to start. Um, so I’m obviously grateful for God and everything he’s given us and and where we’re at, um, yeah, economist. The future be commerce is interesting, and I will bring it back to India. Um, I’ve done some work out here or just met a friend with this group called Indian Clusters, and she’s written some very interesting papers on kind of where India’s at and your people should be thinking about this tooth as Steve India’s. Basically her analysis is that basically the market for India e commerce is only hit about 2% of where it could go. Wow. So we have room for so much growth and this is these are people who could be used. They could jump on Amazon. They could do it other ways. They could do it through their own system, whatever. But this sheer amount of materials and products that are sitting on streets being sold in traditional market place settings that could work in an e commerce setting is pretty profound. And it would really shift the way that India looked in terms of their economy. So So that’s something that I think here, at least we’re going to see people embrace the commerce more and say, Hey, we can’t live without this and then start to see some radical shift and that number goes from 2% to 10%. We’re talking about adding, I mean that that adds 140 million new, um, customers, people, customers to to your base, which is, I think, 1/3 of the size of the U. S. So
so real quick on Amazon in India. How how big of a platform is that from your perspective today and you know, like how many people use it.
Everybody uses it.
So So the Amazons, big in India, then
Not only is Amazon big in India, it makes me want to buy more stock in Amazon. Because the thing is is that I don’t want to see people are lazy, but people left convenience, and they’re more willing to pay for convenience than quality. And a lot of times nowadays, um, which doesn’t say you can’t get high quality products, it’s more about the convenience side of this. There are ways to get the same product cheaper by going to the market for sure in India. But when I was getting my house set up, I went Amazon all the way because of walk to them. All right, in terms of my hourly rate, cost me more than it, right more than I would say our But Amazon is still charging American prices in India. So So it was one of those things where I was like, huh? I’m not getting the price break that I get everywhere else in India. The cost of living price break through Amazon, and they they’re just gonna keep growing here. So I was like that Amazon stock’s gonna keep going up, boys, because there’s gonna be that sort of thing all over the world and is more and more people become economically capable of buying things off Amazon here, which I think is down to happen. It’s just gonna grow. And India, it must be one country amongst 50. That has to say in scenario. So,
yeah, they’re getting it off in the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Middle East has been a big push the Middle East in the last 30 days as well. Do you eat a So we’ll see what happens. Well, Sean, it was awesome, um, catching up with you and terrifying at the same time to hear about your your flight in and Sinus issues. That’s terrifying. But ah, God bless with the with your efforts to help out in India while you’re there. And while you’re there by choice or stuck, I’m not sure which at the moment. But But God bless you, sir.
Hey, thanks for having me, Stephen. And good luck with everything in all of your of your customers as well. I hope you guys have great success and try not to sell the toilet paper. You might need some yourself
I do have a toilet paper client. And yes, they stocked out. They sold out. All right, Well, thank you guys. That is theme I Amazon Guy podcast. And my name is Stephen Pope on the founder of You Need any Amazon consulting Goto my Amazon guy dot com And we hope you send it this podcast. Three people, three people is all it takes to spread the word. Thanks so much.

Photography Tips with Jeff Delacruz President of POW Photography #25

Unedited Transcript

today we’ll be talking about photography and what it takes to have good photos. My name is Stephen Pope, and I’m the founder of my Amazon guy. This is theme I Amazon Guy podcast. All right, so now I’m joined by Jeff Dela Cruz, who’s the president of power photography or products on white photography. I’ve thanks for Thanks for joining me, Jeff. I appreciate it
happy to be here,
so I’ve personally used their service and absolutely recommend them to my clients. And some of my clients have also used their service, and I think there are go to place of professional photography. But just to start us off on our podcast today to qualify you as an expert in the space, can you walk us through why you guys are the go to place? Why do you think you guys are doing it right, so to speak?
