Here’s how to fight back against negative reviews (without getting in trouble with Amazon)

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

Getting a negative review really stinks. But it’s something that happens to even the best of us. No matter how hard you try or how on top of your game you are, you can never please everyone and mistakes are going to happen. They just are.

You don’t have to take the negative reviews lying down, however. There are steps you can take. And especially if the review is about an FBA item, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get it removed.

Below, I walk you through several processes for what you can do to get your negative Amazon reviews taken down. I start by talking about how to handle negative reviews about FBA items. Then, I switch gears to discuss reviews about non-FBA items (I also include several scripts that you can copy and paste and fill in the blanks).

Lastly, I share a tool that I recently started testing that’s given me excellent and very quick results so far.

That said, let’s get started…

Here’s how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon 

Negative reviews occur in two basic forms: those about FBA items and those about non-FBA items.

How you go about getting each of these types of reviews removed requires a different approach. And below, I’ll go over suggestions for each.

The basic process for getting negative reviews removed, however, is as follows:

Step 1: Find the review. 

You can search for negative reviews by hand (that is, going through each of your Amazon products and checking the star ratings).

Or, you can use some kind of tool. I really like AMZ Tracker (more on that below), although you do have to pay to use this, but you can try it for free for seven days.

Step 2: Get the review removed. 

Again, how you do this can depend on whether the review is about an FBA or a non-FBA item. But I’ll walk you through what you can do in each case below, starting with FBA items…

How to handle negative reviews about FBA items

Amazon will strike through any negative reviews about FBA items under the following conditions:

  • The feedback concerns fulfillment or customer service issues.
  • The feedback concerns a delayed item or an item arriving damaged.

To get rid of negative reviews manually…

  • Click the title of the review in question.
  • Click the Report abuse option.

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

  • In the window that pops up, click the Report button.

As another option, you can send an email to community-help@amazon.com with the following information:

  • Product ASIN
  • Date and time of the review
  • Reviewer’s name/alias
  • A link to the review
  • How the review is abusive or why it should be taken down.

Or, if you’d rather use a tool, like AMZ Tracker, to help with negative feedback…

Here’s how to remove negative FBA reviews with AMZ Tracker:

  • Sign in to http://rachelrofe.com/amz.
  • Click Negative Review Alerts
  • Look for any 1, 2, or 3 star reviews.
  • In a separate tab, go into your Amazon Seller Central account.
  • Click Help on the top right-hand side.
  • Click the Contact Us button at the bottom of the screen.
  • Click Selling on Amazon.
  • Scroll to click where it says Manger customer feedback.
  • On the left, click Products and Inventory.
  • Then, select Product Reviews.
  • Go back to AMZTracker, click the small series of numbers and letters below the negative review you’re looking at.
  • Line by line, copy and paste your responses to the questions being asked by Seller Central (see below — where it says Required action, write “This item was sent via FBA. Please remove review.“). Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.
  • Click Submit.

You may need to follow up a couple more times if Amazon doesn’t immediately take care of the review. We have often needed to follow up at least twice. And to help stay on top of your review-removal progress, we maintain a spreadsheet with the following headings, which has been really helpful.

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

But most of the time, if a review was written about an FBA item, Amazon eventually removed the review. So persistence does pay off.

If a review was written about a non-FBA item, however, a different approach is required…

Here’s how to handle negative reviews about non-FBA items

You need to bear in mind that Amazon isn’t likely to remove customer reviews on products that aren’t FBA unless the review violates one of Amazon’s guidelines, and in which case, you can report the review as abuse.

To learn more about Amazon’s guidelines for community participation, click here. But basically, Amazon considers a review to be unacceptable if…

  • It includes obscene language.
  • It includes personally identifiable information about the seller.

And if you think a particular review does violate Amazon’s terms, here’s how to get in touch:

  • Send an email to community-help@amazon.com.
  • Let Amazon know the specific location of the review and how you believe it violates the company’s guidelines.

If the review doesn’t go against Amazon’s guidelines, however, this is what you should do:

  1. Try to resolve the issue with the customer who wrote the review.
  2. See if the customer would then be willing to remove the negative review or post an update.

The biggest issue with handling this type of negative review is finding reviewers’ contact information (many reviewers use aliases when they post reviews).

You can try comparing the date the review was posted with received orders of the product that received the negative review. This is by no means a surefire tactic, however, as not everyone writes reviews as soon as they receive their orders.

So if this tactic doesn’t work out, here’s something else you can try…

Use Amazon’s Wish List feature to discover reviewers’ identities

  • Click the reviewer’s Amazon display name.