Sure. So products on life photography we specialize in just white background product photos for e commerce. Amazon Sellers. That’s our specialty. That’s what we do. 9 to 5. Monday through Friday, seven days a week. Um, right now we got seven full time photographers shooting this stuff every day. Um, and one of the things that really makes a special. Besides, the fact that we’ve photographed hundreds of products for thousands of sellers, um is that we really focus on quality. So I think a lot of sellers out there I’m sorry. A lot of photographers out there we’ll just stick it in a light tent or just use cookie cutter lighting. We’re not doing that. One thing that we’re doing that’s really special is actually lighting these products in a very special way. So if you imagine we have these big sets such a product on their we look atyour match directions and we can copy it exactly. We can say all we want to highlight here, or we want toe, uh, at a little bit of fill in the cider at a hard shadow. Um, each product is being lists, especially and then retouched. We do a lot of compositing to really make it look beautiful and just putting this. You’re putting your product in a light tan and taking a shot. There’s no way you could make it look this good. So that’s really what we do best.
I I completely agree with you and the reason I know this is because I tried to shoot some photos of my wine glasses and they looked like trash. And so then I sent one to you guys, and it looked way better. I also sent one of my glasses into Amazon’s photo service and yours be theirs as well. So, um, so yeah, definitely would prop you up. Is an expert in this space here. Um, how did you come up with the name of your company?
Well, you know, it’s products on my backgrounds. We wanted to keep it pretty. Uh, pretty simple. So products on Wait. Um, and then we were like, Wow, this is kind of cool. We could call it Powell. So we call power for short when we’re talking to people. You know, the answer. The phone. How How can I help you? You know, it’s,
uh how can I help you there, Ugo? That’s great.
So, uh so, yeah, so I don’t know. It’s ah, just want to make a simple
and so right now is you know, the economy is going through this crazy revolution on, and as I understand it, you started your company in the middle of the last economic fallout back in 2000 and walk me through that.
Yeah. So, um, first of all, I’ve been a photographer for a really long time at this point, Um, you know, So I remember what it was like to be a photographer before, before the 2008 meltdown. And, um so it was me and my business partner in 2008. Um, is we just lost all our business as freelancers? June custom stuff, lifestyle stuff. Um, and but one thing that kept coming in was the’s just white background photos and people just wanted, like, one or two shots of their product. But as a professional, we would build it as a day rate. We would say, Oh, you want a full day of shooting? That would be, you know, 5 500 to $1000 a day or something like that. And that was just ridiculous. If you just wanted one product photo on a white background. So we’re like, there’s gotta be a way we can help all these sellers, right? And so that’s how we created our system, where we flat rated per photo where you can send send it in order online, sinister products but what it was. But the genesis of that when we came to realize is that, um is that this was the kind of the beginning of the Amazon gold rush. And this was these were sellers that had been laid off of their job. They had kind of maybe lost faith in having job security. And they were like they wanted to take their, um they’re, ah, life into their own hands, right? And this was a way that they could do it. They could say I could I could get my own products from China and resell them on Amazon. Or I could create a brand and sell it on Amazon and was super easy back then. It’s a little bit harder now. I think that’s
why we’re in business.
That’s right. That’s why you’re around here. Uh, but back then it was so much easier. And I think it was a real opportunity for people to kind of take control of their lives. And I think we’re probably going to see that again. Maybe differently. Now. I think it’s gonna be more established. Businesses that have kind of resisted the e commerce push that are saying
I’ll have no choice.
Now, I have no choice. Yeah, we have a couple of clients like that right now. You are
mad, Dash. Okay, we’re gonna shoot 1000 photos. We need We need this by Friday. Come on, Jeff.
Get exactly exactly
sure that’s coming in. Uh, it’s definitely definitely chaotic right now. So, um, so let’s get into the heart of our conversation today. Photography is an art that is hard to get, right. And you’re an expert. You can speak to both the art and the science behind photography. So? So this question would not surprise me if it took us the majority of our podcast to get through. But what makes a good photo?
Oh, man, that’s such a ah e. It’s a cultural Ah, kind of, like, you know, aa dark hole there because you could really go into, Like, what? What do we like? You know what? What is pleasing to us? What do we need? You know, maybe we could just kind of compartmentalize this to just, um, Like what? What is going to encourage people on Amazon to click my listing photo? Right? Because when I think about it, when I think about Amazon, that may listen. Image is the most important image into getting somebody to click. And, um, and if somebody doesn’t search for like like, um, like, lip balm, bunch of it lip balms are gonna show up. One of them is gonna be your image. And the rest of you were going to be your hundreds of other competitors, right? And making optimizing that image. Making that image look good is the real question I think that we need to focus on, I think.