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

  • On the left, look to where to it says Lists (it might also say Wish lists and registries) and see if they have one.
  • Sometimes, you can find the reviewer’s real name under that list or if you click on it.

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

For example, when I clicked the “Wedding Registry” of this reviewer, I was able to discover her real first and last name even though she had used an alias as her review name.

You still may not be able to find a reviewer’s real name this way. But if you’re able to, you can then trace the reviewer’s order much more easily in your Amazon Seller Central account to get in touch.

And if this Wish List tactic doesn’t work, you can…

Use Amazon’s comment feature 

Rather than trying to discover a reviewer’s identity, you can use Amazon’s comment feature, located underneath reviews, to communicate with reviewers, asking them to contact you so you can help resolve the matter.

Here’s a script you can use for this: 

We’re sorry to hear you weren’t completely satisfied with your order. It’s our policy to make sure customers feel 100% satisfied with their purchases from us. To that end, we ask you to contact us through your Amazon account. We’re happy to help you resolve this matter however we can — for example, by providing you with a refund or a replacement item. Thanks!

And if reviewers take you up on your suggestion to get in touch, here’s what to do next:

For broken or damaged items…

Tell the customer you’re going to send them a replacement and get it shipped out right away.

Then, check back in a couple days to make sure the item’s been shipped. And once it’s been delivered, follow up with the customer 1-2 days later, asking if they’d consider removing the negative review now that they have the replacement.

This is the exact script we use with our customers: 

Hey [first name],

We’re writing to check if you had received your new [damaged item]?

If you received it, and as long as you’re happy with it, we would greatly appreciate it if you would consider removing your negative review. We’re a small business and negative reviews impact us a lot.

We really hope you love your new [replacement item] and feel satisfied with it! And if you do, we hope you’ll consider taking down your review or posting an update. 

Thanks very much for your time and consideration.

Take care,
[your name]

For negative reviews about any other types of issue…

If possible, try offering to resolve the issue in any way that you can. Then, you could offer customers either a digital download or a coupon code…

Digital download

You could offer a printout of the design that was on the product the customer originally ordered. Customers could then printout the design and do, basically, whatever they want with it.

Coupon code

You could offer a coupon code specifically to be used for other products that have the same design as the product they originally ordered. So, for example, if a customer ordered a mug with a pit bull design on it that they weren’t satisfied with, you could offer them a coupon code for a water bottle with the same pit bull design on it.

This way, you’re giving the customer access to something specific of value that they might want to buy.

For any customers who are willing to remove their negative reviews…

Make it as easy as possible for customers by providing them with the following step-by-step guide about how to remove a review:

  • Log into your Amazon account.
  • Go to Public Reviews Written By You.
  • Click the title of the review in question.
  • In the new tab that opens up, click the Delete button.

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

 

We also tried Feedback Express to see how effective it was at removing negative reviews.

You can test Feedback Express using the 30-day free trial. After that, though, it does have a monthly fee.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Go to FeedbackExpress.com and click the orange FREE 30-DAY TRIAL button at the top right.
  • Fill in your name and email, and create a password.
  • Click Start my free trial today.
  • Select your Channel (this will most likely be Amazon US).
  • Then, link your account.

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

  • Visit your dashboard.
  • Get your setup tested and completed by following these steps:

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

  • When it came to adding my first campaign, I went with all of the recommended options.

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

  • If everything looks good, set your campaign to live.

Feedback Express also lets you know when you have negative feedback that needs your attention, which you’re able to review and deal with using the tool.

You can see the name of the product that received the negative feedback along with the star rating, the date of the review, the reviewer’s name, and the review itself.

You’ll also see a red DEAL WITH THIS NOW button in the third column, which you can click on. After which, you’ll be prompted to select a method of handing the negative feedback:

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

If you choose “I’m going to open a case with Amazon to get it removed,” here’s a script you can use for your email:

Subject: Negative review removal request 

Hello, 

I am writing to request the removal of a negative review of the following item: [item’s name]. 

The negative feedback concerns [the gist of the negative review (this option works best for negative reviews about broken or damaged items)]. And since the item was FBA, I believe the review should be removed. 

The review was left on [date] by [reviewer’s name]. 

Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Thank you.

[your name] 

You’ll also be able to check Yes that your message concerns the removal of customer feedback.

And back in Feedback Express, you’ll be able to update the status of your product’s reviews so you can stay on top of making sure the negative feedback does, in fact, get removed.