Yeah, yes. Oh, so I agree with you, and I teed that question of knowing it was impossible to answer. Right. But, like so we’re gonna try, and we’re gonna try and tackle that question and compartmentalize it a little bit. So, uh, clearly, a lot of people know at this stage that they need their main photo on white all ah, power photography pictures on white photography. And and so but there’s a lot of elements that go into it. So, like, walk me through why your studio shot is superior to that light kit tent, if you will.
Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, I think first of all, you know you. You got to get beyond the idea that you just got to meet the requirements. The Amazon image requirements for that main list image is just, ah, product on a white background. That’s like the bare minimum. Right? And anybody can really do that. Um, you know, you could just put up a piece of white paper and take a photo of your product, and you’ve done it right? But that’s not what we’re talking about here we’re talking about How do I win that click? How doe. I have my photo stand out. And really, it’s all about how you light the product. How do you make it different? How do you make it look better? Um, you know. Ah. And I think that’s that’s what that means is different to every product. So, for example, like we could shoot a bottle you’re talking about like a white wine bottle before.
Yeah, So wine glass I’ve got No, I don’t have
a glass.
Well, maybe I d’oh. So a wine glass is very difficult to shoot photography wise. Cause of the lighting because of the refraction of the glass makes it really, really difficult. So we packed these really well, that’s why it took me so long and hear that crackling in the background, if you just listening in. So
like a transparent glass with some type on the front, very difficult product and to photograph.
And as I put this on the Webcam for those that are watching the video, you can see the refraction of the wine glasses. I rotated around very difficult to actually read what’s on the Glass. And so when I was trying to get this wine glass shot, we would throw liquids into it. We would try and take without a liquid shot and play around with it. And it’s not easy, not easy at all.
Yeah, and I think like a lot of people find us when they’re struggling to kind of take these type of product photos because you’re just you’re just not gonna be able to make that look good on your own. Not unless you have all the right gear and know how to use it.
And that’s probably the probably the biggest piece of advice I give my listeners is. Don’t even try to take the photos yourself. I would just hire the professional from the start the costs and the time investment I made personally when I was trying to figure this stuff out is well dwarfed by the the ease and use of your product service. And and so you cannot just hire a photographer off the street or a freelancer local to you. Shooting for e commerce is a completely different game. So So walk me through some of the things that you’ve learned over the years that you know can when you take a photo like mistakes that are commonly made maybe.
Sure. So, um, you know, I’m gonna focus on that wine glass and tell you how I would photograph it. So And I guess I guess this is just indicative of me being, ah, product photographer whose shot hundreds of products on my backgrounds. You know, Um and just like the rest of our staff, we can just look at a product and know exactly how to photograph it before we even put it on set. So how I would photograph that wine glass is I would bring it on set. I would set the background and light the background separately. Um, I know a specific color number that I wanted to be, which is around 250 which is which is like a white but not 100% white. So there’s a little bit of density behind it, and that density is gonna go into the glass itself. Now the problem is, is if you just put it in there and light it evenly, then everything’s gonna disappear. So we’re gonna need to use some placards on the sides to kind of create some shape. If you go black, it’ll go completely black on the sides, and that glass is gonna actually reflect it. So you’re actually doing with the reflection off of the black cards as opposed to the actual lighting of it? I don’t know. That makes sense.
It makes every sense to me because I’ve been through this motion before, but I know it’s pretty nervy for those that are. Listen, you have never picked up a camera before. It’s it’s that, like, you know, some of the cured you mentioned, like density, refraction or reflection of the black cars and stuff. I mean, it’s complex to get right, like I totally get it. Um, so when you so what do you think is some of those mistakes that could be made, like not putting black cards, choosing the wrong light density number? Like what? What?