I opened four cases with Amazon about having reviews removed using Feedback Express (all of which were FBA) and when I checked back after the weekend, all of the negative reviews had been removed. And I didn’t even need to follow up.

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

Moving forward…

We’ve only really been testing Feedback Express, just to see how it would work. And so far, it’s been working well, so we’re going to keep using it. In the future, Feedback Express may even alleviate the need to use the spreadsheet along with the other techniques we’ve talked about.

What about you, what techniques or tools have you been using to handle your negative Amazon reviews?

Here's how to get your negative reviews removed from Amazon.

Here’s what happened when I tried to make some passive income on photo-sharing websites

Repurposing your creations or content is a great way to maximize your money, time, and/or effort.

You can earn income or win back time without having to start from scratch. And because of that, I’m always looking for ways to turn things I’ve already created (like an article or design) into something else.

One of the more recent things I’d been testing was putting my Low Hanging System designs up for sale on photo-sharing websites.

I wanted to see if it was an easy win to make money using those other sites.

The four photo-sharing sites I used were…

  1. Shutterstock
  2. Adobe Stock
  3. Alamy
  4. Crestock

Other sites exist, but these sites are the easiest and have the most straightforward signup processes. They were all free too, which I consider when trying to make accessible case studies for everyone.

This was what we did:

  1. Sign up for each site (you’ll learn how to do that below).
  2. Upload 10-35 designs almost every day for close to 3 months (you’ll also learn how to do that below).

Here are a few of the designs we uploaded that people actually bought, but we also uploaded plenty of text-based designs (example below):

The point of the case study was to experiment, experiment, experiment.

I didn’t give much direction at all.

The process of adding designs doesn’t take too much time – maybe 1-2 minutes per design at max. And it seemed like just like with the normal LHS methods, you need to add a lot of different designs to each site to increase your odds of having some get downloaded.

Here Are The Results We Got In About 9 Weeks:

Our first download was approved on March 10th and today is May 16th. This is what’s happened so far:

Shutterstock

This section will have the most detail since it’s where we got our best results (though not necessarily fantastic).

Here’s a birds eye view of what happened:

sell photos on stock photography sites

 

Not stellar, I know. But keep reading.

Of the 322 images that got approved, 176 (roughly 54.66%) were text based and 146 (roughly 45.34%) were image based.

Of the 21 downloads we were paid for, 7 of them (33%) were text-based designs.

That was surprising! I figured that since these are stock PHOTO sites, the text wouldn’t do too well – but I mostly only have text designs and figured it was worth a whirl.

We even got sales on things that I NEVER would’ve thought would sell, like this:

 

Crazy, right? I would think someone could easily make this on their own.

There were also a lot of image rejections – about 25% of what we uploaded. Here were some of the more popular rejection reasons:

– Complex auto-traced illustrations are unacceptable. (This was the biggest one)

– A reference image is required or the attached reference image does not resemble the final image. (One of these was called “Berlin.jpg” and had a picture of the city of Berlin)

– Incorrect Illustration Designation: This image cannot be designated as an illustration. Please do not check the “Illustration” checkbox when submitting.

– Title must be descriptive of the subject matter and must be in English. Titles cannot contain special characters, spelling/grammar errors, or repeat words/phrases in excess. (One of these had 3 different words, none of them were typos.)

We also had weird things where they’d say we had trademark issues on things that clearly weren’t trademarked. But given how fast it is to upload, it wasn’t a huge deal.

And now that we know the auto-traced illustrations aren’t acceptable, we can avoid them in the future.

Here were results from the other sites:

Adobe Stock
Downloads: 1
Earnings: $.71

Alamy
Downloads: 0
Earnings: $0

Crestock
Downloads: 0
Earnings: $0

As you can see, we only sold designs on Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. And Adobe was just ONE design – so I’d stick with Shutterstock only from here on out.

Reflections

Here are some overall thoughts from this experiment.

a. This case study turned into a numbers game, as many of the designs my assistants submitted got rejected for one reason or another. The goal became to upload as many designs as possible to each of the photo-sharing websites and then see what got published.

b. You never know what will sell – I was shocked to find 7 of the 21 downloads were text-only, and a “Best Respiratory Therapist Ever” one? Crazy.

c. We didn’t study Shutterstock SEO or anything like that. There may be some tweaks that could make things go a lot better.

d. $5 isn’t a huge deal. But doing the math over the course of a year, you’d be “making” $8.93 an hour – with more potential – by uploading your designs.

Here’s how I figured that out.

First, to be fair, this is based on 322 designs and some of them were added in a week or two ago. I think it’s very reasonable to assume $5/month from the 322 we have thus far.