Well, that’s the thing is like, if you’re trying to do this yourself, you wouldn’t even get to this point of your questioning. You know, like, you know, like like you’re you’re if you’re doing it yourself. Your basic problems are How do I get a white sweep and how do I get light coming in? So, like, um, I’ve taught classes on D i Y product photography. And, um, you know, the biggest mistake is first of all, trying to do it like a professional, like you’re just not gonna be able to do it, because in a multi lights set up, you need to have an understanding of what I like to call photography math. I was a professor for a while. I talk some photography, and, um, and one of the things we could teach is how to balance lights. Right. So if we have a key light overhead just lighting the entire glass, which is providing the even light, we want to set that at Let’s just say we want to set about it. 1 1/100 of a second F 16 and I s o of 100. Right then we want to add the the ah, some highlights down the side, which we want to do it like minus one. And we could do that with soft boxes or some sort of reflective panel. Right? And we would like that separately. Um, I can keep going, but I think you kind of get the understood. The point is that if you want to get to this professional level, you need to first understand the photography math and then understand how to set up the basic tools. Um, so I think he kind of get where I’m going here.
I like that. So So we way said. We mentioned earlier on that there is both an art and a science to photography. The last bit was very focused on that science and even fashion photo math. I don’t think most people would have thought about that when they’re thinking of photography. And that’s really interesting to kind of, uh, say out loud. You know, if I’m a customer shopping on Amazon, I personally would not know how complicated it is to sell on Amazon, and it’s a super complicated process, right? So
it right,
I’ll bring a college kid. You just graduated out of college and training mint and bring him a member of the Miami Zahn Guy team. And usually there’s two re occurring comments I’ll get. The first is they’re They’re surprised at the amount of navigation that they have to do to get a product to sell on Amazon. I would second that that’s probably applicable to photography. And the second point that they, um, usually make is man. I had no idea how much stuff goes into this or how complicated it is. So photography very much could be the same boat as well. Um, so as a buyer, when I’m looking at the product listing search page on Amazon and I and I see these hundreds of commoditized products out there, you know why? Why would why would the customer click on this photo versus another’s is a debatable conversation. So So let’s let’s So we talked about basic starting point. We talked a little bit about a couple of common photo mistakes and how amateurs can’t be professionals, and we get that What Is there any tips that you would suggest that let’s say someone who was gonna higher power photography. What? What kind of shots do you think they need to obtain from you to be successful on Amazon?
Yeah, When working with us. You know, really, the best thing to do is just first survey. They’re the competition. Just see what everybody else is doing with their photos, right? There’s gonna be one or two. They’re just knocking it out of the park. And if you can’t find any, you can search other product categories with similar similar shaped products. What? You were looking for our photos that just, like, really stand out to you. And then if you’re working with us, all you gotta do is just take a screenshot and say, Make it look like this. That’s literally all you gotta do, right? Point. I want this and then send us that image in the shot list. And then you can also say, Oh, I want to look like this, but I want the angle. I want the I want the box next to the product instead. You know of this of this arrangement. So we have arrangements and we have, ah, lighting match images that you can you can provide for us.
One of the things I really like about your website is it has a bunch of tutorials on how to go about the ordering process, because it is hard to connect. Um, the purchaser of said photos I’II an Amazon cellar to the photographer and outlining the desired outcome. Right. And so you have tutorials on, like, how to, um, show you. Those look like photos like you mentioned. Show the competition you also have. Ah, you know, if if you want shots taken, shoot him with your cell phone and give us those examples and will replicate him. I thought that’s a very visual, easy way to transfer the requests on. And I gotta say, I give you props for how your websites built to handle those orders.
Thanks. Yeah, you know, and the whole thing is like, we know that that our buyers air, not our customers are not photographers, you know, And very rarely do we work with somebody who’s able to art direct us at ah, at like a really complex level. You know, it’s it’s very uncommon. So we have to we have to be ableto have a ah way of communication between a non photographer and a photographer, and that way is visual, right? Just writing it out. But that’s gonna help us, you know, but taking cell phone shots of something everybody can d’oh!
And I think that’s a great way to do it. So props to you on in boarding that’s into your website ordering system. Um, okay, so So if you had, um, had the floor right now and you just wanted to tell Amazon sellers out there a piece of advice. What would you tell them?
You know, there’s there’s really a kind of a progression. I think that every cellar needs to go through. Um, I believe that every cellar just needs to get to market as fast as possible. Just get your listing up there, get your stuff out there. And I realized that, um, you know, that might mean just taking your own cell phone photos. And if you’re going to do that like there’s lots of tutorials out there, we have one with Shopify on how to use window light to shoot yourself, and it’s just a great way to just kind of get up there. But once you’re up there, it’s time to start optimizing just like you’re gonna optimize your ads just like you’re gonna optimize your copy. Um, you know, optimize your photos because that’s the kind of the next stage to kind of level up, and you’re never gonna level up with just these d i Y photos. But I do think you should get the market.
So I I really like that comment, because, um, we’re very action oriented as an agency. Um, there’s a lot of agencies that our perception based and we’re like the opposite of that. Like, we don’t have a photo of me shaking hands with Jeff Basil on my website. You can find that we’re not networking. We barely leave the house because we’re so busy. Kind of like what you mentioned You guys were shooting photos all the time. Yeah, but ah, getting to market and doing whatever you can to growth hack to get up and running It couldn’t couldn’t agree more with you on that. Um, Okay, so So here’s some random questions. What’s the hardest product you ever shot and why?
Oh, yeah. We had the set of uh, of whiskey, um, glasses and had a cantor in it. And just like the glass was telling me it had this white text on it. And you know that first we had to get the glass, and then we had to go in there and extract all the text. Incident meant selecting it all and, uh, just doing in post. It was a lot of work, you know, So stuff like that is extremely difficult, but I mean, I mean, we probably sh shot over 200,000 different product photos over the last 10 years. And that’s only the one of them, you know. So I
totally get it. All right, on the other side of the spectrum, what’s what’s an easy product? You can shoot all day long.
We love shooting bottles, you know, Senator Bottles. But I would say, like one of the things that we do really, really good is beauty products. Um, because we’re able to get really custom with lighting. And our our photographers love it because beauty sellers tend to be focused on, you know, beauty imagery. There’s a lot of really great brands out there that really set the bar. Really high with their photography. And so, um, people that are new to the beauty category often reference, um, some of these high end brands and have us match that we just we just love doing that kind of stuff. So
we have a lot of beauty clients, very high demand on Amazon. I had one referral tree were my first beauty client, recommended, like three others. And then those three recommended three other suits, so I think we have a lot of beauty clients. Yeah, so off to keep that in mind. Okay. So ah, you probably have an opinion on, like, there’s probably a service that you are you offer. You think people should take more advantage of, Or maybe like, a photo that customers aren’t asking for. That you think would just be awesome and make their sales go through there? What do you think people are missing right now?
So, um, the biggest question that we get is do you guys shoot lifestyle photos? And you know, I think the anatomy of a kn Amazon listing is really your main listing image. Your secondary images that are kind of benefit focused. Oh, our feature focus. And then these these lifestyle images, and for a long time we weren’t able to offer that, because shooting lifestyle stuff is really challenging right to do a lifestyle shoot for real. Kind of like what I was doing is a freelancer before I started. How is a huge production? It costs thousands of dollars like we’re talking like $2000 just to get into it. And the reason why is because, first of all, you have to have a model that model needs to wear clothes and have their makeup all all done. Then you need an environment to shoot it in, and then you gotta You gotta feed all the people that are there and you got to do the shoot. And then you got to do all the post processing, and you can really only get like 10 looks done a day if you’re really working hard and it’s just really expensive. And if you’re an Amazon cellar, that’s just an absurd amount of money to spend for a secondary list. So based on that, we started a service pretty recently, maybe about six months ago, that we’re just really going to market with right now, called Amazon uh, lifestyle composite photos. It’s kind of a long man. You called. We called stock Stock Composites is another short name for it, but it’s really cool because of what we do, is we? We start with a stock photo. So if you go to Istock Photo, there’s all these images that have been pre created with professional models and professional scenes in a professional environment. So imagine, like a professional model photographed in the kitchen, right? And she’s just leaning up against the counter. And imagine your product is a blender bottle right now, instead of actually going out and photographing this blender bottle in that scene, we can actually look at the way the stock photo was created, the lighting and stuff and then will photograph the blender bottle and light it in the same way so that it matches that stocks. That stock scene and then our re touches will retouch it into the scene so that it looks perfect and we’re really good at this. And, ah, it’s only 150 bucks per photo, and it’s a great way to create these lifestyle photos at a really high, high end professional level.