If we say we’re going to add in 1,000 designs, that’s 3.1x what we have now.

$5 at 3.1x would mean you’d make $15.50 a month or $186/year for who knows how many years.

And of course I’m computing everything based on OUR numbers, but it’s very likely that the more you likely you find a big winner – just like with Low Hanging System. But we’ll assume my metrics.

You need to spend time getting each photo ready. Each one needs to be at least 4 megapixels (easy to batch change with MerchResizer.com) and in .jpg format. Each photo also needs a keyword (you can just click their suggestions or take a few seconds to add in your own), a category (a few seconds), and a brief description (which can be typing out the name of the image).

Assuming you bulk batched big quantities at a time, it’s fair to say you’re spending 1 minute per design.

Now to factor in for rejections, let’s say you had to spend 1.25 minutes for every design to get to 1000 approved designs.

I’m also considering here that these designs are ones you’ve been using for LHS, not that you’re creating NEW designs.

1000 designs = 1250 minutes = 20.833 hours for $186/year (which I really think would go up if you added in more designs).

That’s $8.93/hour for your first year…

BUT:

– There are more years – if we assume 2 years of $186/month, your hourly rate goes to $17.86. If we assume 5 years, you’re making $44.64/hour

– You may stumble upon winners that make more than what I’ve sold

– This helps you hedge against LHS designs that may not have sold. Some of the items we’ve sold with ShutterStock never sold on mugs.

– You can follow the rules better than we did and not have so many rejected designs. If you spend 1 minute per design then you end up making $11+/hour for your first year.

Personally I’m working on higher-ROI activities *but* I would be curious to see what would happen if we uploaded more and found winners. If we have slow periods I might ask my outsourcers to throw up more designs to see. We could also look into Shutterstock SEO.

I guess it’s really up to you and whatever point in your journey you are. Making any hourly rate might be useful for you – and I get it, if so.

If you want to try your hand at it…

How To Sign Up And Start Adding Designs

Here’s how to get started with each of the sites we worked with although as I mentioned, Shutterstock is probably the only worthwhile one:

Shutterstock

How to sign up:

  • Click the Become a Contributor link at the top right.
  • In the tab that opens up, click Sign up now.
  • Fill out your information to join the community and click Next.

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

  • Check your email and click the verification link.
  • Enter your address information and click next.

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

  • On the next page, upload your ID (passport, driver’s license, or state ID). It takes 2-3 days to verify, but you can start adding images right away.

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

How to add designs:

  • Login to your Shutterstock Contributor account.
  • Click the Upload images button.
  • Drag and drop your files where prompted (files should be either .eps or .jpg and at least 4.0 megapixels) and click next.
  • On the next page, select the image you want to upload, fill in the information (see below), and click submit.

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

Adobe Stock

How to sign up:

  • Click the blue Sell images button on the top right-hand side.
  • Click Get started.
  • Fill in your Adobe Stock Contributor information and click Sign up.

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

  • Look for your confirmation email and click the provided link.
  • Make the appropriate selection: Yes, I’m a Fotolia Contributor or No, I’m not. Proceed to next step.
  • Assuming you’re not, on the next page you should be able to upload designs to start selling.

How to add designs: 

  • Sign into your Adobe Stock account and click the Sell button at the top.
  • Click the Upload button and either drag and drop or browse files on your computer.
  • Fill in the image’s information and related keywords (see below).

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

  • Click Submit for approval.

Alamy

How to sign up:

  • Go to Alamy.com and click the Sign up button.
  • Choose Sell images from the dropdown.
  • Fill in your information as a contributor (see below).

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

  • Agree to Alamy’s Contributor Contract and its TOS and click Sign up.
  • Click the blue Get Started button.
  • Choose your upload route (Stock –> Illustration) and click Next.
  • Upload 3 images (you need to submit 3 images for your first stock submission, and images need to be at least a 17MB file when uncompressed, which is a .jpg size of around 3-5MB) and click Submit.
  • Title your submission and click Finish upload.

How to add more designs: 

  • Login to your Alamy account.
  • Click My Alamy and choose My dashboard from the dropdown.
  • Click the blue Upload button, choose your upload route, and click Next.
  • Drag and drop images or browse files on your computer.
  • Title your submission and click Finish upload.
  • Your image will then need to pass Alamy’s quality control and you’ll get an email within 24 hours about it.
  • If your image is approved, you’ll be able to add specifications and tags to improve its search visibility.

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

Crestock

How to sign up:

  • Go to Crestock.com and click Log in.
  • Click the green SIGN UP NOW button.
  • Fill in the required fields (see below).

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

  • Check your email and click the login URL and log into your new account.

How to add designs: 

  • Log into your account.
  • Click the Upload images link under Selling images.
  • Where it says Choose file, select .jpg and vector files from your computer and click Upload files. (You can upload up to 10 files a week).
  • Click Process new files when you’re ready. (Your uploads will then be queued for processing and you’ll get an email when they’re ready for your review and to be submitted.)

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

  • You’ll also need to review and agree to the Artist Image Upload Agreement.

What do you think?

I’m genuinely curious what you think about this.

Do you think it’s worth adding your designs to a photo-sharing site, like Shutterstock?

Is there something else you’d like us to test out?

Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

I’m crap at responding sometimes but I do read and appreciate every comment.

Increase your ecommerce earnings by adding images to photo-sharing websites.

5 All-stars share their journeys from just starting out to winning at LHS

Here what 5 all-stars have to say about how they achieved ecommerce success.

You might remember that a couple months ago I decided to share a bit about the journeys of three real Low Hanging System members.

(You can view the post here.)

Well, I’ve since talked to more members and learned more about their experiences, including practical tips for how to succeed with LHS and what they do to keep up their mindset when things get tough.

I think hearing real stories from real people is just so powerful. And if you’d like to be interviewed too, please let me know!

Now, without further ado, let’s check out the full interviews with LHS members “Veronica” (a pseudonym for someone who wishes to remain anonymous), Fred, Kimberly, and Christine.

How did you get started making money online?

Veronica:

I started with Ebay in 2002 as a hobby, did some affiliate link marketing through the years, started some private label products in 2013 for a few years and then bought Rachel’s program along with a Facebook ads and POD course in 2016.

Jacob:

I got started making money online back in 2012 when I found out I was going to be a father. I was looking for online ventures to make extra income.

Fred:

I’ve sold personal items (used) on eBay since 1998, but as far as e-com goes, I opened a Shopify store in the fall 2015.  I’m terrible with ads so it was a very slow start and still is.  I differ from most in that I’m actually building a brand that I’m passionate about, not just trying to sell whatever junk is trending currently.  I now have other stores where I do sell “junk” but I’m not at all passionate about them.

Kimberly:

I’ve always been more drawn to creativity so when I was younger I used to make and sell bookmarks for my classmates in middle school. One day my teacher found out and she said it wasn’t really part of the school policies, so I had to stop selling to my fellow elementary classmates. However as the years progressed I got more into putting my artwork online on places such as Zazzle and Fine Art America after seeing another girl take what she created and made money off of it.

Christine:

I got started about 10 years ago in affiliate marketing. I was creating simple web pages and blog posts that directed traffic to offers and products for a commission.

Did you see success quickly?

Veronica:

It depends how you define success. My private label product did sell well for a few months in 2014, but overall I spent money on inventory or ads without being profitable for most of my online endeavors. I quit my corporate job thinking I was going to scale my private label business, but it actually took me 2 years of going through my savings trying to make that business model work. I didn’t know how to source products or launch well enough on Amazon. Then, I saw Rachel’s program LHS and saw that it was beginner friendly. I ignored it for a year while I was doing the Facebook ads model, and finally ran out of money doing $20 tests on Facebook.

I got desperate right before Christmas with $200 left in my credit card; it was make money or go get a job. With nothing to lose, decided to try LHS 11/02/2017 because the inventory was free until someone purchased, that’s what I could afford. I did well over Christmas, selling $10,000 of POD and my old private label products on Amazon plus $650 fast cash on Etsy, to my complete surprise. Rachel’s system is the first time I saw profits after 4 weeks of starting the system and following it.  I didn’t use PPC, just organic Amazon and Etsy traffic over Christmas and Valentine’s while I was learning what customers wanted and are looking for.

My LHS journey started 11/2. What I took from private labeling was the ability to research good keywords for my designs. I finally saw traction and clicks when I used Amazon searched buyer keywords. The mugs with lower competition but with strong keywords were how I started selling 4 mugs a day after 4 weeks of putting up mugs and tweaking. At 246 designs, I saw one of my mugs sell well. And then I expanded to LOTS of words and mugs in that niche. Christmas flew by as I was in a listing frenzy to earn back money to pay off $1500 I borrowed from a friend to pay for the on demand inventory.

Jacob:

No, not at all. It took at least 1 year before I began earning up to $500/mo. which was my goal at that time.