I’ve got a client that I’m thinking of would be a good fit for this. They have, ah, lights. And, like, flush mounts and stuff like that, They would be a great candidate. I’m gonna I’m writing that down right now to make sure I go refer that one for composite shots. That’s really good.
Yeah. We can definitely do stuff like that. Lights on a wall like you start with a room scene, um, or or hanging lights. We can do stuff like that. Um, you know, getting those scenes looking looking really good. Um, those lifestyle photos, um, I I’m really excited about this. This Ah, this new service we’re offering, So
all right, a couple more questions for you. So, Jack, what’s the what was the funnest product you ever had to shoot?
Oh, man. Um, so it’s like so many after, like, go down the list of
about off a couple. That’s fine. And then pick one you want to talk about Maybe
So we did. We did this huge project with Chlo Ron, which is this beauty product brand who’s really big out in ah, in in Europe. And they have a U. S presence. They’re not as big out here, but they’re huge brand, and they just got really creative with us. I love it when brands get creative with us, and they provide really good direction as to how to do it. And, um and they wanted to do this like hard light. Look where this hard light shadow was going across their product. It was kind of like an overhead kind of thing. Um, and it really kind of redefined. It created a whole new lighting style for us, and we way actually offer, um ah, background service called Hard light. Because of them on, it was just super fun to shoot. And we had a really great time, just kind of working around their specs and stuff. So, um, you know, brands, if you’re listening, you know, challenge us with some really fun and creative lighting.
That’s that’s awesome. It’ll definitely take a creative person to challenge you guys. I could guess. Yeah, All right. All right. So ah, types of photos. So there’s a lot of different types of photos that can be taken. Could you just, you know, quickly run me through the types and, you know, obviously got angle shots and close ups and far aways and whatever. Just walk me through some general general photo shots. People should get
so, um, in specific to Amazon. Sure think. Yeah. OK, so So I believe that the the anatomy of a perfect listing is a really awesome main listing image, right? And And that images needs to be really stand out amongst all your competitors, right? So in that in that category search or that keyword search, that image has to be different. It needs to pop its look great.
We’re nobody’s gonna click on it to begin with and
right or is right. You want to stand out, You want to be different, you know, And, um And then after that, there’s the’s other secondary listing images, right? So, um, I think one pitfall that people fall into is just doing the front back inside of their product. That’s not what those those images air for. Nobody cares about that. Where people really care about is, um, are images that sell features. You know, start talking about what makes your product special. So is it Is it extra big, you know, is it does it comes a pack. Is it tough? is it, you know, made of actual glass? I don’t know, like, and you can see you would take a product photo and then do, like, call outs on it. Maybe a little closer detail shots. And And instead of just showing what the product is in the secondary images really sell me on what makes this product special. And
I like that. So really, sell me. Show me the context of the item. Um, interesting pitfall conversation with front, back inside. Just too limiting. We got to go above and beyond that. Show me the context of why I should buy your product versus All
guys. Product with front, front, front, side and back shots. That makes sense. Right. Well, cool. Jeff. I appreciate you coming on the my Amazon guy a podcast today. Photography is obviously complex subject. Um, last question for you. Anything else you want to tell listeners before we end here today?
Um, yeah, I guess if you’re listening today, um, you know, these are hard times right now. It’s Ah, it’s crazy out there. Um, but hang in there. And, um, you know, now is the time to to create a brand and create a product. Um, is what happened the last time? We’ll get through this and Ah, yeah, Just keep pushing forward and keep selling.
Well, perfect. Thanks again, Jeff. For joining me. That was Jeff the presidents of power photography. And we appreciate you coming on. Thanks so much. All right, so that’s my Amazon broadcast. Feel
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