Fred:

No not all.  Going back the brand/Shopify store, I had a bunch of shirts printed and sold them at car shows in 2016.  Sometime in 2016 I purchased the LHS for the first time and then began slowly listing items on Etsy.  I had a few sales but not much.  I didn’t really know I had something until right after Thanksgiving 2016 when I listed a few of my “brand” items on Etsy that were holiday specific and started selling 8 per day.  I had 15 listings up, but that paid for all of my “fails” from earlier in the year. I knew that I needed to scale up for the next holiday season and did so…beginning of the holiday season 2017 I had around 200 and increased that throughout the season, ending with 450 designs and over 2400 sales on Etsy from late October through December. During Nov/Dec my Etsy sales were $106k, and another 10k on Shopify.

I purchased LHS again in early 2017 and began listings on Amazon and eBay with the integration.  Ultimately I didn’t have time to focus on Amazon and recently closed my Pro account, as I’d only got a few sales there.  I will likely do the same with my eBay store (just down grade to a regular account).  I need the time to focus on Etsy and growing my brand.

Kimberly:

After learning from the course I was able to make my first sale within the first week. Before that I did not see success quickly but I saw the light bulb flash in my head after graduating from university in 2016. While all of my classmates wanted to work for a company, I decided instead to do the new opportunity in front of me, which was start my own business and do LHS. I owe it to my Mom who introduced me to the world of Internet Marketing. It was very much a trial and error method with online courses. The difference between what I was doing back then versus now is that I am able to make money from a system that utilizes the best parts of selling online.

Christine:

I dabbled with it for years, I found some success with fitness offers and made a few thousand one year just by organic traffic, but it soon became saturated and eventually became very hard to get decent Google rankings.

What are your top tips to keep your mindset up?

Veronica:

The Compound Effect is a good book to read along with this business model. I also have business mentors that I listen to on Audible while I’m working. First thing in the morning, I listen to a book on business so that I understand how top notch profiting entrepreneurs think.

I also track every day how many sales, how many listings, how many designs and how many views I get from Amazon’s business reports.  This helps me see that I am actually making progress even though sometimes it feels slow and the bumps like copied listings, customer emails or lost inventory don’t feel as scary.

At the beginning, don’t worry about the sales. Just put up 300 designs and THEN reassess where people are clicking on Amazon. I got 30 ideas and then tested 10 designs each because I had no idea what people would buy. Looking at the simple top sellers, I did get some inspiration but I had to experience it myself to understand what to expand on.

Jacob:

Set goals, small milestones and large milestones, and go after them. Having a strong reason why. Follow people who are successful and learn from them. 1 important fact is: you must pay to play. If you want to have a good income and are starting out or struggling, you must outsource.

Fred:

Stay positive, drink bulletproof coffee.  Set time aside away from your kids to focus on business.

Kimberly:

Persistence always beats resistance. When you have your own business and you are your own boss, then developing self-discipline is one of the fundamental tools to success. At the end of the day whether I succeed or if I fail, it’s on me in the end. There’s going to be days when you don’t feel like giving 100% your all and that’s okay. Keep your mindset positive and happy by taking care of yourself, your body and then go back to uploading and finding new ways to improve your stores.  Business is great but you still have to make time to nourish yourself and live life. I find that life motivates me to work even harder on my business. The thing about a normal 9-5 job is that you WILL make money, however, you can never win back your time. Appreciation and gratitude for what you have, no matter what stage you are in, is key.

Christine:

It is easy to be discouraged when you work so hard for little return, but if you do a little bit each day, it soon builds up.

How are you doing now? 

Veronica:

Since 11/2/2017, I have 500 Etsy listings and 1,000 Amazon listings. I make daily sales, 2-6 on week days, mostly because I have so many listings up and my trial of 300 designs using relevant keywords. My goal is to have 5000 listings up by 90 days and to buy and send $5,000 worth of profits through sending FBA mugs, which comes out to about 14 boxes.

Jacob:

Let’s just say I can pay my mortgage with a few mugs per month. I’m into the T-shirt game pretty heavily right now, though.

Fred:

Well my items are seasonal, so I’m increasing my 450 listings to 1500+ by October, trying to translate some of the designs into summer items rather than Christmas.  Redoing my Shopify store, hiring an ad agency to do my ads etc.  Building a few other stores and Etsy shops.  Streamlining my process for order fulfillment so my wife can help.

Kimberly:

I’m learning to balance a lot of new projects while maintaining the great foundation I’ve built from LHS. Right now I am the main person in charge of my Etsy since Etsy isn’t very fond of hiring Virtual Assistants. I would love to delegate some responsibilities to an assistant someday for my Etsy store. Amazon is a breeze and because of the integration, I don’t really have to check on the orders as often.

Christine:

We are seeing sales every day, it varies but around 3 – 4 sometimes 5 – 6 sales since Christmas, Christmas seemed to give us a real boost.

What have you done to scale your business?

Veronica:

I’m adding listings until I see 300 views a day, which brings me about 10-15 sales during Valentine’s and Christmas.

Jacob:

Outsource. I outsource designs, uploading, research for new designs. It has helped tremendously. I knock out 150 unique designs per month this way easily. FBA is a must to get the sales volume. Amazon Ads is a must on those FBA mugs.

Fred:

Increasing my number of designs.

Kimberly:

I’ve expanded beyond just the mugs. There’s always going to be a new passionate niche out there and some that haven’t yet been explored. There are just some items that hit very well with certain crowds and others that may do well on the mugs. Don’t be afraid to experiment. During the holiday season I hire a designer to do work for me, which saves a lot of time and energy. I like the saying, “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”

Christine:

Scaling was really just adding more designs and when sales started coming in the same designs were placed on different items and on different platforms. Also, if we get a sale in a niche, then it can be a good thing to expand and do different designs for different tastes.

Can you offer any advice for people struggling with this? 

Veronica:

I can give advice for beginners looking to grow and make sales because that’s where I am.

Learn which items sell best and consider sending to FBA, it’s a learning curve to navigate, but this is what will give you consistent sales.

Know how many listings you have, how many views per day and how many sales. The reports in Amazon help you see what your best days look like, visitors-wise.

Jacob:

It’s a numbers game to me, the more items you have up for sale the more your income will grow. Don’t over-think title and keywords, it will slow you down. Also, outsourcing a designer is a huge help. I don’t know how people do it without a VA, I would go crazy! With FBA, if you’re having trouble picking one, just choose one that has sold 5 times in the last 30-60 days and send it into Amazon. You’ll never know if you do not try.

Fred:

I’m in a unique niche within a niche, kind of thing.  I’m really only successful during the holidays.  For me it’s been to use all title characters that Etsy allows, use the right tags, use Etsy rank and Velo.  Cross promote to FB and IG.I’m in a unique niche within a niche, kind of thing.  I’m really only successful during the holidays.  For me it’s been to use all title characters that Etsy allows, use the right tags, use Etsy rank and Velo.  Cross promote to FB and IG.

Kimberly:

Absolutely. Do not give up! Everyone has his or her own version of what success means. Before The Low Hanging System, I was very much struggling with different courses here and there. I had just graduated from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and had no idea what to do with it. If you hit your version of “rock bottom” then there’s nowhere to go but up. Whether you have been designing your entire life or are a master stick figure artist, LHS can and will benefit your success. One of my favorite aspects of the course is that these are such amazing techniques that you can apply to almost every single online market out there. It is such a personalized experience and everyone will have different results.

Christine:

It has been said many times that you will make most of your sales over Christmas, so just keep adding designs even if you don’t see any sales. It really started happening for us at the end of October and kept going throughout Christmas.It has been said many times that you will make most of your sales over Christmas, so just keep adding designs even if you don’t see any sales. It really started happening for us at the end of October and kept going throughout Christmas.

What had you tried before LHS?

Veronica:

I lost $1200 on Facebook ads testing POD necklace designs and spent $10,000+ on private label products and that business never paid itself off.

Jacob:

I used to dropship on eBay and Amazon using multiple suppliers. I did this all myself; this is where I saw my first real success reaching $50,000 in sales month after month. But I was suspended on Amazon for poor metrics (out of stock issues), and this is how I came across LHS.

Fred:

Shopify.

Kimberly:

I’ve tried various methods such as putting my own artwork up online through third parties that don’t really give you a great commission, Facebook Advertisements that can always change depending on the new algorithms…etc. When I was in middle school I actually had built my own website with products on it but I did not know how to drive traffic to the website. We live in a time of viral sharing new ideas and being able to connect to the same passionate groups from the other side of the world.

Christine:

Before LHS I started publishing coloring books, but I wanted to diversify as it would take around 2 weeks to create a book. Mugs take much less time to test and try ideas and the profit made from one mug sale is approximately double that of a coloring book.

Are there any practical tips you can give around succeeding with LHS?

Veronica:

For beginners: Put up your first 300 designs and then reassess to see where you can keep adding designs. Look at which listings people are clicking because they’re interested and can see you and keep adding designs in that direction.

Scaling: Know your numbers, how many sales do you need to earn what you want to?

Customer Service: Respond right away and thank them for being patient, which will remind them that you’re human too and mistakes happen. Then follow up with tracking numbers when the odd time happens that you need a replacement.

Jacob:

List, List, List!

Hire a VA to launch campaigns. My VA can launch 150 campaigns per day at $3/hr. Granted, I don’t always have that many that need launched, but when I do, she knocks them out.

Buy Designs, as in buy them in bulk or hire a designer to help get you going. I buy many of my designs for t-shirts, and they go on mugs, shot glasses, etc…

Fred:

Make copious designs and see what sticks. You never know what will become a winner.  Believe in yourself and stick to it.

Kimberly:

Keep it simple and know the rules before you break the rules. Develop a game plan that you’ve already learned from the course. If you have any questions then drop by the online Facebook group. I absolutely love the community there. What I like to do is make a very long list of phrases that I’ve been inspired by but do not copy it word for word. Just make the phrase your own or find a new way to say it better. If there’s anything that will keep you from your success then it’s trademark infringement especially on Etsy. It can be competitive out there and you don’t want to give other sellers a reason to report your store. By being original, you won’t have to really worry about that.

Christine:

I would recommend trying out a few different designs once you get a winner. Some people do like flowery designs, others like plain black and white ones. Also try to imagine a potential recipient that you know and design for them, if you’re likely to buy then maybe others will too.

Aside from Amazon, what other selling platforms (if any) do you use and can you offer any practical tips about getting started with / using those platforms?

Veronica:

Etsy sends you money within 3 days. I sell on Etsy to keep ahead of my inventory fees. Take your best sellers on Amazon, research buyer keywords, and let Etsy bring you sales. The fast cash makes manual orders worth it.

Jacob:

Etsy is on the rise. I’m gradually adding to my etsy store. Its March 3, I’ve had 73 orders with 230 active listings. My tips would be to price a little higher, and run a sale for free shipping or something to that effect. Running a sale always has resulted in increase of sales.

Merch by Amazon: if you can get approved, add MBA to your business.

Fred:

Etsy.  It’s almost free at only .20 to list.  Use all characters available in titles, key words in the beginning rather than your brand name.  People aren’t searching for your brand name…they are searching for what the item is, i.e. Silver necklace with border collie pendent, for example.

Kimberly:

If I had an online child then it would be Etsy. I love Amazon for the integration aspect but Etsy has my heart. Ebay is sort of the cousin you care about but don’t really talk to that often. All platforms have the ability to make great money. What I love about Etsy is the incentive to be more creative. If you have this ability, then by all means show it. Make an extra effort with your mockups and keywords. Find an angle to your store that makes it different than the others. You also have the ability to have more than one Etsy shop if you sell different items on each. When you work on Etsy then it also works for you. Every time you put up a new listing then that’s more incentive for the search results to bump up your items on the first page.

Christine:

Etsy is a friendly platform and you can get some good sales there, you can easily charge extra for custom/personalized designs too. A tip is to spread out your listings over a few hours/days rather than in one lump as Etsy seems to respond well to regular attention.

Share some of the tangible things you’ve been able to do with your earnings.

Veronica:

My earnings are mostly paying off my credit cards for now. My goal is to earn enough and scaling LHS through Shopify, Amazon and Etsy to pay off $100K in debt.

The coolest EXPERIENCE this business gave me was waking up on vacation, putting up a few listings, ordering my Etsy orders and getting new orders through my FBA mugs and Etsy while I was out playing.  (Note, I didn’t pay for the vacation as it’s a family trip. But I aim to after paying off debts.)

Jacob:

Remember, I began LHS in May 2017. With my earnings, I got a brand new car. My daughter is in a private preschool. Zoo trips & expensive activities for kids.  This year I’m going to surprise the family with a cruise, shhh!

Fred:

Paid off our credit cards, built a steam sauna, provided a wonderful Christmas for my family of 6, bought some new camera gear, made over a couple rooms.  This year it will be a Land Rover for the wife and a Porsche 911 GT3 for me.

Kimberly:

I’ve re-invested a good amount of my earnings to cryptocurrency, buying new courses and fitness classes! Apart from that I try to save as much as possible because you never know what the future holds. Thank you so much to Rachel Rofé for creating such a stunning course that has helped thousands of people. You are a queen.

Christine:

With our earnings we have been able to pay off a lot of credit card debt and we bought a new car (albeit second hand but it was paid in full).

What do you think of these interviews and the advice these LHS members shared? Please leave a comment below and let me know. Thank you!

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